Fiduciary Duty

News & Analysis as of

CFO’s Thirst for Wine Club Invitation Costs Hospital Millions

You can’t make this stuff up. Last Monday a federal court in Rhode Island ordered two insurance companies to pay a $30 million claim by hospital management company Lifespan Corp. Lifespan filed the claim after being ordered...more

Inside The Courts - November 2014 | Volume 6 | Issue 4

In This Issue: CLASS CERTIFICATION: Fort Worth Emps. Ret. Fund v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., No. 09-cv-3701 (JPO) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2014) Discovery: ..Freedman v. Weatherford Int’l Ltd., No. 12...more

Accountant’s Fiduciary Duty as Independent Auditor

In North Carolina, an accounting firm now owes a fiduciary duty to its audit client, both as a matter of law and as a matter of fact. On November 4, 2014, a North Carolina appellate court held — for the first time —...more

Watch For A New Wave Of ERISA Stock Drop Cases

Plan fiduciaries may create a fiduciary duty in stock drop cases by incorporating filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission into the Summary Plan Description. We have been waiting for the Ninth Circuit to...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Entire Fairness Review in Absence of Conflicted Transaction

On October 24, the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed a lawsuit filed by certain minority stockholders of Crimson Exploration, Inc. in In re: Crimson Exploration Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 8541-VCP (Del. Ch. Oct...more

Delaware Court Establishes "Taxonomy" For Controlling Stockholder Claims

In a recent decision, the Delaware Court of Chancery (Parsons, V.C.) dismissed a shareholder class action complaint alleging that a target company’s board of directors and private equity firm controlling stockholder breached...more

DOL Issues Guidance on Missing Participants in Terminated Plans - The Guidance Focuses on How to Search for Missing Participants...

The Department of Labor (DOL) Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2014-01 provides guidance on (1) how fiduciaries should go about searching for missing participants or beneficiaries in terminated defined contribution plans; and...more

2014 Autumn Review – M&A Legal Developments

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

Updates on Municipal Advisor Rules

Fiduciary Standard: "A municipal advisor and any person associated with such municipal advisor shall be deemed to have a fiduciary duty to any municipal entity for whom such municipal advisor acts as a municipal...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Contemporaneous Ownership Requirement For Creditors Asserting Derivative Claims

In Quadrant Structured Products Co. v. Vertin, C.A. No. 6990-VCL, 2014 Del. Ch. LEXIS 193 (Del. Ch. Oct. 1, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery held that when creditors of insolvent firms assert derivative claims, they need...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review

Plan sponsors should replace the Bad Plan Decision Makers. It's time for them to go. If your company's retirement plan got into some trouble because the powers that be who run the plan (whether it's the C.E.O.,...more

Delaware Court Decides Damages in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Aiding and Abetting Case

In March 2014, Vice Chancellor Laster of the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware issued an opinion finding Rural/Metro Corporation’s lead financial advisor liable for aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - October 2014

In this issue: - Delaware Legislative Update - Amendments to DGCL Effective August 1, 2014 - News from the Courts - Additional Guidance on Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp. - Exculpation...more

Reasonable Fee Issues for Fiduciaries on the Horizon

The Supreme Court is poised to address whether fiduciaries' decisions—especially in using fee sharing arrangements—are subject to deference when challenged. The Eighth and Ninth Circuit courts recently decided these issues,...more

The Donald Sterling Case Provides Valuable Trustee Incapacity Insights - Establishing the Most Effective Instruments to Evaluate...

The ideal individual trustee has a wide variety of real world experience and judgment that can only be acquired over decades. Thus, many trustees are middle-aged or older at the start of their tenure. While some people remain...more

Sixth Circuit Narrows Scope of Liability Under ICA Sections 36(a) and (b)

In Laborers’ Local 265 Pension Fund v. iShares Trust, No. 13-6486, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 18627 (6th Cir. Sept. 30, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims alleging...more

Lies That Prospective Retirement Plan Providers May Tell You

When we were children, our mothers told us stories that we believed to be true because we always believed what our parents were telling us was the truth. Part of growing up is realizing that a good chunk of what your mom told...more

Supreme Court to Review Application of ERISA’s Six-Year Statute of Limitations in Tibble v. Edison Int’l.

On October 2, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States granted the plaintiffs’ petition for a writ of certiorari in Tibble v. Edison International to answer “Whether a claim that [Employee Retirement Income Security Act]...more

Hedge Fund and its Partner and Lawyer Fail on Motion to Dismiss for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

A case against a hedge fund, and one of its partners and in-house counsel, related to actions at a portfolio company and alleging breach of fiduciary duties survived a motion to dismiss. The portfolio company, alleged to be...more

Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Accounts

Traditionally, a person’s most valuable assets to be distributed upon death consisted of tangible items such as real property, cash, jewelry and personal effects of sentimental value like photographs and letters. However, the...more

First Circuit Rules for Insurers in Two Retained Asset Account Cases; An Insurer Does not Need “to Don the Commercial Equivalent...

The First Circuit recently decided two ERISA cases challenging the use of retained asset accounts in favor of the insurer-defendants. The decisions are Merrimon v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 758 F.3d 46, 50 (1st Cir. 2014)...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects Private Action Under ’40 Act § 36(A)

Ruling in a case of first impression, the Sixth Circuit rejected an implied cause of action under Section 36(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. § 80a-1 et seq. Although the Circuits remain split, recent...more

Expect Focus - Regulators Are Watching: New Products, New Opportunities, New Risks - Volume III, Summer 2014

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT ..Standard CGL Policy Form Adds Data Breach Coverage Exclusion - LIFE INSURANCE ..Class Claims Against Lincoln National Barred in Section 419 Action – Again ...more

What Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer May Mean for ERISA Stock-Drop Litigation

Did the future course of “stock-drop” litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) against fiduciaries of public company employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) take a sharp turn on June 25, 2014, when...more

Supreme Court Establishes New Standard for Fiduciaries of ESOP Plans

The Supreme Court, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. John Dudenhoeffer (Dudenhoeffer), recently established new standards for determining when fiduciaries of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) act prudently regarding a company’s...more

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