Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

News & Analysis as of

Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Quarterly

Welcome to the fourth issue of Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Quarterly, Seyfarth’s quarterly publication of the Securities & Financial Litigation Group focusing on decisions or other items of interest for...more

Hawaii Supreme Court Holds a Primary Insurer Cannot Gamble with the Excess Insurer’s Money

On June 29, 2015, in responding to a certified question from the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, the Hawaii Supreme Court held in St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., SCCQ-14-0000727,...more

CMS Investment Holdings, LLC v. Castle et al., C.A. No. 9468–VCP (Del. Ch. June 23, 2015) (Parsons, VC)

In this decision, the Delaware Court of Chancery largely declined to dismiss claims for breach of a limited liability company agreement, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, breach...more

Limits on the Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

In Tug Hill Construction Inc., the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“Board”) recognized the limits of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. In this case, the government entered into a firm, fixed-price...more

Unfinished Negotiations Might Generate Treble Damages

The North Carolina Business Court has recognized a new type of claim: a claim for failing to negotiate in good faith. Raising the stakes further, the court has held that failing to negotiate in good faith could lead to treble...more

Louisiana Supreme Court Holds That Statute May Confer Broad Duties On Insurers

In Kelly v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., the Supreme Court of Louisiana recently held that an insurer can be liable for bad faith failure to settle a claim even if it has not received a firm offer to settle the claim. The...more

Seventh Circuit Takes on Dairy Parlors, Damages, and Dealerships

A recent Seventh Circuit opinion written by Judge Posner addresses both the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and some issues of damages proof in a particularly appropriate Wisconsin context: dairy-equipment...more

When the Federal Govt acts badly, but not badly enough to show bad faith – what’s a contractor to do?

In the prior issue of this newsletter, we included an article on the high standard of proof and the practical considerations for a federal government contractor claiming that the federal government acted in bad faith in its...more

Court Of Chancery Again Limits Covenant Claims

Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc. v. The Dow Chemical Company, C.A. No. 8666-VCP (June 5, 2015) This is yet another decision declining to uphold a claim based on the covenant to deal in good faith and fairly....more

The Rewards of Crafting Explicit Earn-Out Provisions

Those of us involved in drafting M&A agreements spend a considerable amount of time vigilantly and artfully drafting certain contractual provisions to protect our client and ensure that our client receives the maximum rights...more

Courts Say There’s No Claim for “Reverse Bad Faith.” Could They Be Wrong?

Last month, in State Auto Property & Casualty Ins. Co. v. Hargis, No. 13-5020 (6th Cir. May 6, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit predicted that the Kentucky Supreme Court would not allow insurers to sue...more

Court Denies Motion To Compel Arbitration, Finding Terms Of Agreement To Arbitrate Inadequately Disclosed

A New York district court denied defendant Gogo LLC and Gogo Inc. (collectively “Gogo”) motions to transfer venue, compel arbitration, and dismiss for lack of standing in a lawsuit relating to internet...more

Lazard Tech. Partners, LLC v. Qinetiq North America Operations LLC, No. 464,2014 (Del. Apr. 23, 2015) (Strine, C.J.)

In this appeal of a post-trial bench decision by the Court of Chancery, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Chancery’s finding that a buyer did not breach an earn-out provision in a merger agreement. The...more

Federal Court Determines that General Contractor’s Unreasonable Exercise of its Broad Discretion over Scheduling and Sequencing of...

In a recent decision, Elec. Contractors, Inc. v. Fid. & Deposit Co. of Maryland, No. 3:13-CV-00514 MPS, 2015 WL 1444481 (D. Conn. Mar. 30, 2015), the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut dismissed on...more

Australian Employment Contracts And What Terms Will Now Be Implied After Barker

The long awaited High Court of Australia decision in Commonwealth of Australia v Barker held that a duty of mutual trust and confidence is not implied into Australian contracts of employment... Many commentators...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Continued Employment Is Lawful Consideration for a Non-Compete

On April 30, 2015, the Wisconsin Supreme Court took a stand on a hot-button for employers by holding that continued at-will employment is legal consideration that will support a reasonably drafted restrictive covenant signed...more

Supreme Court Confirms Limited Scope Of The Fair Dealing Covenant

This is another decision that confirms that the implied covenant that the parties will act in good faith and deal fairly with one another is not available to expand the parties’ contract rights. ...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Steps Towards a Capital Markets Union - The European Commission is consulting on a blueprint for creating a harmonized capital market across the EU, to facilitate capital raising in the EU while maintaining consumer and...more

Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings LLC Motion to Dismiss RMBS Claims Granted in Part

On April 3, 2015, Judge Laura Swain of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted in part and denied in part Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings LLC’s (“MSMC”) motion to dismiss breach of...more

The Narrow Contours of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith

Delaware law implies a covenant of good faith and fair dealing into every contract. The Delaware Supreme Court's recent opinion in Nationwide Emerging Managers LLC v. NorthPointe Holdings LLC, No. 441, 2014 (Del. Supr., Mar....more

N.C. Court of Appeals Addresses Common Affirmative Defenses In Commercial Foreclosure Context

A recent opinion from the North Carolina Court of Appeals addresses some common borrower defenses within the context of foreclosure and statute of frauds issues: compromise and settlement, accord and satisfaction, the...more

Ellis v. OTLP GP, LLC, C.A. No. 10495-VCN (Del. Ch. Jan. 30, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery denied plaintiffs’ motion to expedite certain contractual claims arising from the sale of a limited partnership after finding that the claims were not colorable. Plaintiffs were...more

Supreme Court Explains Again The Limits Of The Fair Dealing Covenant

This is yet another Supreme Court decision marking the bounds of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The covenant is not to be used to modify the terms of a contract, to add terms the parties chose to not include or...more

Fortis Advisors LLC v. Dialog Semiconductor PLC, C.A. No. 9522-CB (Del. Ch. Jan. 30, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted a motion to dismiss certain claims relating to a dispute over earn-out payments owed to the former equity holders of iWatt, Inc. (“iWatt”) following the sale of iWatt...more

Court Of Chancery Limits Implied Covenant Claims

When a contract spells out that its obligations are to be carried out in a “commercially reasonable best efforts” manner, it will be harder to argue there is any gap that the covenant of good faith and fair dealing may fill....more

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