Joshua A. Materese

Partner

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, a partner 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
  • 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.

  • The win keeps this case on track for a February 18, 2020 jury trial.

    Since December 2014, Kessler Topaz has served as co-lead counsel on behalf of two institutional Lead Plaintiffs and a Class of investors who acquired SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., common stock in the period from August 29, 2013 through August 12, 2014 (the “Class Period”).  Lead Plaintiffs claim that SeaWorld and its former executives (“Defendants”) issued materially false and misleading statements during the Class Period about the impact of Blackfish, an highly publicized documentary film released in 2013, on SeaWorld’s business, in violation of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5. Defendants repeatedly told the market over the roughly 11-month Class Period that the film and related public outrage were not affecting SeaWorld’s attendance or business at all—representations that Lead Plaintiffs maintain were false and misleading.  When the underlying truth of Blackfish’s impact on the business finally came to light in August 2014, SeaWorld’s stock price lost approximately 33% of its value in one day, injuring Class members.  In November 2017, Judge Michael M. Anello of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California certified the Class, appointed Lead Plaintiffs as Class Representatives, and appointed Kessler Topaz as co-Class Counsel.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Defendants’ petition to appeal that order in mid-2018.  And in April 2019, after the close of fact and expert discovery, Defendants moved for summary judgment on all claims.

    Summary judgment represented Defendants’ last and best opportunity to avoid a jury trial on the Class’s claims through a dispositive motion.  But, after full briefing and an October 2019 oral argument, the Court held, in a 98-page Order dated November 6, 2019, that Lead Plaintiffs had successfully shown that genuine issues of material fact precluded summary judgment on all elements of their claims, and the claims should go to a jury.  The Court set a trial date of February 18, 2020.  Kessler Topaz, along with co-lead counsel, will prosecute the case on behalf of Lead Plaintiffs and the Class.    

Representative Outcomes
  • This shareholder derivative action challenged a conflicted “roll up” REIT transaction orchestrated by Glade M. Knight and his son Justin Knight.

    The proposed transaction paid the Knights millions of dollars while paying public stockholders less than they had invested in the company. The case was brought under Virginia law, and settled just ten days before trial, with stockholders receiving an additional $32 million in merger consideration.

  • 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.