Shareholder Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Exercising Registration Rights Did Not Violate Fiduciary Duties

Molycorp, Inc. is a publically traded Delaware corporation engaged in a the production and sale of rare earth oxides. Private equity investors held 44% of Molycorp’s stock, appointed certain directors and had demand...more

[Webinar] Controlling Where to Fight and Who Pays for it? – A Discussion of Recent Developments in Delaware Forum Selection and...

To address the continued problem of duplicitous stockholder strike suits, corporations have started to experiment with forum selection bylaws (which limit the jurisdictions in which stockholders may bring such suits) and fee...more

Corralling and Curtailing Merger Litigation: Lessons Learned from Past Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Reform

In the world of securities and corporate governance litigation, we are always in the middle of a reform discussion of some variety. For the past several years, there has been great focus on amendment of corporate bylaws to...more

Tools to Defend Against Securities Litigation Arising out of Cross-Border M&A Transactions

Litigation following a merger involving publicly traded companies has become so commonplace in recent years that shareholder lawsuits challenging proposed mergers and acquisitions are frequently (and begrudgingly) referred to...more

Violation of Corporate Charter: Breach of Contract, Fiduciary Duties or Both

When a company takes action through its board in violation of its certificate of incorporation, may a plaintiff stockholder bring suit against the company directly for breach of its certificate—the most important of corporate...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds That a Stockholder Plaintiff Must Plead a Non-Exculpated Claim to Avoid Section 102(b)(7)-Based...

In the consolidated appeal In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., Stockholder Litigation and In re Zhongpin Stockholders Litigation, Nos. 564, 2014 and 706, 2014, 2015 Del. LEXIS 231 (Del. May 14, 2015), the Delaware Supreme...more

Important Delaware Supreme Court ruling on use of charter provision to seek preliminary dismissal – 3 key takeaways

In a decision jointly resolving two appeals - In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. Stockholder Litigation and Leal v. Meeks - the Delaware Supreme Court clarified seemingly conflicting Delaware case law. The decision sought to...more

Delaware Supreme Court’s In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Decision Allows Independent Directors To Utilize Section 102(b)(7) Defense...

A director’s responsibilities in serving on a corporate board are attended by substantial personal financial risks—not least of which is the specter of shareholder litigation. Exculpatory charter provisions, such as Section...more

Supreme Court Clarifies When Independent Directors May Be Dismissed From Case

This important Supreme Court decision clarifies when independent, disinterested directors may be dismissed from litigation, even when an interested transaction is under attack. When the complaint only alleges a breach of the...more

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Pleading Standard For Claims Against Independent Directors

Yesterday, in In re Cornerstone Therapeutics, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, the Supreme Court of Delaware held that plaintiffs seeking monetary damages against disinterested, independent directors must plead facts sufficient...more

An Exercise of Business Judgment: Chancery Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Demand-Refused Case

Last week, Vice Chancellor Glasscock released an important decision dismissing a case under Rule 23.1 that was brought by a DuPont shareholder who alleged that the board improperly refused a demand to sue DuPont’s officers...more

The Efficient Market Theory—§ 10(b)’s Double-Edged Sword - The Eleventh Circuit in Sappssov Deploys Meyer in Affirming Dismissal...

On May 11, 2015, the Eleventh Circuit, relying on the “efficient market theory” as explained in Meyer v. Greene, 710 F.3d 1189, 1195 (11th Cir. 2013), affirmed the dismissal of a shareholder class action for failing to...more

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Exculpatory Charter Provisions to Motions to Dismiss Independent Directors

On May 14, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its decision in In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., S'holder Litig., clarifying that damages claims against independent directors can be dismissed where: (1) an applicable...more

FDIC Receivership Precludes Shareholder Suit Against Failed Bank

Why it matters - A shareholder suit against a bank holding company and its directors and officers was precluded by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) receivership of the underlying failed bank, the...more

The Importance of Merger Price and Process In Delaware Appraisal Actions

On April 30, 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial opinion in which it rejected an attempt by dissenting shareholders to extract extra consideration for their shares above the merger price through appraisal...more

Appellate Court Notes

- AC34886 - State v. Bush - AC35418 - State v. LaFleur - AC36275 - North Star Contracting Corp. v. Albright This case dealt with who is the proper party to bring a shareholder derivative action. A...more

Court Decision Helps REITs Strategize for Successful Acquisitions in the Face of Shareholder Litigation

Decision of note for REITs contemplating asset acquisitions involving stock consideration that requires stockholder approval, even if the transaction does not effect a change-in-control. Background – Following...more

Spin-Offs and Successorship Clauses

In 2006, the media conglomerate News Corporation, referred to as Old News Corp, entered into a Settlement Agreement to settle stockholder litigation filed in Delaware in 2005. Subject to certain exceptions, the Settlement...more

Impact of Delaware Fee-Shifting Provisions on Derivative Actions in California

A recent decision in the Delaware Supreme Court, in conjunction with the broad California exceptions to the internal affairs doctrine, may dictate the legal landscape of shareholder litigation in California in the near...more

Blog: Is There A Gaping Hole In The Proposed Delaware Legislation On Fee-Shifting Bylaws?

Leave it to a distinguished law professor to actually read the text of proposed legislation and locate the gaping hole in it. In this post, “Delaware Throws a Curveball,” Professor John Coffee analyzes the proposed Delaware...more

Courts Continue to Dismiss Shareholder Suits Based on FCPA Violations

On March 16, 2015, Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the Southern District of New York dismissed a shareholder derivative suit filed by Sylvia Pritika against the CEO and others of Avon Products Inc. ("Avon") alleging breach of...more

California and Delaware Courts Agree: Amendments to Corporate Bylaws Do Not Apply Retroactively to Impair Pursuit Previously...

Two recent decisions, one from the Delaware Court of Chancery and one from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, refused to apply bylaws that impaired a shareholder/member plaintiff’s ability to pursue...more

Wannabe Derivative Plaintiffs of Delaware Corporations Cannot Skirt Delaware Law By Filing Suit in California

It is well-established that a shareholder-plaintiff may not assert derivative claims against a corporation’s officers or directors unless he or she makes a pre-suit demand on the corporation’s board of directors and alleges...more

Grant-Taylor v Babcock & Brown – causation and proof of loss in shareholder actions

The Federal Court has weighed into the debate about causation and proof of loss in shareholder actions in its decision of Grant-Taylor v Babcock & Brown Limited (in liquidation) [2015] FCA 149 (4 March 2015). Significantly,...more

CorpCast Episode 2: Advancement 101 [Video]

We’re back with the second episode of CorpCast, Morris James LLP’s podcast discussing Delaware corporate and commercial law and practice. In “Advancement 101,” we discuss the fundamentals of advancement actions in Delaware’s...more

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