California Court of Appeals to Directors and Officers: You’re in Control (Hellum v. Breyer)

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In Hellum v. Breyer, the California Court of Appeals held that the fact of being a corporate director or officer by itself may lead to presumptive liability for those directors and officers for certain securities violations. The case makes it more likely that plaintiffs will survive a demurrer or motion to dismiss on Corporations Code § 25504 claims. The burden may then move to defendant directors and officers to prove a negative; i.e., to prove that they did not know or could not have known a certain set of facts at a given time.

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