Board of Directors Shareholder Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Chancery Applies 'Rales' in Dismissing Derivative Claim

In Sandys v. Pincus, C.A. No. 9512-CB, (Del. Ch. Feb. 29, 2016), the Delaware Court of Chancery considered the uncommon scenario of analyzing whether a demand made upon Zynga Inc.'s board of directors pursuant to Rule 23.1...more

Seventh Circuit Applies Strong Business Judgment Rule to Reject Assertion of Demand Futility

In a recent decision in a diversity case, the Seventh Circuit deferred to a state legislature’s “strongly pro-management version of the business judgment rule,” rejecting a derivative claim filed by shareholders in an Indiana...more

RBC Capital Markets, LLC v. Jervis, No. 140, 2015 (Del. Nov. 30, 2015) (Valihura, J.)

In this en banc decision, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the principal legal holdings and final judgment of the Court of Chancery finding, among other things, that RBC Capital Markets, LLC (“RBC”) aided and abetted...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When A Minority Stockholder May Have Actual Control Over A Deal

This is another in a series of decisions dealing with the allegation that a minority stockholder controlled a deal through its control of a majority of the board of directors....more

Employer Anti-Poaching Agreements. A Tale of Disney Legal Troubles

Once upon a time, the Plaintiff in a shareholder derivative suit pending against Disney and its former and current board members claimed that commencing in the mid-1980s, companies in the animation business—including Pixar...more

Court of Chancery Approves Disclosure Settlement Post-Trulia and Finds Management Projections Plainly Material

As detailed in a prior post (available here), the ruling in In re Trulia, Inc. Stockholders Litigation, 2016 WL 270821 (Del. Ch. Jan. 22, 2016) changed the legal landscape for so-called disclosure settlements. Among other...more

DELAWARE CORPORATE LAW AND LITIGATION: WHAT HAPPENED IN 2015 AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU IN 2016

Delaware has long been known as the corporate capital of the world, and it is now the state of incorporation for 66 percent of the Fortune 500 and more than half of all companies whose securities trade on the NYSE, Nasdaq...more

How to Answer When an Activist Calls

The increasing activist stockholder demands upon boards of directors call for careful responses. The recent Delaware Court of Chancery decision In re Ebix Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 8526-VCN (Del. Ch. Jan. 15, 2016),...more

Court Of Chancery Explores The Effect Of Federal Settlements On A Delaware Action And Applies Unocal To Bylaw Amendments

First, the Court explores the effect settlement agreements in two federal court actions might have on claims in a Delaware action. The decision holds that the settlements did not release the Delaware plaintiffs’ derivative...more

5 Securities Litigation Issues to Watch in 2016

The coming year promises to be a pivotal one in the world of securities and corporate governance litigation. In particular, there are five developing issues we are watching that have the greatest potential to significantly...more

District Court Explains Caremark Proof Requirements In Pleading

To meet the pleading requirements to state a Caremark claim it is necessary that you show either the board ignored signs of wrongdoing or at least took no steps to prevent such wrongdoing. This decision contains an excellent...more

Business Litigation Alert: "Is Your Board of Directors Providing Sufficient Oversight for Cyber Attacks?"

Last month, we discussed the recent federal court decision that allows whistleblowers to sue board members directly for retaliation. Now, it seems as though board members are assuming a bigger role in managing another...more

Life and Annuity Series: Trend in Excessive Fee Decisions

The trend of excessive fee decisions relating to the insurance industry continues: - ..In re Davis New York Venture Fund Fee Litigation—The SDNY's opinion denying the motion to dismiss is notable for two...more

Court of Chancery Again Explains Claim Against An Investment Banker

In this unusual factual circumstance, the Court denied a motion to dismiss a claim against an investment banker for aiding and abetting a board’s alleged breach of its duty to act with care. Note that the board itself was...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Adverse-Interest Exception in Fraud-on-the Market Securities Class Actions

Last week, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision that could affect analyses of corporate scienter in securities class actions. The court reversed the dismissal of In re ChinaCast Education Corporation Securities Litigation and...more

Southern District of Florida Case Challenging Bylaw Requiring Minimum Stake to Sue Dismissed

As we have previously discussed, there has been a growing trend of corporations’ adopting various types of bylaws to define the bounds of shareholder litigation. These include forum-selection bylaws and fee-shifting bylaws...more

Insights: The Delaware Edition - October 2015

We are pleased to share with you the inaugural issue of Insights: The Delaware Edition, a periodic publication addressing significant Delaware deal litigation and corporation law developments. In This Issue: - Q&A...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Cautions Directors: Be Vigilant in Recognizing Advisor’s Conflict of Interests

Shareholders challenged the merger of Zale Corporation with Signet Jewelers Ltd. In a decision dated October 1, 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery credited allegations that the board of directors of Zale breached its...more

Update from Wilson Elser’s D&O Insurance Digest

Litigation Developments and Mega Settlements - Dole Food, Inc. Derivative Action – Delaware Chancery Court Finds D&Os Engaged in Fraud - Dole Food, Inc. shareholders sued Dole Chairman and CEO David Murdock and Dole...more

Shareholder Suit Challenging Groundbreaking Minimum-Support-To-Sue Bylaw Dismissed

In what is believed to be the first case nationwide seeking to strike down a groundbreaking corporate bylaw aimed at combatting frivolous shareholder class actions, Emergent Capital, Inc., has secured the dismissal with...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of '40 Act Section 36(b) Excessive Fee Action Against Davis

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an amended complaint asserted by a shareholder of the Davis New York Venture Fund (the “Fund”) under section 36(b) of the Investment Company...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Investment Banker Conflict Leads To Aiding And Abetting Claim

Here the banker failed to make a timely disclosure to its client that it had previously pitched the buyer to make a bid for the client. The Court found that in the context of a motion to dismiss the Board may have breached...more

M&A Update: Fully Informed Vote of Disinterested Stockholders Results in Business Judgment Rule Protection in Post-Closing Review...

In an October 2, 2015 decision, Corwin, et al. v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC., et al., the Delaware Supreme Court clarified that once a merger closes, as long as it has been approved by a fully informed vote of the...more

Delaware Court Leaves Ousted Executive on His Own for Legal Fees

In a September 11, 2015, decision, the Delaware Chancery Court denied a former officer and director advance reimbursement of legal fees in a dispute with his company, despite his insistence that multiple corporate documents...more

Justice Friedman Allows Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim to Proceed Against Corporate Directors Under Delaware Law

In AP Services, LLP v. Lobell et. al, No. 651613/2012, 2015 NY Slip Op 31115(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. June 19, 2015) (argued Feb. 21, 2014), Justice Friedman, applying Delaware Law, denied a motion to dismiss plaintiff AP Services,...more

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