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Texas District Court Dismisses SOX Whistleblower Claim For Lack of Protected Activity

On March 21, 2017, the Northern District of Texas dismissed a former employee’s whistleblower retaliation claim on the ground that her allegations of fraud were too far removed from potentially harming the shareholders of a...more

Southern District Of Ohio Holds Defendants Cannot Challenge The Manner In Which Shares Were Purchased At The Class Certification...

On March 17, 2017, Judge Michael Watson of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio certified a securities class action brought against Big Lots, Inc. (“Big Lots”) and various current and former...more

District Court Rules That Trader Can Be Liable For Insider Trading On Misappropriation Grounds Even When Information Was Not...

On March 20, 2017, Judge Juan Sanchez of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied Defendant Leon Cooperman’s motion to dismiss an insider trading claim brought by the Securities and Exchange...more

Delaware Chancery Preliminarily Enjoins Merger-Related Stockholder Meeting Until Financial Advisor's Fees For Merger-Related...

On March 22, 2017, Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard of the Delaware Court of Chancery preliminarily enjoined a stockholder vote on the proposed acquisition by Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (“Consolidated”) of...more

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Securities Case

The Supreme Court agreed to hear another securities case this week. Leidos, Inc. v. Indiana Public Retirement System, No. 16-581. The only other securities action currently on the High Court’s docket is Kokesh v. Securities...more

Court of Chancery Enjoins Transaction Pending Clearer Disclosure of Banker’s Conflicts

A board must disclose all information material to the stockholder vote for a transaction. Moreover, disclosures may be inadequate when they are buried in various places in a lengthy proxy statement. One piece of material...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Clarifies the Requirements for Shareholder Inspection Demands

In Chitwood v. Vertex Pharm. Inc., SJC-12101 (March 20, 2017), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) provided important guidance on the scope of the Massachusetts shareholder inspection statute, Mass. G.L. 156D §...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The number of settlements in securities class actions increased last year, according to Cornerstone Research. That fact, along with a finding that the amount of those settlements also increased, is detailed in the firm’s...more

Want To File A Derivative Suit? You May Soon Be Required To Read Statutes

I have been writing recently about SB 203, a bill that is now pending in the Nevada legislature. As introduced, the bill would, among other things, require the following...more

Nevada Legislature Ponders Rejection Of Unocal And Revlon Standards

Thirty years ago, the Delaware Supreme Court issued two seminal opinions concerning how courts ought to review director decisionmaking in merger and acquisition transactions. In the first case, Unocal Corporation v. Mesa...more

Eastern District Of New York Dismisses Securities Class Action, Finding That Online Marketplace Did Not Mislead Investors During...

On March 16, 2017, District Judge Ann M. Donnelly of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissed with prejudice a putative class action against Etsy, Inc., its CEO, CFO, certain of its...more

Delaware District Court Allows Shareholder Class Action Suit To Proceed

On March 13, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware rejected LRR Energy L.P. (“LRR”) and Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC’s (“Vanguard”) motion to dismiss, allowing the putative shareholder class...more

Court Finds Lawsuit By Corporation Against Minority Shareholder Is “Protected Activity”

SLAPP is the initialization of the phrase “strategic lawsuit against public participation”. A more informative description of SLAPP suits is found in Simpson Strong-Tie Co., Inc. v. Gore, 49 Cal.4th 12, 21 (2010)...more

Important Decision by Massachusetts Supreme Court May Significantly Reduce Risk of Merger Litigation

The recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Loc. No. 129 Benefit Fund v. Tucci has the potential to significantly reduce merger litigation for publicly traded companies...more

Recent Pro-Cooperative Decisions in Class Action Patronage Capital Cases

Cooperatives facing patronage capital lawsuits have recently enjoyed a series of favorable court opinions. Over the past few months, the Eleventh Circuit and state and federal courts in Florida have all dismissed claims for...more

Southern District Of New York Dismisses Securities Fraud Claims, Finding There Was No Material Omission Regarding Association With...

On March 2, 2017, Judge Amos Mazzant III of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas dismissed an amended complaint filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) against the...more

Myths & Misconceptions of Biotech Securities Claims: An Analysis of Motion to Dismiss Results (2005-2016)

There is a common life cycle for Directors and Officers Liability for a publicly-traded biotechnology company bringing its first drug or device to the market. In the early stages, whether pre-clinical or Phase 1, there is...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal Of Shareholder Class Action And Clarifies That Directors Generally Owe Fiduciary...

On March 6, 2017, in a decision authored by Justice Margot Botsford, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the dismissal of an action for breach of fiduciary duty brought by former shareholders of EMC Corporation...more

Death Knell to Merger Litigation for Massachusetts Corporations?

In IBEW Local No. 129 Benefit Fund v. Tucci, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) affirmed the dismissal of direct claims for breach of fiduciary duty by EMC shareholders challenging the merger of EMC and Dell, Inc....more

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal Of Caremark Action For Failure To Plead Bad Faith With Particularity

On March 3, 2017, the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware affirmed the dismissal of “Caremark” claims for alleged bad-faith failure of oversight brought derivatively by a stockholder against the directors of Qualcomm, Inc....more

SEC's Securities Fraud Lawsuit Against Texas Attorney General Dismissed For Second Time Over Lack Of Duty To Investors

On March 2, 2017, Judge Amos Mazzant III of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas dismissed an amended complaint filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) against the...more

Ninth Circuit Adds to Circuit Split on Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Protection for Internal Whistleblowers

On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation protection extends to whistleblowers who report alleged unlawful activity internally but not to the...more

Ninth Circuit — Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

On March 8, 2017, a split three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Northern District of California decision declining to dismiss a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim because the plaintiff did...more

Southern District Of New York Finds That Government Leaks Do Not Warrant Dismissal Of Insider Trading Charges Against Billy...

On March 1, 2017, Judge P. Kevin Castel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied professional gambler William “Billy” Walters’ motion to dismiss his indictment on charges of insider...more

Northern District Of California Dismisses Some, But Not All, Securities Fraud Claims Based On Accounting Disclosures

On February 24, 2017, Judge Edward Chen of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss a putative securities class action against Leapfrog...more

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