Derivative Suit Board of Directors

News & Analysis as of

Caspian Select Credit Master Fund Ltd. v. Gohl, C.A. No. 10244-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 28, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss direct and derivative claims against the company’s board and controlling stockholders for breaches of fiduciary duty...more

Southern District of Florida Case Challenging Bylaw Requiring Minimum Stake to Sue Dismissed

As we have previously discussed, there has been a growing trend of corporations’ adopting various types of bylaws to define the bounds of shareholder litigation. These include forum-selection bylaws and fee-shifting bylaws...more

Update from Wilson Elser’s D&O Insurance Digest

Litigation Developments and Mega Settlements - Dole Food, Inc. Derivative Action – Delaware Chancery Court Finds D&Os Engaged in Fraud - Dole Food, Inc. shareholders sued Dole Chairman and CEO David Murdock and Dole...more

Shareholder Suit Challenging Groundbreaking Minimum-Support-To-Sue Bylaw Dismissed

In what is believed to be the first case nationwide seeking to strike down a groundbreaking corporate bylaw aimed at combatting frivolous shareholder class actions, Emergent Capital, Inc., has secured the dismissal with...more

Court Of Chancery Outlines Discovery In Books and Records Case

First, the discovery cannot be of the very records the plaintiff seeks to obtain, for that will give him the relief he seeks before he proves his case. Second, it is often the case that the records are being sought for use in...more

Mergers & Acquisitions Glossary

This Glossary contains many of the important terms and definitions used in the M&A world. The Glossary is not exhaustive, however. Like most areas of the law, M&A is a highly complex subject that involves several legal and...more

Court Of Chancery Denies Standing After Spin-Off

After a spin–off of a subsidiary, there is a question as to whether the subsidiary’s stockholders have standing to bring a derivative suit on behalf of the subsidiary for past wrongs against the subsidiary committed by the...more

In re General Motors Company Derivative Litig., C.A. No. 9627-VCG (Del. Ch. June 26, 2015) (Glasscock, VC)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed a derivative complaint under Rule 23.1, finding that plaintiffs failed to show that the board of directors (the “Board”) of General Motors Company (“GM”) acted in...more

Should Your Startup Become a Public Benefit Corporation?

With the increased attention paid to companies that feature public benefits or social impact as part of their mission or business plan and with the rise of social impact investors, more and more states are enacting public...more

Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Claims Even Though Entire Fairness Arguably Applied

Delaware’s requirements for stockholders to maintain derivative actions reflect the twin principles of director management and control and accountability. Because directors manage the business and affairs of Delaware...more

No Calm In Delaware After Calma v. Templeton

In derivative suits, cases are essentially lost and won at the motion to dismiss stage.  Unless the defendants succeed in winning dismissal, they must confront an unhappy choice between continued litigation with all of its...more

Court Of Chancery Explains That The Existence Of A Controlling Stockholder Does Not Determine Demand Is Excused

Teamsters Union 25 Health Services & Insurance Plan v. Baiera, C.A. No. 9503-CB (July 13, 2015) - A transaction with a controlling stockholder that is the subject of a derivative complaint still requires that a...more

How Public Companies Can Prepare For The Executive Compensation Clawback Regime

Many public companies have not waited for the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to mandate executive compensation recovery policies, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Shareholder and peer pressure has resulted in the...more

Court Of Chancery Explores Risk Management Duties

As this decision notes, only if a Board is consciously failing to follow its duty is the Board potentially liable for a failure to monitor risk and the resulting harm to the corporation. That in turn requires some sort of...more

Closely-Held Shareholder Derivative Actions are Alive and Well in Texas

After 30 years of running his family-owned business, Hillbilly Oil Co., Jed Clampett decided to retire in 2013. The board of directors elects Jethro Bodine as Hillbilly’s President and Elly May as Vice President. Both Jethro...more

Ironworkers Dist. Council of Phila. & Vicinity Ret. & Pension Plan v. Andreotti, C.A. No. 9714-VCG (Del. Ch. May 8, 2015)...

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted a motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s derivative complaint under Court of Chancery Rule 23.1, and in doing so, confirmed that there is a heavy burden confronting derivative...more

Protecting Directors and Officers From Derivative Liability Arising From Data Breaches

With data breaches affecting companies across virtually every industry, cyber security has remained front page news. Lawsuits brought by aggrieved consumers and financial institutions against companies that have suffered data...more

Court of Chancery Upholds Right To Secondary Offering

When investors bargain for the right to have their stock sold in a secondary offering after the company goes public, fiduciary duties normally do not operate to restrict that right. Hence, it is not possible to object...more

Delaware Chancery Court Holds that Creditor Plaintiffs in Derivative Suits May Satisfy Standing Requirement by Showing...

In Quadrant Structured Products Co., Ltd. v. Vertin, C.A. No. 6990-VCL, 2015 WL 2062115 (Del. Ch. May 4, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery held that a creditor plaintiff needs only establish that a corporation was...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Rights of Creditors and Duties of Directors of Insolvent Delaware Entities Clarified

When companies are in financial distress the question arises as to what rights shift to creditors from shareholders or other equity owners. The Delaware Chancery Court recently addressed this issue in some detail in Quadrant...more

Delaware Offers New Guidance on Enforcing Fiduciary Duties Owed to Insolvent Corporations

On May 4, 2015, Vice Chancellor Travis Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision in Quadrant Structured Products Co., Ltd. v. Vertin, analyzing creditors’ standing to bring derivative claims against directors...more

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

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