Business Judgment Rule Board of Directors

News & Analysis as of

Cybersecurity, Boards and Cyber-Board "Experts": Caution Should Rule

A continuing frequent question from public companies is how a board should be constituted to oversee cybersecurity. Many public companies foist this additional burden on the audit committee. Those large enough to have a...more

Bankruptcy Court Opinion Clarifies California Law on Duties of Directors & Officers Upon Insolvency

It is not unusual in the lifecycle of a start-up for the company to hit road blocks and have cash flow issues. During these times, the board and its members will ask the company’s professionals what their fiduciary duties are...more

Top Courts in Delaware and New York Affirm Business Judgment Rule Protection Where Procedural Safeguards are Followed

In recent decisions, both the Delaware Supreme Court and the New York Court of Appeals affirmed defendant-friendly lower court rulings, holding that, if appropriate procedural safeguards are employed in M&A transactions,...more

Seventh Circuit Applies Strong Business Judgment Rule to Reject Assertion of Demand Futility

In a recent decision in a diversity case, the Seventh Circuit deferred to a state legislature’s “strongly pro-management version of the business judgment rule,” rejecting a derivative claim filed by shareholders in an Indiana...more

RBC Capital Markets, LLC v. Jervis, No. 140, 2015 (Del. Nov. 30, 2015) (Valihura, J.)

In this en banc decision, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the principal legal holdings and final judgment of the Court of Chancery finding, among other things, that RBC Capital Markets, LLC (“RBC”) aided and abetted...more

Refusal of Stockholder Demand Entitled to Presumption of Business Judgment Rule

In Oliveira v. Sugarman, No. 1980 September Term 2014 (Jan. 28, 2016), the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held that the decision of a board of directors of a Maryland corporation to refuse a stockholder demand is entitled...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Earlier Rulings, Chancery Court Stakes Out New Positions"

Delaware courts tackled a number of issues of importance in 2015. The Delaware Supreme Court clarified prior inconsistent case law by reiterating that deference must be given to decisions made by disinterested directors. It...more

"Director Compensation in the Spotlight"

Individuals serving on company boards of directors should carefully examine director compensation programs and decisions involving their own compensation following an April 30, 2015, ruling by the Delaware Court of Chancery....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

Financial Advisor Conflicts of Interests: Rural/Metro and Other Recent Cases

In a series of recent decisions, Delaware courts have emphasized the potential risks arising when a board’s financial advisor has a conflict of interests. The board of an acquired entity generally will enjoy the...more

The California Political Contribution Case That 19 Law Professors Missed

Earlier this week, I wrote about an amicus curiae brief submitted by 19 law school professors Friedrichs v. Cal. Teachers Ass’n, a case now pending before the United States Supreme Court. In particular, I questioned whether...more

Court of Chancery Applies Business Judgment Standard Under New Supreme Court Precedent

This is an important decision that reverses a prior opinion in the same case. The Court did so because after it issued its prior opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its Corwin decision holding that when a merger is...more

Chancellor Bouchard Rules There Can Be No Ratification Without Works

In reading Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard’s ruling yesterday in Espinoza v. Zuckerberg, 2015 Del. Ch. LEXIS 273 (Del. Ch. 2015), I was reminded of the theological debate among Christians concerning justification by faith.  The...more

Inside M&A - October 2015

Overview of SPACs and Latest Trends - A number of recent successful business combination transactions involving special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) led by prominent sponsors have driven a resurgence in the SPAC...more

Insights: The Delaware Edition - October 2015

We are pleased to share with you the inaugural issue of Insights: The Delaware Edition, a periodic publication addressing significant Delaware deal litigation and corporation law developments. In This Issue: - Q&A...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Reaffirms Important Protections for Corporate Directors"

A trio of opinions from the Delaware Supreme Court, each authored by Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., has reaffirmed Delaware’s deference to the business judgment of disinterested corporate decision-makers and restored...more

"Dole Ruling Serves as Cautionary Tale for Take-Private Deals"

Earlier this year, in a consolidated breach of fiduciary duty and appraisal action, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial opinion that includes many important takeaways for...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

Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015) (Strine, C.J.)

In this opinion affirming the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a stockholder challenge to a merger, the Delaware Supreme Court held that the approval of the merger by a fully informed, disinterested stockholder majority...more

Fourth Circuit: Business Judgment Rule May Not Protect Bank Officers in FDIC Action

Why it matters - Bank officers may be liable in a lawsuit brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) while the directors escaped liability, in a new ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals interpreting...more

Good News for Compensation Committees

With executive compensation under fire from seemingly all directions these days, it’s nice to get some good news occasionally. In this case, that news comes via the Delaware Chancery Court’s recent decision in Friedman v....more

Mergers & Acquisitions Glossary

This Glossary contains many of the important terms and definitions used in the M&A world. The Glossary is not exhaustive, however. Like most areas of the law, M&A is a highly complex subject that involves several legal and...more

Friedman v. Dolan, C.A. No. 9425-VCN (Del. Ch. June 30, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed claims for breach of fiduciary duty and waste under Chancery Rule 12(b)(6), holding that the business judgment rule, rather than entire fairness review, applied to...more

No Calm In Delaware After Calma v. Templeton

In derivative suits, cases are essentially lost and won at the motion to dismiss stage.  Unless the defendants succeed in winning dismissal, they must confront an unhappy choice between continued litigation with all of its...more

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