Joshua A. Materese

Associate

EDUCATION
  • Syracuse University, Newhouse School
    B.S.-Communications 2006, magna cum laude
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law
    J.D. 2012, cum laude
ADMISSIONS
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • USDC, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • USDC, District of New Jersey
  • USDC, District of Colorado
  • USCA, Second Circuit
  • USCA, Third Circuit
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Josh Materese, an associate of the Firm, concentrates his practice in the areas of securities litigation and corporate governance, representing individuals, corporations and U.S. and overseas institutional investors in all stages of civil litigation. Josh has served as a member of the litigation teams responsible for prosecuting a number of the Firm’s significant cases, and has litigated in various state courts, federal district courts, and appellate courts.  

Experience
Ongoing Cases
  • In December 2014, Kessler Topaz was appointed co-lead counsel on behalf of two institutional lead plaintiffs and a putative class of investors in SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (“SeaWorld”).  The action asserts claims on behalf of investors in SeaWorld regarding the company’s issuance of materially false and misleading statements concerning SeaWorld’s business.  For decades, SeaWorld has kept orca whales in captivity and used them as performers in animal entertainment shows at its theme parks.  The documentary film ‘Blackfish,’ released in 2013, portrayed SeaWorld’s treatment and use of orcas in a harshly negative light.  ‘Blackfish,’ seen by millions of people around the world, sparked widespread public outcry and protests about SeaWorld’s animal treatment practices and orcas-as-entertainment business model.  At the same time, attendance at SeaWorld theme parks – an important factor in SeaWorld’s revenues – turned sharply downward, and celebrity and corporate partners severed ties with the company.  SeaWorld repeatedly asserted, however, that the film and the related public backlash was having no effect on the company’s business or attendance at its parks.  Lead Plaintiffs claim that these representations by SeaWorld were false, and that when the falsity of these statements was finally revealed in August 2014, and the company’s stock price fell by approximately 33%, SeaWorld shareholders were harmed.  After the case was initially dismissed with leave to re-plead, in 2016 Kessler Topaz, on behalf of the Lead Plaintiffs, successfully re-pled the complaint and argued to the federal court in San Diego, California, that the case should go forward.  The court agreed, sustained the case over SeaWorld’s motion to dismiss, and in late 2016 merits discovery began. 

    On June 23, 2017, SeaWorld disclosed in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it had received subpoenas from the United States Department of Justice and the SEC “concerning disclosures and public statements made by the Company and certain executives and/or individuals on or before August 2014, including those regarding the impact of the ‘Blackfish’ documentary, and trading in the company’s securities.” Kessler Topaz, on behalf of Lead Plaintiffs, subsequently filed a notice with the court indicating that the federal investigations concern the same events that are at issue in the ongoing securities litigation led by Kessler Topaz, and news outlets have also linked the federal investigations with the shareholder litigation (https://www.thestreet.com/story/14194454/1/feds-investigating-seaworld-for-blackfish-documentary-statements.html). Kessler Topaz will continue to monitor these investigations while it vigorously pursues merits discovery and the successful resolution of this case at trial.

  • We have filed opt-out securities fraud actions in Manhattan federal court on behalf of several U.S. and European institutional investors against Petrobras, the Brazilian oil conglomerate, arising out of a decade-long bribery and kickback scheme that has been called the largest corruption scandal in Brazil’s history. The action alleges that Petrobras concealed bribes to senior officers and government officials and improperly capitalized these bribes as assets on its books in order to inflate the value of the company's refineries.  To date, many of these officers and officials have pled guilty before the Brazilian courts to charges stemming from their participation in the alleged scheme. 

    On October 15, 2015, District Judge Rakoff denied Petrobras’ motions to dismiss our clients’ complaints and set trial for the Fall of 2016.

  • In a case raising novel, complex issues of U.S. tender offer law and regulation, we are co-lead counsel to a putative class of former shareholders of Allergan, Inc., (Allergan), maker of the popular drug Botox. Plaintiffs, including the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, allege that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (Valeant) and Pershing Square Capital Management (Pershing Square) improperly purchased Allergan securities while secretly planning to make a tender offer for Allergan. As a result, the selling stockholders were deprived of the increase in Allergan stock prices that occurred when Valeant and Pershing Square disclosed their intentions. The action is pending in California federal court. On March 15, 2017 the court granted plaintiffs’ motion to certify the case as a class action, and on July 14, 2017 plaintiffs moved for summary judgment as to defendants’ liability. A summary judgment hearing is set for September 25, 2017, and the matter has been scheduled for trial in February 2018.

Representative Outcomes
  • Led class action on behalf of participants in JPMorgan Chase Bank’s (JPMorgan) securities lending program that incurred losses on JPMorgan’s investments in medium-term notes issued by Sigma Finance, Inc. 

    Our clients, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists Retirement Fund and the Imperial County Employees’ Retirement System, asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA, as well as common law breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligence. During discovery, the parties produced and reviewed hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, took 40 depositions and submitted 21 expert reports. The case settled on the eve of trial for $150 million.

  • Court-appointed Co-Lead Counsel, Kessler Topaz, has negotiated a $150 million cash settlement on behalf of a certified class of investors with defendant JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPMorgan”).  The settlement resolves claims arising out of the 2012 trading and risk management activities of JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office (“CIO”) and its so-called “London Whale” trades.

    The case was initially filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in July 2012.  In August 2012, the Court appointed Kessler Topaz, along with two other law firms, to serve as Lead Counsel in the action.  In November 2012, Kessler Topaz filed a Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint on behalf of the Lead Plaintiffs, including its client, Sjunde AP-Fonden or AP7, and the putative class of JPMorgan investors.  Following investigations by various governmental entities, including the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate, Kessler Topaz amended the operative complaint by filing a Second Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint in April 2013 (“Complaint”). 

    The Complaint asserted claims pursuant to Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder against JPMorgan and certain of its officers during the relevant period.  The Complaint alleged that defendants violated the federal securities laws by issuing false and misleading statements regarding the activities of the CIO and the extent of the risk posed by the London Whale trades within the CIO’s synthetic credit portfolio.  Specifically, the Complaint alleged that on April 13, 2012, when defendants characterized the London Whale trading as customary “hedging” activity, they knew or recklessly disregarded that the London Whale trades were undisclosed, high-risk proprietary trades.  Furthermore, the Complaint alleged that when analysts began expressing concern over the London Whale trading activities, JPMorgan CEO James Dimon fraudulently dismissed them as a "complete tempest in a teapot."  The alleged false and misleading statements caused the price of JPMorgan common stock to be artificially inflated during the Class Period and when it was disclosed in May 2012 that the London Whale trades had lost over $2 billion, the price of the stock declined significantly, causing damage to investors.

    Following more than three years of hard-fought litigation, including the Court’s certification of a class of investors, the parties agreed to mediate the case before the Honorable Daniel H. Weinstein (ret.).  The mediation process, which commenced in June 2015, was successful and culminated in the settlement, which was approved by the Court on May 10, 2016. 

    Additional information concerning the settlement can be found at www.jpmorgansecuritieslitigation.com.