News & Analysis as of

Shareholder Litigation

Does California Side With Delaware Or New York On Special Litigation Committee Reviews?

by Allen Matkins on

As discussed in the two preceding posts, Nevada’s Supreme Court last week decided to adopt New York’s standard of review of special litigation committee recommendations to dismiss stockholder derivative suits. In re Dish...more

Nevada Favors New York Over Delaware Precedent For SLC Review

by Allen Matkins on

Nevada law endows a board of directors “full control over the affairs of the corporation”. NRS 78.120(1). This control is subject only to such limitations as may be provided by NRS chapter 7, or the articles of...more

In re Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Stockholder Litigation: MFW Provides Recipe for Protecting One-Sided Controller...

by Perkins Coie on

In its opinion in In re Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Stockholder Litigation,[1] issued in August 2017, the Delaware Chancery Court addressed a question left open under Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp.[2] (MFW)—namely,...more

Overcome Your Nagging Doubts About Business Divorce Litigation

You likely came across this article if you Googled the term “shareholder dispute.” However, it is just as likely that you Googled the term “business divorce.” One business owner suing the other(s) to be bought out, or some...more

Demand Futility Isn't Dead For Derivative Actions Against Non-Profit Corporations

by Brooks Pierce on

You probably thought that you would never again have to argue that a demand on a corporation's board of directors before filing a derivative action should be excused because it would have been futile. That's because the...more

Shareholder Activism Dealt a Blow in Australia's Federal Court

by Jones Day on

The Background: In RBC Investor Services Australia Nominees Pty Limited v Brickworks Limited [2017] FCA 756 (10 July 2017) ("Brickworks case"), a large institutional investor sought to dismantle a cross shareholding...more

Blog: Martha Stewart Decision Draws Roadmap for Controller Sales to Third Parties

by Cooley LLP on

A transaction involving a controlling stockholder on both sides of the deal presents a clear conflict of interest that will result in heightened scrutiny under the “entire fairness” standard of review if later challenged....more

First Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Putative Securities Fraud Class Action, Finding Defendants' Statements Concerning The Potential...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On August 22, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed an order from the District of Massachusetts, dismissing a putative securities class action that asserted claims under Sections 10(b) and...more

Delaware Court Of Chancery Extends MFW Protections To One-Sided Controller Transactions

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On August 18, 2017, Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III of the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed a putative shareholder suit asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty against Martha Stewart, the controlling...more

Shareholder Derivative Suit Or Derivative Action?

by Allen Matkins on

I have long puzzled over the question of which is correct – “derivative suit” or “derivative action”? Historically, the term “suit” was used for proceedings in equity. California courts have generally regarded shareholder...more

More On Suing The CEO For Social Activism

by Allen Matkins on

The last few days, I’ve been writing about the legal issues raised by Jon L. Pritchett and Ed Tiryakian in a recent opinion piece published by The Wall Street Journal. To sum up the discussion so far, Professor Stephen...more

Court Of Chancery Gives Guidance On What Constitutes Bad Faith

by Morris James LLP on

In Re Meadwestvaco Stockholders Litigation, C.A. No. 10617-CB (August 17, 2017) - As this decision explains, to state a claim attacking a merger on the basis that the Board acted in bad faith you need more than ...more

Suing The CEO For Social Activism Is Likely To Be Challenging Under Nevada Law

by Allen Matkins on

Yesterday’s post concerned asked the question whether shareholders can sue CEOs for social activism. The answer is of course, yes. The more interesting question is whether shareholders will win the suit. To answer that...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Extends Business Judgment Rule Deference to Controller Transactions Involving Third-Parties

On August 18, 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery granted defendants’ motion to dismiss a class action brought by former minority stockholders of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (“MSLO”) against Martha Stewart and...more

No Payday for Objecting Stockholders as Delaware Supreme Court Reverses Appraisal Ruling

by White & Case LLP on

The Delaware Supreme Court recently reversed a Delaware Chancery Court's finding that a private equity buyer had underpaid in connection with its acquisition of payday lending firm DFC Global Corporation....more

Can Shareholders Sue CEOs For Corporate Social Activism?

by Allen Matkins on

In an August 17, 2017 opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal, Jon L. Pritchett and Ed Tiryakian had the following message for shareholders...more

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

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