Breach of Duty

News & Analysis as of

Wine, Steak, and Massage Parlors Are Personal Benefits for Insider Trading

On May 26, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that friends’ gifts of wine, steak dinners, and other luxury items can constitute the types of personal benefit needed to establish a breach of duty in...more

CardiAQ Wins $70 Million in Trade Secrets Suit

A federal jury found in favor of CardiAQ in a lawsuit filed against former service provider, Neovasc. The jury found that Neovasc breached the non-disclosure agreement between the parties, misappropriated CardiAQ’s trade...more

Case Reminds Insurance Agents to Review Process of Receiving Approval from Insureds Before Submitting Applications to Carriers

Schmidt v. Indiana Insurance Co., No. 22S01-1507-PL-412, Supreme Court of Indiana, December 2, 2015 - Plaintiff was the owner of a house in which he allowed his cousin to live from 2007 to 2009. When the cousin moved...more

Use of Company Policies To Establish The Violation of A Fiduciary Duty

Plaintiffs often seek discovery on a financial institution’s policies and procedures with an eye towards using that evidence against the institution. If a financial institution’s representative or representatives did not live...more

It Happened, It Happened: Small 401(k) Plan Sued

I love boxing and one of my favorite fights is when George Foreman shocked the world and knocked out Michael Moorer to become heavyweight champion at age 45. Jim Lampley doing the HBO broadcast proclaimed: “it happened! It...more

Misconduct Remedies Against an Agent Under a Power of Attorney

In a prior blog post, I discussed the duties of an agent under a power of attorney. In this blog post, I discuss the remedies that people have against an agent under a power of attorney when the agent commits misconduct....more

Delaware Chancery Court Dismisses Challenge to MLP Drop Down Transaction

The Delaware Chancery Court recently dismissed a challenge to a transaction in which a master limited partnership (the "MLP") repurchased an interest in a crude oil pipeline in 2015 previously sold to its general partner (the...more

"Recent Delaware Cases Clarify Existing Limits and Adopt Novel Condition in Books-and-Records Demands"

Recent Delaware cases have helped clarify the limits of what the Court of Chancery will consider in a books-and-records demand under 8 Del. C. § 220, and one case has adopted a novel condition that defendants may seek to...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Aiding-and-Abetting Liability for Financial Advisors"

On November 30, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated opinion in RBC Capital Markets, LLC v. Jervis, No. 140, 2015, 129 A.3d 816 (Del. 2015). The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Court of Chancery’s...more

"Court of Chancery Addresses Fundamental Issues of Derivative Litigation"

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently issued a trio of notable opinions involving stockholder derivative actions. The opinions addressed fundamental issues of law such as whether particular kinds of stockholder claims are...more

New Jersey Expands Fee-Shifting in Legal Malpractice Actions to Include Non-clients

On April 26, 2016, a sharply divided New Jersey Supreme Court held that attorneys may be liable for counsel fees if they are found to have intentionally breached their fiduciary duty to non-clients. In the matter of Innes v....more

Court Dismisses Fiduciary Claim Between Mortgagor and Mortgagee

In Fornesa v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., plaintiff sought a damage award against a defendant mortgagor for compensatory and punitive damages, based on alleged predatory lending practices. 2016 Bankr. LEXIS 2011 (S.D. Tex. May 13,...more

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms Business Judgment Standard For Fully Informed, Uncoerced Stockholder Vote

On May 6, 2016, in Singh v. Attenborough, No. 645, the Delaware Supreme Court strengthened the defenses available to directors by clarifying a roadmap for effectively dismissing post-closing claims for breach of fiduciary...more

New Cause of Action from Business Court?

CentsAbility: Creditors' Rights Law Update - In a recent case from the Business Court in Brunswick County, a North Carolina Judge held that Defendants could assert a claim for breach of the duty to negotiate in good...more

New York Appellate Division Reverses Order Compelling Arbitration And Reinstates Complaint Based Upon Terminated Agreement’s Forum...

New York’s First Department finds there was no clear manifestation parties had abandoned a forum selection clause by a later agreement which mandated arbitration in London. In 2000, the parties entered into two agreements:...more

Fifth Circuit Decision Includes Important Holdings for ESOP Fiduciaries

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed on May 3, 2016, the holdings of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on numerous issues involving the sale of closely held stock from a...more

Top Courts in Delaware and New York Affirm Business Judgment Rule Protection Where Procedural Safeguards are Followed

In recent decisions, both the Delaware Supreme Court and the New York Court of Appeals affirmed defendant-friendly lower court rulings, holding that, if appropriate procedural safeguards are employed in M&A transactions,...more

Delaware Supreme Court Reaffirms KKR, But Sounds Cautionary Note to Gatekeepers

On May 6, 2016, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Delaware Chancery Court's ruling that Zale Corporation's sale to Signet Jewelers withstood scrutiny under the business judgment rule because the transaction was approved...more

A Commonsense Explanation of the SEC’s Regulation of Private Investment Funds

The SEC’s regulation of the private investment funds industry has generated significant attention and commentary, as well as a fair amount of hand-wringing. From our perspective as lawyers, however, there is a relatively...more

Court Of Chancery Denies Second Chance To New Derivative Plaintiff

This decision illustrates the importance of putting your best foot forward in derivative litigation. Here, a different plaintiff had his complaint dismissed for failure to satisfy the demand excused rules. When this plaintiff...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19493 - Standard Oil of Connecticut, Inc. v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act - SC19493 Dissent - Standard Oil of Connecticut, Inc. v. Administrator,...more

NY Court Of Appeals Rejects No-Opt Out Class Action Settlement In Shareholder Litigation

In Jinnaras v. Alfant, decided on May 5, 2015, the New York Court of Appeals rejected a proposed settlement of a shareholder class action, where the proposed settlement would have deprived out-of-state class members of a...more

N.Y. Court of Appeals Adopts Business Judgment Rule, with Conditions, for Going-Private Mergers

The New York Court of Appeals has followed Delaware in holding that the business-judgment rule applies to going-private mergers as long as certain shareholder-protective measures are met. The court’s May 5, 2016 decision in...more

Delaware Law Updates - Demand Refused Rule 23.1 Explained by the Delaware Court of Chancery

In a recent decision out of the Delaware Court of Chancery – Friedman v. Maffei et al., C.A. No. 111105-VCMR – the court’s second-newest member, Vice Chancellor Montgomery-Reeves, dismissed a proposed derivative complaint on...more

First Department Finds Forum Selection Clause in Earlier Agreement Valid Despite Later Agreement Providing for Arbitration

In a 3-2 split decision, a New York appellate court determined that a forum selection clause providing for litigation in New York courts had not been explicitly terminated and thus trumped agreements to submit to arbitration...more

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