Personal Liability

News & Analysis as of

Judges Imposing Personal Liability on Scofflaws

As the recession recedes, courts are busy sifting through the remnants of construction projects that were impacted by the hard times we all faced. Shady deals and disreputable conduct often come to light in times like this,...more

Yet Another Revision of the Justice Department’s Requirements for Corporations to Obtain Cooperation Credit in Criminal...

On September 9, 2015, Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates issued a memorandum titled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing.” The “Yates Memo,” as it has become known, outlined six specific...more

Common Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident

The moments directly following a car accident are sure to be filled with stress. Even a minor accident can be enough to leave drivers out of sorts and in a vulnerable position where it is all too easy to make poor decisions....more

Corporate Officers Charged Personally for Export Violations

A South Carolina company, Streit USA Armoring LLC (“Streit USA”), along with two of its executive officers and its UAE affiliates, were charged with export control violations in connection with the sale of armored vehicles to...more

Construction Alert: "Personal Liability for Fraudulent Pay Applications"

A false notarized payment application signed by a Contractor and submitted to an Owner may make both the Contractor and the person who signed the false application personally liable for damages suffered by the Owner. ...more

When Less Is More: The pitfalls of saying too much in professional contracts

Design and other professionals often incorporate their practices in an effort to avoid individual liability. They also add well-crafted limitations of liability and indemnification clauses in their form services contracts to...more

Personal Liability for Redundancy Breaches

Collective redundancy consultation has recently become a lot more serious on a personal level for directors and senior managers. Three former directors of collapsed delivery company Citylink are being prosecuted in...more

NC Court Case Demonstrates Potential of "Individual" Liability For Discrimination

In discussing the topic of employment discrimination in the workplace, much attention is generally focused on the claims that may be brought against employers and what employers can do to avoid those claims through good...more

Blog: Paper Debunks Seven Board Myths

In “Seven Myths of Boards of Directors,” two academics from Stanford Business School set about debunking some of the most common and persistent expectations regard best practices in board structure, composition and procedure....more

Court of Chancery Again Explains Claim Against An Investment Banker

In this unusual factual circumstance, the Court denied a motion to dismiss a claim against an investment banker for aiding and abetting a board’s alleged breach of its duty to act with care. Note that the board itself was...more

DOJ’s Pursuit of Individual Liability for Corporate Misconduct: The Yates Memo

Cooperation credit is a critical issue for corporations that become embroiled in investigations or enforcement activity. In both the criminal and civil contexts, it is the only way to mitigate the financial impact of...more

N.D. Cal.: Internal Whistleblowers Are Protected and May Sue Individual Directors

On October 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California largely denied a motion to dismiss a whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a company’s former general counsel, ruling that: (I) the SOX...more

Trick or Treat for California Employers

As we approach Halloween, the California Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown have been busy on the employment front. The results of this activity are a “mixed bag” for California employers....more

California Federal Court Expands Whistleblower Protections

What you need to know: Last week, the Northern District of California held in Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, a case of first impression, that members of a company’s Board of Directors can be held individually liable...more

Badger Guns Case Highlights Retailers’ Legal Risk and Need for Compliance and Training

A Wisconsin gun shop, Badger Guns, has been held liable for almost $6 million for injuries to two police officers who were shot with a gun purchased at the shop. The jury’s verdict in the case, handed down on October 13,...more

Court Rules Directors Are Agents

Last August, I wrote that Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero would soon be deciding whether a director might be an agent of the corporation.  See Court Poised To Decide Whether Directors Are Agents.  The case, Wadler v. Bio-Rad...more

How to Be Heard: 5 Ways Compliance Officers Can Get Noticed by the Board, Other Executives, and Their Own Team

Even in today’s high-paced environment, compliance departments are too often viewed as a necessity somewhere along the lines of an insurance policy. You have to have one, sure, but the details don’t really matter all that...more

New DOJ Corporate Prosecution Guidelines

On September 9, 2015, United States Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates released a memorandum titled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” the latest in a series of corporate prosecution guidelines written by...more

A WARNing to Directors and Officers — Failure to give proper WARN Act notice may breach your fiduciary duty

At first glance, Stanziale v. MILK072011, looks like someone suing over a bad expiration date and conjures up images of Ron Burgundy proclaiming “milk was a bad choice.” But in actuality Stanziale is much more interesting: it...more

Will the “Yates Memo” Impact Maryland State Prosecutions?

“SEC. 3. (a) The Attorney General shall: (1) Prosecute and defend on the part of the State all cases pending in the Appellate Courts of the State, in the Supreme Court of the United States or the inferior Federal Courts,...more

Wrongful Trading: Robin Hood’s not-so Merry Men

Brooks and another v Armstrong and another [2015] EWHC 2289 (Ch) 0 - In a rare judgment considering wrongful trading in detail, the memorably-named “Robin Hood” case considers at which point the directors ought to have...more

Using the Manitoba Limited Partnership to Better Protect Limited Partners in Canada

The use of limited partnership structures is widespread in Canada, primarily as a way of achieving favourable tax treatment for joint venture and co-ownership situations. One of the essential features of the limited...more

The Yates Memo – A Warning to Execs and Employees: Effects of Expanding the DOJ’s Efforts to Combat Corporate Wrongdoing and Hold...

“The buck needs to stop somewhere where corporate misconduct is concerned,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a September 17, 2014 speech to NYU School of Law. He went on to say that “corporations are structured to blur...more

Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain: DOJ Memorandum Adds Further Weight to CPSC Enforcement Efforts Against Corporate...

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently issued a memorandum to various enforcement agencies. The memorandum, available here, focuses on holding individuals accountable for corporate fraud and misconduct. The...more

CEO Conviction Aligns With Trend of Aggressive Foodborne Illness Prosecutions

The former CEO of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), has been sentenced to an unprecedented 28 years for his role in the 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak linked to the deaths of nine people and more than 700 illnesses. While it...more

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