Breach of Duty

News & Analysis as of

First Circuit Finds for Life Insurer in ERISA Class Action Challenging Retained Asset Accounts to Pay Life Insurance Benefits

In a unanimous panel decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a trial court’s ruling that the defendant, Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), had breached fiduciary duties under the...more

Raul v. Astoria Fin. Corp., C.A. No. 9169-VCG (Del. Ch. June 20, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted defendant’s motion to dismiss, finding that plaintiff was not entitled to attorneys’ fees under the corporate benefit doctrine because plaintiff had not presented a...more

Pro Se Defendant Wins Trial On Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims In Business Court

When I was a young pup preparing to go to court against the uncommon adversary who was proceeding without a lawyer, I would joke that "I hope I don't lose." Luckily, I never did....more

Cambridge Ret. Sys. v. Bosnjak, C.A. No. 9178-CB (Del. Ch. June 26, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to make a pre-suit demand on the board and for failure to state a claim, holding that demand...more

Amlin v Austcorp – It’s all in the wording

In Amlin Corporate Member Ltd v Austcorp Project No 20 Pty Limited [2014] FCAFC 78, the Full Court of the Federal Court rejected the insurers’ argument that certain policies did not respond because the claim was made before...more

In re TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 9415-VCN (Del. Ch. Jun. 13, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion denying plaintiffs’ motion to expedite, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiffs, shareholders of TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (“TriQuint” or the “Company”), failed to assert a colorable claim that...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions - June 2014

Insurance Coverage; Professional Services Exclusion; Completed Operations; Duty To Defend: North Counties Engineering, Inc. v. State Farm General Insurance Company (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 902, 169 Cal.Rptr.3d 726...more

Bishop Gassis v. Corkery, C.A. No. 8868-VCG (Del. Ch. May 28, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this post-trial decision in a proceeding pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 225, the Court of Chancery held that the board of the Sudan Relief Fund, Inc. (the “Fund”), a charitable corporation, validly removed the plaintiff as a...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rules That a Major Debt Holder and 48 Percent Stockholder Is a Controlling Stockholder and Owes...

In Hamilton Partners, L.P. v. Highland Capital Management, L.P., the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by former stockholders of American Home Patient, Inc. (AHP)...more

Fund Managers Sue Deutsche Bank for Breach of Contract and Fiduciary Duty

On June 18, financial institutions including BlackRock Inc., Pacific Investment Management Co., Prudential Financial Inc., DZ Bank AG, and Charles Schwab Co., sued Deutsche Bank National Trust Company in New York state court....more

Ninth Circuit Uncharacteristically Takes the Lead in Limiting Plaintiffs' Rights to Recover for Breach of Fiduciary Duty under...

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized, for the first time, that some forms of equitable relief could lead to an award of a monetary payment for breach of fiduciary duty under section 502(a)(3) of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. section...more

Lenders Across North Carolina Can Breathe Sigh of Relief - NC Supreme Court reverses decision in significant banking litigation

In a case that has implications for all banks in North Carolina, the North Carolina Supreme Court removed a cloud of uncertainty that has remained over the North Carolina banking industry for more than 18 months. The Supreme...more

The Inadvertent Fiduciary: Mass Mutual Crosses The Line

Plan fiduciaries are held to the highest performance standards and can be personally liable for breaches of fiduciary responsibility. Because of this potential liability, there should be clear and rational rules enabling...more

Nevada Exculpation Statute Leads To Dismissal Of Claims Against Erstwhile Officer

Nevada, unlike either California or Delaware, exculpates corporate officers from liability to the corporation for any damages as a result of “any act or failure to act” in his or her capacity as an officer unless it is proven...more

New Fiduciary Rule Delayed

The Department of Labor (DOL) just announced that they were delaying the implementation of a new fiduciary rule for retirement plans and individual retirement accounts. They claim it will be released in 2015. How many years...more

Seventh Circuit Interprets ERISA’s Statute of Limitations for Fiduciary Breach: Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Company

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Company, No. 12-3330 (7th Cir. May 14, 2014), has issued a decision that clarifies the rules for suits for fiduciary breach under ERISA. The decision primarily...more

Delaware Court Rules Nevada Law Governs But Applies Delaware Law

Although there are many significant differences between the corporate laws of Nevada and Delaware, the Nevada Supreme Court has often looked across the country to Delaware. Thus, the Nevada high court has adopted Delaware’s...more

Unlocking the Door

When faced with a party which refuses to pay their share of the arbitral fees, it may seem attractive to go to court claiming that the defaulting party has repudiated the arbitration clause. Such a backdoor approach to...more

Bankruptcy Court Shields Equity Sponsors Serving as Secured Lenders from Individual Creditor Seeking to Litigate Subordination and...

In a recent case — In re Optim Energy, LLC — the Delaware Bankruptcy Court denied an individual creditor’s request to pursue the subordination or recharacterization of the claims of secured lenders who were also the debtors’...more

Fee Shifting Bylaw Facially Valid Under Delaware Law

On May 8, 2014, Delaware Supreme Court, en banc, answered four questions of law certified to it by the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and upheld the facial validity of a fee shifting provision in a Delaware...more

New York Court Holds Underlying Claims Not Interrelated

In its recent decision in Glascoff v. OneBeacon Midwest Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64858 (S.D.N.Y. May 8, 2014), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had occasion to consider the concept...more

“A letter of intent is the invention of the devil [that] should be avoided at all costs.” -- Stephen R. Volk, Esq. regarding the...

A Dallas jury recently reminded us why Mr. Volk lamented letters of intent. Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. is currently appealing that jury’s finding of $319MM in actual damages and $914MM for improper benefits due to...more

Attacks On Loan To Own Strategies Continue

As the economy continues to emerge from the global recession in the late 2000s, one of the prevailing trends we have seen is the continuation of challenges to distressed investors that have employed a “loan-to-own” strategy....more

The Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law: Confidentiality Legislation in the Cayman Islands

In this guide Harneys considers the scope of the Cayman Islands’ Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law and the sanctions that apply to contraventions of it. The Cayman Islands government considers the...more

Court Upholds Poison Pill in Response to Activist Accumulations

The Delaware Court of Chancery on May 2 rejected a request by Third Point to enjoin Sotheby’s annual stockholder meeting, scheduled for May 6, because of a “poison pill” stockholder rights plan adopted by Sotheby’s board....more

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