Legal Matters

Legal Matters

General Policy


The West Virginia Investment Management Board (WVIMB) has determined that the public interest is well served by institutional investors, such as the WVIMB, participating in select securities litigation with a goal of not only recovering losses for defrauded investors but also to seek appropriate corporate governance changes in such litigation.  In this vein, the WVIMB has adopted a “Securities Litigation Policy,” which is posted on this website.
 

In implementing the Policy, the WVIMB has established professional relationships with a select group of qualified litigation firms.  It is important to note that these relationships are not exclusive.  The WVIMB, in meeting its fiduciary obligations, is open to quality proposals from qualified attorneys.  The WVIMB will only become involved in litigation matters of the highest quality and is open to joining with highly reputable public and private funds for purposes of seeking lead plaintiff status.
 

Proposals for WVIMB consideration should be in writing and directed to Craig Slaughter, Esquire, Executive Director:
 

Via standard mail:
 

500 Virginia St, East, Suite 200
Charleston, WV 25301
 

Via email:
 

legal@wvimb.org
 

Significant Developments

 

The WVIMB recently received favorable decisions in two suits it brought to protect the funds it manages. Generally, in order for a lawsuit to proceed in federal court, the suit must involve a dispute about federal law (a “federal question”), or a dispute between citizens of different states (a “diversity” suit). For these purposes, a state does not qualify as a citizen of a state, and suits brought by a state must remain in state court unless they involve federal questions.  Two United States District courts recently ruled that the WVIMB is an “arm” or “alter ego” of the State of West Virginia for purposes of these requirements, and that like a State, suits brought by the WVIMB must remain in state court (unless federal questions are raised). In both cases, the courts agreed with the WVIMB that it has significant operational independence from the state (or the State of West Virginia), allowing it to make unbiased investment decisions in the best interests of the beneficiaries of the funds it manages in a professional and apolitical manner.  However, the decisions also agreed that the WVIMB ultimately acts as an extension of the State of West Virginia in managing public funds benefitting public employees, employers and agencies.  The staff of the WVIMB is dedicated to protecting the funds it manages, and these decisions will help ensure that in the future, courts and other parties understand that for purposes of federal court jurisdiction, the WVIMB should be treated as the state.


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