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Delaware Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Suits Alleging Directors Wrongfully Refused Litigation Demands

Seyfarth Synopsis: On November 30, 2016, The Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed two derivative suits filed on behalf of the Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”). The companion memorandum and letter opinions reaffirm the heavy...more

Officers and Directors Spared Home Depot Data Breach Derivative Lawsuit

Officers and directors may breathe a temporary sigh of relief following the recent dismissal of the Home Depot data breach derivative case. Others will look to the facts for guidance. The complaint alleging the board had...more

Roadmap for Merger Decision-Making Process in Delaware

In a string of recent cases, the Delaware courts have given public companies a roadmap for structuring the decision-making process in merger transactions. Before delving into the recent decisions, it may help to understand...more

Claims That Controlling Stockholder Received Unique Benefits Dismissed

In GAMCO Asset Management v. iHeartMedia, Delaware's Court of Chancery considered claims that a controlling stockholder's liquidity needs created conflicts in otherwise arm's-length transactions with third parties. As...more

“Directors’ Decisions Must Be Reasonable, not Perfect” Home Depot’s Shareholder Derivative Litigation Arising from Data Breach...

On November 30, 2016, a federal district court dismissed a shareholder derivative complaint against various current and former directors of Home Depot arising from the well-publicized data breach the company suffered between...more

Court Of Chancery Examines Whether Derivative Demand Was Wrongfully Refused

Even after a board rejects a plaintiff-stockholder’s demand to bring a derivative litigation, the plaintiff may proceed to bring that derivative action if the plaintiff can show the demand was “wrongful.” Having conceded...more

Court Dismisses Derivative Claim for Alleged Breach of Oversight Duty

The Delaware courts encourage plaintiffs who bring derivative claims in Delaware without making demand on the board of directors to seek books and records under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law so as to be...more

NC Business Court Sends Some Important Messages About Fees To Lawyers For Class Action Plaintiffs

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I am very sour on substantial attorneys' fees being awarded to the lawyers for class action plaintiffs who obtain nothing more for the class than...more

Delaware Supreme Court Rejects Fraud Defense To Advancement

Delaware strongly protects a party’s right to advancement of attorney’s fees. This decision holds that a claim of fraudulent inducement cannot be asserted as a defense in a contractual advancement case even when the fraud is...more

"Plaintiffs Facing Headwinds in Pending Mutual Fund Fee Litigation"

With the first-filed cases at or near completion, the results are not looking good for the plaintiffs in the latest wave of mutual fund fee litigation. Defendants prevailed after trial in one of those cases and achieved...more

Supreme Court of Canada Revisits Oppression

A corporation's failure to follow legal formalities under the Canada Business Corporations Act, RSC 1985 c C-44 [CBCA] does not, by itself, establish oppression, the Supreme Court recently held in Mennillo v Intramodal inc.,...more

"After Corwin, Court of Chancery Provides Additional Guidance on Application of Business Judgment Rule to Post-Closing Damages...

As previously reported in Insights: The Delaware Edition, the Delaware Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, 125 A.3d 304 (Del. 2015) articulated a new defendant-friendly rule for...more

"Forward Momentum: Trulia Continues to Impact Resolution of Deal Litigation in Delaware and Beyond"

Throughout the second half of 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery began questioning its long-standing practice of approving deal litigation settlements involving broad releases for defendants in exchange for disclosure (or...more

The End of Disclosure-Only Settlements in Securities Class Actions?

After nearly a decade of prominence, disclosure-only settlements may be going extinct. These settlements occur in class action cases arising from the announcement of a merger or acquisition. The plaintiff class alleges that...more

Guest Post – Tis Better to Try and Fail, Then to Have Never Tried At All: Internal Corporate Policies Do Not Create a Heightened...

What follows is a guest post by Cara DeCataldo, a Reed Smith associate, who gamely stepped up to the plate to research one of a number of blogging topics that have been hanging fire for some time now. This topic is a type of...more

"Recent Opinions Highlight Different Appraisal Valuation Methods Employed in Merger Transactions by Delaware Courts"

There is a general perception that statutory appraisal challenges have been on the rise over the past several years. The Delaware Court of Chancery has issued a number of opinions during that time that use the merger price...more

"Two Court of Chancery Deal Litigation Decisions Provide Helpful Guidance"

Chelsea Therapeutics: Post-Closing Bad Faith Claim a ‘Rare Bird’ in Delaware Absent Allegations of Self-Interestedness or Lack of Independence - In In re Chelsea Therapeutics International LTD Stockholders Litigation,...more

Court Relies on Fully Informed Uncoerced Stockholder Vote in 'Revlon' Challenge

Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III's decision In re OM Group Stockholders Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 11216-VCS (Oct. 12, 2016), represents the latest Delaware Court of Chancery decision to apply Corwin v. KKR Financial...more

Court Holds That Fiduciary Shield Doctrine Does Not Protect A Representative From Tortious Conduct

In Ren v. ANU Res., LLC, a plaintiff sued an entity and its representatives for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and other tort claims arising from investments in oil and gas properties. No. 14-16-00035-CV, 2016...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Dismisses Litigation Arising from Controller Buyout of Books-A-Million Under "MFW" Framework

On October 10, 2016, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued its decision in In re Books-A-Million, Inc. Stockholders Litigation. The decision, authored by Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster, is important because it applies the...more

Court Of Chancery Dismisses Post-Closing Claims Under Corwin

Under the recent Corwin decision, a fully-informed vote by uncoerced and disinterested stockholders to approve a merger invokes the business judgment rule and effectively precludes almost any claim the merger was improper. ...more

Court Applies 'Corwin' and Upholds Board's Adoption of Dissolution Plan

Contract and fiduciary duty law intersect when how a board acts, including the vote required, is affected by a shareholder agreement. Such agreements are common to enable investors to protect their investment, either through...more

Court Of Chancery Details Application of M&F Worldwide Criteria

A merger approved in accordance with the criteria set out in the M&F Worldwide decision is subject to the business judgment standard of review, and vulnerable to attack only if its terms are so extreme as to constitute waste....more

Texas Fiduciary Litigation Update 2015-2016

David F. Johnson, lead writer for the Texas Fiduciary Litigator blog, spoke at the Tarrant County Probate Bar’s Litigation Seminar and presented “Fiduciary Litigation Update 2015-2016.” David discussed recent Texas precedent...more

Court Of Chancery Holds Revlon Does Not Apply In Dissolution

This decision holds that Revlon duties are not implicated by a decision to liquidate a company. Hence, the Court will not scrutinize whether the board sought to get the best possible deal for company assets....more

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