Derivative Suit Shareholders

News & Analysis as of

Seventh Circuit Applies Strong Business Judgment Rule to Reject Assertion of Demand Futility

In a recent decision in a diversity case, the Seventh Circuit deferred to a state legislature’s “strongly pro-management version of the business judgment rule,” rejecting a derivative claim filed by shareholders in an Indiana...more

2015 Half-year in review M&A legal developments

We set out below a number of interesting English court decisions and market developments which have taken place and their impact on M&A transactions. This review looks at these developments and gives practical guidance on...more

Business Litigation Reporter October 2015

Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Reporter provides timely summaries of key cases and other developments within dedicated Business Litigation sessions and related courts throughout the country – courts within which...more

Navigating Derivative Lawsuits Against Mutual Funds After Northstar

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this spring held that mutual fund shareholders could maintain direct claims against the fund’s trustees for breach of their common law fiduciary duties. Before Northstar v. Schwab, such...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When A Dilution Claim Is Direct

It is often said that when a majority stockholder issues more stock to himself at an unfair price that is a direct claim and not derivative. But as this decision points out, that is a little too simplistic....more

Still a Target: Court Certifies Bank Class Claims Against Retailer Following Data Breach

Although Target has tentatively settled consumer data breach class action claims, the retailer remains in the crosshairs of the plaintiffs’ class action bar. On September 15, a Minnesota federal district court certified a...more

Failure To Follow Up Demand Dooms Derivative Suit

Shareholders wanting to pursue a derivative suit all come to the same fork in the road.  One fork is to make a demand.  The other is to file a lawsuit and allege that demand would have been futile.  Most plaintiffs choose the...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

Former In-House Attorney Cannot Duck Trade Secrets Allegations with Anti-SLAPP Motion

On July 17, 2015, a California appellate court affirmed the denial of an intellectual property attorney’s anti-SLAPP motion against his former employer. Terrence Wyles, the defendant and former in-house counsel for medical...more

Glossary of Important Securities Regulation Terms and Definitions

This Glossary is designed to provide law students taking Securities Regulation with a tool that will assist them in learning the basic language of securities law and achieve a working knowledge of the fundamental principles...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

A Firewall for the Boardroom: Best Practices to Insulate Directors and Officers From Derivative Lawsuits and Related Regulatory...

Shortly after the massive 2013 Target data breach, shareholders filed four derivative lawsuits against the company’s directors and some of its officers (13 CARE 624, 3/20/15). The shareholders alleged that the defendants had...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

Checking in on Target’s Derivative Litigation: 18 Months Later, Directors Remain Stuck in the Checkout Line

Everyone remembers the Target Corporation data breach, one of the worst in history. In late 2013, hackers forced their way into Target’s computer system, accessing the information of approximately 70 million customers,...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

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

"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

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

Northstar v. Schwab: The Ninth Circuit’s End Run Around Derivative Lawsuits in the Mutual Fund Context

It is well recognized that only investors have standing to sue a mutual fund on behalf of a class of investors and that a fiduciary duty claim accusing fund trustees of mismanagement is the property of the fund, and not of...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

Here’s One Way To Recover Attorneys’ Fees Without Adopting A Fee Shifting Bylaw

With the ongoing hullabaloo concerning the legislative demise of fee shifting bylaw provisions under Delaware law, little attention has been paid to California law. More importantly, no one seems to have noticed that...more

It’s Time To Put A Stop To Fee-Shifting (But Not In the Way You Might Think)

The problem with “fee-shifting bylaws” starts with the name.  A better name might be “anti fee-shifting bylaws” because they end the fee shifting that otherwise applies.  Without fee-shifting bylaws, plaintiffs’ attorneys are...more

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