Fiduciary Duty

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoffer, declared that no “presumption of prudence” applied to fiduciaries of “employee stock ownership plans” (ESOPs). ...more

Pro Se Defendant Wins Trial On Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims In Business Court

When I was a young pup preparing to go to court against the uncommon adversary who was proceeding without a lawyer, I would joke that "I hope I don't lose." Luckily, I never did....more

Cambridge Ret. Sys. v. Bosnjak, C.A. No. 9178-CB (Del. Ch. June 26, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to make a pre-suit demand on the board and for failure to state a claim, holding that demand...more

ESOP Fiduciaries Not Entitled to Presumption of Prudence

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that there is no presumption of prudence for fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) who invest in employer securities. The case...more

Supreme Court Abolishes Presumption of Prudence in ERISA Stock-Drop Cases But Sets High Bar for Plaintiffs

In an opinion that reversed nearly two decades of lower-court ERISA class action jurisprudence, the Supreme Court axed the well-established “presumption of prudence” in ERISA “stock-drop” cases. On June 25, the Court issued...more

Supreme Court’s Dudenhoeffer Decision Headlines New ERISA Litigation Update

Goodwin Procter’s ERISA Litigation Practice published its latest quarterly ERISA Litigation Update. The update discusses (1) the Supreme Court’s ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that there is no “presumption of...more

In re El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. Derivative Litig., C.A. No. 7141-VCL (Del. Ch. Jun. 12, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion resolving cross-motions for summary judgment, the Court of Chancery dismissed in part claims challenging a drop-down sale governed by a limited partnership agreement that supplanted fiduciary duties...more

Reverse Churning

It is obvious that broker-dealers and their registered representatives, as well as investment advisors, must be careful in making recommendations to their clients. But the rise of claims related to inaction in a client...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Stock Drop Challenge on Grounds Unrelated to Moench

Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the central issue in nearly every case alleging the imprudent investment of plan assets in employer stock has revolved around whether plan...more

The Law Firm Review

Plan Sponsors' Misconceptions About Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure. There are many. To me, there is no greater television show than Seinfeld because it's timeless and there is something about each episode that...more

Dudenhoeffer Eschews Moench Presumption But Encourages Careful Scrutiny Of Complaints: Future for ERISA Stock-Drop Litigation Is...

Certain retirement plans, such as employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”), are specifically designed to invest all or a portion of their assets in stock of the sponsoring employer. For nearly twenty years, the federal courts...more

Supreme Court Nixes "Presumption of Prudence" in Employer Stock Cases

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected the "presumption of prudence" that had been applied by lower courts in cases where a retirement plan holds stock of the employer sponsoring the plan. Fifth Third...more

Seventh Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Case Applying ERISA’s Statute of Limitations

A Seventh Circuit panel declined to apply ERISA’s three-year statute of limitations to bar fiduciary claims in a case arising out of a buy-out transaction involving an employee stock ownership plan. The court held that the...more

ESOP Fiduciaries Lose “Presumption of Prudence”

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held last week that employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) investment in employer stock is not entitled to a special ERISA “presumption of prudence”. The decision provides important guidance for...more

U. S. Supreme Court Clarifies Fiduciaries’ Duty of Prudence Under ERISA In Connection with Employee Stock Ownership Plans

On June 24, 2014, a unanimous Supreme Court held in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that fiduciaries to an employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”) were not entitled to a presumption under the Employee Retirement Income...more

Supreme Court Rejects “Presumption of Prudence” in ERISA Employer Stock Cases

The Court’s Dudenhoeffer decision also provides some guidance for scrutinizing such claims at the pleadings stage. On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v....more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Presumption of Prudence For Fiduciaries Investing in Employer Securities

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer unanimously held that no special presumption of prudence applies under ERISA for investments in employer stock. The case involved a form of employee...more

In ERISA Stock Drop Case, Supreme Court Giveth and Taketh Away on Moench Presumption

The U.S. Supreme Court recently eviscerated a key protection against stock drop lawsuits filed by participants in defined contribution plans that hold employer stock as an investment. In Fifth Third Bancorp et al. v....more

Supreme Court Rules No “Presumption of Prudence” for Employer Stock Plan Fiduciaries

In a decision that could have significant implications for certain companies and their 401(k) and other plans that invest in employer stock, the Supreme Court ruled, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, that there is no...more

Supreme Court Rejection of Duty of Prudence Presumption—What Does it Mean for Retirement Plans?

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that there is no “presumption” of prudence extended to fiduciaries of employer stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”) in...more

Supreme Court Decides ESOP Fiduciary Duty Case: Fifth Third Bancorp et al. v. Dudenhoeffer et al.

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Fifth Third Bancorp et al. v. Dudenhoeffer et al., No. 12-751, holding that a fiduciary of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is subject to the same duty of prudence that...more

News Flash: ESOP Fiduciaries May Obey the Law

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Fifth Third Bancorp et al. v. Dudenhoeffer, No. 12-751 (U.S. June 25, 2014), that no special presumption of prudence applies to the decision by ESOP fiduciaries to buy and hold stock of the...more

Exclusive Forum Provisions: A New Item for Corporate Governance and M&A Checklists

Public companies increasingly are adopting “exclusive forum” bylaws and charter provisions that require their stockholders to go to specified courts if they want to make fiduciary duty or other intra-corporate claims against...more

Supreme Court Clarifies ESOP Fiduciaries’ Obligations

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a fiduciary of an “employee stock ownership plan” (ESOP) is subject to the same duty of prudence that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)...more

"Supreme Court Holds No Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries"

Today, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that fiduciaries of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) that invest in the employer’s securities are not...more

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