CalSTRS Names Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy Lead Counsel in Homestore.com Lawsuit
Sacramento, CA – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System today named Joseph W. Cotchett and Bruce L. Simon of Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy as lead counsel in a securities class action suit against Homestore.com, Inc. and several former executives. CalSTRS is lead plaintiff in this lawsuit alleging Homestore falsified financial statements and engaged in accounting irregularities.
“Joe Cotchett and Bruce Simon are top-tier litigators and CalSTRS is fortunate to have their expertise in this action,” said Jack Ehnes, CalSTRS chief executive officer. “We believe this firm’s unique combination of experience, talent and dedication will well serve the other members of the class and California’s educators as they pursue restitution for past wrongs.”
In Cotchett’s 35 years as a lawyer, he has tried more than 100 cases, winning numerous jury verdicts as well as successfully negotiating sizeable settlements. He gained national attention as lead counsel for the thousands of plaintiffs in the Lincoln Savings Loan lawsuit in 1992. He won
one of the largest jury verdicts in history, $3.3 billion, which was later reduced to $1.75 billion.
Simon has been with CPS&M for 18 years and has tried numerous high profile, complex business cases involving false financial reporting and accounting – issues similar to the Homestore case.
The selection of the Burlingame, California-based CPS&M was done through a competitive process in which 19 firms were evaluated on their experience litigating complex securities fraud cases. Another factor considered was each firm’s commitment to obtaining recoveries from the personal assets of culpable individual defendants.
In addition to Homestore.com, defendants include Stuart H. Wolff, the company’s former chief executive officer and chair of the board; Peter B. Tafeen, former chief operations officer; and Joseph J. Shew, former chief financial officer. All three resigned either immediately before news of the accounting misrepresentations was released or shortly thereafter.
As lead counsel in the Homestore class action, Cotchett’s next step is to complete the investigation for the purpose of determining if new theories and parties should be added to the case.
CalSTRS is the third largest pension fund in the U.S., with a $101 billion investment portfolio. The pension system serves approximately 687,000 members and benefit recipients by providing retirement, disability and survivor benefits to California’s public school educators in grades kindergarten through community college. Those benefits are guaranteed by law and are not affected by changes in the investment portfolio.