Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm, Inc., 514 U.S. 211, 4 (1995)

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Opinion of the Court

364. We applied that holding to the plaintiff-respondents in Lampf itself, found their suit untimely, and reinstated a summary judgment previously entered in favor of the defendant-petitioners. Ibid. On the same day we decided James B. Beam Distilling Co. v. Georgia, 501 U. S. 529 (1991), in which a majority of the Court held, albeit in different opinions, that a new rule of federal law that is applied to the parties in the case announcing the rule must be applied as well to all cases pending on direct review. See Harper v. Virginia Dept. of Taxation, 509 U. S. 86, 92 (1993). The joint effect of Lampf and Beam was to mandate application of the 1-year/3-year limitations period to petitioners' suit. The District Court, finding that petitioners' claims were untimely under the Lampf rule, dismissed their action with prejudice on August 13, 1991. Petitioners filed no appeal; the judgment accordingly became final 30 days later. See 28 U. S. C. 2107(a) (1988 ed., Supp. V); Griffith v. Kentucky, 479 U. S. 314, 321, n. 6 (1987).

On December 19, 1991, the President signed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991, 105 Stat. 2236. Section 476 of the Act—a section that had nothing to do with FDIC improvements—became 27A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and was later codified as 15 U. S. C. 78aa-1 (1988 ed., Supp. V). It provides:

"(a) Effect on pending causes of action

"The limitation period for any private civil action implied under section 78j(b) of this title [ 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934] that was commenced on or before June 19, 1991, shall be the limitation period provided by the laws applicable in the jurisdiction, including principles of retroactivity, as such laws existed on June 19, 1991. "(b) Effect on dismissed causes of action

"Any private civil action implied under section 78j(b) of this title that was commenced on or before June 19, 1991—

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