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A New Front in the Climate Change Debate

The climate change debate has taken a new turn with the recent revelations from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office. A legal perspective from Skadden attorneys Noelle Reed and Wallis Hampton....more

Delaware County Employees Retirement Fund v. Sanchez, No. 702, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015) (Strine, C.J.)

In this en banc decision, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of derivative claims for failure to plead demand futility adequately. The Court held that a director’s “deep friendship” with an...more

Espinoza v. Zuckerberg, No. 9745-CB (Del. Ch. Oct. 28, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In a decision reinforcing the importance of observing corporate formalities, Chancellor Bouchard found that a controlling stockholder cannot ratify a board’s self-dealing with something as informal as an affidavit, a...more

Caspian Select Credit Master Fund Ltd. v. Gohl, C.A. No. 10244-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 28, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss direct and derivative claims against the company’s board and controlling stockholders for breaches of fiduciary duty...more

Gorman v. Salamone: Updating Delaware Law on the Removal of Officers by Stockholders

The power to remove officers is usually reserved for a Delaware corporation’s board of directors. Express language in a certificate of incorporation can reserve this power for stockholders, and until recently, Delaware courts...more

Business Litigation Alert: "Court Ruling Allows Whistleblower to Sue Board Members"

A recent ruling in California federal court (here) broadens legal protections for whistleblowers and expands who can be held liable in retaliation cases. In the case, Wadler v. Bio-Rad Labs., Inc., a federal judge ruled that...more

Compliance with the Formal Approval Requirements of Delaware Law Required for Stockholder Ratification of Director Compensation

On October 28th, the Delaware Chancery Court, in Espinoza v. Zuckerberg, et al., held that stockholder ratification of a transaction that was approved by an interested board of directors must be accomplished formally through...more

Court of Chancery Applies Business Judgment Standard Under New Supreme Court Precedent

This is an important decision that reverses a prior opinion in the same case. The Court did so because after it issued its prior opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its Corwin decision holding that when a merger is...more

California Federal Court Expands Whistleblower Protections

What you need to know: Last week, the Northern District of California held in Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, a case of first impression, that members of a company’s Board of Directors can be held individually liable...more

SEC Provides Guidance on Exclusion of Shareholder Proposals

On October 22, 2015, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance (the “Division”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released the highly anticipated Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14H (SLB 14H) concerning...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Adverse-Interest Exception in Fraud-on-the Market Securities Class Actions

Last week, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision that could affect analyses of corporate scienter in securities class actions. The court reversed the dismissal of In re ChinaCast Education Corporation Securities Litigation and...more

Securities Class Action Defense Counsel Selection: An Interview Process is Essential

When a public company purchases a significant good or service, it typically seeks competitive proposals. From coffee machines to architects, companies invite multiple vendors to bid, evaluate their proposals, and choose one...more

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Joins Chorus Pushing For Overhaul in SEC Enforcement Practices

A recent report by the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Chamber Report) regarding the enforcement program of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) identified...more

Inside M&A - October 2015

Overview of SPACs and Latest Trends - A number of recent successful business combination transactions involving special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) led by prominent sponsors have driven a resurgence in the SPAC...more

Insights: The Delaware Edition - October 2015

We are pleased to share with you the inaugural issue of Insights: The Delaware Edition, a periodic publication addressing significant Delaware deal litigation and corporation law developments. In This Issue: - Q&A...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Reaffirms Important Protections for Corporate Directors"

A trio of opinions from the Delaware Supreme Court, each authored by Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., has reaffirmed Delaware’s deference to the business judgment of disinterested corporate decision-makers and restored...more

"Recent Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law Address Fee-Shifting and Forum Selection Provisions"

It has become almost axiomatic that when a public company merger is announced, stockholder litigation quickly follows. In recent years, some studies have indicated that more than 90 percent of transactions valued at more than...more

"Dole Ruling Serves as Cautionary Tale for Take-Private Deals"

Earlier this year, in a consolidated breach of fiduciary duty and appraisal action, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial opinion that includes many important takeaways for...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Cautions Directors: Be Vigilant in Recognizing Advisor’s Conflict of Interests

Shareholders challenged the merger of Zale Corporation with Signet Jewelers Ltd. In a decision dated October 1, 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery credited allegations that the board of directors of Zale breached its...more

"Q&A With Delaware Litigation Partner Ed Micheletti"

What is the most significant recent development in Delaware, from a litigation standpoint? While there have been a number of important cases and statutory developments, an often-overlooked and extremely important recent...more

Shareholder Suit Challenging Groundbreaking Minimum-Support-To-Sue Bylaw Dismissed

In what is believed to be the first case nationwide seeking to strike down a groundbreaking corporate bylaw aimed at combatting frivolous shareholder class actions, Emergent Capital, Inc., has secured the dismissal with...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of '40 Act Section 36(b) Excessive Fee Action Against Davis

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an amended complaint asserted by a shareholder of the Davis New York Venture Fund (the “Fund”) under section 36(b) of the Investment Company...more

New DOJ Corporate Prosecution Guidelines

On September 9, 2015, United States Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates released a memorandum titled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” the latest in a series of corporate prosecution guidelines written by...more

Wrongful Trading: Robin Hood’s not-so Merry Men

Brooks and another v Armstrong and another [2015] EWHC 2289 (Ch) 0 - In a rare judgment considering wrongful trading in detail, the memorably-named “Robin Hood” case considers at which point the directors ought to have...more

Fraud Vitiated Special-Committee Process in Dole Merger

In a self-interested transaction between a company and its controlling stockholder, the operative standard of judicial review under Delaware law is the most rigorous: entire fairness standard of review. To obtain the least...more

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