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First Published Opinion From New Business Court Judge Conrad

Business Court Judges don't have to issue written Opinions in cases granting Preliminary Injunctions. (G.S. § 7A-45.3 limits the obligation to issue a written Opinion to rulings rendered per NCRCP 12, 56, 59, and 60). ...more

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

Delaware Supreme Court Reverses Dismissal Of LPA Breach Claims, Holding General Exculpatory Provisions Did Not Preclude Claims For...

On March 20, 2017, the Supreme Court of Delaware reversed the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a transaction between affiliated entities. Brinckerhoff v. Enbridge Energy Co., No. 273, 2016 (Del. Mar....more

El Paso Pipeline GP Company, L.P. et al., v. Brinckerhoff, No. 103, 2016 (Del. Dec. 20, 2016)

In this unanimous en banc decision, the Supreme Court of Delaware reversed a $171 million judgment of the Court of Chancery, holding that the plaintiff limited partner lost standing to pursue the underlying derivative claim...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

Federal Court Issues Trial Ruling in Section 36(b) “Manager of Managers” Lawsuit: Second Consecutive Opinion Finding Plaintiffs...

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey recently issued its post-trial ruling in Kasilag et al. v. Hartford Investment Financial Services, LLC et al. The Hartford ruling is the second post-trial Section 36(b)...more

CelestialRX Investments, LLC v. Krivulka, C.A. No. 11733-VCG (Del. Ch. Jan. 31, 2017) (Glasscock, V.C.): Delaware Law Firm

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery addressed a motion for partial summary judgment concerning the construction of a limited liability company agreement to determine whether it eliminated common-law fiduciary...more

First Department Allows $45 Million Fraud Claim to Proceed Against Patriarch Partners

In Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale v. Tilton, No. 651695/15, 2017 BL 55790 (App Div, 1st Dep’t Feb. 23, 2017), a divided panel of the Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed a Commercial Division order that denied...more

New York Court Reverses Rejection of M&A Disclosure-Only Settlement Signaling Split from Delaware

Seyfarth Synopsis: On February 2, 2017, the Appellate Division for the First Department in New York entered an order approving a “disclosure-only” settlement. While acknowledging the “increasingly negative view” of...more

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

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