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Have Your Directors Met Their Revlon Duties? Delaware Court Dismisses Strike-Suit Allegations as Merely Cosmetic

In a virtual course on how to bring—or not bring—an M&A strike suit, on June 30, a Delaware Chancery Court dismissed all shareholder claims against a merger target and its acquirer, ending nearly two years of litigation. ...more

Eleventh Circuit: Excess Insurer, Like All Florida Bad Faith Claimants, Must Prove Causation to Succeed on Bad Faith Claim Against...

Westchester Fire Insurance Co. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 13-12932, 2014 WL 2766764 (11th Cir. Jun. 19, 2014) - The Eleventh Circuit finds that a primary insurer did not act in bad faith by failing to inform...more

D&O Claims – Overview of US Securities Law

The Securities Act of 1933 (“the 1933 Act”) regulates the process by which securities are first offered and sold to the public, and has two primary objectives: (1) to ensure that investors receive full and accurate...more

Pro Se Defendant Wins Trial On Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims In Business Court

When I was a young pup preparing to go to court against the uncommon adversary who was proceeding without a lawyer, I would joke that "I hope I don't lose." Luckily, I never did....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

Royal Park Investments Sues RMBS Trustee Deutsche Bank Over $3.1 Billion in Alleged Losses

On June 18, Royal Park Investments filed a putative class action in the Southern District of New York against Deutsche Bank National Trust Company. This action is similar to a series of lawsuits filed by a group of...more

Business Law Newsletter - July 2014

In This Issue: - Redskins Trademark Cancelled - Q&A with Bean, Kinney & Korman - Knowing When and Why to Maintain Your Trademarks - Tortious Interference in Virginia - Improper Methods...more

Tortious Interference in Virginia – Improper Methods Requirement

The U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia says a company that hired away a competitor’s employees may be liable for tortious interference. This can occur with an at-will business contract without the need...more

The Second Circuit And The Separation Of Powers: Limiting Judicial Scrutiny Of SEC Settlements

On June 4, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a widely publicized 2011 decision by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, which rejected a settlement between the U.S. Securities and Exchange...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

It is Not Tortious to Interfere if You Are Exercising a Legitimate Interest or Right

In many commercial disputes, one or more of the parties will assert a tortious interference claim against the other. While there are several variations of tortious interference claims (e.g., interference with existing...more

Sanctions Are Appropriate for Factual Misrepresentation and Abuse of Judicial Process

Monsanto Co. v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. - Addressing the issue of sanctions following a finding that a litigant abused the judicial process and acted in bad faith, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal...more

In re TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 9415-VCN (Del. Ch. Jun. 13, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion denying plaintiffs’ motion to expedite, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiffs, shareholders of TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (“TriQuint” or the “Company”), failed to assert a colorable claim that...more

Texas Supreme Court Denies Minority Shareholder’s Oppression Claims

On June 20, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that courts are not authorized to order closely held corporations to buy out a minority shareholder’s interests under state law, and that no common-law cause of action exists for...more

Ian Hannam - Much Needed Clarity On Market Abuse?

Last month the Upper Tribunal (the "Tribunal") rejected an appeal by Ian Hannam ("Hannam") against the Financial Services Authority's ("FSA") (predecessor to the Financial Conduct Authority) controversial 2012 decision that...more

Supreme Court Nixes "Presumption of Prudence" in Employer Stock Cases

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected the "presumption of prudence" that had been applied by lower courts in cases where a retirement plan holds stock of the employer sponsoring the plan. Fifth Third...more

Seventh Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Case Applying ERISA’s Statute of Limitations

A Seventh Circuit panel declined to apply ERISA’s three-year statute of limitations to bar fiduciary claims in a case arising out of a buy-out transaction involving an employee stock ownership plan. The court held that the...more

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Excess Insurers Bad Faith Claim Against Primary Insurer Due to Lack of Damages Causation

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Florida district court’s award of damages to the excess insurer on the ground that the excess insurer failed to prove the primary insurer’s alleged bad faith had caused the...more

ESOP Fiduciaries Lose “Presumption of Prudence”

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held last week that employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) investment in employer stock is not entitled to a special ERISA “presumption of prudence”. The decision provides important guidance for...more

Massachusetts Federal Court Refuses to Transform Non-Disclosure Agreement into a Non-Competition Agreement

A recent decision from the Massachusetts federal district court serves as a good reminder to Massachusetts employers that courts are unlikely to view the breach of a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement as justification...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Presumption of Prudence For Fiduciaries Investing in Employer Securities

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer unanimously held that no special presumption of prudence applies under ERISA for investments in employer stock. The case involved a form of employee...more

Supreme Court Rules No “Presumption of Prudence” for Employer Stock Plan Fiduciaries

In a decision that could have significant implications for certain companies and their 401(k) and other plans that invest in employer stock, the Supreme Court ruled, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, that there is no...more

Supreme Court Rejection of Duty of Prudence Presumption—What Does it Mean for Retirement Plans?

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that there is no “presumption” of prudence extended to fiduciaries of employer stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”) in...more

Increasing Risks of Fraud; Compliance Failures; A Willingness to be Unethical

Cyber security, corruption and unethical behavior pose significant risks for business enterprises, according to a new survey by EY titled “Overcoming Compliance Fatigue’. At the same time business organizations may be...more

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