News & Analysis as of

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

Investor Claims NetTALK Executives Took Control of Board

On November 5, Telestrata, LLC brought a derivative shareholder action and direct action against NetTALK.com, Inc., a publicly traded telecommunication company, and NetTALK’s directors and officers, alleging that the...more

Minority Shareholders' Alleged Control of Management and Operations Does Not Establish Domination of the Board

Emphasizing the demanding pleading standards a shareholder must meet to show that a minority shareholder controls a board of directors, on November 25, Vice Chancellor Glasscock dismissed claims for breach of fiduciary duties...more

Wyndham Decision Provides Guidance to Corporate Directors and Officers in Responding to a Data Breach

U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler of the District of New Jersey recently provided much needed guidance to directors and officers on their duties and responsibilities with regard to cybersecurity. In Palkon v. Holmes, et...more

Consequences of a Data Breach: Lessons from Wyndham Worldwide

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

Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Action Targeting Directors and Officers for Data Breaches

Earlier this week a federal district court in New Jersey dismissed with prejudice a shareholder derivative suit, Palkon v. Holmes, No. 14-CV-01234 (SRC) (D.N.J.), that tried to blame the directors and officers at hospitality...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

Delaware Court of Chancery Upholds North Carolina Forum Selection Bylaw for Delaware Corporation

Yesterday, in City of Providence v. First Citizens BancShares, Inc., Chancellor Andre Bouchard of the Delaware Court of Chancery held in a case of first impression that the board of a Delaware corporation may validly adopt a...more

Significant Legislation Affecting Business Passed by General Assembly

At the end of last week, the North Carolina General Assembly passed significant legislation affecting the State’s business legal climate. With large bipartisan majorities, the Legislature adopted Senate Bill 853 (SB 853),...more

Houseman v. Sagerman, C.A. No. 8897-VCG (Del. Ch. Apr. 16, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery held that the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead that the board failed to satisfy its Revlon duties in good faith and to negotiate consideration for alleged derivative claims that...more

Second Circuit Reinforces High Pleading Burden for Director Duty of Oversight Claims

In Welch v. Havenstein, No. 13-2648-cv, 2014 WL 322055 (2d Cir. Jan. 30, 2014) (summary order), aff’g In re SAIC Inc. Derivative Litigation, 948 F. Supp. 2d 366 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the...more

North Carolina Supreme Court Addresses Duties of Corporate Directors

On November 8, 2013, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a rare opinion addressing the duties of corporate directors and reaffirming that those duties are generally owed only to the corporation itself rather than the...more

In re Trados: Directors Dodge a Bullet

Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster’s August 16 post-trial opinion in In re Trados Inc. Shareholder Litigation1 (hereinafter, “In re Trados”) has attracted a significant amount of attention. Much as both the Chancery and the...more

Delaware Chancery Court Permits Shareholder to Bring Fiduciary Claim for Board’s Violation of a Stock Incentive Plan

On November 8, the Delaware Chancery Court denied a motion to dismiss a derivative action brought by a shareholder of Healthways, Inc. against the company’s president, Ben Leedle, Jr., and the board of directors for approving...more

North Carolina Business Court Holds that Shareholders Cannot Directly Sue Officers and Directors in Merger Challenge

A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court potentially makes it more difficult for shareholders to challenge mergers and acquisitions in North Carolina. The Court held that an action against a company’s officers...more

DiRienzo v. Lichtenstein, et al., C.A. No. 7094-VCP (Del. Ch. Sept. 30, 2013) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this lengthy memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed claims relating to a series of complex transactions in which a hedge fund, previously organized as a private limited partnership, was converted by its...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

Don't Sue A North Carolina Board Of Directors Over A Merger Without Reading This Case

Last week's Order in Gusinsky v. Flanders Corp., 2013 NCBC 46, should be required reading for lawyers thinking of suing the directors of a corporation in North Carolina over a merger transaction. It provides guidance on the...more

Shareholder Options for Curbing Business Mismanagement

Shareholders exercise very limited managerial rights over a corporation. Nevertheless, shareholders represent the true owners of the business and the powers that directors and officers wield ultimately flow from them. For...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

50% Shareholder Didn't Owe Fiduciary Duty To His 50% Co-Shareholder

This week's decision from the Business Court in Maurer v. Maurer, 2013 NCBC 44 is a continuation of the litigation between Jill Maurer and the company owned by her and her husband, which was the subject of three Business...more

Ninth Circuit Rules that Say-On-Pay Suit Belongs in State Court

In a recent ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that certain related shareholder derivative suits arising out of a say-on-pay decision involving Pico Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”) were...more

M&A Deal Counsel’s Role In Creating A Winning Written Record For Defending Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Litigation

While M&A transactions give rise to many different types of litigation, including disputes between the merger parties and statutory appraisal actions, the most common type of litigation stemming from public company mergers is...more

New Jersey Makes Itself Business Friendly

On April 2, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed P.L. 2013, C.40, P.L. 2013, C.41 and P.L. 2013, C.42 into law. The three laws are intended to make New Jersey more business friendly by aligning New Jersey's corporate statutes...more

Delaware Supreme Court Issues Decision Upholding Collateral Estoppel in Shareholder Derivative Actions

The Delaware Supreme Court issued a decision on April 4, 2013, in Pyott v. Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System concerning duplicative shareholder derivative actions and the "race to the courthouse" that...more

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