Civil Procedure Labor & Employment Securities

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Fifth Circuit Decision Includes Important Holdings for ESOP Fiduciaries

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed on May 3, 2016, the holdings of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on numerous issues involving the sale of closely held stock from a...more

A Compilation of Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - Amendments to the Venture Capital Fund Adviser and Private Fund Adviser Exemptions - Last month the SEC’s Division of Investment Management issued a guidance update (Update) addressing recent...more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2016

Stock Drop Case Update: Settlement Reached in Dudenhoeffer Case; Dismissal of Lehman Brothers Lawsuit Upheld. Two recent developments in stock drop litigation are worth noting: Dudenhoeffer Settlement. In Fifth Third...more

Is Your Corporation “Zeroing Out” Income at End of Year Through Bonuses? Watch Out!

For the last few years the IRS has warned taxpayers that it would look closely at year-end bonuses that resulted in “zeroing out” taxable income of a corporation by deducting the bonuses as salary rather than a payment of...more

District Court Holds Private Equity Funds Jointly Liable for Portfolio Company's ERISA Withdrawal Liability

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled on March 28, 2016 that two private equity funds were jointly and severally liable for the multiemployer pension plan withdrawal liability of their jointly-owned...more

District Court Applies Dudenhoeffer “More Harm Than Good” Standard to Closely-Held Corporation

A federal district court in Mississippi ruled for the first time that the “more harm than good” pleading standard established by the Supreme Court in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014), applied to...more

CFTC Announces $10 Million Whistleblower Award, Its Largest Award Yet

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) recently announced the largest ever award under its Whistleblower Program created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The whistleblower...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Awards Bounty to Whistleblower, But Offsets Award for a Judgment Against the Whistleblower - The extent to which the SEC would reward whistleblowers, who themselves engaged in wrongdoing, has been the subject of...more

Recent Lawsuit Demonstrates Continuing Need for Plan Fiduciaries to Document Decision-Making Process

Late last year, another lawsuit was brought on behalf of participants in a 401(k) plan alleging breaches of fiduciary duties resulting from allegedly high plan fees. This type of case is not novel; the law firm that brought...more

Private Equity Funds Liable for Withdrawal Liability of Portfolio Company

What you need to know: On March 28, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts held, on remand from the First Circuit, that two related private equity funds were jointly and severally liable for...more

Statutory and Contractual Limitations Periods and the Events that Trigger Them: Insight from the Fourth Circuit

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) does not contain a statute of limitations provision, and courts generally apply the most analogous state law statutory limitation. However, some plans fill the void...more

ERISA Employer Stock-Drop Cases: Clarifying the Standard Post-Dudenhoeffer

A class of current and former employees of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPMorgan”) alleged that JPMorgan breached its duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) by exposing the participants in its...more

SEC Intervenes In Former In-House Attorney’s Whistleblower Lawsuit

On March 28, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed an amicus brief in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former in-house attorney against Vanguard Group (the “Company”).  The case is Danon v....more

Litigation Alert: Private Equity Funds Liable for Withdrawal Liability Although Each Had Less Than 80% Ownership

Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund - It’s Part 2 of one of the most important withdrawal liability cases in a decade… - In 2013, the First Circuit issued the...more

Supreme Court Affirms Class Certification and Judgment Predicated upon "Representative Evidence"

On March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a decision permitting class plaintiffs to rely on "representative" or "sample" evidence to satisfy the prerequisites to class certification and certain elements of their claims. ...more

Employer Stock Roundtable

We had a great client Dorsey Roundtable on March 24, 2016 to discuss employer stock in retirement plans. It’s been a few years now since the 2013 blockbuster opinion from the Supreme Court (back when they had 9 justices) in...more

On Remand, District Court Rules for the Fiduciaries in Tatum v. R.J. Reynolds

The R.J. Reynolds defendants have again prevailed against allegations that they breached their fiduciary duties by divesting the RJR 401(k) plan of funds invested in Nabisco stock. Following remand by the Fourth Circuit, the...more

SCOTUS v. the Ninth Circuit on Failure to Enforce ERISA Stock-Drop Pleading Standard

In a terse per curiam opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court in Amgen Inc. v. Harris, No. 15-278 (U.S. Jan. 25, 2016), made clear that it expects lower courts to faithfully apply the pleading requirements for “stock-drop” cases...more

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Pleading Standard for Cases Involving Retirement Plan Investments in Employer Stock

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Amgen, Inc. v. Harris makes clear that the Court's heightened pleading standard applies to claims that a fiduciary of a retirement plan that has investments in employer stock should...more

Supreme Court Emphasizes Heightened Pleading Standard for Stock Drop Cases

On January 25, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a per curiam opinion in Amgen Inc. v. Harris, holding that the Amgen, Inc. employees who filed suit after the value of the employer stock in which they had...more

BakerHostetler 2015 Year-End Review of Class Actions

The BakerHostetler 2015 Class Action Year-End Review offers a summary of some of the key developments in class-action litigation during the past year. The 2015 Year-End Review is a joint project of the firm’s Class Action...more

Ground-Breaking Delaware Opinion: Books and Records include Electronic Documents Subject to Inspection and to be Incorporated in...

On February 2, 2016, Vice Chancellor Laster of the Delaware Chancery Court ordered a tailored production of the electronic and other documents identified by the plaintiff, Amalgamated Bank, in its demand for inspection of...more

Plausible sheep v. meritless goats: Supreme Court reinforces duty of care and prudence for retirement plans with employer stock...

The United States Supreme Court reaffirmed in Amgen v. Harris the pleading standards to be applied by the federal courts in reviewing a claim alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with an employer stock fund when...more

High Court helps employers avoid frivolous 401(k) stock-drop suits

Prior to 2014, most courts had recognized an unwritten presumption that favored having a company’s 401(k) plan invest in the publicly traded stock of the employer. However, in mid-2014 the Supreme Court struck down that...more

2016 Trends #7: Renewed Focus on Boosting Whistleblower Rights and Squashing Retaliation

To help prepare compliance professionals for the year ahead, we’ve talked with industry experts, our colleagues at NAVEX Global, and ethics and compliance professionals from our more than 12,500 client organizations to gather...more

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