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Ninth Circuit Holds that SOX 304 Clawback Applies to Executives that are Not at Fault

The Ninth Circuit recently held that Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX 304) allows for a clawback of certain CEO and CFO compensation regardless of whether the clawback was triggered by the personal misconduct of...more

District Court Rules on ERISA Liability of Board and ESOP Advisory Committee Members in ESOP Transactions

On Sept. 1, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued its decision in the Antioch employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) fiduciary litigation. The court held that the Antioch Board of Directors...more

Top Reasons CEOs Get Sued—and How to Avoid Them

It’s no secret that lawsuits can often be frivolous, and CEOs are not exempt from getting sued. The last thing your company needs is a lawsuit that could have been avoided. Whether filed by a disgruntled employee or the SEC,...more

Courts Strike Down Church Plan Exemptions for Church-Affiliated Organizations

Until recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and federal courts seemed to agree that a retirement plan established and maintained by a church-affiliated organization generally qualified...more

Private Equity Funds Held Liable for Pension Obligations of a Portfolio Company

District Court: Two Affiliated Funds Formed “Partnership-in-Fact” and Have Controlled Group Liability for Portfolio Company Pension Liabilities - In a closely watched case (the “Sun Capital” case), the U.S. District...more

Latest Survey Highlights the Year's Top Trends in Class Actions [Video]

To read the full 2016 Class Action Survey report, please visit *** The 2016 Carlton Fields Class Action Survey reveals surprising trends in class action litigation, based on insights provided by...more

"Director Compensation in the Spotlight"

Individuals serving on company boards of directors should carefully examine director compensation programs and decisions involving their own compensation following an April 30, 2015, ruling by the Delaware Court of Chancery....more

If You Have Confidential Information, Keep It Confidential!

I’ve been involved in many cases where it is alleged that someone violated his or her non-compete agreement or misappropriated the company’s confidential information or trade secrets. Often, the key issue has been not what...more

Plaintiffs' Firms Seek Quick Money by Challenging "Dead Hand Proxy Puts" in Debt Agreements

Delaware corporations should be aware of the latest trend in strike suits being pursued by stockholder plaintiff law firms. Such lawsuits are increasingly being filed to challenge so-called "dead hand proxy put" provisions in...more

Inside the Courts - An Update From Skadden Securities Litigators - May 2015 / Volume 7 / Issue 2

In This Issue: - U.S. Supreme Court: ..Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers Dist. Council Constr. Indus. Pension Fund, 135 S. Ct. 1318 (4th Cir. Mar. 16, 2015) - Auditor Liability: ..In re Advanced Battery Techs.,...more

Director Compensation After Calma v. Templeton: Proactive Steps to Consider

Delaware case exposes director compensation to heightened “entire fairness” standard absent adequate stockholder ratification - The Delaware Court of Chancery recently decided a case that makes it easier for plaintiffs...more

"Fairness of Director Awards Granted Under Market-Standard Equity Plans Comes Under Increased Scrutiny"

A Delaware court opinion issued late last week may subject equity grants to directors to increased judicial scrutiny (Calma v. Templeton, No. 9579-CB (Del. Ch. Apr. 30, 2015)). In Calma, the Chancery Court denied the...more

SEC Awards $500K to Company Officer Whistleblower

On Monday, March 2, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it will award between $475,000 and $575,000 to a corporate officer who reported “high quality, original information” about a securities fraud....more

Filing a Knee-Jerk Counterclaim Can Make a Bad Problem Worse

In today’s litigious world, it is all too common for a disgruntled former business partner to file a lawsuit based on legally weak, if not outright frivolous, claims of wrongdoing. One common reaction is to fight fire with...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Board Can't Declare Enhanced Pension Forfeited

Although the question presented in Prazen v. Shoop was limited to the field of public pensions, the case presented interesting aspects of fiduciary law and statutory construction as well. The question in Prazen was whether...more

California Court Of Appeal Affirms Dismissal Of Say-On-Pay Suit

Yesterday, a panel of the California Court of Appeal added to the growing list of opinions rejecting suits triggered by failed say-on-pay votes. Some may be surprised that this case, which involves a Delaware corporation,...more

Officers And The Business Judgment Rule

Recently, I came across the following assertion: First, other than the recent aberration of Poggetto v. Switzer , the BJR has never been applied to officers in California....more

Compliance Communicator: July 2013

Memo to Managers - Insider Trading Misconception - A common misconception among employees is that insider trading is only an issue for senior executives, because employees at lower levels don’t have access to...more

Revlon “Ring-Fencing” Settlement: Greater Risk Of SEC Enforcement Activity In Going Private Transactions?

On June 13, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement of administrative proceedings against Revlon, Inc. In the settlement order, the SEC asserted that the company hid information regarding a 2009...more

The Ninth Circuit Revisits - and Limits - the "Presumption of Prudence" For ERISA Fiduciaries

Earlier this week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Harris v. Amgen that an ERISA pension plan fiduciary is not protected from liability under the “presumption of prudence” for company stock investments where the...more

9th Circuit Holds Section 10(b) Violations Sufficient For ERISA Breach Of Duty Claims

A decision issued yesterday by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals illustrates the peril that can inhere in offering a company stock alternative in a plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ...more

"Executive Compensation and Benefits Alert: Skadden’s 2013 Proxy Watch: Emerging Say-on-Pay Trends and Litigation Developments"

Early Lessons From the 2013 Proxy Season - As Skadden monitors the initial weeks of the 2013 proxy season, we are seeing the following preliminary trends: Vote Results - Of the first 279 companies of the...more

Court Dismisses Another Say-On-Pay Disclosure Case

The District Court for the Northeastern District of Illinois recently granted a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss an action styled Noble v. AAR Corp. The plaintiff alleged that the company failed to provide adequate...more

Missouri Uniform Trade Secrets Act Does Not Protect Customer Information Insufficiently Guarded or Which is not Truly "Trade...

In this case, a corporate successor, Central Trust Investment Company (hereafter also "Central Trust") sued the former employee (Kennedy) of its acquired company, Springfield Trust & Investment Company (hereafter also "STC"),...more

"Executive Compensation and Benefits Alert: Annual Meeting Litigation: How to Prepare"

As the 2013 proxy season is now underway, companies should be aware of the recent wave of lawsuits alleging breaches of fiduciary duties by management and directors in connection with compensation-related decisions. These...more

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