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Bass, Berry & Sims Releases Securities & Shareholder Litigation 2017: A Look Ahead

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC announces the release of its annual "Securities & Shareholder Litigation 2017: A Look Ahead," a high-level report that covers recent developments and offers best practices for the year ahead. The newly...more

"New York Appellate Court Sets New Standard for Approving Nonmonetary and 'Disclosure-Only' Settlements"

It has become a common phenomenon for the announcement of a significant merger transaction to be quickly followed by shareholder class action or derivative litigation challenging the terms of the transaction and the accuracy...more

Delaware Law Updates – Pleading Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing in the Publicly Traded Master...

In Dieckman v. Regency GP LP, --- A.3d ---, 2017 WL 243361 (Del. Jan. 20, 2017), the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the Court of Chancery[1] and held that the common unitholder plaintiff’s complaint properly stated a claim...more

Revenge of the Whistle-blower: Possible Consequences of Compliance Failures

In a company with a robust compliance culture, potential whistleblowers can express their concerns without fear of retribution. By contrast, the penalty for a culture that silences whistleblowers just got steeper. Companies...more

First Department Adds Two New Factors to New York’s Standard of Review for Non-Monetary Settlements of Shareholder Class Actions

On February 2, 2017, the Appellate Division, First Department issued a unanimous decision in Gordon v. Verizon Communications, Inc., No. 653084/13, 2017 BL 31251 (1st Dep’t Feb. 2, 2017) that may have significant consequences...more

Trascent Management Consulting, LLC v. George Bouri, C.A. No. 10915 (Del. Nov. 28, 2016)

In this opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Chancery’s ruling that a company cannot avoid its advancement obligations by claiming in a summary proceeding that the advancement agreement was fraudulently...more

Delaware Superior Court Explains Liability Of Signatory To Contract

This is an excellent review of when a signatory to a contract might be personally liable notwithstanding that he claims to have only signed in a representative capacity. Hint: contractual references to the signatory separate...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Alleged Violations of Aspirational Corporate Conduct Standards Are Insufficient to State a Claim for...

In Retail Wholesale & Department Store Union Local 338 Retirement Fund v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 955 (9th Cir. Jan. 19, 2017), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit addressed for the...more

Court Of Chancery Holds That Wrong Forward Looking Statement Insufficient To Support Records Inspection

It is not enough that certain forward-looking statements failed to come true to justify requiring an inspection of corporate records. More evidence of wrongdoing is needed if your inspection is based on a theory of...more

Delaware corporate law and litigation: what happened in 2016 and what it means for you in 2017

Delaware has long been known as the corporate capital of the world, and it is now the state of incorporation for 66 percent of the Fortune 500 and more than half of all companies whose securities trade on the NYSE, Nasdaq and...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Bylaw That Required Supermajority Stockholder Vote to Remove Directors in Violation of 8 Del....

In Frechter v. Zier, C.A. No. 12038-VCG, 2017 WL 345142 (Del. Ch. Jan. 24, 2017) (Glasscock, V.C.), the Delaware Court of Chancery granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on a declaratory relief claim and held that 8...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Addresses Fee-Shifting Bylaws and Raises the Question of whether Fee-Shifting Could Be Plausible by a...

In 2015, the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”) was amended to prohibit Delaware corporations from adopting bylaws that imposed liability on a stockholder for the attorneys’ fees or expenses of the corporation or any...more

From New York and Delaware Courts, a Double Blow of Bad News for Sergey Aleynikov

Sergey Aleynikov, a former computer programmer at Goldman, Sachs & Co., has been on a legal roller coaster for the past few years. In the span of few days, that roller coaster plummeted steeply—twice. First, on January...more

Recovery of Contractual Attorneys’ Fees for Tort and Contract Claims - Dismissing Contract Action May Mean Attorney’s Fee...

Dismissing Contract Action May Mean Attorney’s Fee Liability. Neeshat S. Khan v. Michael Shim - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (December 29, 2016) - Civil Code § 1717(b)(2) generally bars the award...more

Delaware Chancery Court Throws Out Claims Over $10 Million Severance Payment to CEO

Seyfarth Synopsis: A Delaware Chancery Court judge last week dismissed a derivative complaint seeking to recover a $10 million severance payment made to a corporation’s former CEO because he found that plaintiff shareholder...more

Chris Lazarini Provides Insight on Application of Scienter in Securities Exchange Act Claim - Thought Leadership - Bass Berry

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini provided insight on case in which class plaintiffs allege certain company officers knowingly made misleading statements about a drug's potential adverse effects which, when later...more

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

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