Corporate & Securities Alert: Delaware Supreme Court Confirms Officers' Fiduciary Duties and Refines the Application of the Common Law Doctrine of Shareholder Ratification

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The Delaware Supreme Court’s recent decision in Gantler vs. Stephens (Del. January 27, 2009) – where the Court issued a rare reversal of a Court of Chancery decision – contains several noteworthy holdings on core corporate governance principles, including “entire fairness” review of a breach of fiduciary duty claim, the fiduciary duties of corporate officers, and the applicability of the common law doctrine of shareholder ratification to corporate transactions. The case arose from a complaint challenging the decision of the board of directors of First Niles Financial, Inc. (“First Niles”) to reject a merger proposal.

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