Fiduciary Duty

News & Analysis as of

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

SEC Charges Private Equity Sponsor for Misallocation of Expenses on Integrated Portfolio Companies

The SEC charged a private equity sponsor with breaching its fiduciary duty to a pair of private equity funds by sharing expenses between a company in one’s portfolio and a company in the other’s portfolio in a manner that...more

Appellate Court Notes

?AC35507 - State v. Wright - ?AC35289, AC36395 - Southport Congregational Church-United Church of Christ v. Hadley - The doctrine of equitable conversion did not apply when the decedent contracted to sell real...more

Texas District Court Denies Class Certification for Hedge Fund Investors on Numerosity and Predominance Grounds

In 2008, investors in the Parkcentral hedge fund lost as much as $3 billion dollars when Parkcentral’s investment in commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) was devalued. The investors, limited partners of Parkcentral,...more

ERISA Litigation Review

The courts have been busy in 2014, addressing a variety of issues in the employee benefits field in decisions that impact everyone from union travelers to ESOP fiduciaries. This advisory summarizes a selection of the 2014...more

Inside The Courts - September 2014 | Volume 6 | Issue 3

In This Issue: - CLASS CERTIFICATION: ..Goodman v. Genworth Fin. Wealth Mgmt. Inc., No. 09-CV-5603, 2014 WL 1452048 (JFB) (GRB) (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 15, 2014) - DEMAND FUTILITY: ..Rosenbloom v. Pyott,...more

The Delaware Court of Chancery Finds Two Transactions Were Not Entirely Fair, but Awards No Damages Where the Prices of the...

On September 4, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued two lengthy post-trial opinions, both authored by Vice Chancellor John W. Noble, finding that recapitalization or restructuring transactions did not satisfy the...more

The Ambushed Fiduciary: Does Authority over a Corporate Account Cross the Line?

Corporate officers can wear two hats under ERISA: the corporate officer hat or the ERISA fiduciary hat. Actions taken wearing the corporate officer hat are traditionally not fiduciary functions. The courts recognize...more

Forum Selection Bylaws–More Good News

Fending off merger-related shareholder lawsuits keeps getting easier. Just a week ago, the Delaware Chancery Court upheld the enforceability of the bylaw of a Delaware corporation headquartered in North Carolina that selected...more

Plan Prospecting Tools only show you part of a Plan’s problem

As a retirement plan provider, tools like Brightscope, fi360, Fiduciary Benchmarks, and FRA Plan Tools among others, are great resources to prospect prospective clients....more

A Good Plan Sponsor is the key to a Good Retirement Plan

I was a fit at my old law firm sort of like how my son’s toddler clothes fit him at age 7. I wasn’t a good fit because I didn’t take myself too seriously, I tried to push for flat fee billing, and I tried to break down...more

ERISA Fiduciary Obligations: More on Application to Life Insurance Coverage

This article examines the case of Biller v. Prudential Insurance, in which the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied a motion to dismiss a claim brought against an employer by the beneficiaries of a...more

The Delaware Court Of Chancery Can See Forever On A Clear Day (Even To North Carolina)

I don't usually write about decisions from the Delaware Court of Chancery because it's rare for that Court to even mention North Carolina. But a decision by that Court this week -- in City of Providence v. First Citizens...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - September 2014 #1

In United States of America v. Estate of Robert Reitano, Civil Action No. 12-11944-RWZ, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123200 (D. Mass. Sept. 4, 2014), the federal district court issued a warning shot to estate fiduciaries who fail to...more

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