Business Judgment Rule Board of Directors

News & Analysis as of

Closely-Held Shareholder Derivative Actions are Alive and Well in Texas

After 30 years of running his family-owned business, Hillbilly Oil Co., Jed Clampett decided to retire in 2013. The board of directors elects Jethro Bodine as Hillbilly’s President and Elly May as Vice President. Both Jethro...more

Yet Another Reason to Consider Separate Annual Limits on Director Equity Awards

As reported in a prior blog post, public company employers that are adopting or amending equity-based compensation plans should consider adding a separate annual limit on director equity awards. In a recent Delaware Chancery...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Litigation Threat Means Public Companies Should Review Director Compensation Process

Corporate directors are permitted to, and regularly do, set their own compensation. This has not been controversial because boards have typically taken seriously their responsibility to set compensation that is reasonable and...more

Protecting Director Equity Grants from Entire Fairness Review

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently held in Calma v. Templeton that the decision by the Citrix Systems, Inc. board of directors to grant equity compensation to its non-employee directors was subject to the entire fairness...more

Ironworkers Dist. Council of Phila. & Vicinity Ret. & Pension Plan v. Andreotti, C.A. No. 9714-VCG (Del. Ch. May 8, 2015)...

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted a motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s derivative complaint under Court of Chancery Rule 23.1, and in doing so, confirmed that there is a heavy burden confronting derivative...more

Exculpatory Provisions Provide Powerful Protection for Independent Directors

The Delaware Supreme Court recently issued an important decision clarifying the standards that govern claims for money damages against independent directors of corporations whose charters contain exculpatory provisions....more

A Key Reminder to Directors of Delaware Corporations When Granting Equity Awards under an Equity Incentive Plan

Corporate directors routinely make decisions regarding their own compensation. If challenged by stockholders, such decisions are generally reviewed by Delaware courts under the onerous "entire fairness" standard, which...more

Less Is More? Not when it comes to director compensation plans and effective shareholder ratification

Companies cannot merely rely upon shareholder approval to obtain protection under the business judgment rule. While the courts in Delaware do frequently apply the standard of waste to claims of breach of fiduciary duty and...more

Delaware court of chancery issues significant ruling on the ability of creditors to assert fiduciary duty claims against...

In Quadrant Structured Products Co. v. Vertin, 2015 WL 2062115 (Del. Ch. May 4, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster) announced a bright-line standard governing the threshold inquiry of when...more

Delaware Supreme Court’s In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Decision Allows Independent Directors To Utilize Section 102(b)(7) Defense...

A director’s responsibilities in serving on a corporate board are attended by substantial personal financial risks—not least of which is the specter of shareholder litigation. Exculpatory charter provisions, such as Section...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Creditor’s Right To File Fiduciary Duty Claims

While it is generally known that creditors may only file derivative suits when the company is insolvent, there have been many open issues about what exactly that means. This decision answers many of those questions by...more

Director Equity Grants Subject to Entire Fairness Review

In Valma v. Templeton et al, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that grants of restricted stock units, or RSUs, to directors of Citrix Systems, Inc. were subject to an entire fairness standard of review. The court found...more

Avoiding Personal Liability: A Guide For Directors And Officers

According to the popular media, we are living in an era of corporate crime. Scandals like Enron, HealthSouth and WorldCom stretch so far back they seem like they are not even of this millennium. Among the milestones since...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - January 2015

In this issue: - News from the Courts - Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Fiduciary Duties in Sale Context and Overturns Judicial Imposition of Auction in Deal with Passive Market Check - Illinois Court...more

Delaware Court Confirms Applicability of Business Judgment Rule to Investment Decisions of Insolvent Corporations

In its October 1, 2014 decision in Quadrant Structured Prods. Co. v. Vertin, et al., C.A. No. 6990, the Delaware Court of Chancery applied the protections afforded under the business judgment rule to investment strategies...more

Georgia Supreme Court: Business Judgment Rule Valid, But Bank Officers Can Still Be Liable

In the context of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) litigation against the former directors and officers of a failed bank, the Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the business judgment rule in the...more

Business Judgment Rule in Georgia: Not a "Get Out of Jail Free Card" for Officers and Directors

The Georgia Supreme Court has adopted the Business Judgment Rule with a very important nuance that requires officers and directors to not only be prepared when making their decisions but to document their preparations in...more

Recent Practical Effects of “Just Saying No”

In the past few months, we have seen an increasing number of hostile or unsolicited M&A bids where boards of directors of target companies have resisted bidders’ advances. Traditionally, the board-friendly Delaware approach,...more

Does the Business Judgment Rule Protect Bank Officers and Directors?

When a corporation suffers significant losses, or ultimately fails, frustrated shareholders, creditors, or others often try to sue the corporation and/or its officers and directors for losses caused by mismanagement of the...more

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Application of Business Judgment Review to Merger with Controlling Stockholder

In Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp, the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Court of Chancery's 2013 decision that a going-private merger with a controlling stockholder may be subject to the deferential business...more

Top 5 Delaware Case Developments in 2013 for M&A Practitioners

During 2013, in addition to the important changes to the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”) and the Limited Liability Company Act, described here, the Delaware courts issued a number of decisions that have a direct...more

Two Certified Issues to the Georgia Supreme Court Will Address Application of the Business Judgment Rule to Bank Officers and...

In an unexpected turn of events, two recent cases arising out of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia have resulted in two sets of certified questions to the Georgia Supreme Court that will likely have...more

Can Your Director Bank On The Business Judgment Rule?

Ever had one of those days where you think you’re acting with good faith, diligence, and care, and yet you still get sued by the FDIC? The directors and officers of the now defunct Buckhead Community Bank in Georgia find...more

Federal Court Allows FDIC D&O Suit Involving Business Judgment Rule To Proceed

On November 14, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia denied motions to dismiss filed by former officers and directors of a failed federal thrift who allegedly contributed to the bank’s collapse...more

Navigating Fiduciary Duties In Private Company Mergers And Acquisitions

I. Introduction. The conduct of corporate directors and officers is subject to particular scrutiny in the context of business combinations (whether friendly or hostile), executive compensation and other affiliated...more

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