Corporate Officers

News & Analysis as of

Personal Responsibility for PA Tax Assessments

Under Pennsylvania law, there are important exceptions to the general rule that officers, employees and owners of a corporation or limited liability company have no personal liability for the business’s unpaid tax...more

SEC Cops Bust 36 for Failure to File Ownership Reports

The SEC charged 29 officers, directors, or major shareholders for violating federal securities laws requiring them to promptly report information about their holdings and transactions in company stock. Seven publicly-traded...more

Buttonwood Tree Value Partners, L.P. v. R.L Polk & Co., Inc., C.A. No. 9250-VCG (Del. Ch. Aug. 7, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed disclosure and aiding and abetting claims brought against a corporation in connection with a self-tender. In granting the defendant-corporation’s motion to dismiss, the...more

The Root Cause of Skyrocketing Securities Class Action Defense Costs

Why do the costs of defending securities class actions continue to increase? Because of my writing on the subject) I’m asked about the issue a lot. My answer has evolved from blaming biglaw economics – a combination of...more

Stinging Dissent By Commissioner Aguilar: Is The SEC Making Fraudulent Behavior Look Like An Innocent Mistake?

Following on the heels of a case, discussed in this post, in which a CEO and CFO were charged with internal control and books and records violations (but no typical financial statement fraud allegation), comes another case...more

Shareholder-Director Engagement – The Latest Governance Trend?

A few weeks ago several large institutional investors identified as the Shareholder-Director Exchange (SDX) Working Group sent a letter to the lead directors and corporate secretaries of Russell 1000 companies asking them to...more

Rogue CFO IV – The Company Response

In this series we have considered the problem of a rogue CFO, or other executive officer, who defrauds or steals from the company. The focus has been on measures that are designed to prevent the high-level fraud from...more

Limits to the Duty to Preserve

Although a suit against a particular officer of a corporation for sexual harassment would clearly trigger a litigation hold, what must counsel do about less obvious players in a more abstract dispute? The recent case of AMC...more

SEC Charges Corporate Officers with Fraud Arising from Failure to Disclose Internal Controls Issues and Alleged Misrepresentations...

On July 30, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) advanced a novel theory of fraud against the former CEO (Marc Sherman) and CFO (Edward Cummings) of Quality Services Group, Inc. (“QSGI”), a Florida-based...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 30

In this issue: - Amendments to FINRA Rule 2210 Regarding Communications With the Public - Smith & Wesson Pays $2 Million to Resolve SEC Charges - Former Chief Operating Officer Settles SEC Fraud...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

SEC Gives Itself the Home Court Advantage in an Accounting Fraud / Internal Controls Action Against a Corporate CEO

An otherwise mundane SEC announcement on July 30, 2014 of an enforcement action charging a public company CEO and CFO with accounting fraud and internal controls violations is significant because the SEC is proceeding against...more

Pin the Blame on the Corporate Officer: Senators Introduce Hide No Harm Act

Three Senate Democrats recently introduced a bill that seeks to hold company executives of a product maker or seller criminally liable for knowingly "failing to inform and warn of serious dangers" associated with a product....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

Doing Business in Canada: Directors' Liabilities

DIRECTORS’ LIABILITIES - In Canada, there is a legal duty for every director and officer of a corporation to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the corporation when exercising his/her...more

Rationalizing Bribery: Corruption Has No Witness.

This is part three of my four part series on how I "Rationalized Bribery." It addresses the reality that there are usually no witnesses to overseas discussions involving an actual or potentially corrupt transaction....more

Editorial: Fla. Sets Strict Standard For Direct Shareholder Claims

Florida recently clarified the limited circumstances in which a corporate shareholder or limited liability company member has standing to bring a direct claim for damages relating to the company. On July 9, in Dinuro...more

Georgia Supreme Court Applies the Business Judgment Rule to Bank Officers and Directors; Decision Has Implications for Corporate...

In a landmark ruling for officers and directors of Georgia’s financial institutions, the Supreme Court of Georgia held in FDIC v. Loudermilk, S14Q0454 (Ga. July 11, 2014), that officers and directors of banks are protected by...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisition Law News - Second Quarter 2014

In this issue: -Delaware Legislative Update -Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Facial Validity of Fee-Shifting Provisions in Bylaws of Delaware Non-Stock Corporation -News from the Courts: -Court...more

Chancery Court Provides Additional Room for Shareholders Challenging Change of Control Transactions

What you need to know: In its recent decision in Chen v. Howard-Anderson, Delaware’s Court of Chancery held that directors and officers may be found to have acted in bad faith, thereby breaching their fiduciary duty of...more

When is a Consultant an Executive Officer? – SEC Brings Another Case

The SEC has instituted administrative proceedings against a registrant and others alleging that two individuals with prior law violations secretly controlled the operational and management decisions of the registrant while...more

Georgia Supreme Court Affirms Business Judgment Rule

The Georgia Supreme Court has, for the first time, affirmed the existence of the business judgment rule in Georgia common law. More specifically, however, the state Supreme Court held that the business judgment rule does not...more

Counsel to the Company: A Framework for Corporate Governance

As a threshold matter, counsel must identify, and remain clear as to, the identity of its client, which may be the company or a subsidiary, the Board or Board committee, or one or more executives. The identity of the client...more

Hart-Scott-Rodino 2013 Annual Report: Filings Decreased, Transactions Investigated Increased and Enforcement Continues for...

On May 21, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice published the Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report Fiscal Year 2013 (for the period from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013). The Annual Report...more

Defining Corporate Governance: Decisions, Direction, Culture and Risk

When reading about corporate governance, it is hard not to get frustrated. So-called “experts” in the field provide little practical advice but are filled with platitudes that apply to corporate boards, senior management and...more

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