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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

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

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

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

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

Fleshing Out Creditor Derivative Standing in Delaware

The Court of Chancery issues a liberal ruling on creditor derivative standing and more obsequies for the “zone of insolvency.” ...more

Can You Sue Only One Conspirator After Dismissing Its Co-Conspirators?

Can you sue an alleged conspirator without suing the other parties to the alleged conspiracy? That was one of the questions addressed by Judge Gale in the decision last week in Loftin v. QA Investments LLC, 2015 NCBC 41....more

"Fairness of Director Awards Granted Under Market-Standard Equity Plans Comes Under Increased Scrutiny"

A Delaware court opinion issued late last week may subject equity grants to directors to increased judicial scrutiny (Calma v. Templeton, No. 9579-CB (Del. Ch. Apr. 30, 2015)). In Calma, the Chancery Court denied the...more

Insider Trading Recklessness and Kevin Love’s Shoulder

A couple of weeks ago I expressed skepticism about the ultimate impact of Judge Rakoff’s recent opinion in SEC v. Payton. In it, he held that for purposes of a motion to dismiss, the SEC had adequately alleged insider...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Creditor’s Right To File Fiduciary Duty Claims

While it is generally known that creditors may only file derivative suits when the company is insolvent, there have been many open issues about what exactly that means. This decision answers many of those questions by...more

Court Of Chancery Explains How To Prove Bad Faith

While not a corporate case, this decision is useful in explaining how to prove a party acted in bad faith so as to be outside the exculpation provisions of a trust or Sec. 102(b)(7). ...more

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Dismisses Failed Bank Shareholder Derivative Suit under FIRREA

On April 21, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a bank shareholders’ suit against a bank holding company – and its officers and directors – for breach of fiduciary duty. Barnes v....more

Georgia Supreme Court: Insured Cannot Sue for Settlement Amount of Bad Faith Absent Insurer’s “Consent to Settle”

On April 20, 2015, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously held that when an insured fails to seek its insurer’s consent to settle a claim, the insured cannot pursue litigation against its insurer to recover settlement amounts...more

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