Personal Liability Fiduciary Duty

News & Analysis as of

New Fiduciary Rule & Its Impact on Retirement Advice for Plan Sponsors

After much controversy and criticism, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final conflict of interest rule on April 6th (the “Final Rule”) which expands the definition of a fiduciary for an “employee benefit plan,” as...more

Broker-Dealer Liability: Are the Rules Pertaining to Providing Investment Advice to Retail Customers About to Change?

In the securities industry, broker-dealers play an important and vital role. If the current broker-dealer regulatory environment is not daunting enough already, it is about to get more complicated and costly, from a revenue...more

2015 Georgia Corporation and Business Organization Case Law Developments

This survey covers the legal principles governing Georgia businesses, their management and ownership. It catalogs decisions ruling on issues of corporate, limited liability company and partnership law, as well as transactions...more

Directors And Officers’ Ultimate Escape From Personal Liability

In the Ultimate Escapes bankruptcy case, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware recently held that the “business judgment rule” may protect fiduciaries who negotiate and enter into unconventional financing...more

Montanile v. Board of Trustees: A New Model for Recovery

At times, money may be owed back to the benefit plan which paid benefits to or on behalf of a participant. For example, most health plans include a right to recover from a third party recovery amounts the plan paid. In the...more

Court Held That Plaintiff Stated A Claim Against Bank’s Employees For Individual Liability Based On Alleged Fiduciary Breaches

In Medve v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., a plaintiff sued a bank and three of its employees for breaches of fiduciary duties arising from fiduciary accounts. No. H-15-2277, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11961 (S.D. Tex. February 2,...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Earlier Rulings, Chancery Court Stakes Out New Positions"

Delaware courts tackled a number of issues of importance in 2015. The Delaware Supreme Court clarified prior inconsistent case law by reiterating that deference must be given to decisions made by disinterested directors. It...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

Fourth Circuit: Business Judgment Rule May Not Protect Bank Officers in FDIC Action

Why it matters - Bank officers may be liable in a lawsuit brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) while the directors escaped liability, in a new ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals interpreting...more

Delaware Court Holds Interested Directors Liable for "Fairer Price" In Going Private Transaction

In one of the largest ever M&A-related recoveries for shareholders, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster ordered Dole Food Company, Inc.’s Chairman and CEO, David Murdock, and Dole’s former President, COO and General Counsel, C....more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In re Estate of House, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 3006 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014) - A release waiving any and all claims that the parties may have or may acquire, bars recovery for unknown claims existing at the time the release...more

Focus on Private Equity - July 2015

What Private Equity Funds Should Know About ERISA: Basics of ERISA Coverage - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) imposes numerous duties on fiduciaries holding employee benefit...more

Protecting Directors and Officers From Derivative Liability Arising From Data Breaches

With data breaches affecting companies across virtually every industry, cyber security has remained front page news. Lawsuits brought by aggrieved consumers and financial institutions against companies that have suffered data...more

Avoiding Personal Liability: A Guide For Directors And Officers

According to the popular media, we are living in an era of corporate crime. Scandals like Enron, HealthSouth and WorldCom stretch so far back they seem like they are not even of this millennium. Among the milestones since...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

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

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

LLC Managers Beware: Get Involved With Member Distributions By an Insolvent LLC and You May Be Personally Liable

A chapter 7 trustee sued a manager of three limited liability company (LLC) debtors for breach of fiduciary duty and to hold the manager personally liable for distributions made to members, including himself....more

Doing Business in Canada: Directors' Liabilities

DIRECTORS’ LIABILITIES - In Canada, there is a legal duty for every director and officer of a corporation to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the corporation when exercising his/her...more

Chancery Court Provides Additional Room for Shareholders Challenging Change of Control Transactions

What you need to know: In its recent decision in Chen v. Howard-Anderson, Delaware’s Court of Chancery held that directors and officers may be found to have acted in bad faith, thereby breaching their fiduciary duty of...more

Delaware Chancery Court Clarifies Delaware Boards’ Fiduciary Oversight Duties as to Corporate Operations Abroad

In 2013, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued three decisions in which it denied motions to dismiss claims for breach of the duty of oversight (i.e., Caremark claims) asserted against directors of Delaware corporations...more

Knowledge Of Executor’s Attorney Imputed To Executor For Claims Act Liability

Two individuals were appointed as co-executors of an estate. The decedent had not filed income taxes for a number of years. The attorneys prepared tax returns for the missing years, and the IRS assessed taxes against the...more

New York’s Lichtenstein Decision Highlights Conflicts of a Carve-Out Guarantor

The recent New York case of Lichtenstein v. Willkie Farr addresses a borrower's conflict caused, in part, by a loan covenant. The covenant invoked personal liability of the members in the event the entity files a voluntary...more

So, You inherited an unreported offshore account, now what!

There may have been a time when inheriting an unreported offshore financial account was not problematic; but not today. The executor/trustee of the estate of the decedent has fiduciary responsibility to IRS and faces personal...more

Tax Law Blog: Iowa Trust Industry Breathes a Sigh of Relief after the Supreme Court's Reversal in Trimble

On January 25, 2013, trustees around the state breathed a sigh of relief after the Iowa Supreme Court reversed the district court’s controversial decision in the trust case of In the matter of Trust #T-1 of Mary Fay Trimble....more

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