Personal Liability

News & Analysis as of

Michigan Supreme Court Upholds Retroactive Corporate Officer Tax Relief

Relief granted to people who were previously subject to personal liability for unpaid tax debts of corporations and other entities should be applied retroactively to existing and future tax assessments, after the Michigan...more

Does Non-Recourse Liability Still Exist?

Several years ago, the real estate financing market took an unexpected turn. In 2011, a court in Michigan rendered a decision which called into question whether a non-recourse loan was truly “non-recourse” (liability limited...more

Partner Liability: Out of the Woods?

Debbett Runnup Partnership, a Texas general partnership, was sued by Widgets R Us in 2010 for failing to pay Widgets R Us invoices. Judgment was granted to Widgets in 2012 against Debbett Runnup for $300,000. After chasing...more

Attorney Who Set Up and Administered VEBA and Welfare Benefit Plans Found Liable Under ERISA

SUMMARY: Defendants set up over 500 multiple-employer death benefit plans with entities they controlled acting as the trustees. The Department of Labor (“DOL”) brought a civil action alleging breach of fiduciary duty and...more

New York Proposes Tough New Anti-Money Laundering and Cybersecurity Measures on Financial Services Companies

Action Item: Benjamin Lawsky, the Superintendent of Financial Services for New York State, one of the country’s most aggressive regulators, is seeking to increase regulatory pressures on the financial services industry,...more

California Court of Appeal Limits Scope of Agent's Immunity Rule Based on "Special Relationship" Between Insurers and Insureds

On April 2, 2014, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, published an opinion that limits the scope of the agent’s immunity rule insofar as it applies to employees of insurers involved in investigating...more

Delinquent Contributing Employer May Be Fiduciary

The Second Circuit held that the owner of a contributing employer to multiemployer benefit plans breached his fiduciary duties by failing to make required contributions and was thus personally liable for the delinquencies,...more

Superior Court of New Jersey Pierces the “LLC” Veil, Holding Sole Member Liable for Environmental Liabilities

On February 26, 2015, in Coty US LLC v. 680 S. 17th Street LLC, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, pierced the veil of a New Jersey limited liability company and held its sole member liable for environmental...more

Directors of Nonprofit Held Financially Liable for Relying on Incompetent Officers and Lack of Oversight

In a striking decision earlier this year, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury’s findings of liability for breach of fiduciary duties and ‘deepening insolvency,’ and the award of $2.25 million in compensatory...more

New York Labor Law Amendments Put LLCs and Their Members on the Front Line

The New York State Legislature passed a bill on June 19, 2013, intended to update New York’s labor law, including the Wage Theft Protection Act (WTPA). The bill (A 8106-C, S5885-B), signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on...more

Federal Appellate Court Ruling Sounds the Liability Alarm for Officers and Directors of Struggling Health Care Providers – Both...

Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an important, 28-page opinion that confirmed a jury verdict, holding former officers and directors of a not-for-profit health care provider in...more

Avoiding personal liability amidst heightened AML enforcement

In February 2014, the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA), the self-regulatory body for the U.S. securities industry, suspended a former global anti-money laundering compliance officer at Brown Brothers Harriman &...more

CFOs Ordered to Return Bonus and Profits Due to False Financial Statements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently ordered two former CFOs of Saba Software, Inc. to reimburse the company for stock-sale profits and bonuses accrued during the 12-month periods following its materially false and...more

How Recent Fiduciary Duty Cases Affect Advice To Directors And Officers Of Delaware And Texas Corporations

The conduct of corporate directors and officers is subject to particular scrutiny in the context of business combinations (whether friendly or hostile), executive compensation and other affiliated party transactions,...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report Episode 129-Judge Rakoff, Judge Leon and Individual Prosecutions Under the FCPA [Video]

Today I discuss the book review by Judge Rakoff in the New York Review of Books, the denial of approval of the deferred prosecution agreement by Judge Leon and individual prosecutions in the FCPA....more

CFOs Agree to Sarb-Ox Clawback

Two former CFOs have agreed to return nearly a half-million dollars in bonuses and stock sale profits they received while their Silicon Valley software company, Saba Software, was committing accounting fraud. While...more

"Aggressive SEC Enforcement Approach Creates New Challenges for Resolving Investigations"

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursued aggressive enforcement of the securities laws in the past year. Several trends related to the SEC's vigorous approach are likely to continue in 2015....more

Breaches in the Boardroom: What Directors and Officers can do to Reduce the Risk of Personal Liability for Data Security Breaches

Corporate directors and officers may increasingly be targets of shareholder derivative lawsuits in the wake of the surge of regulatory actions and private litigation around data breaches,. While no individual directors and...more

Business Litigation Reporter - February 2015

Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Reporter provides timely summaries of key cases and other developments within dedicated Business Litigation sessions and related courts throughout the country – courts within which...more

SEC Secures Federal Judge Order Against Mayor Based on Control Person Liability

On January 28, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan entered a final judgment against Gary Burtka, the former mayor of Allen Park, Michigan, upholding the Security and Exchange Commission...more

WHS Update: Officer liability - Exposure of directors and managers

The Model Act - New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Territories have broadly similar WHS laws based on the model Act developed by Safe Work Australia (Model Act). Under the Model Act,...more

Inside M&A - Winter 2015

Recent U.S. Cases Highlight Liability Risks to Executives in Mining, Heavy Industrial Transactions - Historically, corporate executives rarely faced personal or criminal liability resulting from mining or environmental...more

2015 Trends: #7 Crime and Punishment

On the accountability and punishment front, three trends bear watching: 1) Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) DPAs and Non-Prosecution Agreements (NPAs) allow prosecutors to require corporate reforms and...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 122-with Matt Kelly on Alstom, Avon and Petrobras [Video]

In this episode, Compliance Week Editor-in-Chief Matt Kelly and I discuss the Avon and Alstom FCPA enforcement actions and then take a look at the ongoing Petrobras corruption scandal and what it means for Brazil. ...more

Changes to New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act Eliminating the Annual Wage Notice Requirement

On December 29, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that amends the Wage Theft Prevention Act (the “WTPA”) eliminating the burdensome annual wage notice requirement that was previously placed on employers (the...more

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