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Delaware Supreme Court Confirms that Dilution Claims Typically Are Derivative and Are Extinguished After a Merger

Stockholder claims alleging wrongful dilution are typically considered to be derivative in nature. Several decisions out of Delaware, however, have created exceptions to this general rule allowing stockholders to sue...more

Delaying a Bankruptcy for Shareholder Benefit May Benefit the Creditors After All

Equity holders and sponsors be wary - a new arrow may now be available in the quiver of potential causes of action that creditors and trustees can use to maximize their recovery in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. In a recent...more

Solak v. Sarowitz et al., C.A. No. 12299-CB (Del. Ch. Dec. 27, 2016) (Bouchard, C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery held that Section 109(b) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) prohibits a bylaw shifting to a stockholder plaintiff the attorneys’ fees and other expenses incurred by the...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Addresses Limited Partnership Drop-Down Transactions and Conflicts Committees"

The Delaware Supreme Court recently ruled on two appeals from Court of Chancery decisions involving "conflicts committees" of Delaware limited partnerships. Both decisions arise out of challenges to "drop-down" transactions...more

Delaware Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Director Independence

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Delaware Supreme Court recently reversed the dismissal of a derivative complaint for failure to plead demand excusal because it found that certain directors of Zynga Inc. were not independent due to...more

Alternative Duties for Alternative Entities: High Court Allows LLC and LLP Managers to Limit or Waive Fiduciary Duties

The nation’s leading forum for business and shareholder disputes recently confirmed that alternative entities such as limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs) and master limited partnerships (MLPs) can...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Rules on Director Independence"

The Delaware Supreme Court recently issued an important decision on the subject of director independence. In Sandys v. Pincus, No. 157, 2016 (Del. Dec. 5, 2016), the Delaware Supreme Court held that certain directors of...more

Sole Owners of Close Corporation and LLC Discover They're Not So Sole

What makes a shareholder a shareholder? What makes an LLC member a member? The simplicity of the questions belies the difficulties and endlessly unique fact patterns encountered in case after case involving close...more

Home Depot Data Breach Derivative Suit Sent Home

Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. of the U.S. District Court of Georgia permanently shelved a derivative suit brought by shareholders of Home Depot. Home Depot is a multinational home improvement retailer. In September, 2014,...more

CLIENT ALERT: Delaware Supreme Court Relaxes Inquiry into Director Independence in Demand Futility Context

Sandys v. Pincus, No. 157, 2016 (Del. Dec. 5, 2016). In this en banc majority opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court signaled that, at least in the context of a demand futility analysis involving a corporation with a...more

Court Of Chancery Clarifies Personal Jurisdiction Over LLC Managers

The Delaware LLC Act provides for personal jurisdiction in Delaware over those who manage a Delaware LLC—i.e., those who are named as managers in the LLC agreement, and those who participate materially in the LLC’s...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Standing To Bring Fiduciary Duty Claims After Being Forced to Sell Stock

This is an important decision because it clarifies when a stockholder loses standing to bring a fiduciary duty case because he sold his stock. Briefly, breach of fiduciary duty claims may be direct (belonging to the...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Suits Alleging Directors Wrongfully Refused Litigation Demands

Seyfarth Synopsis: On November 30, 2016, The Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed two derivative suits filed on behalf of the Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”). The companion memorandum and letter opinions reaffirm the heavy...more

Officers and Directors Spared Home Depot Data Breach Derivative Lawsuit

Officers and directors may breathe a temporary sigh of relief following the recent dismissal of the Home Depot data breach derivative case. Others will look to the facts for guidance. The complaint alleging the board had...more

Roadmap for Merger Decision-Making Process in Delaware

In a string of recent cases, the Delaware courts have given public companies a roadmap for structuring the decision-making process in merger transactions. Before delving into the recent decisions, it may help to understand...more

Claims That Controlling Stockholder Received Unique Benefits Dismissed

In GAMCO Asset Management v. iHeartMedia, Delaware's Court of Chancery considered claims that a controlling stockholder's liquidity needs created conflicts in otherwise arm's-length transactions with third parties. As...more

“Directors’ Decisions Must Be Reasonable, not Perfect” Home Depot’s Shareholder Derivative Litigation Arising from Data Breach...

On November 30, 2016, a federal district court dismissed a shareholder derivative complaint against various current and former directors of Home Depot arising from the well-publicized data breach the company suffered between...more

Court Of Chancery Examines Whether Derivative Demand Was Wrongfully Refused

Even after a board rejects a plaintiff-stockholder’s demand to bring a derivative litigation, the plaintiff may proceed to bring that derivative action if the plaintiff can show the demand was “wrongful.” Having conceded...more

Court Dismisses Derivative Claim for Alleged Breach of Oversight Duty

The Delaware courts encourage plaintiffs who bring derivative claims in Delaware without making demand on the board of directors to seek books and records under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law so as to be...more

NC Business Court Sends Some Important Messages About Fees To Lawyers For Class Action Plaintiffs

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I am very sour on substantial attorneys' fees being awarded to the lawyers for class action plaintiffs who obtain nothing more for the class than...more

Delaware Supreme Court Rejects Fraud Defense To Advancement

Delaware strongly protects a party’s right to advancement of attorney’s fees. This decision holds that a claim of fraudulent inducement cannot be asserted as a defense in a contractual advancement case even when the fraud is...more

"Plaintiffs Facing Headwinds in Pending Mutual Fund Fee Litigation"

With the first-filed cases at or near completion, the results are not looking good for the plaintiffs in the latest wave of mutual fund fee litigation. Defendants prevailed after trial in one of those cases and achieved...more

Supreme Court of Canada Revisits Oppression

A corporation's failure to follow legal formalities under the Canada Business Corporations Act, RSC 1985 c C-44 [CBCA] does not, by itself, establish oppression, the Supreme Court recently held in Mennillo v Intramodal inc.,...more

"After Corwin, Court of Chancery Provides Additional Guidance on Application of Business Judgment Rule to Post-Closing Damages...

As previously reported in Insights: The Delaware Edition, the Delaware Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, 125 A.3d 304 (Del. 2015) articulated a new defendant-friendly rule for...more

"Forward Momentum: Trulia Continues to Impact Resolution of Deal Litigation in Delaware and Beyond"

Throughout the second half of 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery began questioning its long-standing practice of approving deal litigation settlements involving broad releases for defendants in exchange for disclosure (or...more

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