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Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies That Section 102(b)(7) Charter Provisions May Be Basis For Dismissal At The Pleading Stage In...

On May 14, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court clarified that, even in conflict-of-interest transactions subject to "entire fairness" review, breach of fiduciary duty claims against independent, disinterested directors should be...more

Assembly Committee Seeks To Fix Securities Fraud Statute

Readers of this blog will know be familiar with my criticism of the 2013 amendment of California’s basic securities fraud statute, Corporations Code Section 25401. See California Creates Complete Chaos By Rewriting...more

Supreme Court Clarifies When Independent Directors May Be Dismissed From Case

This important Supreme Court decision clarifies when independent, disinterested directors may be dismissed from litigation, even when an interested transaction is under attack. When the complaint only alleges a breach of the...more

Defense and Indemnity Demands in Today’s Global Marketplace

In defending product liability cases, product manufacturers, sellers and distributors often tender a request for defense and indemnity from claims to one of their business partners. Typically, the tender arises from two...more

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms Exculpatory Clauses Have Teeth, and Can Be Used By Director Defendants At The Pleading Stage

In a decision with important implications for directors of public companies, the Delaware Supreme Court overturned two Chancery Court opinions and ruled that independent directors facing breach of duty of care claims arising...more

An Exercise of Business Judgment: Chancery Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Demand-Refused Case

Last week, Vice Chancellor Glasscock released an important decision dismissing a case under Rule 23.1 that was brought by a DuPont shareholder who alleged that the board improperly refused a demand to sue DuPont’s officers...more

A is for…Arbitration: Can A Non-Signatory To A Contract Enforce An Arbitration Provision In That Contract?

A corporate client is engaged in arbitration with a third party pursuant to an arbitration provision in the contract between the parties. An executive signed the contract “on behalf of” the company, but did not sign the...more

Delaware Supremes Give Independent Directors a Way Out

In an opinion Thursday, the Delaware Supreme Court held that independent directors should be dismissed from shareholder derivative litigation – even over transactions presumptively subject to “entire fairness” review – unless...more

Plans of Arrangement under CBCA: Lessons from Connacher Oil

In early 2015, 9171665 Canada Ltd. and Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. (together Connacher) applied to the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench (Court) for a final order pursuant to section 192 of the Canada Business Corporations Act...more

Appellate Court Notes

- SC19116, SC19150 - Brennan v. Brennan Associates. - SC19116, SC19150 Dissent - Brennan v. Brennan Associates. In a prior appeal decision, the court upheld the judicial disassociation (forceful removal) of the...more

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Exculpatory Charter Provisions to Motions to Dismiss Independent Directors

On May 14, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its decision in In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., S'holder Litig., clarifying that damages claims against independent directors can be dismissed where: (1) an applicable...more

Delaware Senate Upholds Ban on Fee-Shifting Provisions in Corporate Governing Documents

The Delaware Senate has passed a bill that would amend the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL) to prohibit Delaware stock-based companies from adopting bylaws or articles of incorporation that shift legal fees to the...more

Sham Guaranty Defense Curbed by California Court

Last month in CADC/RAD Venture 2011-1 LLC v. Bradley, the California Court of Appeal ruled against the "sham guaranty" defense by guarantors who had formed the borrowing entity without being asked to do so by the lender. ...more

Kentucky Court Holds D&O Policy Not Triggered By Suit Against Condo Board

In its recent decision in State Auto Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Highland Terrace Counsel of Co-Owners, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59663 (W.D. Ky. May 7, 2015), the United States District Court for the Western District of...more

Delaware Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Bylaws on Fee Shifting

Tuesday, the Delaware Senate passed legislation prohibiting publicly-traded corporations from adopting bylaws that force shareholders to pay legal fees if they bring internal corporate claims against the company in court and...more

SB 75 May Prove To Be Delaware’s Seven Sisters

A century ago, New Jersey was the state in which to incorporate. Long before former Iraqi President popularized the expression “Mother of Battles” (“Um El-Ma’arek“), the famed legal scholar Adolph A. Berle, Jr. bestowed the...more

CAFA Filings Spike in 2013

On February 18 2005, Congress enacted the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), P.L. No. 109-2 (28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d), 1453, and 1711 – 1715). In enacting the CAFA, Congress sought to protect consumers and investors from...more

Here’s One Way To Recover Attorneys’ Fees Without Adopting A Fee Shifting Bylaw

With the ongoing hullabaloo concerning the legislative demise of fee shifting bylaw provisions under Delaware law, little attention has been paid to California law. More importantly, no one seems to have noticed that...more

In re El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. Deriv. Litig., C.A. No. 7141-VCL (Del. Ch. Apr. 20, 2015) (Laster, V.C.)

In this post-trial opinion, the Delaware Court of Chancery determined that a general partner breached a limited partnership agreement in connection with a “drop-down” transaction. The Court held that the partnership’s...more

Mergers and Acquisitions Alert: Lazard v. Qinetiq: Important Lessons for Structuring Earn-Outs

Overview - A recent Delaware Supreme Court case authored by Chief Justice Strine upholds the literal meaning of an earn-out provision that limited the buyer from taking action “intended to reduce or limit an earn-out...more

Insurance Recovery Law - May 2015

California Appellate Court: All Claims “Arising From” Ponzi Scheme Are Precluded - Why it matters: Concluding that any claims related to a Ponzi scheme—even if they involved different investors, investments, or...more

Delaware Legislature to Consider New Fee-Shifting Legislation

On April 29, 2015, Senator Bryan Townsend introduced legislation that would amend the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL) to ban fee-shifting bylaws for Delaware stock corporations (non-stock corporations would continue...more

Use of Customer Survey Data Upheld in Hotel Franchise Terminations

In most cases, courts and state legislatures have made it more difficult for franchisors to terminate franchise agreements. However, one federal court in New York recently upheld the use of negative guest satisfaction surveys...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: The Broader Lesson of the El Paso Pipeline Decision

Alternative entities, such as limited partnerships and limited liability companies, have an advantage over corporations because of the greater flexibility to define the terms of the arrangement by contract. ...more

Hampton v. Turner, C.A. No. 8963-VCN (Del. Ch. Apr. 29, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In a letter opinion analyzing how provisions of a limited liability company operating agreement fit together, the Court of Chancery denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to plaintiffs’ claim for judicial...more

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