The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case that will decide the fate of 236 director and officer liability suits, many stemming from the thrift crisis of the 1980s.

At issue is the legal standard the government must meet when it sues top officials of failed institutions. If the court rules in favor of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and against the director-plaintiff, then directors could become harder to recruit and retain, warned Bankers Roundtable general counsel Richard M. Whiting.

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