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Violation of Corporate Charter: Breach of Contract, Fiduciary Duties or Both

When a company takes action through its board in violation of its certificate of incorporation, may a plaintiff stockholder bring suit against the company directly for breach of its certificate—the most important of corporate...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds That a Stockholder Plaintiff Must Plead a Non-Exculpated Claim to Avoid Section 102(b)(7)-Based...

In the consolidated appeal In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., Stockholder Litigation and In re Zhongpin Stockholders Litigation, Nos. 564, 2014 and 706, 2014, 2015 Del. LEXIS 231 (Del. May 14, 2015), the Delaware Supreme...more

Important Delaware Supreme Court ruling on use of charter provision to seek preliminary dismissal – 3 key takeaways

In a decision jointly resolving two appeals - In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. Stockholder Litigation and Leal v. Meeks - the Delaware Supreme Court clarified seemingly conflicting Delaware case law. The decision sought to...more

Back To The Future – Should Stock Incentive Plans Impose Grant Limits on Non-Employee Director Awards?

On April 30, 2015, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware rendered an important case decision in a procedural matter dealing with the equity compensation of non-employee members of a company’s board of directors (see...more

CLIENT ALERT: Delaware Supreme Court Establishes Rule Permitting Dismissal of Independent Directors From Entire Fairness Suits

In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. S’holder Litig., No. 564, 2014 (Del. May 14, 2015) & Leal v. Meeks, No. 706, 2014 (Del. May 14, 2015) In these interlocutory appeals, the Delaware Supreme Court resolved a...more

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies That Section 102(b)(7) Charter Provisions May Be Basis For Dismissal At The Pleading Stage In...

On May 14, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court clarified that, even in conflict-of-interest transactions subject to "entire fairness" review, breach of fiduciary duty claims against independent, disinterested directors should be...more

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Pleading Standard For Claims Against Independent Directors

Yesterday, in In re Cornerstone Therapeutics, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, the Supreme Court of Delaware held that plaintiffs seeking monetary damages against disinterested, independent directors must plead facts sufficient...more

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, v. AbbVie, Inc., CA No. 10374-VCG and Rizzolo v. AbbVie Inc., CA No. 10408-VCG...

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery denied two stockholders’ request for the inspection of books and records of a company pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 220, finding that the stockholders failed to show a credible...more

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms Exculpatory Clauses Have Teeth, and Can Be Used By Director Defendants At The Pleading Stage

In a decision with important implications for directors of public companies, the Delaware Supreme Court overturned two Chancery Court opinions and ruled that independent directors facing breach of duty of care claims arising...more

An Exercise of Business Judgment: Chancery Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Demand-Refused Case

Last week, Vice Chancellor Glasscock released an important decision dismissing a case under Rule 23.1 that was brought by a DuPont shareholder who alleged that the board improperly refused a demand to sue DuPont’s officers...more

Delaware Supremes Give Independent Directors a Way Out

In an opinion Thursday, the Delaware Supreme Court held that independent directors should be dismissed from shareholder derivative litigation – even over transactions presumptively subject to “entire fairness” review – unless...more

M&A Update: Delaware Supreme Court Issues Important Ruling Protecting Independent Directors

On May 14, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that claims against independent directors must be dismissed when a company charter provision shields directors from monetary liability for breach of the duty of care and the...more

Oklahoma Firefighters Pension & Ret. Sys. v. Citigroup Inc., C.A. No. 9587-ML (VCN) (Del. Apr. 24, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court denied the exceptions of defendant Citigroup Inc. (“Citigroup” or the “Company”) to the Master’s Final Report and adopted the recommendations therein related to a demand to inspect the...more

Court Of Chancery Awards Loser Fees

After years of litigating a breach of fiduciary duty case, the plaintiff won the battle but lost the war when the Court held that the defendants had breached their duties but there were no damages....more

Asset Management Firm Pays $12 Million in Settlement of SEC Conflict of Interest Case

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is showing new vigor in enforcing conflict of interest cases within asset management firms. Earlier this year, an SEC spokeswoman mentioned that the Commission has...more

FDIC Receivership Precludes Shareholder Suit Against Failed Bank

Why it matters - A shareholder suit against a bank holding company and its directors and officers was precluded by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) receivership of the underlying failed bank, the...more

Fleshing Out Creditor Derivative Standing in Delaware

The Court of Chancery issues a liberal ruling on creditor derivative standing and more obsequies for the “zone of insolvency.” ...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

Court Of Chancery Explains Creditor’s Right To File Fiduciary Duty Claims

While it is generally known that creditors may only file derivative suits when the company is insolvent, there have been many open issues about what exactly that means. This decision answers many of those questions by...more

Firm Sanctioned for Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Violation of the Compliance Rule

The SEC sanctioned a registered investment adviser for breaching its fiduciary duty by failing to disclose to its clients a conflict of interest created by a portfolio manager’s outside business activity and personal...more

First Secondary Market Class Action to Reach SCC Denied Leave

In a decision released on April 17, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) overturned the Québec Court of Appeal’s judgment in Theratechnologies Inc. v. 121851 Canada Inc. (See our July 2013 Blakes Bulletin: Statutory...more

France: The Versailles Court of Appeal fine-tunes the duty of loyalty owed by Managing Directors

A Managing Director of a French Société Anonyme has a statutory duty of loyalty towards the shareholders of such company. This principle was set in stone by a ruling of the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) in 1996. It...more

Trends in Securities Litigation Influenced by Recent Supreme Court Decisions

Securities Exchange Act Claims - Data from a National Economic Research Associates, Inc. study, Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2014 Full-Year Review, demonstrates that filings alleging securities...more

SEC Files Offering Fraud and Ponzi Scheme Cases

A staple of SEC enforcement in recent years has been offering fraud and Ponzi scheme cases. This week the Commission filed two more of these actions, one an offering fraud targeting military personnel and a second and...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Scope of Liability Under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933

What you need to know: Public companies and practitioners alike have historically relied on the “bespeaks caution” doctrine, meaning that qualifying a statement as a belief was an effective disclaimer that the statement...more

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