Derivative Suit Board of Directors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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