Shareholder Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Amicus Briefs Pour in for Wal-Mart Shareholder Proposal Case

Amicus briefs are pouring in in favor of Wal-Mart in its appeal to the Third Circuit. Wal-Mart appealed the United States District of Delaware’s decision that denied Wal-Mart the right to exclude a shareholder proposal...more

Delaware Supreme Court to Chancery: You Have Broad Powers

Books-and-records litigation does not typically grab headlines. In fact, few cases litigated under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law result in written opinions authored by the Delaware Supreme Court....more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

ESMA Publishes Final Technical advice on the MiFID II Directive and MiFIR - On December 19, 2014, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published final technical advice (ESMA/2014/1569) to the European...more

Delaware Chancery Court Concludes Indemnification and Other Provisions of a Merger Agreement Are Not Enforceable Against...

In November, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision that raises troubling questions about commonly used techniques in private company acquisitions and that, if not modified on appeal or through legislation, could...more

In re Family Dollar Stores, Inc.: No Revlon Duty to Seek Better Terms From Competing Bidder

Last month, in In re: Family Dollar Stores, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, a Delaware Chancery judge rejected the efforts of certain shareholders of Family Dollar Stores, Inc., to prevent Family Tree’s shareholders from voting...more

Wal-Mart Explains Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal to Third Circuit

Wal-Mart appealed the United States District of Delaware’s decision that denied Wal-Mart the right to exclude a shareholder proposal submitted by Trinity Wall Street. The District Court held that the SEC was incorrect when...more

New York Courts Reject Disclosure-Based Settlements of Merger Lawsuits

In two recent rulings, the New York Supreme Court rejected settlements arising from lawsuits in which plaintiff stockholders challenged the defendant public companies’ merger-related disclosures. The court in each case...more

Eighth Circuit Sets Standard For Cy Pres Distributions

On January 8, 2015, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals established a five-factor test governing cy pres distributions in class action lawsuits. In Re: BankAmerica Corp. Sec. Litig., No. 13-2620 (8th Cir. Jan. 8, 2015). ...more

This Stockholder Would Rather Fly To Delaware Than Drive To L.A.

Yesterday’s post mentioned the recent Delaware Supreme Court decision in United Techs. Corp. v. Treppel, 2014 Del. LEXIS 608 (Del. Dec. 23, 2014). The case involved an inspection demand under Section 220 of the Delaware...more

Delaware Corporate Law And Litigation: What Happened In 2014 And What It Means For You In 2015

In This Issue: - Delaware’s Leading Role in Business and Business Litigation - Curbing Stockholder Litigation: Exclusive Forum and Fee-Shifting Provisions - Two-Tiered Poison Pill Targeted at Hedge Fund...more

More Forum Selection Affirmation from Delaware

An interesting Delaware Supreme Court decision just before the holidays may have escaped many people’s attention. In United Technologies Corp. v. Treppel, the Court concluded in the context of stockholder inspection rights...more

Data Breach Plaintiffs Survive Dismissal Against Target

Target’s 2013 data breach has generated over 100 consumer lawsuits, which were consolidated last year before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. On December 18, 2014, Judge Paul A. Magnuson issued a...more

When a Minority Stockholder May Be Deemed a Controller

In just the past three months, the Delaware Court of Chancery has issued four opinions (In re KKR Financial Holdings LLC Shareholder Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 9210-CB; In re Crimson Exploration Stockholder Litigation, C.A....more

Wal-Mart Appeals Denial of Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal

Wal-Mart has appealed the United States District of Delaware’s decision which denied Wal-Mart the right to exclude a shareholder proposal submitted by Trinity Wall Street. The District Court held that the SEC was incorrect...more

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms Chancery Court’s Broad Authority to Impose Use Restrictions on Information Obtained From Section...

The Delaware Supreme Court reversed the Chancery Court’s decision that it lacked authority to impose the requested use restriction, noting that Section 220(c) authorizes the Chancery Court in the exercise of discretion to...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Under Nevada Law, a Prior Stockholder’s Litigation of Demand Futility Precludes Another Stockholder From...

In Arduini v. Hart, 2014 WL 7156764 (9th Cir. Dec. 17, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit considered whether the doctrine of issue preclusion prevents a stockholder from relitigating a prior...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds That Court of Chancery Can Restrict Forum Where Books and Records Can Be Used

Previously we have discussed Delaware court decisions upholding forum selection bylaws requiring suits involving a corporation’s internal affairs to be filed in a specified court, such as the Delaware Court of Chancery. Last...more

Forum Selection Bylaws Gain Additional Support in California

In adopting an exclusive forum selection bylaw, companies can avoid the cost and complication of multi-forum litigation after an M&A transaction. In response to the wasteful and burdensome trend of multi-forum...more

California Court of Appeal Applies Delaware Law to Deny Discovery in Shareholder Derivative Action

In Jones v. Martinez, 230 Cal. App. 4th 1248 (2014), the California Court of Appeal, Second Division, held that a plaintiff asserting a shareholder derivative action against directors of a Delaware corporation in a California...more

No Auction Required – Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Board Flexibility under Revlon

Ruling that an active solicitation process is not necessarily required for a target board of directors to satisfy its fiduciary duties in a change of control transaction, the Delaware Supreme Court overturned a preliminary...more

A Hunt for Justice Erodes the Attorney-Client Privilege

In a highly regulated environment, it is challenging for U.S. corporations to maintain 100% compliance with each and every law touching them. When issues arise, U.S. corporations rely on the ability to have full and frank...more

Salamone v. Gorman, C.A. No. 8845 (Del. Dec. 9, 2014)

In this en banc decision, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the Court of Chancery’s decision interpreting a Voting Agreement governing the designation and removal of directors by preferred...more

Lessons For Corporate Directors From The Wyndham Data Breach Derivative Action

On October 20, 2014, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation won dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit seeking damages arising out of three data breaches that occurred between 2008 and 2010. Dennis Palkon, et al. v. Stephen P....more

Delaware Court Determines That 17.5% Stockholder Seeking To Take Company Private Could Be Deemed A Controller And Therefore...

On November 26, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss a complaint challenging a going-private transaction where the company's CEO, Chairman and 17.5% stockholder was leading the buyout group. In his...more

Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund L.P. v. Echo Therapeutics, Inc., C.A. No. 10303-VCN (Del. Ch. Nov. 14, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery denied a motion to expedite proceedings in which a stockholder sought to call a special meeting to remove a majority of the corporation’s directors....more

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