Claims that the Investment Company Institute is violating federal securities laws are a legal longshot, according to mutual fund industry lawyers.

The lawsuit - which claims that the ICI is violating federal securities laws in the way it collects dues and manages its affairs (MFMN 6/5/00) - goes beyond any SEC pronouncements and court rulings in the 60 years since Congress passed the Investment Company Act, lawyers said. There is no precedent for the claim that a trade group violates federal securities laws because it receives fees from mutual funds at the same time that mutual fund company executives lead the organization, lawyers said.

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