The class-action lawsuit against the mutual fund industry over market timing and late trading is slowly inching toward a settlement, The Baltimore Sun reports. A series of rulings by three judges in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore drastically cut the number of legal claims against mutual fund companies and brokerages.

As a result, some legal experts believe lawyers on both sides will be more likely to negotiate a settlement.

Further, Judge J. Frederick Motz said that the court will determine whether the regulatory settlements have already fully compensated investors, which would rule out any further remuneration.

"It brings the lawyers closer to settlement anytime you have a ruling like this," Andrew Stoltmann, a Chicago securities lawyer told The Sun. "It makes it more difficult for the plaintiffs to establish liability and damages, but it certainly isn't a fatal blow, and plaintiffs sill have the remaining claims."

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