FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Ronald S. Betman

Ronald S. Betman

Ulmer & Berne LLP

Chicago, IL, USA


Ron is a veteran trial lawyer with nearly three decades of experience representing Fortune 500 companies, privately held entities and individuals in high stakes, complex litigation and class action matters.  Ron has a track record of achieving favorable outcomes in state and federal court, at both the trial and appellate levels, throughout the United States.  Ron has defended clients in the areas of securities, commodities, class action and derivative litigation, antitrust, fraud, product liability, bankruptcy and commercial litigation of all kinds.

Ron has handled numerous regulatory investigations by the SEC, CFTC and state attorneys general and has been extensively published in the area.  His expertise in this area will allow him to partner with Ulmer’s clients in the financial services sector as well.

Representative Experience

  • In re Cisco Systems, Inc. Securities Litigation, Master File No. 01-20418 (N.D. Cal.) - Trial counsel on behalf of CiscoSystems Inc. and various individuals in a shareholder class action alleging violations of Sections 10(b), 20(a) and 20(A) of the Exchange Act and seeking damages in excess of $6 billion dollars. The plaintiffs alleged misrepresentations and omissions relating to both company disclosures as well as accounting practices. The case was settled on favorable terms.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission v. Johnson, 87 F.3d 484 (DC Cir. 1996) - Trial counsel in an administrative proceeding defending a branch manager on charges of failure to supervise a rogue broker in PaineWebber’s BeverlyHills, California office. After the ALJ imposed a six-month supervisory suspension, the District of Columbia Circuit, in a case of first impression and critical import in the securities industry, held that the SEC proceeding for enforcement of a penalty fell within the meaning of the federal general five-year statute of limitations, and thus the SEC’s action against Ms. Johnson was time-barred.
  • Representation of clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission - Successful representation of numerous companies, hedge funds and individuals before the Securities and Exchange Commission in private, formal investigations.
  • Lionsgate Entertainment v. Carl Icahn, et al., (S.D. N.Y.) - Trial counsel on behalf of Carl Icahn in connection with Icahn’s efforts to take control of Lionsgate and related to other litigation involving Icahn’s efforts to rescind a debt to equity swap between Lionsgate and one of its major shareholders. The parties reached a global resolution of all pending litigation.
  • Premium Plus Partners, L.P. v. Peter J. Davis, et al., Case No 04 C 1851 (N.D. Ill.) - Trial counsel on behalf of Goldman, Sachs & Co. in a putative class action alleging violations of the Commodity Exchange Act for allegedly manipulating the U.S. Treasury market and injuring holders of short positions who were forced to cover at higher prices. Class certification was denied and the case was resolved pursuant to Rule 68 on an individual basis only.
  • In re Midway Airlines, 91 B 6449, 96 A 1032 (Bankr. N.D. Ill.) - Lead trial counsel for American Airlines in three-week bench trial in Bankruptcy Court in Chicago arising out of collapse of Midway Airlines. The Bankruptcy Court ruled in favor of American Airlines on all legal issues, and the case ultimately settled on terms favorable to the client.
  • In re World Access, Inc., 01 B 14633 (Bankr. N.D. Ill.) - Lead trial counsel on behalf of debtors’ estates in a three-week bench trial in support of substantive consolidation. Judge Sonderby of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago ruled in the debtors’ favor on certain claims and against the debtors on other claims. The case was settled on favorable terms to the client.
  • Trustee v. ZC Specialty Insurance Company, Case No. 2:03-CV-00077 (Bankr. N.D. Tex.) - Lead trial counsel on behalf of ZC Specialty in a three-week bench trial before Judge Felsenthal in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas relating to allegations of de facto partnership with regard to a structured finance transaction in which ZC Specialty issued a $144 million surety bond. While the case was pending on appeal following an adverse Bankruptcy Court ruling, the case settled.
  • Ross et al. v. Bank of America et al., Nos. 04-civ-5723; 05-civ-7116 (S.D. N.Y. 2014) - Trial counsel for Discover Financial Services in successful defense of long-running antitrust MDL alleging that credit card issuers conspired to adopt and maintain arbitration provisions with class action waivers in their cardholder agreements. On April 10, 2014, following a six-week bench trial and months of post-trial briefing, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a 92-page judgment holding that plaintiffs “did not sustain their burden” of proving an antitrust violation under controlling law.  Based on the extensive trial record, the Court entered judgment for the issuers on plaintiffs’ antitrust claims for injunctive relief against the challenged arbitration provisions. The case is currently on appeal.

Publications

  • “Trends in SEC Enforcement: What CPAs Need to Know,” The CPA Journal (March 2016)
  • “US Eyes Class Action Waiver Ban for Financial Services Contracts,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (October 22, 2015)
  • “7th Circuit Charts New Course on Offers of Judgment and Mootness,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (August 2015) “To Infinity And Beyond: FINRA’s Efforts to Expand the Scope of Rule 8210,” Law360 (March 2011)
  • “Understanding and Navigating the Use of Pre-Wells Notice White Papers in Formal SEC Investigations”, The Banking Law Journal (May 2014)
  • “The (Too) Long Arm of The SEC: When a Foreign Employee of a U.S.-Based Multinational Financial Services Client is Threatened With A Subpoena”, Berkeley Business Law Journal, 2013 Vol. 10

Presentations

  • “Winning Strategies for Defending SEC Enforcement Actions,” Sponsored by Foundation in Accounting Education (October 25, 2016)
  • Bytes & Bribes: A Discussion of Mitigating Business Risk,” Sponsored by Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg (February 25, 2015)
  • “Hedge Funds and the Credit Crisis: A Review of Recent Enforcement Actions, Civil Suits and the Outlook for 2009,” Sponsored by Duff & Phelps (November 13, 2008)

Honors and Distinctions

  • Leading Lawyers (Commercial Litigation, 2014-present)
  • Litigation Counsel of America (Fellow)

Admissions

  • State of Illinois
  • State of Michigan

Practices/Industries

  • Complex Business Litigation
  • Financial Services Litigation
  • Securities & Commodities Litigation
  • Antitrust Litigation
  • Product Liability

Education

University of Michigan
(B.B.A., with high distinction, 1983)

University of Michigan Law School
(J.D., cum laude, 1986)

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