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U.S. Supreme Court’s Omnicare Decision Leaves Open Narrowed Theory Of Liability For Statements Of Opinion Under Federal Securities...

Can a public company violate the federal securities laws simply by expressing an opinion that turns out to be wrong? In 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit startled the business community by recognizing just...more

Delaware Supreme Court Leaves Open The Question Of Whether Breach Of Contract Is A Business Judgment

In this interesting order affirming a Chancery decision, the Supreme Court went out of its way to make a point. A stockholder suit alleging that the board breached a stock option plan may state a claim for breach of contract...more

CorpCast Episode 1: Sections, 204, 205 and In re Numoda [Video]

Morris James LLP’s Corporate and Fiduciary Litigation Group introduces CorpCast, a podcast discussing Delaware corporate and commercial law and practice. In this first episode, we discuss In re Numoda Corporation S’holders...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

SEC Proposes Rules for Disclosure of Hedging Policies - On February 9, the SEC issued proposed rules that are intended to enhance disclosure of company hedging policies for directors and employees, as mandated by...more

SEC "Claws Back" Bonuses and Stock Sale Profits From CFOs of Public Company Charged With Accounting Fraud

On February 10, 2015, the SEC announced settlements with two former chief financial officers of Saba Software, a Silicon Valley software company, that require the CFOs to repay Saba more than $500,000 in bonuses and profits...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caspian Select Credit Master Fund Ltd. v. Key Plastics Corp., C.A. No. 8625-VCN (Del. Ch. Feb. 24, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery granted plaintiff’s request for books and records pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 220. The stockholder plaintiff sought, among other things, to value its equity holding in Key Plastics...more

Amicus Decries “Tortification” Of Contract Law

In For Executives, This May Have Been The Most Frightening Holding Of 2013, I wrote about the Court of Appeal’s decision in Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. v. Actelion Ltd., 222 Cal. App. 4th 945 (2013). Readers may recall that...more

Joint Venturer May Be Partner By Estoppel

Benjamin Disraeli is often credited with saying “With words we rule men”. I haven’t found a source for that particular quotation. Even if he never uttered or wrote those words, I like the quote and the idea that the former...more

Why infect the law of trusts with good faith doctrine?

The law’s good faith principle has traditionally regulated legal relationships, such as the contractual relationship. Equity’s more intense fiduciary principle has generally regulated equitable relationships, such as the...more

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