Judge rejects free-speech claim from credit rating agencies

09/4/2009 | Wall Street Journal, The

Credit rating agencies have long claimed that they are immune from certain lawsuits regarding their ratings of securities. District Judge Shira Scheindlin disagreed, saying ratings that are distributed to a limited pool of investors, rather than general ratings that are widely disseminated, do not enjoy the same First Amendment protection. "Her decision breaks new ground," said David Grais, a New York attorney who represents investors regarding asset-backed securities.

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