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HOUSE PASSES SECURITIES REFORM

WASHINGTON-The House approved high-tech securities reform litigation that would create uniform national standards for class action shareholder lawsuits and keep such cases in federal court.

“This bill closes a loophole and prevents those specializing in securities class actions from using state courts to circumvent the federal reforms adopted in the 1995 law,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who along with Rep. Rick White (R-Calif.) sponsored the bill.

A companion bill passed the Senate in May. The two measures must be reconciled in a conference committee.

High-tech firms with huge growth potential and sometimes erratic stock fluctuations are particularly vulnerable to class action shareholder lawsuits, as ProNet Inc., Nextel Communications Inc., Skytel Communications Inc., MobileMedia Corp. and other wireless firms have discovered in recent years.

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