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Three New Weapons to Combat Shareholder Litigation

Over the past several years there has been an overwhelming abundance of class action shareholder litigation. A study by Cornerstone Research found that in 2013 alone, 94% of mergers and acquisitions worth over $100 million...more

Cambridge Ret. Sys. v. Bosnjak, C.A. No. 9178-CB (Del. Ch. June 26, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to make a pre-suit demand on the board and for failure to state a claim, holding that demand...more

Tronox Inc. v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (In re Tronox Inc.) – Bankruptcy Court Takes Unusual Steps to Declare Corporate...

Companies that have valuable assets but also face significant liabilities will sometimes engage in restructurings to isolate, or “ring-fence,” the good assets from the liabilities. Often the companies are able to accomplish...more

In re El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. Derivative Litig., C.A. No. 7141-VCL (Del. Ch. Jun. 12, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion resolving cross-motions for summary judgment, the Court of Chancery dismissed in part claims challenging a drop-down sale governed by a limited partnership agreement that supplanted fiduciary duties...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rules That a Major Debt Holder and 48 Percent Stockholder Is a Controlling Stockholder and Owes...

In Hamilton Partners, L.P. v. Highland Capital Management, L.P., the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by former stockholders of American Home Patient, Inc. (AHP)...more

Hushmail: Are Activist Hedge Funds Breaking Bad?

Increasingly, some activist hedge funds are looking to sell their stock positions back to target companies. How should the board respond to hushmail? The Rise and Fall of Greenmail - During the heyday of...more

Oracle Partners, L.P., v. Biolase, Inc., C.A. No. 9438-VCN (Del. Ch. May 21, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this post-trial memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery ruled on the board composition of Defendant and Counter-Plaintiff Biolase, Inc. (“Biolase”). The Court declared that only one of two contested director...more

Fair Valuation and Mutual Fund Directors: History of Enforcement Actions Against Independent Directors

At the ICI 2014 Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference, the staff of the Division of Investment Management announced that it would not propose comprehensive guidance on valuation of investment company portfolios...more

Polsinelli Podcasts - Be Careful What you Put in Writing - What Companies Need to Know About Document Retention  [Video]

There's an old saying "The Devil is in the Details." If you are an employer, what you record in a document, whether its marketing materials or employee evaluations, can be used for or against you at trial. Documents can make...more

Does the Business Judgment Rule Protect Bank Officers and Directors?

When a corporation suffers significant losses, or ultimately fails, frustrated shareholders, creditors, or others often try to sue the corporation and/or its officers and directors for losses caused by mismanagement of the...more

Paradigm Shift? The Delaware Supreme Court Allows Bylaw That Shifts Attorneys’ Fees to Loser in Fiduciary Duty Litigation

Under the prevailing “American rule,” shareholders and their counsel face little financial risk when they assert claims against directors and officers for breaches of fiduciary duty, typically following the announcement of a...more

Internal Affairs Doctrine May Not Control Alter Ego Liability

The internal affairs doctrine “is a conflict of laws principle which recognizes that only one State should have the authority to regulate a corporation’s internal affairs — matters peculiar to the relationships among or...more

Corporate Shield Holds Up Against Creditor

There's no expression when speaking of football players to recognize a performance that hits three exceptional marks (like a hat trick in hockey or a triple double in basketball or the triple crown in baseball). Maybe there...more

Shareholder Proposals: Different Challenges, Different Results

This proxy season, several companies filed suit against shareholder activist, John Chevedden, challenging his shareholder proposals. Three companies, Omnicom Group, Inc., Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. and Express Scripts...more

Actions Speak Louder Than Words or Partnership by Ambush?: Formation of Partnerships in Texas after ETP v. Enterprise

On March 4, 2014, a Dallas jury awarded Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (“ETP”) $319 million in damages after finding that Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. (“Enterprise”) had formed a binding partnership with ETP to build a...more

Cyber Risks for the Boardroom Part 2: Why Corporate Directors Should be Concerned About Data Security Breaches

All this week, we are featuring a series “Cyber Risks – Director Liability and Potential Gaps in D&O Coverage” Part 2 of 5: Why Directors Should Be Concerned...more

Does the Business Judgment Rule Really Exist in Georgia?

On April 21, 2014, the Georgia Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of FDIC v. Loudermilk to determine whether the Business Judgment Rule really exists in Georgia. Claiming contrary decisions on the Business...more

Delaware Case Continues High Scrutiny of Investment Bankers in Mergers and Acquisitions

In a decision on March 7, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery found RBC Capital Markets, LLC liable for aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by the Board of Directors of Rural/Metro Corporation in connection with...more

Québec Court’s Decision on Insider Tipping Restrictions

On April 7, 2014, the Bureau de décision et de révision (BDR), which is the administrative tribunal that has jurisdiction under the Québec Securities Act, dismissed a claim by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) for an...more

An Overview of the 2014 Class Action Survey [Video]

To read the full 2014 Class Action Survey report, please visit ClassActionSurvey.com. Fifty-two percent of major companies are currently engaged in class action litigation. This percentage has remained fairly consistent...more

Delaware Chancery Court Clarifies Delaware Boards’ Fiduciary Oversight Duties as to Corporate Operations Abroad

In 2013, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued three decisions in which it denied motions to dismiss claims for breach of the duty of oversight (i.e., Caremark claims) asserted against directors of Delaware corporations...more

In re Rural Metro Corp. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 6350-VCL (Del. Ch. Mar. 7, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

In this post-trial decision, the Court of Chancery held a financial advisor liable for aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by a target board in the sale of the company. The Court concluded that the financial...more

California’s New RULLCA Provides Ample Potential For Member Liability

Recently, I wrote about Corporations Code Section 17703.04(a) which in singularly inept fashion attempts to establish the non-liability of members of a limited liability company under the California’s new Revised Uniform...more

"Reliance by Directors: What’s a Conscientious Director to Do?"

An Issue Needing Attention - In its recent decision in In Re Rural Metro Corporation Stockholders Litigation, the Delaware Court of Chancery, in a footnote, touches on what it means for directors to be “fully...more

Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Chancery Court Ruling that Applied Business Judgment Rule to Going Private Transaction with...

In Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp., the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Chancery Court’s decision in In re MFW Shareholders Litigation. In that decision, the Chancery Court had granted summary judgment in favor of...more

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