Duty of Loyalty

News & Analysis as of

“A letter of intent is the invention of the devil [that] should be avoided at all costs.” -- Stephen R. Volk, Esq. regarding the...

A Dallas jury recently reminded us why Mr. Volk lamented letters of intent. Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. is currently appealing that jury’s finding of $319MM in actual damages and $914MM for improper benefits due to...more

Actions Speak Louder Than Words or Partnership by Ambush?: Formation of Partnerships in Texas after ETP v. Enterprise

On March 4, 2014, a Dallas jury awarded Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (“ETP”) $319 million in damages after finding that Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. (“Enterprise”) had formed a binding partnership with ETP to build a...more

Striking Out A-Rod: The Faithless Servant Doctrine

The Alex Rodriguez (“A-Rod”) saga is playing out like a classic Greek tragedy. With hubris-laced legal soliloquies and a sports media dutifully taking on its role as the Chorus, all that appears to be missing is the blind...more

TVI Corp. v. Gallagher, C.A. No., 7798-VCP (Del. Ch. Oct. 28, 2013) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery denied defendants’ motion to dismiss a derivative action in part and granted it in part, holding, among other things, that plaintiffs had satisfactorily alleged demand...more

Delaware Chancery Court Permits Shareholder to Bring Fiduciary Claim for Board’s Violation of a Stock Incentive Plan

On November 8, the Delaware Chancery Court denied a motion to dismiss a derivative action brought by a shareholder of Healthways, Inc. against the company’s president, Ben Leedle, Jr., and the board of directors for approving...more

The Perils of In-House Counsel Simultaneously Representing Company and Employee

In Yanez v. Plummer (Nov. 5, 2013, C07026), the Third Appellate District issued an opinion highlighting the perils for an in-house lawyer who simultaneously represents the company and an employee. Union Pacific fired Michael...more

Employer’s Lawyer Who Defended Employee At Deposition May Be Liable To The Employee For Malpractice

Corporations may have free speech rights (Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310 (U.S. 2010)) but they can’t talk. Thus, any deposition testimony must come from the mouths of people who are the agents, employees and directors...more

Zimmerman v. Crothall, C.A. No. 6001-VCP (Del. Ch. Oct. 14, 2013) (Parsons, V.C.)

This memorandum opinion addressed several post-trial motions in a derivative action pursuant to which the plaintiff and unitholder, Zimmerman, sued nominal defendant, Adhezion Biomedical, LLC (“Adhezion”), certain of...more

In re Trados S'holder Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 1512-VCL (Del. Ch. Aug. 16, 2013) (Laster, V.C.)

A former common stockholder filed a purported class action for breach of fiduciary duty arising out of the transaction, alleging that the former Trados directors breached their duty of loyalty by favoring the interests of the...more

The Latest Word From The Supreme Court Of Canada On Conflicts Of Interest: Canadian National Railway Co. V. Mckercher LLP

The Supreme Court of Canada shed a bit more light on the “bright line rule” for determining when a conflict exists when a law firm represents clients whose interests are adverse in the recent decision of Canadian National...more

Kalisman v. Friedman – A California Analysis

A few months ago, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster issued an interesting decision involving director inspection rights and the attorney-client privilege. Kalisman v. Friedman, 2013 Del. Ch. LEXIS 100 (April 17, 2013). ...more

Dissident Director Who Harms Corporation To Further Personal Objectives Violates Duty Of Loyalty

I. Director Duty of Loyalty - Directors owe fiduciary duties to a corporation on whose Board of Directors (“Board”) they serve and effectively to all of its stockholders. The fiduciary duty of loyalty dictates that...more

Virginia Federal District Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Action Related To Credit Card Issuer’s Settlements With OCC, CFPB

On June 21, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed a shareholder derivative action against a national bank’s officers and directors that was based on the bank’s settlements with the CFPB and...more

Capital Infusion - May 2013: Case Spotlight

Down-Round Equity Financings and Subsequent Exit Transactions - Best Practices for Preferred Investors and their Board Designees - Today’s middle market private equity landscape is as diverse and varied as it has ever...more

New Hampshire LLCs: New Statute & Increased Protections

A new statute, RSA 304-C, governing limited liability companies in New Hampshire went into to effect January 1, 2013. The new act, which entirely modifies the law governing LLCs in New Hampshire, is designed to be...more

Delaware Chancery Court Dismisses Class Action Lawsuit Over Sale of Warehouse Club

On January 31, 2013, the Delaware Chancery Court dismissed a shareholder class action in which the plaintiffs alleged that the directors of a warehouse club retailer had breached their fiduciary duties by agreeing to a buyout...more

Employees Have A (Limited) Duty Of Loyalty Under Florida Law

It has long been established under Florida law that employees have a duty of loyalty to their employer. Secretly assisting a competitor, or soliciting customers or employees for the benefit of a future employer, generally...more

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