Derivative Suit

News & Analysis as of

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

Here’s One Way To Recover Attorneys’ Fees Without Adopting A Fee Shifting Bylaw

With the ongoing hullabaloo concerning the legislative demise of fee shifting bylaw provisions under Delaware law, little attention has been paid to California law. More importantly, no one seems to have noticed that...more

It’s Time To Put A Stop To Fee-Shifting (But Not In the Way You Might Think)

The problem with “fee-shifting bylaws” starts with the name.  A better name might be “anti fee-shifting bylaws” because they end the fee shifting that otherwise applies.  Without fee-shifting bylaws, plaintiffs’ attorneys are...more

Delaware Court Limits Stockholder Ratification Defense for Derivative Claim Challenging Director Compensation - Court Permits...

In Calma v. Templeton, et al., C.A. No. 9579-CB, (Del. Court of Chancery, April 30, 2015), the stockholders of Citrix Systems, Inc. (the “Company” or “Citrix”) had previously approved a compensation plan with few limits;...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

Dismissal Of Involuntary Dissolution Action Pulls The Plug On Corporate Buy Out

Sometimes, shareholders are divided on whether a corporation should live or die. In these cases, the California Corporations Code provides an option that allows for the continued existence of a corporation. In any action...more

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Dismisses Failed Bank Shareholder Derivative Suit under FIRREA

On April 21, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a bank shareholders’ suit against a bank holding company – and its officers and directors – for breach of fiduciary duty. Barnes v....more

Appellate Court Notes

- AC34886 - State v. Bush - AC35418 - State v. LaFleur - AC36275 - North Star Contracting Corp. v. Albright This case dealt with who is the proper party to bring a shareholder derivative action. A...more

Impact of Delaware Fee-Shifting Provisions on Derivative Actions in California

A recent decision in the Delaware Supreme Court, in conjunction with the broad California exceptions to the internal affairs doctrine, may dictate the legal landscape of shareholder litigation in California in the near...more

Cybersecurity Breach: Are Board Members at Risk?

It seems a month does not pass in which some sort of breach of confidential data of a business is not announced to the public. With the increase in cybersecurity breaches, so increases board members’ exposure to litigation...more

Courts Continue to Dismiss Shareholder Suits Based on FCPA Violations

On March 16, 2015, Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the Southern District of New York dismissed a shareholder derivative suit filed by Sylvia Pritika against the CEO and others of Avon Products Inc. ("Avon") alleging breach of...more

Wannabe Derivative Plaintiffs of Delaware Corporations Cannot Skirt Delaware Law By Filing Suit in California

It is well-established that a shareholder-plaintiff may not assert derivative claims against a corporation’s officers or directors unless he or she makes a pre-suit demand on the corporation’s board of directors and alleges...more

Say-On-Pay Vote Did Not Create Disclosure Obligation

In Liang v. Berger, the plaintiff in a derivative action alleged the officers and directors of ARAID Pharmaceuticals failed to disclose material negative information about a drug under development in a timely manner. Among...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Fiduciary Duty Claim Against Former Counsel

In a few weeks’ time over at Appellate Strategist’s sister blog, the Illinois Supreme Court Review, we’ll address the question of just how rare it is to get an unpublished decision – what we in Illinois call a Rule 23 order –...more

Shareholder’s Challenge to Smith & Wesson SLC’s Independence Misfires in the First Circuit

On February 4, 2015, the First Circuit affirmed the summary dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit, which brought Nevada state claims for breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, unjust enrichment, and...more

Unregistered Foreign LLCs – Are They In Violation?

The California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (RULLCA), which took effect on January 1 of last year, is fraught with drafting mysteries.  Why, for example, did the legislature deem it necessary to change the...more

District Court Interprets Limitations Savings Statute

This is an interesting decision because it interprets the seldom-used Delaware Savings Statute [10 Del. C. Section 8118]. ...more

Is It Worth It For Plaintiffs' Counsel To Gamble On Merger Class Actions in North Carolina?

I hadn't written anything yet about the multiple shareholder actions challenging the merger of PokerTek -- a developer and distributor of electronic table (gambling) games -- with Multimedia Games -- another developer and...more

Data Breach Plaintiffs Survive Dismissal Against Target

Target’s 2013 data breach has generated over 100 consumer lawsuits, which were consolidated last year before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. On December 18, 2014, Judge Paul A. Magnuson issued a...more

When a Minority Stockholder May Be Deemed a Controller

In just the past three months, the Delaware Court of Chancery has issued four opinions (In re KKR Financial Holdings LLC Shareholder Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 9210-CB; In re Crimson Exploration Stockholder Litigation, C.A....more

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms Chancery Court’s Broad Authority to Impose Use Restrictions on Information Obtained From Section...

The Delaware Supreme Court reversed the Chancery Court’s decision that it lacked authority to impose the requested use restriction, noting that Section 220(c) authorizes the Chancery Court in the exercise of discretion to...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Under Nevada Law, a Prior Stockholder’s Litigation of Demand Futility Precludes Another Stockholder From...

In Arduini v. Hart, 2014 WL 7156764 (9th Cir. Dec. 17, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit considered whether the doctrine of issue preclusion prevents a stockholder from relitigating a prior...more

California Court of Appeal Applies Delaware Law to Deny Discovery in Shareholder Derivative Action

In Jones v. Martinez, 230 Cal. App. 4th 1248 (2014), the California Court of Appeal, Second Division, held that a plaintiff asserting a shareholder derivative action against directors of a Delaware corporation in a California...more

9th Circuit Upholds Issue Preclusion In Subsequent Derivative Suit

Derivative suits rarely arrive alone. When something goes awry, directors and officers can be expected to see multiple suits based on demand futility as well as wrongful demand refusal. Often, suits will be filed at...more

Lessons For Corporate Directors From The Wyndham Data Breach Derivative Action

On October 20, 2014, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation won dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit seeking damages arising out of three data breaches that occurred between 2008 and 2010. Dennis Palkon, et al. v. Stephen P....more

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