Ever since private-label MBS litigation began, aggrieved investors have faced an uneasy trade-off between cost and thoroughness: They must prove their losses stem from systemic underwriting flaws, but they can ill afford the time and money required to bicker over how each loan was underwritten.

A ruling on an evidentiary matter in New York state court late last month increases the prospect that they won't have to. But, as is often the case with private-label MBS litigation, the plaintiff's victory may lead to yet another protracted fight.

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