Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (10/09/1998)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Securities Litigation Uniform Standards

Title II: Reauthorization of the Securities and Exchange

Commission

Title III: Clerical and Technical Amendments

Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 - Title I: Securities Litigation Uniform Standards - Amends the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to prohibit any private class action based upon State statutory or common law in State or Federal court by any private party alleging: (1) an untrue statement or omission in connection with the purchase or sale of a covered security; or (2) that the defendant used any manipulative or deceptive device in connection with such a transaction.

(Sec. 101) Declares that any class action brought in any State court involving a covered security shall be removable to the Federal district court for the district in which the action is pending.

Exempts from such prohibition certain class actions based upon statutory or common law of the State in which the issuer is either incorporated or organized. Declares that such a class action may be maintained in State or Federal court by a private party if it involves: (1) the purchase or sale of securities by the issuer (or an affiliate) exclusively from or to holders of the issuer's equity securities; or (2) any communication about such a sale made by or on behalf of the issuer (or an affiliate) to such equity security holders concerning their decisions with respect to voting their securities, acting in response to a tender or exchange offer, or exercising dissenters' or appraisal rights.

Declares that nothing precludes a State, any political subdivision, or a State pension plan from bringing an action involving a covered security either on its own behalf, or as a member of a class composed solely of other States, political subdivisions, or State pension plans that are named plaintiffs and have authorized participation in such action.

Permits a class action suit in State or Federal court to enforce a contractual agreement between an issuer and an indenture trustee to be maintained by a party to the agreement or a successor to such party.

Requires the Federal court to remand an action to State court upon determining that such action may be maintained in State court.

Retains the jurisdiction of a State securities commission to investigate and bring enforcement actions.

Retains State court discretion to determine whether actions filed before should be joined, consolidated, or otherwise allowed to proceed as a single action.

Authorizes the Federal court to stay private action discovery proceedings in State court in order to aid its jurisdiction or protect or effectuate its judgments if such discovery would be subject to a stay under this Act (thus precluding a private action to circumvent a Federal stay by proceeding in State court).

(Sec. 102) Directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to: (1) seek to encourage the adoption of State laws providing for reciprocal enforcement by State securities commissions of subpoenas issued by a sister State securities commission to compel attendance, testimony, or production of documentation in connection with an alleged violation of State securities laws; and (2) submit a status report on such reciprocity to the Congress.

Title II: Reauthorization of the Securities and Exchange Commission - Authorizes appropriations for the SEC for FY 1999.

(Sec. 202) Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to repeal certification, filing, and reporting requirements governing the electronic data gathering, analysis, and retrieval system (EDGAR).

Authorizes the SEC to: (1) establish its own criteria for the selection of its professional economists; (2) appoint such economists directly; and (3) determine their compensation without regard to specified law. Sets forth compensation limits.

Title III: Clerical and Technical Amendments - Makes technical and conforming amendments to laws affected by this Act.

(Sec. 302) Amends the Securities Act of 1933 to provide that securities subject to certain State hearings are exempt from Federal registration requirements.