News & Analysis as of

Shareholder Litigation

Minnesota Supreme Court Rejects Delaware Test for Direct Versus Derivative Action

In a case arising out of the inversion transaction where Medtronic merged with Coviden, the Minnesota Supreme Court spoke on the proper test of determining when an action is derivative or direct in In re Medtronic, Inc....more

Minnesota Supreme Court Articulates Test for Direct Versus Derivative Claims in In re Medtronic, Inc. Shareholder Litigation

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

On August 16, 2017, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided In re Medtronic, Inc. Shareholder Litigation, holding that a shareholder’s claim is properly characterized as a direct claim, not a derivative claim, if the shareholder...more

Court Of Chancery Protects Privilege In Books and Records Action And Addresses Corwin’s Effect On Mismanagement Investigation...

by Morris James LLP on

Salberg v. Genworth Financial Inc., C.A. No. 2017-0018-JRS (July 27, 2017) - This is an important decision for its analyses implicating the Garner and Corwin rules. The Garner rule is that, under certain narrow...more

And the Award For Most Oppressive Conduct By a Majority Shareholder Goes to . . .

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Over the years I’ve litigated and observed countless cases of alleged oppression of minority shareholders by the majority. Oppression can take endlessly different forms, some more crude than others in their execution, some...more

Chancery Recommends Rule to Determine Preclusive Effect of Judgments in Prior Derivative Actions

by Morris James LLP on

The predominant approach in most jurisdictions to determine whether the dismissal of a derivative action based on the failure to adequately plead demand futility bars re-litigation of this issue in a subsequent derivative...more

How To Confer A $6.9 Million Benefit For Less Than A Half Dollar

by Allen Matkins on

In March 2011, the three-member compensation committee of EchoStar Corporation awarded options to purchase 1.5 million shares of company stock to its Chairman, Charles W. Ergen. According to EchoStar’s proxy statement for...more

Delaware Chancery Court Holds Garner Fiduciary Exception Does Not Justify Compelled Production Of Privileged Documents Relevant To...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On July 27, 2017, Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III of the Delaware Court of Chancery found that stockholder plaintiffs had not satisfied their burden of showing “good cause” under the Garner fiduciary exception to the...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Short-Swing Trading Suit

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On August 3, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a “short-swing” trading suit brought by a shareholder in Herbalife, Ltd., Hologic Inc., and Nuance Communications, Inc....more

Delaware Court Of Chancery Finds Demand Futility Where Plaintiff Adequately Alleged That Board's Approval Of Challenged...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On August 1, 2017, Vice Chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves of the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss a stockholder complaint asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty against directors and executives...more

Further Clarification from Delaware Supreme Court on Deal Price in Statutory Appraisal Actions

by Polsinelli on

The Delaware Supreme Court offered further guidance this week on the weight to be accorded a negotiated deal price in the context of shareholder appraisal litigation, which of course is important to businesses and counsel...more

Delaware Supreme Court Decision Addresses Critical "Fair Value" Issues in Appraisal Litigation

On August 1, 2017, the Delaware Supreme Court issued an en banc opinion in DFC Global Corporation v. Muirfield Value Partners, L.P., et al., reversing the Delaware Court of Chancery's decision regarding the fair value of DFC...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Duty Of Care and Loyalty Claims

by Morris James LLP on

H&N Management Group Inc. v Couch, C.A. No. 12847-VCMR (Del. Ch. Aug. 1, 2017) - This is a rare case involving apparent lack of care in approving a conflicted transaction and a failure to employ almost any safeguards to...more

Delaware Chancery Court Upholds Fiduciary Duty Breach Claims Regarding Self-Tender Against Controlling Stockholder Group And...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On July 24, 2017, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III of the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss former stockholders’ claims for breach of fiduciary duty brought in connection with a self-tender by R. L. Polk...more

Does Assertion Of Business Judgment Rule Waive Attorney-Client Privilege?

by Allen Matkins on

Nevada, like California, has codified the attorney-client privilege...more

Independent Directors, Law Firm and Financial Advisor not Liable for Omissions in Private Tender Offer

R.L. Polk & Co. Inc., a private company, was allegedly more than 90% controlled by the Polk family. The Company was in the consumer marketing business with holdings such as Carfax, Inc. In March 2011, the Company initiated a...more

Court Upholds Stockholder's Share Ownership and Books-and-Records Request

by Morris James LLP on

Companies often defend against stockholder requests to inspect books and records by contending that the plaintiff stockholder lacks a proper purpose or that his or her stated purpose is not the real purpose. Less common is a...more

Delaware Chancellor Urges Revision of Preclusion Principles in Derivative Actions

The Chancellor of Delaware’s Court of Chancery yesterday urged the Delaware Supreme Court to revise Delaware law on preclusion in shareholder derivative actions. The court’s July 25, 2017 decision in In re Wal-Mart Stores,...more

Court of Chancery Advocates New Test Governing Preclusion in Derivative Litigation

by Morris James LLP on

In re Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Delaware Derivative Litig., C.A. No. 7455-CB (Del. Ch. July 25, 2017) - This is an important decision holding that just because one derivative litigation was dismissed for failure to overcome...more

SEC Commissioner Supports Mandatory Shareholder Arbitration

Reuters is reporting that SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar urged IPO companies to request relief from the SEC to include mandatory arbitration provisions for shareholder disputes. Commissioner Piwowar apparently made the...more

How To Prepare For Retaliation From Filing Business Divorce Litigation

Many shareholders contemplating getting a “business divorce” have put up with an intolerable situation for years, because they fear that filing a shareholder oppression lawsuit will somehow make matters even worse.  They...more

Under Delaware Law, the Occurrence of Alleged Illegal Conduct at a Company Is Not Enough to Plead Demand Futility Sufficient to...

In a shareholder derivative action, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to plead facts showing demand futility, a derivative plaintiff must plead particularized facts showing either actual involvement by a majority of...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Stock Restriction Law

by Morris James LLP on

Henry v. Phixios Holdings Inc., C.A. No. 12504-VCMR (July 10, 2017) - This is the rare decision explaining when restrictions on stock transfers (permitted by Section 202 of the DGCL) can be enforced. While the statute...more

California Judge Honors Delaware Forum Selection Bylaw

by Allen Matkins on

In May, I wrote about Judge Peter H. Kirwan’s ruling in Drulias v. 1st Century Bancshares, Inc., (Cal. Super. Ct. Case No. 16-CV-294673, Nov. 18, 2016). As readers may recall, Judge Kirwan declined to approve a disclosure...more

Delaware Chancery Court Declines To Dismiss Challenges To Director Option Grants And Outside Investor Voting Agreement

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On June 28, 2017, Vice Chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves of the Delaware Court of Chancery declined to dismiss purported derivative and direct stockholder claims for breaches of fiduciary duty against the directors of...more

The Growth of Collective Shareholder Actions in Europe

On June 8, 2017, Skadden hosted a webinar titled “The Growth of Collective Shareholder Actions in Europe.” The Skadden panelists were international litigation and arbitration partners David Edwards and Anke Sessler, and...more

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