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In re CenturyLink Sales Practices and Securities Litigation

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

April 23, 2019

IN RE CENTURYLINK SALES PRACTICES AND SECURITIES LITIGATION This Document Relates to Civil File Nos. 18-2460, 18-2833, 18-2834, 18-2835, 19-263, 19-284

          Shawn M. Perry, Perry & Perry, PLLP, and Thomas J. McKenna and Gregory M. Egleston, Gainey McKenna & Egleston, Counsel for Plaintiffs Sona Andresian, Glen Walker, and Michael Barbree.

          William B. Federman, Federman & Sherwood, and Gregg M. Corwin, Gregg M. Corwin & Associate Law Office, PC, Counsel for Plaintiff Inter-Marketing Group USA, Inc.

          George C. Aguilar and Brian J. Robbins, Robbins Arroyo LLP, and Garrett D. Blanchfield, Reinhardt Wendorf & Blanchfield, Counsel for Plaintiff Edward Tansey.

          Lawrence P. Eagel, David J. Stone, and Melissa A. Fortunato, Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., Counsel for Plaintiff Tim Ault.

          Michael I. Fistel, Jr., Johnson Fistel, LLP, Counsel for Plaintiff Neil T.S. Flanders.

          James M. Ficaro, Robert B. Weiser, and Brett D. Stecker, The Weiser Law Firm, P.C., Counsel for Plaintiff Dennis Palkon.

          MEMORANDUM OF LAW & ORDER

          Michael J. Davis Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Inter-Marketing Group USA, Inc.'s Motion to Consolidate Related Shareholder Derivative Action, Appoint Lead or Co-lead Plaintiff, and Approve Its Selection of Lead or Co-lead Counsel [Docket No. 330]; Application by Plaintiff Edward Tansey for Appointment of Lead and Liaison Counsel in Consolidated Derivative Action [Docket No. 332]; and Plaintiff Ault's Motion for Appointment of Lead Plaintiff and Lead Counsel [Docket No. 342]. Also before the Court is Michael Hartleib's Motion for Acceptance of Amicus Curiae Brief in Oppos[]ition to the Appointment of the Robbins Arroyo and Weiser Firms as Lead Counsel and Notice of Intent to Attend the Hearing on 3-6-19. [Docket No. 381]

         The Court heard oral argument on March 6, 2019.

         II. BACKGROUND

         A. Overview of the Consolidated Derivative Action

         On June 6, 2018, Plaintiff Neil Flanders filed a verified derivative complaint against Nominal Defendant CenturyLink, Inc., (“CenturyLink”) and its officers and directors in the Western District of Louisiana. Later that same day, Plaintiff Tim Ault filed a similar action in the same court.

         Plaintiffs Michael Barbree, Glen Walker, and Sona Andresian filed a similar complaint in the same court on July 3, 2018. On August 23, 2018, Plaintiff Edward Tansey filed a similar derivative action in the District of Minnesota.

         On October 3, 2018, based on an order from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”), the Flanders Action, Ault Action, and Barbree Action were transferred to the District of Minnesota for inclusion in the CenturyLink MDL. [Docket No. 285]

         On December 4, 2018, this Court entered an order consolidating the four derivative actions that had been filed in or transferred to this Court: Tansey v. Perry, Civil File No. 18-2460, Flanders v. Post, Civil File No. 18-2833, Ault v Post, Civil File No. 18-2834, and Barbree v. Bejar, Civil File No. 18-2835. [Docket No. 310] Since that time, the JPML has transferred two additional derivative actions to this District, Inter-Marketing Group USA, Inc. v. Storey, Civil File No. 19-263, and Palkon v. CenturyLink, Inc., Civil File No. 19-284.

         B. Ault Action

         On June 6, 2018, Ault filed a verified derivative complaint against CenturyLink and its officers and board members in the Western District of Louisiana. Ault now moves for an order appointing him Lead Plaintiff, appointing Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. (“Bragar”) as Lead Counsel for the Consolidated Derivative Action, and entering a scheduling order for the filing of a consolidated ...


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