Business Judgment Rule

News & Analysis as of

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

Delaware County Employees Retirement Fund v. Sanchez, No. 702, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015) (Strine, C.J.)

In this en banc decision, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of derivative claims for failure to plead demand futility adequately. The Court held that a director’s “deep friendship” with an...more

Did 19 Law Professors Get The Business Judgment Rule Wrong?

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about the amicus curiae brief filed by 19 law school professors in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Ass’n, a case now pending before the United States Supreme Court.  Being a California corporate...more

Espinoza v. Zuckerberg, No. 9745-CB (Del. Ch. Oct. 28, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In a decision reinforcing the importance of observing corporate formalities, Chancellor Bouchard found that a controlling stockholder cannot ratify a board’s self-dealing with something as informal as an affidavit, a...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

Informed Approval of M&A Transactions by Disinterested Stockholders Invokes the Business Judgment Rule

In Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015), the Delaware Supreme Court sitting en banc unanimously affirmed the Delaware Court of Chancery decision that the voluntary judgment of the fully...more

Business Judgment Rule Applies to Merger Approved by Informed, Disinterested Stockholders

Delaware Supreme Court’s ruling provides additional grounds for dismissal in post-closing stockholder litigation regarding mergers that are not subject to entire fairness review. Introduction - Clarifying a...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

CLIENT ALERT: Delaware Supreme Court Finds That Fully Informed Stockholder Vote Approving Merger Invoked Business Judgment Rule

Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015). In this opinion affirming the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a purported class action challenging an acquisition transaction, the Delaware...more

Delaware Supreme Court Resolves KKR-Gantler Confusion

There has been some debate about the effect of an approval by a majority of a company’s stockholders of a transaction with an unrelated third party - does that invoke the Business Judgment Rule? The question arose over...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

Fraud Means a “Fairer” Price: In re Dole Finds CEO and COO Personally Liable for Over $148 Million in Damages

On August 27, 2015 the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial decision, In re Dole Food Company, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, that held two of Dole’s directors, David Murdock and Michael Carter, personally liable for...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

Bank Boards and Corporate Officers Review your Policies and Procedures: Business Judgment Rule Protections May Be Loosening

A recent decision from the Fourth Circuit, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation v. Rippy, No. 14-2078 (4th Cir. Aug. 18, 2015), may signal a weakening of the business judgment rule’s long-standing protections for corporate...more

California, Nevada and 38 Other States Have These, But Delaware Doesn’t

According to the National Center for State Courts, forty states, including California and Nevada, have established intermediate courts of appeal.  California’s Court of Appeal was established by a constitutional amendment...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

In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. S’holder Litig., C.A. No. 564, 2014 (Del. May 14, 2015) & Leal v. Meeks, C.A. No. 706, 2014...

In these interlocutory appeals, the Delaware Supreme Court resolved a long-standing split in Delaware authorities by ruling that independent directors (including members of a special committee negotiating a transaction with a...more

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