Derivative Suit Shareholder Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Delaware Supreme Court Holds Tooley Direct vs. Derivative Rule Is No Bar to Parent Corporation’s Contract Claim

As previously reported, in NAF Holdings, LLC v. Li & Fung (Trading) Limited, 772 F.3d 740 (2d Cir. 2014), the Second Circuit certified to the Delaware Supreme Court an unusual question regarding whether the direct vs....more

"The New Mutual Fund Exception: Ninth Circuit Allows Direct Claims to Redress Derivative Injury"

Courts have sought to simplify their approach to determining whether an action is derivative or direct — a determination that the Delaware Supreme Court has acknowledged “is sometimes difficult.” Tooley v. Donaldson, Lufkin &...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

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

How Collateral Estoppel Can Be Your Best Friend in Stockholder Litigation

Two recent decisions from the Delaware Court of Chancery have dusted off the venerable doctrine of collateral estoppel to dismiss stockholder claims. Of course, this issue is not new in Delaware. In 2013, the Delaware Supreme...more

A Little Less Murky: The Court of Appeal Clarifies the Line Between Oppression and Derivative Actions

On May 26, 2015, the Court of Appeal for Ontario released its decision in Rea et al v Wildeboer, clarifying the distinct role of derivative actions under the Ontario Business Corporations Act. The role is so distinct that the...more

Business Litigation Reporter - May 2015

Lawsuit Dismissed Where Defendant Hulu Did Not “Knowingly” Disclose Personal Identifying Information. In In re: Hulu Privacy Litigation, 2015 WL 1503506 (N.D. Cal. March 31, 2015), the plaintiffs alleged that Hulu had...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

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

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

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

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

Federal District Court in New Jersey Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Action against Wyndham Relating to Data Breach

On October 20, 2014, the United States District Court in New Jersey granted a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss in favor of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation’s directors and officers in a shareholder derivative action arising out of the...more

Cybersecurity Litigation Monthly Newsletter

In August, Paytime, Inc., a payroll services company, moved to dismiss a putative class action filed in the wake of a data breach in which the personal and financial information of more than 230,000 people was compromised. ...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

Data Breach Case Update: Shareholder Derivative Suit Dismissed

We recently discussed the increase in data breach litigation which resulted after several high-profile data breaches. You can read those articles here and here. Not surprisingly, several of these suits involve class actions...more

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