October 9, 2001 9:15 AM PDT
Suits against analyst Meeker thrown out
The eight suits were dismissed with prejudice, meaning that the plaintiffs are precluded from bringing the same claims again.
In August, Judge Milton Pollack ordered the plaintiffs to refile their claims, calling the initial complaints "gross and unrestrained." The plaintiffs have decided not to refile, said Morgan Stanley, which along with Meeker have agreed not to seek sanctions against the plaintiffs and their counsel.
The suits were filed on behalf of shareholders of eBay, Amazon.com and AOL Time Warner, and argued that Meeker, a high-profile analyst who specializes in Internet companies, had published overly optimistic research notes on those companies in order to boost Morgan Stanley's investment banking business.
"We are gratified, but not surprised, by this decision," Mayree Clark, Morgan Stanley's global head of research, said in a statement. "We?ve said consistently that these complaints were publicity stunts masquerading as lawsuits. Our research is thorough and objective, and Mary Meeker?s integrity is beyond reproach."
Fred Isquith, a lawyer with Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, one of the law firms representing the plaintiffs, said, "When we factored what must have been views of quite a number of people, we decided everybody's resources were better focused elsewhere."