Duty of Loyalty

News & Analysis as of

Fidelity Prevails In ERISA Float Litigation

The First Circuit joined the Eighth Circuit in finding that Fidelity’s practice of earning overnight “float” interest on the cash paid out to 401(k) participants redeeming shares in mutual funds did not violate ERISA’s duty...more

Proposed Rule Relates to Investment Advisers' Business Continuity and Transition Plans

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently proposed Rule 206(4)-41 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”), which would require registered investment advisers (“firms” or “Advisors”) to adopt...more

SEC Proposes Rule Requiring Investment Advisers to Adopt Business Continuity and Transition Plans; Division of Investment...

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 28, 2016, proposed new Rule 206(4)-4 (Proposed Rule) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act). The Proposed Rule would require every SEC-registered...more

Delaware Law Updates – The Duty of Loyalty: Anything But ‘Hazy Jurisprudence’ on an Exacting, But Narrow, Standard

In a recent decision out of the Delaware Court of Chancery—In re Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. Stockholders Litigation., Consol. C.A. No. 9640-VCG—Vice Chancellor Glasscock was faced with a claim that the board of...more

Employment Law’s “Hulk”-Like Superhero — The Faithless Servant Doctrine — Just Got Stronger

One of the many joys of parenthood is the opportunity to relive one’s childhood. To a parent who grew up on the old-school comic books, the steady roll-out by Marvel Studios of big budget super-hero movies offers a unique...more

Disregard of Speculative Financial Projections Was Not Bad Faith

In a stockholder challenge to a sale of the company, a plaintiff may rebut the business judgment rule by pleading facts that support a reasonable inference that at least half of the directors, who approved the sale, were not...more

401(k) Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries Face an Alarming Number of Stable Value Fund and Other Class Action Lawsuits

In the last several months, plaintiffs have filed multiple class action lawsuits against plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries and stable value fund providers. These lawsuits, which have involved 401(k) plans sponsored by large...more

Court Upholds Allegedly Unfair Master Limited Partnership Transaction

When alternative entities first came into prominence, questions arose concerning the applicability to them and their stakeholders of corporate law fiduciary duty jurisprudence. Eventually the Delaware General Assembly amended...more

Fifth Circuit Decision Includes Important Holdings for ESOP Fiduciaries

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed on May 3, 2016, the holdings of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on numerous issues involving the sale of closely held stock from a...more

Bankruptcy Court Opinion Clarifies California Law on Duties of Directors & Officers Upon Insolvency

It is not unusual in the lifecycle of a start-up for the company to hit road blocks and have cash flow issues. During these times, the board and its members will ask the company’s professionals what their fiduciary duties are...more

Question #272: Competing in California

Question: One of our company’s employees recently left to start a competing business. We think he started this process while he was still employed by us, and that he is probably using information he learned from us. ...more

Directors And Officers’ Ultimate Escape From Personal Liability

In the Ultimate Escapes bankruptcy case, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware recently held that the “business judgment rule” may protect fiduciaries who negotiate and enter into unconventional financing...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When A Minority Stockholder May Have Actual Control Over A Deal

This is another in a series of decisions dealing with the allegation that a minority stockholder controlled a deal through its control of a majority of the board of directors....more

Court Of Chancery Applies Demand Analysis To Changed Board

This is an interesting decision because it applies the demand rules in a derivative case to an odd situation — when some but not all of the board members have changed between when the challenged conduct occurred and when the...more

Affirmed: New York’s Application of the In Pari Delicto Doctrine Bars Faithless Servant Claim and Bankruptcy Insider Exception

A recent decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the “District Court”), affirming a decision of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (the...more

Where Have All the Supervisors Gone? NLRB Further Narrows Definition Under Section 2(11)

In its continuing efforts to rewrite federal labor law to benefit unions, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has again narrowed the definition of “supervisor” under Section 2(11) of the National Labor Relations Act...more

Derivative Settlement With Benefit Personal to Plaintiff Rejected

In 1850, Abraham Lincoln prepared notes for a law lecture. He emphasized the importance of compromise because after litigation, "the nominal winner is often a real loser—in fees, expenses, and waste of time." Delaware law...more

Will Plan Participants’ Demands for Perfection Retire Large 401(k) Plans?

Participants in Anthem Inc.’s $5.1 billion 401(k) plan have sued plan fiduciaries, alleging that they have top-shelf tastes that constitute a breach of the duties of loyalty and prudence owed to participants, and that the...more

Employers Generally Do Not Owe Fiduciary Duties To Employees

In Espinosa v. Aaron’s Rents, Inc., a former employee sued his former employer for defamation and other torts related to the defendant reporting the plaintiff to the police for alleged theft. No. 01-14-00843-CV, 2016 Tex....more

The Duty of Loyalty Awakens

If you’re a Star Wars fan, loyalty probably means waiting ten years for “The Force Awakens.” (Or even longer if you prefer not to count Episodes I-III). For an employee looking to leave her current employer, however, loyalty...more

2015 Year in Review—the Top 10 Trends in New Jersey Employment Law

In 2015, there were important developments in New Jersey employment law. This newsletter examines some of those developments in ten key areas— background checks, whistleblowing, paid sick leave, wage and hour, Law Against...more

Director Cybersecurity Risk Oversight and Actions

This article begins by providing an overview of the duty of directors to oversee risk, including cybersecurity risk, in the cyberattack context and then outlines actions that board of directors are taking as reported by...more

New NC "Ag-Gag" Law Might Conflict with NLRB View of Concerted Activity Rights

North Carolina’s controversial new “Ag-Gag” Law took effect January 1. The bill was passed at the behest of state pork and poultry interests concerned over animal rights activists using employment as a cover to film...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Establishes Test for Compensation Disgorgement When Employee Breaches Duty of Loyalty

The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that a court may order the disgorgement of an employee's compensation when the employee has breached his or her duty of loyalty to the employer—even if the employer has not sustained...more

Common Law Business Partnership – Can You Have a Partner Despite a Contrary Agreement?

Believing that a non-binding term sheet and earlier written agreements precluded any unwritten partnership, Original Oil Production Services (OOPS) cut out its colleague Petroleum United Transfer Zenith (PUTZ) and secretly...more

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