Securities Business Torts

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Violation of Corporate Charter: Breach of Contract, Fiduciary Duties or Both

When a company takes action through its board in violation of its certificate of incorporation, may a plaintiff stockholder bring suit against the company directly for breach of its certificate—the most important of corporate...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds That a Stockholder Plaintiff Must Plead a Non-Exculpated Claim to Avoid Section 102(b)(7)-Based...

In the consolidated appeal In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., Stockholder Litigation and In re Zhongpin Stockholders Litigation, Nos. 564, 2014 and 706, 2014, 2015 Del. LEXIS 231 (Del. May 14, 2015), the Delaware Supreme...more

Important Delaware Supreme Court ruling on use of charter provision to seek preliminary dismissal – 3 key takeaways

In a decision jointly resolving two appeals - In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. Stockholder Litigation and Leal v. Meeks - the Delaware Supreme Court clarified seemingly conflicting Delaware case law. The decision sought to...more

Back To The Future – Should Stock Incentive Plans Impose Grant Limits on Non-Employee Director Awards?

On April 30, 2015, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware rendered an important case decision in a procedural matter dealing with the equity compensation of non-employee members of a company’s board of directors (see...more

CLIENT ALERT: Delaware Supreme Court Establishes Rule Permitting Dismissal of Independent Directors From Entire Fairness Suits

In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. S’holder Litig., No. 564, 2014 (Del. May 14, 2015) & Leal v. Meeks, No. 706, 2014 (Del. May 14, 2015) In these interlocutory appeals, the Delaware Supreme Court resolved a...more

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

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Pleading Standard For Claims Against Independent Directors

Yesterday, in In re Cornerstone Therapeutics, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, the Supreme Court of Delaware held that plaintiffs seeking monetary damages against disinterested, independent directors must plead facts sufficient...more

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, v. AbbVie, Inc., CA No. 10374-VCG and Rizzolo v. AbbVie Inc., CA No. 10408-VCG...

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery denied two stockholders’ request for the inspection of books and records of a company pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 220, finding that the stockholders failed to show a credible...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

The First, First Circuit Court to Opine on a Newman Challenge

And the Insider Trading Charges Stick - On May 12, 2015, in United States v. Douglas Parigian, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper became the first judge in the First Circuit to opine on a challenge to insider...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

M&A Update: Delaware Supreme Court Issues Important Ruling Protecting Independent Directors

On May 14, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that claims against independent directors must be dismissed when a company charter provision shields directors from monetary liability for breach of the duty of care and the...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission filed and insider trading case in tandem with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office against a father and son based on repeated trades in advance of deal announcements even after FINRA initiated an investigation...more

Oklahoma Firefighters Pension & Ret. Sys. v. Citigroup Inc., C.A. No. 9587-ML (VCN) (Del. Apr. 24, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court denied the exceptions of defendant Citigroup Inc. (“Citigroup” or the “Company”) to the Master’s Final Report and adopted the recommendations therein related to a demand to inspect the...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of ERISA Stock Drop Claims

The Second Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an ERISA stock drop class action because, like the district court, it held that Named Plaintiff Debra Taveras lacked constitutional standing to pursue her claims. Taveras...more

Court Of Chancery Awards Loser Fees

After years of litigating a breach of fiduciary duty case, the plaintiff won the battle but lost the war when the Court held that the defendants had breached their duties but there were no damages....more

Investment Professional Charged with Fraud, Self-Dealing by SEC

The SEC charged another investment professional with fraud and self-dealing. SEC v. Ahmed, Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-00675 (D. Conn. Filed May 5, 2015). Defendant Iftikar Ahmed is an investment professional who was a partner...more

SEC Files Fraud Action Centered on Student Loans

Student loans, and the debt burdening many students at graduation, is an important political topic. It is not generally a subject for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nevertheless, at the center of is most recent...more

Administrative Proceedings vs. Federal Court: The SEC Provides Limited Transparency Into Its Choice of Forum

For the past two years, the SEC has come under heavy fire, both inside and outside the Commission, for its increasing use of its own administrative proceedings, rather than federal courts, as the preferred forum for bringing...more

Delaware Dismisses Caremark Claim Against DuPont

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently dismissed a derivative action in Ironworkers District Council of Philadelphia & Vicinity Retirement & Pension Plan v. Andreotti et al. One of the many claims alleged was a Caremark...more

Asset Management Firm Pays $12 Million in Settlement of SEC Conflict of Interest Case

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is showing new vigor in enforcing conflict of interest cases within asset management firms. Earlier this year, an SEC spokeswoman mentioned that the Commission has...more

SEC Files Offering Fraud Action Against Radio Show Hosts

The SEC filed another offering fraud action, a staple of Enforcement. This action centers on two recidivist radio talk show hosts selling interest in life settlements based on enhancements of their investment credentials,...more

FDIC Receivership Precludes Shareholder Suit Against Failed Bank

Why it matters - A shareholder suit against a bank holding company and its directors and officers was precluded by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) receivership of the underlying failed bank, the...more

The Preliminary Merits Test for Secondary Market Claims is Not Just a “Speed Bump” to Certification: The Supreme Court of Canada...

Following amendments made in the last decade to various provincial Securities Acts to include statutory causes of action in the secondary market against public issuers for misrepresentation and/or failure to make timely...more

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