Press Releases

Bankruptcy Court will Hear County's Case against Merril Lynch

County Executive Office - Press Release

December 5, 1995

Bankruptcy Court will hear County's Case Management Investment Broker Merrill Lynch

(Santa Ana, CA) - Approximately one year from the date that the County of Orange first identified an approximate $1.5 billion "paper loss" in its investment portfolio, the County received positive news from bankruptcy court regarding its case against Merrill Lynch -- Citron's primary financial advisor on investments. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Ryan today determined that the County' complaint against Merrill Lynch states valid claims. Merrill Lynch was directed to answer the complaint on December 21, 1995. The court also scheduled a hearing for December 12, 1995 to consider and resolve the proper scope of initial stages of discovery.

J. Michael Hennigan of Hennigan, Mercer & Bennett, the County's lead litigation counsel, stated, "The decision means that the case is going to trial -- the only question is: When? The County will do everything in its power to cause the case to be tried as promptly as possible. We expect Merrill Lynch will seek further delay."

Judge Ryan dismissed Merrill Lynch's motion to dismiss the County's case. This action will save time and litigation costs on the County's behalf. The County's case centers around Merrill Lynch's inappropriate and illegal sale of risky securities. "This is outstanding news," stated County CEO Jan Mittermeier. "We can now move forward with our aggressive case. The will allow the County to proceed at the fastest pace possible to recuperate the County's investment pool losses and get this bankruptcy behind us."