Civil Procedure Securities

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Southern District Of Ohio Holds Defendants Cannot Challenge The Manner In Which Shares Were Purchased At The Class Certification...

On March 17, 2017, Judge Michael Watson of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio certified a securities class action brought against Big Lots, Inc. (“Big Lots”) and various current and former...more

District Court Rules That Trader Can Be Liable For Insider Trading On Misappropriation Grounds Even When Information Was Not...

On March 20, 2017, Judge Juan Sanchez of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied Defendant Leon Cooperman’s motion to dismiss an insider trading claim brought by the Securities and Exchange...more

Delaware Chancery Preliminarily Enjoins Merger-Related Stockholder Meeting Until Financial Advisor's Fees For Merger-Related...

On March 22, 2017, Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard of the Delaware Court of Chancery preliminarily enjoined a stockholder vote on the proposed acquisition by Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (“Consolidated”) of...more

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Securities Case

The Supreme Court agreed to hear another securities case this week. Leidos, Inc. v. Indiana Public Retirement System, No. 16-581. The only other securities action currently on the High Court’s docket is Kokesh v. Securities...more

Court of Chancery Enjoins Transaction Pending Clearer Disclosure of Banker’s Conflicts

A board must disclose all information material to the stockholder vote for a transaction. Moreover, disclosures may be inadequate when they are buried in various places in a lengthy proxy statement. One piece of material...more

Chris Lazarini Comments on Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini commented on a case in which the plaintiff claimed Merrill Lynch acted improperly in selling shares held as collateral for a loan when plaintiff had not defaulted on the loan. The...more

Briefs Filed in CalPERS v. ANZ Securities

On February 27, 2017, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (“CalPERS”) filed its brief with the Supreme Court, requesting that the Court reverse the decision of the Second Circuit and abrogate the Second...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Clarifies the Requirements for Shareholder Inspection Demands

In Chitwood v. Vertex Pharm. Inc., SJC-12101 (March 20, 2017), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) provided important guidance on the scope of the Massachusetts shareholder inspection statute, Mass. G.L. 156D §...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The number of settlements in securities class actions increased last year, according to Cornerstone Research. That fact, along with a finding that the amount of those settlements also increased, is detailed in the firm’s...more

Want To File A Derivative Suit? You May Soon Be Required To Read Statutes

I have been writing recently about SB 203, a bill that is now pending in the Nevada legislature. As introduced, the bill would, among other things, require the following...more

U.S. Supreme Court Passes On Opportunity To Address Scope of Dodd-Frank “Whistleblower” Provision

On Monday, March 20, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC. (No. 16-946), thereby declining an opportunity to resolve a conflict amongst circuit...more

Nevada Legislature Ponders Rejection Of Unocal And Revlon Standards

Thirty years ago, the Delaware Supreme Court issued two seminal opinions concerning how courts ought to review director decisionmaking in merger and acquisition transactions. In the first case, Unocal Corporation v. Mesa...more

Hold the Phone: SEC Takes One Last Stand Before the Tenth Circuit regarding the Constitutionality of the SEC’s Administrative Law...

Last week, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed a petition for rehearing en banc with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, imploring the court to reconsider a divided panel’s ruling on the...more

Eastern District Of New York Dismisses Securities Class Action, Finding That Online Marketplace Did Not Mislead Investors During...

On March 16, 2017, District Judge Ann M. Donnelly of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissed with prejudice a putative class action against Etsy, Inc., its CEO, CFO, certain of its...more

Delaware District Court Allows Shareholder Class Action Suit To Proceed

On March 13, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware rejected LRR Energy L.P. (“LRR”) and Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC’s (“Vanguard”) motion to dismiss, allowing the putative shareholder class...more

Court Finds Lawsuit By Corporation Against Minority Shareholder Is “Protected Activity”

SLAPP is the initialization of the phrase “strategic lawsuit against public participation”. A more informative description of SLAPP suits is found in Simpson Strong-Tie Co., Inc. v. Gore, 49 Cal.4th 12, 21 (2010)...more

Proposed Judgment in Conflict Minerals Case

Pursuant to a court order, the parties to the conflict minerals case have filed a proposed judgment after they advised the court no further proceedings were necessary. The text of the proposed judgment is as follows...more

Chancery Court Holds That Squeezed Out Stockholders Lack Standing to Compel Inspection under DGCL § 220

On February 27, 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery addressed an important matter of first impression under Delaware law: "Must a plaintiff seeking corporate records under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law...more

Wendy’s Executives and Board File Motion to Dismiss

We previously reported that Wendy’s was hit with a putative class action shareholders’ derivative suit in December following its data breach in 2016. Late last week, the executives and Board of Wendy’s filed a Motion to...more

Important Decision by Massachusetts Supreme Court May Significantly Reduce Risk of Merger Litigation

The recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Loc. No. 129 Benefit Fund v. Tucci has the potential to significantly reduce merger litigation for publicly traded companies...more

Circuit Split Over Protection Afforded By Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision Widens

In Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, 15-17352 (9th Cir. March 8, 2017), a split Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals widened an existing circuit court split by ruling that Section 21F of the Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) protects...more

Chris Lazarini Examines Whether a Commodity Futures Contract is a "Security"

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini examined a case in which the appellate court upheld a jury verdict in favor of Plaintiff, finding commodity futures contracts are not "securities" and Plaintiff, who was trading them...more

Ninth Circuit Joins Second Circuit in Adopting Broad Definition of “Whistleblower” Under The Dodd-Frank Act

A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc. that the Dodd-Frank Act’s definition of “whistleblower” includes not only those who disclose information...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

As anticipated (and hinted-at forcefully by its officials), the Fed raised the benchmark interest rate yesterday to a range nearing 1 percent, a move that signals the slow end to the body’s nine-year stimulus effort....more

"Another Mutual Fund Adviser Prevails at Trial in Excessive Fee Litigation"

Following a four-day bench trial, Judge Renee Marie Bumb of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled in favor of an adviser on claims brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act by investors...more

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