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The Ten Most Significant Class Action Cases of 2014

Year-end lists are funny things. They take a sort-of arbitrary starting and stopping point, and then they cram a bunch of prejudices into a (usually) arbitrary number of items. And then people take them kind of seriously....more

A Quick Guide To Venture Capital Law In Europe

How To Use This Guide: Private Equity and Venture Capital in Europe - Finance in Europe has been the subject of a wide range of new regulation since the onset of the economic downturn in 2007- 08. Increased...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - December 2014 #4

Regulatory Developments - SEC Proposes Changes to Exchange Act Registration Requirements to Implement JOBS Act Mandates - The SEC announced that it is proposing rule amendments under the Securities Exchange Act...more

California Court of Appeal Applies Delaware Law to Deny Discovery in Shareholder Derivative Action

In Jones v. Martinez, 230 Cal. App. 4th 1248 (2014), the California Court of Appeal, Second Division, held that a plaintiff asserting a shareholder derivative action against directors of a Delaware corporation in a California...more

Who Needs Proof? Not The Notice of Removal.

In a previous blog, we explained that the Supreme Court was considering whether a defendant merely has to allege jurisdictional facts or provide evidence regarding the amount in controversy when removing a case....more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Madoff Trustee’s Six-Year Transfer and Preference Claims

With several billions of dollars ultimately at stake, the Second Circuit has affirmed that Section 546(e) of the Bankruptcy Code, a safe-harbor protecting certain securities-related payments from bankruptcy “claw backs,”...more

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Pleading Standard for Securities-Fraud Claims

The Ninth Circuit recently joined the debate on whether the heightened pleading standard of Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b) or the more relaxed notice-pleading standard of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) applies to pleading loss causation for a...more

Top 5 Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Developments of 2014

This year will be remembered as the year of the Super Bowl of securities litigation, Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. (“Halliburton II”), 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014), the case that finally gave the Supreme Court the...more

Commercial Contracts Include an Implied Duty of Good Faith

There has long been an implied duty that an employer must act in good faith when terminating employment contracts. Until now, such a duty was not necessarily implied in other commercial contracts. However, all companies...more

SEC’s Second Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Reports

On December 11, 2014, the SEC filed an amicus brief in support of Plaintiff-Appellant Mikael Safarian asking the Third Circuit to revive his Dodd-Frank whistleblower claim and endorse the agency’s definition of...more

District Court Rejects Constitutional Challenge to SEC Administrative Proceedings

We recently wrote that critics, including Judge Jed Rakoff, have been questioning the SEC’s policy of increasingly bringing enforcement actions in its administrative forum rather than federal court. We noted that several...more

Delaware Legislature to Resume Debate in January on Bylaws Imposing Liability on Shareholders

The ability of corporations to impose liability on shareholders through bylaws and charter provisions has been the subject of much debate recently. On May 8, 2014, the Supreme Court of Delaware held in ATP Tour, Inc. v....more

No Auction Required – Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Board Flexibility under Revlon

Ruling that an active solicitation process is not necessarily required for a target board of directors to satisfy its fiduciary duties in a change of control transaction, the Delaware Supreme Court overturned a preliminary...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 49

In this issue: - Delaware Chancery Court Declines to Dismiss Fraud Claims Against Private Equity Fund and Directors - Agencies Amend Regulatory Capital and Liquidity Coverage Ratio Rules - FINRA Proposes...more

Salamone v. Gorman, C.A. No. 8845 (Del. Dec. 9, 2014)

In this en banc decision, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the Court of Chancery’s decision interpreting a Voting Agreement governing the designation and removal of directors by preferred...more

Ninth Circuit Applies Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer to Reverse Dismissal of Stock Drop Case

Speed Read - The Ninth Circuit becomes the first appellate court to interpret the Supreme Court’s Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer holding. In its ruling, the Ninth Circuit held that participants can maintain a claim...more

Bayens v Kinross Gold Corporation – Misrepresentation Claims in Securities Class Actions

Ontario's statutory regime for secondary market liability came into effect in 2006 as a result of amendments to the Securities Act (Ontario) (the OSA), creating a statutory cause of action for deficient market disclosure....more

401(k) Plan Participant Waived ERISA Stock-Drop Claim

The D.C. Circuit affirmed the decision of a district court that Plaintiff Patrick Russell, a 401(k) plan participant, had knowingly waived his right to assert an ERISA stock-drop claim based on, among other things, the...more

9th Circuit Upholds Issue Preclusion In Subsequent Derivative Suit

Derivative suits rarely arrive alone. When something goes awry, directors and officers can be expected to see multiple suits based on demand futility as well as wrongful demand refusal. Often, suits will be filed at...more

Lessons For Corporate Directors From The Wyndham Data Breach Derivative Action

On October 20, 2014, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation won dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit seeking damages arising out of three data breaches that occurred between 2008 and 2010. Dennis Palkon, et al. v. Stephen P....more

Ninth Circuit Requires Particularity In All Elements Of Securities Fraud Pleading

Sometimes, I find it useful to take a step back and review the legal standard applicable to securities fraud claims under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5. To stay in court, and securities litigation all about surviving motions...more

Searching for Greener Pastures: SEC Insider Trading Enforcement in a Post-Newman Era

In United States v. Newman, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dealt a substantial blow to federal prosecutors’ epic crackdown on insider trading by raising the bar for the government’s burden of proof in...more

Recent Developments Relating to Rights to Exclude Shareholder Proposals from Proxy Statements

A recent court decision and no-action letter have brought to light new issues surrounding issuer requests for Securities and Exchange Commission no-action relief with respect to the ability to exclude shareholder proposals...more

Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund L.P. v. Echo Therapeutics, Inc., C.A. No. 10303-VCN (Del. Ch. Nov. 14, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery denied a motion to expedite proceedings in which a stockholder sought to call a special meeting to remove a majority of the corporation’s directors....more

SEC Files Settled FCPA Action Centered On Improper Travel

A “world tour” was at the center of FCPA violations by two employees of FLIR Systems, Inc., In the Matter of Stephen Timms, Adm. Proc. File No. 3-16281 (Nov. 17, 2014). Travel was also the focus of the Commission’s latest...more

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