Breach of Duty

News & Analysis as of

Delaware Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Suits Alleging Directors Wrongfully Refused Litigation Demands

Seyfarth Synopsis: On November 30, 2016, The Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed two derivative suits filed on behalf of the Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”). The companion memorandum and letter opinions reaffirm the heavy...more

Officers and Directors Spared Home Depot Data Breach Derivative Lawsuit

Officers and directors may breathe a temporary sigh of relief following the recent dismissal of the Home Depot data breach derivative case. Others will look to the facts for guidance. The complaint alleging the board had...more

Roadmap for Merger Decision-Making Process in Delaware

In a string of recent cases, the Delaware courts have given public companies a roadmap for structuring the decision-making process in merger transactions. Before delving into the recent decisions, it may help to understand...more

Claims That Controlling Stockholder Received Unique Benefits Dismissed

In GAMCO Asset Management v. iHeartMedia, Delaware's Court of Chancery considered claims that a controlling stockholder's liquidity needs created conflicts in otherwise arm's-length transactions with third parties. As...more

“Directors’ Decisions Must Be Reasonable, not Perfect” Home Depot’s Shareholder Derivative Litigation Arising from Data Breach...

On November 30, 2016, a federal district court dismissed a shareholder derivative complaint against various current and former directors of Home Depot arising from the well-publicized data breach the company suffered between...more

Court Affirmed Jury’s Findings Of Breach Of Fiduciary Duty By Joint Venture Partner And The Partner’s Representative

In CBIF v. TGI Friday’s, a joint venture partner sued the other partner for breaching fiduciary duties for unreasonably withholding consent regarding amending a lease and by acting out of its own self-interest in threatening...more

The Death of Merger Litigation Part II – The North Carolina Business Court Puts a Nail in the Coffin

In a recent article entitled “The Death of Merger Litigation?”, we wrote about the Delaware Court of Chancery’s increasing refusal to approve disclosure-only settlements in shareholder lawsuits challenging public company...more

Home Depot Cyber Derivative Action Shuttered: Another Data-Breach Derivative Suit Fails to Clear Fundamental Corporate Law Hurdles

The recent dismissal of a Home Depot derivative action ends a string of high-profile derivative suits stemming from large-scale corporate data breaches. On November 30, the Northern District of Georgia dismissed a shareholder...more

Court Of Chancery Examines Whether Derivative Demand Was Wrongfully Refused

Even after a board rejects a plaintiff-stockholder’s demand to bring a derivative litigation, the plaintiff may proceed to bring that derivative action if the plaintiff can show the demand was “wrongful.” Having conceded...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- November 2016 #2

The Supreme Judicial Court recently issued its decision in Degiacomo v. City of Quincy, No. SJC-11940, 2016 WL 6683970, at *1 (Mass. Nov. 15, 2016), which is the latest chapter in a story that began with a trust established...more

New York Court Upholds Insider-Trading Verdict

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff denied motions for judgment as a matter of law or for a new trial after a jury found the defendants civilly liable for insider trading. The decision in SEC v. Payton (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 29, 2016)...more

Court Dismisses Derivative Claim for Alleged Breach of Oversight Duty

The Delaware courts encourage plaintiffs who bring derivative claims in Delaware without making demand on the board of directors to seek books and records under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law so as to be...more

Montana Supreme Court Holds Co-Insurer Breached Duty to Defend

In its recent decision in J & C Moodie Properties, LLC v. Deck, 2016 MT 301 (Mont. Nov. 22, 2016), the Supreme Court of Montana had occasion to consider what constitutes a breach of an insurer’s duty to defend in a...more

Court Holds That There Was No Harm In Failing To Submit A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Question To A Jury

In Gengenbach v. Rodriguez, a defendant alleged a counterclaim for breach of fiduciary duty arising from a farming operation. No. 13-14-00711-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 12289 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi November 17, 2016, no pet....more

Buyer beware

An important judgment handed down by the High Court considered the liability of both solicitors and estate agents in circumstances where the seller of a property turned out to be an imposter. ...more

Food Fight: America’s Test Kitchen v. Chris Kimball

If, like me, you’re a fan of PBS and its soothing, soft-focus, food-related shows (ahem, Great British Bake-off), you were probably devastated when you heard that longtime host Chris Kimball, was leaving America’s Test...more

"After Corwin, Court of Chancery Provides Additional Guidance on Application of Business Judgment Rule to Post-Closing Damages...

As previously reported in Insights: The Delaware Edition, the Delaware Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, 125 A.3d 304 (Del. 2015) articulated a new defendant-friendly rule for...more

"Forward Momentum: Trulia Continues to Impact Resolution of Deal Litigation in Delaware and Beyond"

Throughout the second half of 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery began questioning its long-standing practice of approving deal litigation settlements involving broad releases for defendants in exchange for disclosure (or...more

Guest Post – Tis Better to Try and Fail, Then to Have Never Tried At All: Internal Corporate Policies Do Not Create a Heightened...

What follows is a guest post by Cara DeCataldo, a Reed Smith associate, who gamely stepped up to the plate to research one of a number of blogging topics that have been hanging fire for some time now. This topic is a type of...more

Receiver for payday lenders sued by CFPB files malpractice lawsuit

The court-appointed receiver for a group of interrelated companies sued by the CFPB in September 2014 for engaging in allegedly unlawful online payday lending activities has filed a malpractice lawsuit against the law firm...more

"Two Court of Chancery Deal Litigation Decisions Provide Helpful Guidance"

Chelsea Therapeutics: Post-Closing Bad Faith Claim a ‘Rare Bird’ in Delaware Absent Allegations of Self-Interestedness or Lack of Independence - In In re Chelsea Therapeutics International LTD Stockholders Litigation,...more

Court Relies on Fully Informed Uncoerced Stockholder Vote in 'Revlon' Challenge

Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III's decision In re OM Group Stockholders Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 11216-VCS (Oct. 12, 2016), represents the latest Delaware Court of Chancery decision to apply Corwin v. KKR Financial...more

Court Reverses No-Evidence Summary Judgment On Fiduciary Duty Claim Because Motion Was Not Sufficiently Precise

In Neurodiagnostic Tex, L.L.C. v. Pierce, the court reviewed a summary judgment entered regarding an employer’s breach of fiduciary duty claim. No. 12-14-00254-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 11754 (Tex. App.—Tyler October 31, 2016,...more

Delaware Law Updates – Board’s Adoption of a Plan of Dissolution Held Not to Be a Breach of the Directors’ Fiduciary Duties

In The Huff Energy Fund, L.P. v. Gershen, C.A. No. 11116-VCS (Del. Ch. Sept. 29, 2016), the Delaware Court of Chancery dealt with the issue of whether a company’s decision, approved by its board of directors and its...more

Change in How SC Supreme Court Views Conspiracy Claims May be Coming

As our various courts decide cases, we watch to see if there are any trends that seem to be developing or whether a case signals that the courts are beginning to change how they view a particular issue or type of case. We've...more

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