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D.C. Circuit Reaffirms 2014 Opinion on Conflict Minerals Rule

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed its 2014 ruling that struck down the requirement that public companies must disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and on their...more

Salman v. Newman: The developing standard for insider trading liability

The 9th Circuit just denied rehearing en banc in a closely watched decision that declined to adopt a broad interpretation of its influential sister circuit’s watershed opinion in United States v. Newman, 773 F.3d 438 (2d Cir....more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Stockholder Consents

Given the sanctity of the stockholder vote in Delaware law, it would be surprising if the Court of Chancery would ever reverse such a vote or the use of stockholder consents to take corporate action....more

Appraisal Claims Dismissed Due to Custodial Banks' Technical Acts

Despite being a court of equity, there are certain instances where the Delaware Court of Chancery demands "strict compliance" with procedural provisions irrespective of the potential for an inequitable outcome. For example,...more

Optimizing Damages Adjustments In Securities Class Actions

Because most securities class actions settle, the statutory limitations on damages that plaintiffs are allowed to recover following a favorable verdict are often overlooked. Those limitations, however, can be surprisingly...more

Hill Int’l, Inc. v. Opportunity Partners L.P., No. 305, 2015 (Del. July 2, 2015)

In this opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Chancery’s entry of an injunction, barring appellants Hill International, Inc.’s (“Hill”) from conducting any business at its June 9, 2015 Annual Meeting,...more

Don’t Be Caught Dead Handed: Avoiding Legal Challenges to Dead Hand Proxy Puts in Loan Agreements

A number of public companies have become the target of shareholder books and records inspection demands and litigation related to certain “change of control” provisions in their loan agreements. The type of provisions at...more

Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. - “Lawyers, Guns and Money”

On July 6, 2015 the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued its eagerly awaited opinion in Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., addressing the question of what constitutes a company’s ordinary business operations and...more

Significant Headwinds for Securities Class Actions

In April 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Theratechnologies Inc. v 121851 Canada Inc., 2015 SCC 18, in which it emphasized the need for a robust screening mechanism to prevent unmeritorious secondary...more

Court Of Chancery Permits Partial Settlement Of Appraisal Case

Mannix v. Plasmanet, Inc., C.A. No. 10502-CB (July 21, 2015) - This decision permits non-appearing dissenters to settle their appraisal claims over the objection of the appraisal petitioner....more

In re General Motors Company Derivative Litig., C.A. No. 9627-VCG (Del. Ch. June 26, 2015) (Glasscock, VC)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed a derivative complaint under Rule 23.1, finding that plaintiffs failed to show that the board of directors (the “Board”) of General Motors Company (“GM”) acted in...more

French Supreme Court rules out liability for undercapitalising companies

Minimum share capital requirements have disappeared from French legislation over the last few years, leaving the société anonyme as the last and only commercial company with such a requirement, set by the French Commercial...more

Third Circuit Opinion Raises Uncertainty for the Ordinary Business Exclusion in Shareholder Proposals

On July 6, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its opinion in Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The holding permitted Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ("Wal-Mart") to exclude a shareholder proposal...more

Petrobras Shareholders’ Brazilian-Law Claims Are Subject to Mandatory Arbitration Provision

The travails of Petrobras have generated a lot of attention – and litigation – in the past year. On July 30, 2015, District Judge Jed Rakoff, of the Southern District of New York, issued an opinion explaining his prior order...more

Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Claims Even Though Entire Fairness Arguably Applied

Delaware’s requirements for stockholders to maintain derivative actions reflect the twin principles of director management and control and accountability. Because directors manage the business and affairs of Delaware...more

United States Supreme Court Poised to Address Standard for Insider Trading Following Second Circuit's Decision in United States v....

Today, the Solicitor General filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in United States v. Newman, 773 F.3d 438 (2d Cir. 2014), asking the United States Supreme Court to address the standard for insider trading in a...more

Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Quarterly

Welcome to the fourth issue of Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Quarterly, Seyfarth’s quarterly publication of the Securities & Financial Litigation Group focusing on decisions or other items of interest for...more

The Future of Securities Class Action Litigation

Securities litigation has a culture defined by multiple elements: the types of cases filed, the plaintiffs’ lawyers who file them, the defense counsel who defend them, the characteristics of the insurance that covers them,...more

Teamsters Union 25 Health Servs. & Ins. Plan v. Baiera, C.A. No. 9503-CB (Del. Ch. July 13, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed a purported derivative plaintiff’s complaint for failure to adequately plead demand futility and failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. In doing so, the...more

Court of Appeals Warns Against Complacency in the PSLRA’s Safe Harbor

SEC Rule 10b-5 makes it unlawful to misstate a material fact (or omit to say something if the omission would render misleading what you do say) in connection with the purchase or sale of a security. The Private Securities...more

Rebutting the Fraud-on-the-Market Presumption in Securities Class Actions: Halliburton Class Certified Over Price Impact...

On July 25, 2015, Judge Barbara Lynn of the Northern District of Texas issued a formative opinion in the class actions securities arena. The case, The Erica P. John Fund, Inc., et al. v. Halliburton Co., et al., No....more

Delaware Supreme Court Reinforces Importance of Clear and Precise Bylaw Provisions and Specifically Drafted Notices of Annual...

In Hill International, Inc. v. Opportunity Partners L.P., No. 305, 2015, 2015 WL 4035069 (Del. July 2, 2015), the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Chancery’s grant of injunctive relief as it recognized the...more

Friedman v. Dolan, C.A. No. 9425-VCN (Del. Ch. June 30, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed claims for breach of fiduciary duty and waste under Chancery Rule 12(b)(6), holding that the business judgment rule, rather than entire fairness review, applied to...more

Solicitor-Client Privilege: The Quebec Securities Regulator Can Summon In-House Counsel to Testify in an Investigation

On July 16, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) denied leave to appeal to an in-house counsel (referred to as Ms. X to protect her identity) in the case of X v. Autorité des marchés financiers. The SCC thus maintained the...more

Court Dismisses in Part a Mutual Fund Excessive Fee Action Against SEI

Introduction - Over the past few years, we’ve seen a resurgence in the number of shareholder suits against mutual fund investment advisers for excessive fees under section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act. Currently,...more

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