Fiduciary Duty

News & Analysis as of

Legal Insights on the Ashley Madison Hack: Part I

Internet commenters and legal analysts alike are buzzing about the Ashley Madison hack. The website -- which billed itself as a networking site for anyone who wanted to discretely arrange an extramarital affair -- has already...more

Eleventh Circuit Addresses Statutory Penalty Claims under ERISA

The ERISA statute authorizes a court to award a penalty of up to $110 per day based on the failure of an Administrator to respond to a participant’s or a beneficiary’s request for plan documents. The term “Administrator” is...more

Courts Impose Breach of Fiduciary Duty Penalties on Officers, Directors

Officers and directors of companies can face substantial financial liability for breaching their fiduciary duties to the companies they manage, regardless of their ability to pay such damages, and sometimes regardless of the...more

Seventh Circuit Affirms District Court on Remand in Jones v. Harris Associates

In Jones v. Harris Associates L.P., the Supreme Court adopted the Gartenberg standard for cases brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940: “[T]o face liability... an investment adviser must charge a...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Scope Of Fiduciary Duty Waiver

In Re Kinder Morgan Inc. Corporate Reorganization Litigation, C.A. 10093-VCL (August 20, 2015) - This is a great explanation of the scope of the waiver of a general partner or other fiduciary’s duties under the terms...more

Court Poised To Decide Whether Directors Are Agents

Not quite four years ago, I wrote about whether directors are agents. The post was prompted by then Chancellor William B. Chandler III’s assertion...more

New Delaware Decision Strikes Bylaw Empowering Stockholders to Remove Officers

In a case of first impression, the Delaware Court of Chancery recently struck down a provision contained in the bylaws of a Delaware corporation authorizing the corporation’s stockholders to remove a corporate officer (in the...more

Business Court Awards Rule 11 Sanctions For Baseless Fiduciary Duty Claim

It is probably a good idea for a corporation to avoid making fiduciary duty claims against its employees (unless they are also officers and directors). Clients (or their lawyers) who insist on making such claims are liable...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Stockholder Consents

Given the sanctity of the stockholder vote in Delaware law, it would be surprising if the Court of Chancery would ever reverse such a vote or the use of stockholder consents to take corporate action....more

Mergers & Acquisitions Glossary

This Glossary contains many of the important terms and definitions used in the M&A world. The Glossary is not exhaustive, however. Like most areas of the law, M&A is a highly complex subject that involves several legal and...more

Minority Shareholder Owed No Fiduciary Duty To Other Shareholders In Merger Transaction

Judge Gale's decision earlier this month in Corwin v. British American Tobacco PLC, 2015 NCBC 74 dismissed all of the claims of the Plaintiff class. If the name Corwin is ringing a bell with you, his case is the shareholder...more

RMBS Investors Sue U.S. Bank for Trust Losses

On August 5, 2015, RMBS investors filed a putative class action against U.S. Bank, N.A. in the Supreme Court for the State of New York. The investors assert that U.S. Bank, as trustee for the MASTR Adjustable Rate Mortgage...more

Commenters React to DOL’s Proposed Expansion of Fiduciary-Duty Rules

Four months after proposing a significantly expanded definition specifying when “investment advice” to employee plans and IRAs would give rise to fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the...more

Why Argentina's Petition to Vacate an Award in AWG Group Ltd v. Republic of Argentina Matters for Future Arbitrations

On 6 July 2015, Argentina filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia a petition to vacate an UNCITRAL arbitration award of approximately $20 million rendered in favour of AWG Group Ltd (No. 15-cv-01057, 6...more

A Firewall for the Boardroom: Best Practices to Insulate Directors and Officers From Derivative Lawsuits and Related Regulatory...

Shortly after the massive 2013 Target data breach, shareholders filed four derivative lawsuits against the company’s directors and some of its officers (13 CARE 624, 3/20/15). The shareholders alleged that the defendants had...more

DOL Hearings Debate “Fiduciary Duty” not “Suitability” Standard for Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL“) recently heard public comment to its proposed regulatory changes implementing a fiduciary duty on any individual receiving compensation for advice tailored to a plan sponsor, participant...more

Ninth Circuit: Multiemployer Plan Calling Unpaid Contributions “Plan Assets” Does Not Make Persons Controlling Contribution...

The Ninth Circuit recently held that a multiemployer pension plan (MEP) cannot label unpaid contributions as “plan assets” so as to impose ERISA fiduciary status on persons controlling the payment of employer contributions to...more

SEC Takes More Time to Consider Municipal Advisor Conduct Rule

The SEC instituted proceedings August 6 to allow additional time – and analysis – of the MSRB’s proposed Rule G-42 establishing broad conduct standards for municipal advisors. The Order essentially buys more time for the SEC...more

SEC Fines Adviser $20 Million Based on Conflicts

Failure to disclose conflicts of interest and/or to comply with firm procedures are the predicates for a series of SEC enforcement actions involving regulated entities. The most recent example of these trends is an action...more

Hot Topics from the Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises Conference

On June 17, the Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises (AFHE) held a midyear conference in New York City. The agenda began with an interactive presentation titled "Understanding Conflicts of Interest and Current Events in the...more

Checking in on Target’s Derivative Litigation: 18 Months Later, Directors Remain Stuck in the Checkout Line

Everyone remembers the Target Corporation data breach, one of the worst in history. In late 2013, hackers forced their way into Target’s computer system, accessing the information of approximately 70 million customers,...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending July 31 & August 7, 2015

Foreclosure: non-borrower owner of real property as tenants-in-common with borrower not required to sign mortgage for borrower to encumber only his interest in the property and non-borrower’s signature on mortgage reflected...more

Changes to Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act Expand Liability Protection, Authorize New Election Procedures, Ease Voting...

As you may have heard, Michigan recently enacted significant amendments to the Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act (the "Act"). The following is a brief overview of some of the more significant of the changes effected by the...more

One-Time Anomaly Or Potential Turning Of The Tides? A Review Of The Supreme Court's 2014-2015 Term

In a marked departure from the overwhelming success employers experienced before the Supreme Court in recent years, the less successful recently wrapped 2014-2015 term could be an indication that the judicial tides may be...more

Dodd-Frank at 4: Where do we go from here?

Where do we go from here? As we mark another milestone in regulatory reform with the fourth anniversary of the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, it strikes us that although most studies required to be undertaken by the Act...more

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