127 F.3d 478 (6th Cir. 1997), 96-1669, Becherer v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.

Docket Nº:96-1669.
Citation:127 F.3d 478
Party Name:Richard C. BECHERER, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH, INC., et al. Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:September 22, 1997
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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Page 478

127 F.3d 478 (6th Cir. 1997)

Richard C. BECHERER, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH, INC., et al.

Defendants-Appellees.

No. 96-1669.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

September 22, 1997

Submitted June 4, 1997.

Page 479

Bruce E. Gerstein (briefed), Garwin, Bronzaft, Gerstein & Fisher, New York City, John P. Zuccarini and Elwood S. Simon (briefed), Elwood S. Simon & Associates, Birmingham, MI, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

David C. Andrew (briefed), Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell, Memphis, TN, Dennis K. Egan (briefed), Barbara L. McQuade, Butzel Long, Detroit, MI, for Defendant-Appellee Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, Inc, Martin Cicco.

Jon B. Gandelot, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, Steve W. Gaskins (briefed), Cosgrove, Flynn & Gaskins, Minneapolis, MN, for Defendants-Appellees Can-American Corporation, Can-American Realty Corporation, Garrett G. Carlson, Graham C. Count, Arni Thorsteinson.

Mary C. Yeager (briefed), Faegre & Benson, Minneapolis, MN, Jon B. Gandelot, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, Steve W. Gaskins (briefed), Cosgrove, Flynn & Gaskins, Minneapolis, MN, for Defendant-Appellee Shelter Seagate Corp.

Stephen F. Wasinger, Honigman, Miller, Schwartz & Cohn, Detroit, MI, for Defendant-Appellee Laventhol & Horwath.

Lawrence G. Campbell, Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman, Detroit, MI, Robert P. Hurlbert, Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman, Chicago, IL, for Defendant-Appellee M.A. Mortenson Co.

James R. Case, Kerr, Russell & Weber, Detroit, MI, Melissa M. Horne, Winograd, Shine, Providence, RI, for Defendant-Appellee Winsor/Faricy Architects, Inc.

Laura S. Stafford, Walton & Stafford, Detroit, MI, Jonathan T. Walton, Jr., Detroit, MI, for Defendant-Appellee Trustbank Mortgage Center, Incorporated.

Frank W. Brochert, Plunkett & Cooney, Detroit, MI, Timothy D. Wittlinger, Hill, Lewis, Adams, Goodrich & Tait, Detroit, MI, Lawrence G. Campbell, Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman, Detroit, MI, for Defendant-Appellee Midwest Title Guarantee Company of Florida.

Dennis K. Egan, Barbara L. McQuade, Butzel Long, Detroit, MI, for Defendant-Appellee Frank Lavin.

Before: MARTIN, Chief Judge; RYAN and BATCHELDER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

BOYCE F. MARTIN, JR., Chief Judge.

On August 21, 1989, six plaintiffs, led by Richard C. Becherer, filed a complaint as a putative class action on behalf of approximately four hundred investors in a non-residential condominium hotel known as The Registry Hotel in Naples, Florida. The complaint alleged, among other things, that SSG, 1 which developed the hotel, and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, the underwriters of the private offering in which interests in the hotel were sold, engaged in a scheme of omissions and misrepresentations to defraud investors in violation of federal securities laws and sections 1703(a)(2) and 1707 of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1701-1720 (1996). The complaint also alleged state law breach of contract claims.

The suit has a long and complicated history, much of which is contained in our earlier opinion at 43 F.3d 1054 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 516 U.S. 912, 116 S.Ct. 296, 133 L.Ed.2d 203 (1995). The relevant procedural history is as follows: The district court certified the suit as a limited class action for purposes of trying only the breach of contract claims and, in an opinion dated August 7, 1992, awarded the limited class approximately $6.7 million on their breach of contract claims against SSG. The court also dismissed the Becherer plaintiffs' individual

Page 480

Land Sales Act claims. Becherer I, 799 F.Supp. 755 (E.D.Mich.1992). On January 10, 1995, this court issued an opinion in which it reversed the district...

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