Business Judgment Rule Derivative Suit

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Educ. Mgmt. Group, Inc. v. Mathews et al., C.A. No. 9110-VCP (Del. Ch. Nov. 3, 2014) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted defendants’ motion to dismiss derivative claims asserted by plaintiff stockholders on the grounds that the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead demand futility under...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Controlling Stockholder Claims and Applies Business Judgment Rule to Merger Suits

In In re KKR Financial Holdings LLC Shareholder Litigation, C.A. No. 9210 (Del. Ch. Oct. 14, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed a shareholder derivative suit brought by shareholders of KKR Financial Holdings LLC...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

Seventh Circuit Increasingly Problematic for Directors and Officers Defending Shareholder Derivative Suits

With its recent decision in Westmoreland County Employee Retirement System v. Parkinson, et al., the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has confirmed that the courts of the Seventh Circuit can be a...more

Using Pennsylvania Law to Defend the Heinz Merger with Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital

Over the past several years, shareholder litigation challenging mergers and acquisitions has become a virtual certainty in any sizeable deal. A recent decision from a state court in Pittsburgh illustrates how Pennsylvania law...more

Appellate Notes: Week of March 25

In This Issue: - SC18915- Misiti, LLC v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America - SC18840- New England Road, Inc. v. Planning & Zoning Commission - SC18804- Cordero v. University of Connecticut...more

Carsanaro, et al. v. Bloodhound Tech., Inc. et al., C.A. No. 7301-VCL (Del. Ch. Mar. 15, 2013) (Laster, V.C.)

In this Opinion, the Court of Chancery denied, in large part, defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims challenging several allegedly self-interested and dilutive transactions....more

Defending Section 162(m) Executive Compensation Derivative Suits in the United States

Decisions regarding executive compensation fall squarely within the discretion of a public company’s board of directors. Recently, however, plaintiffs’ firms have been trying to invade the board’s purview by bringing...more

Delaware Law Update — Delaware Court Applies Heightened Scrutiny to Director Compensation

In an era of intense investor scrutiny and SEC rulemaking regarding executive compensation, a recent decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery raises questions as to the protections afforded to directors when granting...more

Federal Court Applies Delaware Law to Dismiss Shareholder Derivative Claims

On August 21, 2012, Judge Richard G. Andrews of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware dismissed without prejudice a shareholder derivative action alleging that a corporation's 2010 proxy statement...more

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