John R. Bielema is a partner in the litigation department concentrating on securities and corporate litigation, as well as commercial litigation. He has had significant experience representing clients in the defense of securities fraud class actions, including underwriters, issuers and individual defendants. Mr. Bielema also has significant experience defending directors and officers of failed banks from claims asserted by the FDIC.
Additionally, Mr. Bielema has extensive experience defending shareholder derivative actions, dissenter’s rights proceedings, tender offer litigation, SEC investigations, bondholder litigation, director and officer liability litigation, adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court and many other forms of corporate litigation.
Mr. Bielema has also defended RICO class actions and FINRA arbitrations. Mr. Bielema is an experienced commercial litigator and is on the editorial board of the American Bar Association’s Business and Commercial Litigation Committee. He also has experience with jury trials and with both binding arbitration and mediation.
In addition to his experience as a litigator, Mr. Bielema also regularly advises directors and officers of corporations, including financial institutions, regarding the nature and proper discharge of their fiduciary duties.
In 2007, Mr. Bielema was elected as a board member of the Litigation Section of the Atlanta Bar Association. He served as chair of the section in 2012-2013. He is the co-founder of the Securities and Corporate Litigation sub-section of the Atlanta Bar Association’s litigation section, and, until 2012, served as that organization’s co-chair.
He is also the co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Corporate and Securities Litigation sub-committee of the Litigation Section’s Commercial and Business Litigation Section. He is active in the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section Securities Litigation Committee.
He has served since 2005 on the Executive Committee of the Federal Bar Association’s Atlanta Chapter and was Chapter President for the 2010-2011 year. He frequently presents on issues relating to key securities litigation and director and officer liability issues.
Mr. Bielema has been quoted on issues relating to securities litigation and regulation in many publications including The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The National Law Journal, Securities Law 360, The Toronto Star, Lawyers Weekly, Bank and Lenders Liability Reporter, Andrew’s Securities Litigation Reporter, Compliance Weekly, and Compliance and Regulatory Newsletter.
He has written numerous articles and client alerts on issues relating to securities regulation and SEC enforcement issues. He has spoken and given presentations to Boards of Directors and in-house counsel on important developments in securities and corporate litigation.
Mr. Bielema also is active in the community and has worked for years with The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta as a member at large and, more recently, as a member of the Fulton County Board of Directors.
- University of Michigan, J.D., cum laude, 1993
- Hope College, B.A., summa cum laude, 1990
- Georgia, 1993
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
Representative Experience :
- Representation of several boards of directors and officers of failed and/or distressed banks in connection with possible or actual claims by the FDIC as receiver
- Representation of a major U.S. broker dealer in a purported class action for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty – dismissed by district court
- Representation of a U.S. broker dealer in a RICO class action and related FINRA arbitrations – favorably resolved
- Representation of the issuer in In Re World Health Alternatives Securities Litigation, United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- Representation of 3 underwriter defendants in In Re: AFC Securities Litigation, US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- Representation of targets of numerous SEC, FINRA, and other regulatory investigations and enforcement actions
- Representation of a major financial institution in internal investigation in response to two shareholder derivative demands.
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