News & Analysis as of

Board of Directors Shareholder Litigation

Delaware Chancery Court Holds That Well-Pled Unocal Claim Does Not Automatically Excuse Pre-Suit Demand

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On May 15, 2017, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III of the Delaware Chancery Court dismissed a shareholder derivative action asserting that the directors of The Williams Companies, Inc. (“Williams”) breached their duty of...more

Court Of Chancery Declines To Hold Unocal Claim Automatically Excuses Demand

by Morris James LLP on

A derivative plaintiff who fails to make a pre-suit demand on the board must show why demand is excused using particularized facts. Here, the plaintiff argued that demand was automatically excused by sufficiently pleading a...more

Court Of Chancery Rejects Novel Breach Of Appraisal Rights Claim

by Morris James LLP on

This decision begins with a conventional analysis of a claim that disclosure violations and director self-interest have tainted a merger vote. That claim was rejected for want of factual support. More unusual, the decision...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Examines Director Disinterestedness, Independence"

Delaware law provides important tools for directors to maintain control of derivative lawsuits.1 One such tool is the “demand requirement” embodied in Court of Chancery Rule 23.1, which requires that before a stockholder acts...more

"Q&A With Delaware Litigation Partner Ed Micheletti"

What is the most significant recent development in Delaware, from a litigation standpoint? The most significant recent development impacting deal litigation in Delaware is the continuing evolution of the Corwin doctrine,...more

"The Continuing Evolution of Corwin in Delaware Courts"

Recent Delaware Supreme Court and Court of Chancery cases have continued to refine the impact and requirements of Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, in which the Delaware Supreme Court held that the business judgment rule...more

Stockholders' Complaint Survives Chancery's 'Corwin' Analysis

by Morris James LLP on

After a series of successful applications of the Corwin doctrine in Delaware's Court of Chancery, a plaintiff has finally survived a motion to dismiss where Corwin was applied. In In re Saba Software Stockholder Litigation,...more

Court Of Chancery Explains The “Known Looter” Theory For Controllers

by Morris James LLP on

This is an interesting decision because it examines an intriguing legal theory for holding a controlling stockholder liable in a sale: the “known looter” theory. Generally speaking, controllers can sell their stock to whoever...more

Home Depot Agrees to Settle Data Breach Shareholders’ Suit

In a surprise move late last week, Home Depot has agreed to settle a shareholders derivative suit filed against current and former members of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Information...more

Notable Delaware Decisions: First Quarter 2017

by BakerHostetler on

The Delaware Chancery Court and Delaware Supreme Court were busy during the first quarter of 2017, handing down decisions touching on: Required disclosure in a variety of settings – for standard-of-review “cleansing”...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Shareholder Suit, Finding Subject Matter Jurisdiction Was Properly Exercised, Equity Dilution...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On April 26, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a shareholder of Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (“Star Bulk”) against its directors and entities affiliated...more

Court Of Chancery Discusses Interrelationship Between Corwin and Santa Fe

by Morris James LLP on

In its now famous Corwin decision the Delaware Supreme Court held that when a majority of the stockholders in a fully informed, noncoercive vote approve a transaction, the business judgment rule applies and the transaction is...more

Delaware Court Orders Sale of Solvent Company’s Stock Despite Shareholder Objections

by Cole Schotz on

Delaware General Corporate Law § 226 (the “Custodian Statute”) bestows the Delaware Court of Chancery with the power to appoint a custodian for solvent companies and receivers for insolvent companies in certain circumstances....more

Court Of Chancery Explains Limits Of The Dual Claims Rule

by Morris James LLP on

Under the well-known Brinckerhoff decision, a claim may be both a direct claim and a derivative claim. When that occurs the complaint need not comply with Rule 32.1 demand requirements. This decision points out that...more

Court Of Chancery Denies Corwin Defense

by Morris James LLP on

This is a significant decision because it is the first to find that a stockholder vote did not invoke business judgment review under Corwin because the vote was coerced and not fully informed. Under Corwin, a transaction...more

"Key Takeaways: Lessons Learned From Tax-Related Whistleblower Litigation and Shareholder Actions"

On March 8, 2017, Skadden hosted a webinar titled “Lessons Learned From Tax-Related Whistleblower Litigation and Shareholder Actions.” The Skadden panelists were tax partners Nathaniel Carden and Armando Gomez, and litigation...more

Bass, Berry & Sims Releases Securities & Shareholder Litigation 2017: A Look Ahead

by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC on

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC announces the release of its annual "Securities & Shareholder Litigation 2017: A Look Ahead," a high-level report that covers recent developments and offers best practices for the year ahead. The newly...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When To Appoint Corporate Custodian

by Morris James LLP on

On the same day the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the widely-reported TransPerfect decision, which ordered the sale of a successful company by custodian under Section 226 of the DGCL in order to break deadlock, the Court of...more

Stockholder Merger Vote Sets High Bar for Post-Closing Claims

by Morris James LLP on

The Delaware Supreme Court's decision in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings , 125 A.3d 304 (Del. 2015), reaffirmed the power of fully-informed, uncoerced, disinterested stockholder approval to immunize M&A transactions against...more

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms The TransPerfect Decision

by Morris James LLP on

The Supreme Court has affirmed the Court of Chancery decision that Section 226 of the DGCL permits the Court to appoint a custodian to sell a Delaware corporation when the board of directors and stockholders are deadlocked...more

"Key Developments in Delaware Corporation Law in 2016"

Significant changes in Delaware merger litigation and settlement practice in 2016, as well as noteworthy case law developments and trends, will continue to affect merger parties and litigants in 2017 and beyond....more

Yahoo! Data Breach Results in Another Lawsuit Against Corporate Directors and Officers

by Snell & Wilmer on

A number of claims have been made against companies’ directors and officers alleging a breach of fiduciary duty for failing to adequately oversee data security programs. To date, the defendants’ oversight of the programs and...more

Yellow Flags Are Not Red Flags: Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Caremark Claim in Reiter v. Fairbank

by Carlton Fields on

In October 2016, the Delaware Court of Chancery rejected a shareholder derivative lawsuit premised on an alleged lack of oversight by the directors of Capital One Financial Corp., Reiter v. Fairbank, C.A. No. 11693-CB, 2016...more

Maryland’s Highest Court Clarifies Application of Boland Heightened Scrutiny to Shareholder Demand Response

by Saul Ewing LLP on

In a “sweet” decision for corporate boards, on January 20, 2017, Maryland’s highest court ruled in Oliveira v. Sugarman that the decision of the full board to refuse a shareholder demand is not subject to the heightened...more

Delaware Corporate and Commercial Case Law Year In Review – 2016

by Morris James LLP on

Morris James attorneys Lewis Lazarus, Albert Manwaring and Albert Carroll authored an article published in Transaction Advisors titled Delaware Corporate and Commercial Case Law Year in Review – 2016. The article summarizes...more

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