Professional Liability

News & Analysis as of

Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Action Targeting Directors and Officers for Data Breaches

A federal district court in New Jersey has dismissed with prejudice a shareholder derivative suit, Palkon v. Holmes, No. 14-CV-01234 (SRC) (D.N.J.), that tried to blame the directors and officers at hospitality company...more

“Prior or Pending Litigation” Exclusion Bars Coverage for Litigation that Was Unknown to Policyholder

Companies that do business with the federal government, or whose business transactions otherwise involve payments by the government, undoubtedly understand the exposure they face to “whistleblower” or “Qui Tam” lawsuits...more

A Warning to Public Company Insiders and Companies: Get All Beneficial Ownership Reports Filed on Time

In September 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced charges against 28 officers, directors and significant stockholders of public companies for violating federal securities laws which require such...more

Are You Covered When the CFPB Comes Calling? Protecting Insurance Coverage for CFPB Investigation Defense and Settlement Costs

Receiving a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Civil Investigative Demand or Proposed Action, Response Request (PARR) letter is never good news. However, that news can become significantly worse if you discover, to...more

Accessing The D&O Liability Coverage of a Bankrupt Corporation

An automatic stay in bankruptcy prevents anyone from accessing the property of the debtor estate, including the directors’ and officers’ liability (D&O) policies which insure individual directors and officers of the estate as...more

Hacking Coverage Dispute Under Professional Liability Policy Gets the Go-Ahead from Federal Court

On October 6, 2014, a federal court denied a professional liability insurer’s motion to dismiss a coverage dispute over a $3.5 million payment the policyholder-bank made when a bank customer’s account was targeted by a...more

What public companies and their Officers, Directors and Significant Shareholders should do about the SEC’s crackdown on the...

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced enforcement charges against 28 officers, directors and significant shareholders, including hedge funds and large financial institutions, for failing to...more

A Cautionary Tale for Companies With Potential False Claims Act Exposure

A False Claims Act suit can be a company’s worst nightmare, as it may potentially result in large settlements and awards on account of the statute’s trebled damages provision. However, the nightmare for AmerisourceBergen was...more

Ninth Circuit Holds That "Tag Jurisdiction" Does Not Apply to Corporations - The Court's Decision Limits Personal Jurisdiction...

Following closely on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark personal jurisdiction decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a decision that further reinforces the...more

SEC Charges Officers, Directors, Stockholders and Companies for Failure to Timely File Reports Under Sections 13 and 16 of the...

The director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Andrew Ceresney, said that using quantitative analytics the SEC has identified various individuals and companies with especially high rates of filing deficiencies and...more

Accountant and Attorney Liability Newsbrief - Fall 2014

In This Issue: - Attorneys’ E-mails to Client’s Independent Contractor May Be Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege - New York Appeals Court Decision Allows Predecessor Counsel to Place Equal Blame on Successor...more

Criminal Conduct and Corporate Liability

Some blame a general quest for the almighty dollar, others, a decline in moral fiber, but white-collar crime has been around as long as commerce itself, or at least as long as there have been white collars. The film "The Wolf...more

When Should the Board Call Separate Counsel?

Reports of the increased risk of liability for boards of directors, as well as for individual directors, have become commonplace against the backdrop of ever-increasing regulation and litigation risk. There is intense...more

Corporate Insurance Trends 2014

Although we are seeing the tail end of many of the claims which arose from the Global Financial Crisis, the sophisticated plaintiff’s bar and ever-developing class action landscape means that companies and their officers will...more

The SEC Gets Serious About Late Beneficial Ownership Reporting

On September 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced charges against 28 directors, officers and significant shareholders of public companies for repeated failures to timely report their share...more

U.S. District Court in Kentucky Holds that Contractor Which Proposed Design Solution During Construction Might Be Liable for...

American Towers LLC v. BPI, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106724 (E.D. Ky. Aug. 4, 2014) - American Towers LLC (“American Towers”), which operates wireless and broadcast communications towers, undertook a project to...more

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal Holds an Insurer’s Liability for Breach of Contract Is Not a Necessary Prerequisite for...

In Cammarata v. State Farm Fla. Ins. Co., 2014 Fla. App. Lexis 13672 (September 3, 2014), the Fourth District court addressed a challenge to an insured’s bad faith lawsuit as premature. The Cammaratas’ home sustained damage...more

Ninth Circuit Brookstreet Decision Upholds Control Person Liability

The Ninth Circuit recently found the principal of a broker-dealer liable for the extensive and aggravated sales practice violations of the firm’s registered representatives. In its unpublished decision (not to be cited as...more

Most-Invasive-Procedure-of-the-Month Award

Back in 2010 the police asked Dr. LaPaglia to conduct a body cavity search of Felix Booker. They were looking for illegal drugs. Dr. LaPaglia said yes and proceeded. First, he paralyzed Felix with drugs (legal ones). Then...more

Limits of Expansive Protection of New York’s In Pari Delicto Defense

Whenever a company tumbles into bankruptcy following the discovery of its management’s financial misdeeds, firms that provided the company with accounting, legal, banking and financial advisory services should prepare to...more

CEO, CFO Charged in SEC Financial Fraud Action

Since the formation of the financial task force, and its related data group, there has been speculation regarding the focus of the new program and the impact of big data techniques. One indication of how the program could...more

Benefits of Physician Disclosure To Patients of Medical Errors

No matter how dedicated a physician is to her medical practice, or how careful she is to avoid treatment errors when providing care to her patients, nonetheless mistakes cannot be entirely avoided....more

Is There a Duty to Defend Pollution Claims? It’s the Complaint, Stupid

This Spring, cases from Florida and Wisconsin reaffirmed the general proposition that a liability insurer’s duty to defend must be determined from the specific claims in the underlying complaint against the insured, and not...more

Company Sues Former Officer For Failing To File Form 4s

A complaint filed in the Central District of California caught my eye because it involved the rather unusual circumstance of a corporation suing a former director and officer for, among other things, failing to file reports...more

Ninth Circuit Finds No Tag Jurisdiction Over Foreign Corporation

When a corporation sends an officer to a conference in California, is the corporation present in California? A corporation can only act through its officers. Thus, it might be said that the corporation is present wherever...more

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