Breach of Duty

News & Analysis as of

Delaware Chancery Court Applies Entire Fairness Standard to Consulting Agreement Among Affiliates of a Controlling Shareholder

In the recent decision of In re EZCORP Inc. Consulting Agreement Derivative Litigation, C.A. No. 9962-VCL (Jan. 25, 2016), the Delaware Court of Chancery clarified the standard of review when faced with shareholder challenges...more

Court Held That Plaintiff Stated A Claim Against Bank’s Employees For Individual Liability Based On Alleged Fiduciary Breaches

In Medve v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., a plaintiff sued a bank and three of its employees for breaches of fiduciary duties arising from fiduciary accounts. No. H-15-2277, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11961 (S.D. Tex. February 2,...more

Do Your Assignment of Benefits Clauses Need a Check-up? Recent Southern District of Florida Decision Highlights the Importance of...

A frequently litigated issue in reimbursement cases brought by in- and out-of-network healthcare providers against insurers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) is provider standing. Because...more

Chancery Court Continues to Close the Door on Disclosure-Only Settlements and Fees (But Opens a Window for “Mootness Dismissals”)

As previously discussed here, in 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a number of decisions calling for enhanced scrutiny of “disclosure-only” M&A settlements that involve no monetary benefits to a shareholder class. ...more

Ritchie v. Rupe 2016 and the Limits of Fiduciary Duties Owed Between Shareholders in Closely Held Businesses

A recent Texas court of appeals decision bucks the prevailing view when it comes to fiduciary duties owed between shareholders in closely held companies. In Ritchie v. Rupe, the court reversed the jury’s determination that...more

11th Circuit Says Assignee Cannot File Bankruptcy for Company

An “Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors” (an “ABC”) is an alternative to bankruptcy available under California law—as well as the laws of other states. An ABC is often a more cost-efficient alternative to filing a...more

SLAPP Statute and the Mixed Cause of Action

The California Supreme Court is reviewing the mixed cause of action conundrum in Baral v. Schnitt (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 1423. According to the Court’s docket, the issue is whether the SLAPP statute, Code of Civil Procedure...more

Late Amendments that should not have been allowed

In the case of Ali v Siddique [2015] EWCA Civ 1258, the Court of Appeal overturned a decision of the lower court where the Claimant had been granted permission to amend its Particulars of Claim at a very late stage, on the...more

The Supreme Court Meant What It Said On Employer Stock Funds

On January 25, 2016, in Amgen, Inc. v. Harris, 2016 WL 280886, the Supreme Court sent a strong message to the lower courts, plaintiffs and ERISA fiduciaries that pleading standards for breach of fiduciary duty prudence claims...more

What Amgen and Tackett Tell Us About ERISA Litigation Trend Lines

Two recent Supreme Court decisions, and a recent Sixth Circuit analysis on remand from the Supreme Court, offer a roadmap of sorts on ERISA litigation. In both decisions, the Supreme Court did away with presumptions, and at...more

Client Agreement and Failure to Terminate Representation Under the Terms of Client Agreement Results in Firm's Disqualification...

Brief Summary - In 2013, three shareholders sued: (1) each other for breach of fiduciary duties; and (2) their company for involuntary dissolution. The law firm that represented one of the shareholders had been retained...more

Recent Georgia Court of Appeals Case Highlights Alternative Theories of Relief in Unfair Competition Case

Beginning in law school, attorneys are trained to learn from reported appellate cases, and that education never stops. In a recent Georgia Court of Appeals case involving claims of unfair competition, Lyman v. Cellchem Int’l...more

Avoiding the Upsurge in Trust, Probate and Estate Planning Malpractice

The number of lawsuits against trust, probate and estate planning attorneys has significantly increased over the last several years. Today, trust, probate and estate planing attorneys are charged with legal malpractice and...more

Supreme Court Decides to Weigh In on Personal Benefit Test

Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal that may resolve ambiguities in the law of insider trading that have arisen in the wake of the Second Circuit’s opinion in United States v. Newman, 773 F.3d 438 (2d Cir....more

Insurance Recovery Law - January 2016

Despite Finding Policy Application Misrepresentation, Jury Rules Against Policy Rescission - Why it matters: A federal jury concluded that Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company did not have a valid basis to rescind the...more

"Enforceability of Corporate Forum-Selection Bylaws Continues to Strengthen"

In recent years, corporations have responded to the threat of duplicative stockholder lawsuits in multiple courts across the country, as well as “forum shopping” by plaintiffs, by enacting forum-selection bylaws. Under these...more

Court Granted Summary Judgment For A Trustee On A Fiduciary Breach Claim Arising From Conflict-Of-Interest and Diversification...

In Adams v. Regions Bank, beneficiaries sued a trustee for multiple claims, including breach of fiduciary duty, arising from the trustee’s seizure of collateral owned by the trust. 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1027 (S.D. Miss....more

The Duty of Loyalty Awakens

If you’re a Star Wars fan, loyalty probably means waiting ten years for “The Force Awakens.” (Or even longer if you prefer not to count Episodes I-III). For an employee looking to leave her current employer, however, loyalty...more

Global Private Equity Newsletter - Winter 2016 Edition: Recent Developments in Acquisition Finance

Two recent court decisions may result in a broadening of the range of options available to an equity sponsor in respect of an insolvent portfolio company. The first decision may provide increased flexibility in structuring...more

Shaev v. Adkerson, C.A. No. 10436-VCN (Del. Ch. Oct. 5, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims that in granting one million restricted stock units, defendants, the board of directors of a corporation, violated its...more

CA Court Holds No Fiduciary Duty To Warrant Holders

Judges must perforce pick and choose from the record what facts to include in their written opinions. As a result, opinions don’t necessarily tell the whole story and may omit important details. Recently, for example, I...more

Illinois Claim for Aiding and Abetting Client's Breach of Fiduciary Duty Time-Barred

Brief Summary - The plaintiff, a shareholder of limited liability company (LLC), filed an action against a law firm and one of its lawyers, alleging they aided and abetted other shareholders in breaching their fiduciary...more

A 401(k) with Vanguard funds is sued, read beyond the headline

Headlines are great, but you need to read the entire article to get the full picture. There is a new class-action lawsuit that is pitting participants in the Anthem Inc. 401(k) plan, with more than $5 billion in assets,...more

Commerzbank AG Sues Four RMBS Trustees Alleging Violations of Duties to Investors

On December 23 and 24, Commerzbank AG filed four actions in the Southern District of New York against Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and the Bank of New York Mellon in their...more

Court Affirmed Summary Judgment For Defendant/Attorney Regarding A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim Arising From A Conflict of...

In Macias v. Gomez, a client sued his attorney for breach of fiduciary duty arising from the attorney’s trust later suing the client. No. 13-14-00017-CV, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 12967 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi December 29, 2015,...more

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