Law Professor Dobbins quoted in Oregon Business article on Aequitas Capital lawsuit

by Sarah Carlson,

  • Jeffrey Dobbins
    Willamette University College of Law Professor Jeffrey Dobbins

Willamette Law Professor Jeffrey Dobbins commented in an Oregon Business article regarding the class-action lawsuit that’s been filed in response to the collapse of Lake Oswego investment firm Aequitas Capital.

Aequitas failed in February of 2016, and it owes $600 million to investors and $110 to banks, according to the Oregonian. The lawsuit was filed by investors against the firm’s legal advisers, including Tonkon Torp, a well-known Portland law firm, as well as other firms in Chicago and New York. Oregon securities law allows investors to file against Aequitas’ advisers, since they should have had knowledge of their client’s actions.

Portland’s Stoll Berne represents the investors, pitting some local lawyers against each other. At the moment, Dobbins said the attorneys for the investors are probably working on contingency, since they won’t collect damages for some time. According to the Oregon Business article, the case is expected to go above $350 million. Attorneys typically charge about one-third of what’s recovered, so their final bill could be substantial.

Dobbins said regardless of costs, the lawsuit will probably settle. However, he said it will take time due to the number of investors, the complexity of investments and the number of places where Aequitas, its advisers and its investment advisers were located. He said the case is important for many reasons.

“This will keep the legal community in Portland busy for some time to come,” Dobbins said.

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About Jeffrey C. Dobbins

Jeffrey C. Dobbins is an associate professor of law and executive director of the Oregon Law Commission at Willamette University College of Law, where he teaches Federal Courts, Administrative Law and seminars in specialized areas of civil procedure. His scholarship focuses on areas of civil procedure and federal jurisdiction, with an emphasis on appellate process and theory. Dobbins practiced law in both public and private sectors before coming to Willamette. Throughout his career, he has briefed and argued more than 50 cases in federal and state appellate courts.

About Willamette University College of Law

Opened in 1883, Willamette University College of Law is the first law school in the Pacific Northwest. The college has a long tradition at the forefront of legal education and is committed to the advancement of knowledge through excellent teaching, scholarship, mentoring and experience. Leading faculty, thriving externship and clinical law programs, ample practical skills courses, and a proactive career placement office prepare Willamette law students for today's legal job market. According to statistics compiled by the American Bar Association, Willamette ranks first in the Pacific Northwest for job placement for full-time, long-term, JD-preferred/JD-required jobs for the class of 2014 and first in Oregon for the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014. Located across the street from the state capitol complex and the Oregon Supreme Court in downtown Salem, the college specializes in law and government, law and business, and dispute resolution.

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