Shareholder Litigation

News & Analysis as of

M&A Deals Continue To Be Challenged In Shareholder Litigation

The percentage of M&A deals challenged by shareholder suits remained largely constant last year while the number of suits filed against each deal declined slightly, according to a recent report by Cornerstone Research (here)....more

It's Not Just A Delaware Thing: Other Courts Are Also Questioning Disclosure-Only Settlements In M&A Litigation

In an age when overburdened courts with reduced budgets often approve class action settlements without significant oversight, Delaware courts have frequently bucked that trend in the merger litigation context: rejecting...more

Delaware Independent Director Liability in Control Buyout Cases

The Delaware Supreme Court will address the standard for pleading that an independent director has breached fiduciary duties in connection with a controlling shareholder buyout. The issue was certified for interlocutory...more

"Fee-Shifting, Financial Advisor Liability Among Likely Delaware Law Issues for 2015"

The Delaware courts weighed in on familiar issues of importance last year, including multiforum deal litigation and the emphasis on an independent board process, while also delving into relatively new territory such as...more

Shareholder’s Challenge to Smith & Wesson SLC’s Independence Misfires in the First Circuit

On February 4, 2015, the First Circuit affirmed the summary dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit, which brought Nevada state claims for breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, unjust enrichment, and...more

Trinity Wall Street Responds in Appeal of Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal

Currently before the Third Circuit is Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The case involves whether Wal-Mart can exclude a shareholder proposal under the “ordinary business exception” to Rule 14a-8. Trinity...more

BakerHostetler 2014 Year-End Review of Class Actions (and what to expect in 2015)

We are pleased to share with you the BakerHostetler 2014 Year-End Review of Class Actions, which offers a summary of some of the key developments in class action litigation during the past year. Class action litigation...more

“Frivolous” Merger Litigation Settlement Rejected by the Court

In an opinion that could help remedy the problem of baseless merger litigation, a court applying North Carolina law recently refused to approve a class action settlement because the underlying lawsuit was without merit. ...more

Court Of Chancery Explains New Statutory Authority To Correct Corporate Mistakes

This is an important decision because it explains the effect of the new Sections 204-205 to the DGCL. Those provisions permit the correction of corporate actions that failed to comply with the requirements of the DGCL, such...more

Appointment Of Independent Directors On The Eve Of Bankruptcy: Why The Growing Trend?

In recent years, companies in financial distress have found “independent” directors to be useful to achieve protections for their board members. An independent director is a director – usually with no prior affiliation to the...more

Recent Delaware Court of Chancery Decisions Address When A Non-Majority Stockholder Will Be Deemed a Controlling Stockholder

In three recent decisions, the Delaware Court of Chancery reiterated that under Delaware law, a large, though not majority, stockholder of a corporation will not be considered a controlling stockholder (with the attendant...more

Is It Worth It For Plaintiffs' Counsel To Gamble On Merger Class Actions in North Carolina?

I hadn't written anything yet about the multiple shareholder actions challenging the merger of PokerTek -- a developer and distributor of electronic table (gambling) games -- with Multimedia Games -- another developer and...more

Minority Shareholder Rights In Pennsylvania And Florida: A Tale Of Two Very Different Approaches

This article analyzes the development of the law relating to treatment of minority shareholders in Pennsylvania and Florida. The article discusses what type of conduct is actionable, what remedies are available as well as...more

Amicus Briefs Pour in for Wal-Mart Shareholder Proposal Case

Amicus briefs are pouring in in favor of Wal-Mart in its appeal to the Third Circuit. Wal-Mart appealed the United States District of Delaware’s decision that denied Wal-Mart the right to exclude a shareholder proposal...more

Delaware Supreme Court to Chancery: You Have Broad Powers

Books-and-records litigation does not typically grab headlines. In fact, few cases litigated under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law result in written opinions authored by the Delaware Supreme Court....more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

ESMA Publishes Final Technical advice on the MiFID II Directive and MiFIR - On December 19, 2014, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published final technical advice (ESMA/2014/1569) to the European...more

Delaware Chancery Court Concludes Indemnification and Other Provisions of a Merger Agreement Are Not Enforceable Against...

In November, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision that raises troubling questions about commonly used techniques in private company acquisitions and that, if not modified on appeal or through legislation, could...more

In re Family Dollar Stores, Inc.: No Revlon Duty to Seek Better Terms From Competing Bidder

Last month, in In re: Family Dollar Stores, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, a Delaware Chancery judge rejected the efforts of certain shareholders of Family Dollar Stores, Inc., to prevent Family Tree’s shareholders from voting...more

Wal-Mart Explains Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal to Third Circuit

Wal-Mart appealed the United States District of Delaware’s decision that denied Wal-Mart the right to exclude a shareholder proposal submitted by Trinity Wall Street. The District Court held that the SEC was incorrect when...more

New York Courts Reject Disclosure-Based Settlements of Merger Lawsuits

In two recent rulings, the New York Supreme Court rejected settlements arising from lawsuits in which plaintiff stockholders challenged the defendant public companies’ merger-related disclosures. The court in each case...more

Eighth Circuit Sets Standard For Cy Pres Distributions

On January 8, 2015, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals established a five-factor test governing cy pres distributions in class action lawsuits. In Re: BankAmerica Corp. Sec. Litig., No. 13-2620 (8th Cir. Jan. 8, 2015). ...more

This Stockholder Would Rather Fly To Delaware Than Drive To L.A.

Yesterday’s post mentioned the recent Delaware Supreme Court decision in United Techs. Corp. v. Treppel, 2014 Del. LEXIS 608 (Del. Dec. 23, 2014). The case involved an inspection demand under Section 220 of the Delaware...more

Delaware Corporate Law And Litigation: What Happened In 2014 And What It Means For You In 2015

In This Issue: - Delaware’s Leading Role in Business and Business Litigation - Curbing Stockholder Litigation: Exclusive Forum and Fee-Shifting Provisions - Two-Tiered Poison Pill Targeted at Hedge Fund...more

More Forum Selection Affirmation from Delaware

An interesting Delaware Supreme Court decision just before the holidays may have escaped many people’s attention. In United Technologies Corp. v. Treppel, the Court concluded in the context of stockholder inspection rights...more

Data Breach Plaintiffs Survive Dismissal Against Target

Target’s 2013 data breach has generated over 100 consumer lawsuits, which were consolidated last year before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. On December 18, 2014, Judge Paul A. Magnuson issued a...more

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