Business Court Division

News & Analysis as of

NC Business Court Turns 100

The Business Court turned out its one hundredth published (numbered) opinion of 2015 at the end of last week. It came in the form of a tax case, in Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. v. North Carolina Dept. of Revenue, 2015 NCBC 100....more

Merger Price Is Best Evidence of Fair Value in Appraisal Action

The practice of a hedge fund buying shares in a Delaware corporation upon the announcement of a cash-out merger to then exercise appraisal rights, sometimes referred to as “appraisal arbitrage,” has generated controversy....more

Electronic Bookmarking Soon to be Required for Briefs Filed with the New York Commercial Division

Harried litigators scrambling to file papers in New York’s Commercial Division soon will have one more task to add to their pre-filing checklist: electronic bookmarking. Starting next month, each electronically-submitted...more

You CAN Get A Ruling From A Superior Court Judge After Your Case Is Designated To The Business Court

I wrote yesterday about the arbitration aspects of Gaylor, Inc. v. Vizor, LLC, 2015 NCBC 98. But there is a significant aspect of Business Court procedure addressed in that case which deserved its own post....more

Summary Jury Trials Coming to the New York Commercial Division

In the latest procedural innovation designed to facilitate increased efficiency in resolving business disputes, Rule 3 of the Rules of Practice for the Commercial Division has been amended to provide for this alternative...more

Inside The New Complex Business Litigation Program For The New Jersey Superior Court

After years and years of discussion and debate, the New Jersey Supreme Court, by Order of Chief Justice Rabner, has implemented a state-wide Complex Business Litigation Program (the “Program”) designed to address the...more

Rule 11 Sanctions (Again!) From The NC Business Court

This month, for the second time in the last two months, Judge McGuire of the NC Business Court entered Rule 11 sanctions against a party whose attorney relied on inaccurate information from the client in making claims against...more

Unusual Area Of Law For The NC Business Court: Life Estate In A Beach House

When Governor McCrory appointed Judge Gregory McGuire to the Business Court, I doubt that he had any concern whether Judge McGuire had any expertise in the area of trusts and estates. After all, that area of law is not...more

Are Merger Objection Suits a Dying Breed?

Much has been written lately about why suits objecting to a merger are so bad. The complaint is that those suits lack any merit and are filed only to get a fee for the plaintiffs bar, after a quick settlement. As evidence of...more

Two Cases From NC Business Court: Class Action Fees Doubled And Expedited Discovery Denied

Last week (well, two weeks ago, I'm kind of behind) seemed like class action week at the Business Court. Judge Gale issued three rulings in class action cases. ...more

Business Judgment Standard for Disinterested-Stockholder Approval

The Delaware Supreme Court in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del., October 2, 2015), issued an important opinion authored by Chief Justice Leo E. Strine Jr. resolving uncertainty about the effect fully...more

Nature of Company's Defenses Can Expand Scope of Discovery

There is no question that, in a books-and-records action, the scope of discovery is limited and such discovery is not an appropriate means of obtaining the same books and records sought in the action. In Chammas v. NavLink...more

Fraud Vitiated Special-Committee Process in Dole Merger

In a self-interested transaction between a company and its controlling stockholder, the operative standard of judicial review under Delaware law is the most rigorous: entire fairness standard of review. To obtain the least...more

Tyranny of the Minority: North Carolina Business Court Explores Potential Fiduciary Duties of Minority Shareholders

The North Carolina Business Court recently issued an opinion considering whether a minority shareholder can ever be considered a “controlling shareholder” who owes a fiduciary duty to other shareholders. The court’s opinion...more

Defectively Issued Stock Declared Valid After Section 205 Analysis

Corporations are operated by humans, at least until the rise of Skynet (infamous as a primary antagonist in the Terminator movie franchise). As humans are prone to err, corporate acts may also be executed in error. In 2014,...more

Chancery Dismisses Complaint for Failure to Allege Noncompliance

A principal difference between alternative entities and corporations under Delaware law is the ability in the former to modify or eliminate fiduciary duties. A Delaware court is required by statute to give effect to the...more

Should Proxy Contests Be Fair?

The current surge in stockholder activism raises the interesting question whether proxy contests should be conducted fairly. Should the protagonists only tell the truth in soliciting votes or may they act like some...more

Business Court Enjoins Enforcement Of High Interest Rate Loans Made By American Indian-Related Business

Judge Gale's opinion last week in Western Sky in State v. Western Sky Financial, LLC, 2015 NCBC 84 has a little bit of everything in it: choice of law, the U.S. Constitution, claims for usury (excessive interest rates) and...more

Business Court Awards Rule 11 Sanctions For Baseless Fiduciary Duty Claim

It is probably a good idea for a corporation to avoid making fiduciary duty claims against its employees (unless they are also officers and directors). Clients (or their lawyers) who insist on making such claims are liable...more

North Carolina Business Court Recognizes Duty to Negotiate Contracts in "Good Faith"

Until there’s a binding contract, are you free to walk away from negotiations without penalty? Not necessarily. The North Carolina Business Court recently held that in certain circumstances parties have a duty to negotiate in...more

North Carolina Business Court Revisits When Customer-Related Information is a Trade Secret

The North Carolina Business Court recently revisited the question of when a business’s customer-related information can be considered trade secrets. In Southern Fastening Systems, Inc. v. Grabber Construction Products, Inc.,...more

When You Wish Upon A (Lode)Star: NC Business Court Cuts Fees Requested By Attorneys For Class Plaintiffs

The Business Court last week knocked down a fee request of Plaintiffs' class action counsel to $500,000, from the $660,000 requested, in an Order in Nakatsukasa v. Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2015 NCBC 68. The...more

Making Straight the Road: Case Litigation Plans as a Means of Efficiency and Predictability in the Tennessee Business Court

Tennessee’s recently-convened Davidson County Business Court will adjudicate business litigation in Nashville and may hear business cases from around the state with the consent of both parties. The Business Court’s stated...more

Don't Overplay Your Hand In The Business Court

When you last heard about London Leasing LLC v. Arcus, the Business Court had entered a default in March 2015 against two of the Defendants for what I called their "defiant and obnoxious conduct." It then seemed like...more

Business Court: High To Low Posting of ATM Debit Card Transactions Properly Disclosed By Bank

The meaning of the word "item" was the definitive factor in the Business Court's decision last week in Gay v. People's Bank, 2015 NCBC 59. The case was an attempted class action involving claims against the Bank for...more

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