July 07, 2014

Jenner & Block recently won a victory before the U.S. Supreme Court, on behalf of firm client Nomura Home Equity Loan, when the Court granted Nomura’s Petition for Certiorari in Nomura Home Equity Loan, et al. v. National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), vacated the adverse decision of the Tenth Circuit, and remanded the matter to the Tenth Circuit for reconsideration in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling on a similar issue in another case.  The NCUA is the federal agency that regulates, charters and supervises federal credit unions.  Nomura and several other banks had asked the Court to vacate an opinion of the Tenth Circuit, affirming a District Court of Kansas order, which had held that NCUA’s securities law claims, stemming from the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities were not time-barred because a so-called “extender statute” – a federal law that allows NCUA more time to file claims beyond that permitted by the applicable statute of limitations – allowed the NCUA more time to file claims beyond that permitted by the Securities Act statute of repose.  

On June 16, 2014, the Supreme Court issued an order granting Nomura’s cert petition, vacating the judgment below, and remanding the case to the Tenth Circuit to consider whether the Supreme Court’s ruling one week earlier, in another case, had a bearing on the Nomura case.  In this other case, CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, the Supreme Court held that a federal pollution cleanup law extending the CERCLA statute of limitations, which never mentions statutes of repose, did not preempt North Carolina’s statute of repose for environmental cleanups.  That ruling calls into question whether a federal law extending statute of limitations for actions brought by NCUA, but which never mentions statutes of repose, also permits NCUA to file actions beyond the applicable statute of repose period.  The Tenth Circuit has asked for expedited briefing on the effect of this Supreme Court’s ruling on the Nomura case.  Partner Barbara S. Steiner led the team that included Partners Matthew S. Hellman, Barry Levenstam, Paul M. Smith and Matthew J. Thomas; Associates Nicole C. Berg, Casey T. Grabenstein and Christopher J. Karacic; and Paralegals W. Michael Hughes and Mary Frances Patston.