News & Analysis as of

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sister blog, the Illinois Supreme Court Review, we’ll address the question of just how rare it is to get an unpublished decision – what we in Illinois call a Rule 23 order –...more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

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

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

Expedited Proceedings Denied Where Harm Is Only Speculative

The Delaware Chancery Court recently denied a shareholder’s motion to expedite proceedings to enjoin a company buyout, finding that the shareholder failed to show that any threatened harm from the buyout was imminent,...more

Higher Educ. Mgmt. Group, Inc. v. Mathews et al., C.A. No. 9110-VCP (Del. Ch. Nov. 3, 2014) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted defendants’ motion to dismiss derivative claims asserted by plaintiff stockholders on the grounds that the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead demand futility under...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

In re Sanchez Energy Deriv. Litig., C.A. No. 9132-VCG (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiff stockholders failed to plead particularized facts sufficient to demonstrate demand futility and dismissed the plaintiffs’ fiduciary duty, aiding and...more

Boards Should Put Time and Resources into Cybersecurity Issues – It Is Good for Business and Works as a Defense Strategy

We have previously blogged about Commissioner Aguilar’s recommendations at a NYSE conference, “Cyber Risks and the Boardroom” on what boards of directors should do to ensure that their companies are appropriately considering...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

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Controlling Stockholder Claims and Applies Business Judgment Rule to Merger Suits

In In re KKR Financial Holdings LLC Shareholder Litigation, C.A. No. 9210 (Del. Ch. Oct. 14, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed a shareholder derivative suit brought by shareholders of KKR Financial Holdings LLC...more

The Proper Purpose Of Discovery In Derivative Suits

A plaintiff holding less than 2000 shares files a derivative suit against a corporation’s current or former directors and officers. The trial court finds the complaint to be internally inconsistent and that regulatory...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

Delaware Chancery Rejects Books and Records Demand as Time-Barred

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently found that a shareholder’s demand for books and records was time-barred, as the alleged basis for a derivative action occurred nearly seven years ago and thus was well beyond any...more

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

A federal district court in New Jersey has 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 company...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

The Current View On Direct vs. Derivative

When a member or shareholder of a company or corporation sustains a loss, is that member’s loss directly compensable by a direct suit? Or does the member have to bring a derivative suit on behalf of the corporation? ...more

Julie Friedman v. Dara Khosrowshahi, et al., C.A. No. 9161-CB (Del. Ch. Jul. 16, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss a stockholder’s complaint, challenging the accelerated vesting of the CEO’s restricted stock units based on an alleged violation of...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

Florida Appeals Court Clarifies Law On Derivative And Direct Shareholder Lawsuits

On July 9, 2014, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal issued a landmark opinion in the case of Dinuro Investments, LLC vs. Felisberto Figueira Camacho, et al., 3D13-1242 & 3D13-1246, (July 9, 2014). In Dinuro, the Court...more

Editorial: 3rd DCA Clarifies Derivative Lawsuits

The Third District Court of Appeal has issued a landmark opinion setting forth Florida's law to determine the limited circumstances in which a corporate shareholder or limited liability company member has standing to bring a...more

Federal Court Rejects Court Of Chancery’s Privity Analysis

Two years ago, I wrote about La. Mun. Police Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Pyott, 46 A.3d 313 (Del. Ch. 2012) in which Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster refused to give preclusive effect to federal district court’s dismissal of a...more

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