Shareholders Board of Directors

News & Analysis as of

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 court of chancery issues significant ruling on the ability of creditors to assert fiduciary duty claims against...

In Quadrant Structured Products Co. v. Vertin, 2015 WL 2062115 (Del. Ch. May 4, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster) announced a bright-line standard governing the threshold inquiry of when...more

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, v. AbbVie, Inc., CA No. 10374-VCG and Rizzolo v. AbbVie Inc., CA No. 10408-VCG...

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery denied two stockholders’ request for the inspection of books and records of a company pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 220, finding that the stockholders failed to show a credible...more

Delaware Court Limits Stockholder Ratification Defense for Derivative Claim Challenging Director Compensation - Court Permits...

In Calma v. Templeton, et al., C.A. No. 9579-CB, (Del. Court of Chancery, April 30, 2015), the stockholders of Citrix Systems, Inc. (the “Company” or “Citrix”) had previously approved a compensation plan with few limits;...more

SEC Commissioner Stein On “Short-termism” and Corporate Boards

Two issues of continued importance to shareholders and the U.S. capital markets were recently discussed by SEC Commissioner Kara Stein. One the Commissioner called “short-termism” while the other focuses on the composition of...more

Protect Your Corporate Veil

One of the advantages of operating a business in corporate form is the protection a corporation provides to its shareholders from exposure to the corporation’s liabilities. ...more

Performance Based Equity Compensation [Video]

In this video clip, Pam Greene discusses the reasons behind the shift to performance-based equity compensation, how it differs from fixed equity compensation, and what executive boards need to consider when structuring...more

Business Court Denies TRO In The Midst of A Proxy Fight

The Defendant in Allcorn v. Bradley Creek Boatominium, Inc. sought an injunction against the Plaintiffs in the midst of a proxy fight as to their allegedly defamatory statements in connection with the election of the...more

Cybersecurity Breach: Are Board Members at Risk?

It seems a month does not pass in which some sort of breach of confidential data of a business is not announced to the public. With the increase in cybersecurity breaches, so increases board members’ exposure to litigation...more

SEC Charges Directors, Officers and Major Investors for Failing to Update Disclosures Prior to Announcements of Going Private...

On March 13, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced settlement proceedings against officers, directors, and major shareholders of several companies that were recently taken private for failing to update...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

Sixth Circuit Warns Boards Not to Blow Off Notice of Shareholder Proposals

A recent Sixth Circuit decision indicates that company boards should proceed cautiously in providing notice of shareholder meetings, particularly where a dissident shareholder is expected to offer a resolution. ...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Restricts Board’s Ability to Subject Former Shareholders to New Bylaws

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently held, in a case of first impression, that a non-reciprocal fee-shifting bylaw cannot be applied to a claim brought by a former shareholder who had been cashed out of the company before...more

More “Broken Windows”: SEC Charges Schedule 13D Filers with Disclosure Violations for Failing to Update Ownership Reports

When a significant stockholder in a publicly-held company is considering plans to take the company private, how soon must the stockholder disclose those plans in a Schedule 13D filing?...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

The Latest from Warren Buffett

It’s always refreshing, and a bit entertaining, to read Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders. His willingness to talk candidly about his and the company’s performance over the past year—both...more

Chancery Enjoins Board in Potential Stockholder Dilution Scheme

Directors and officers of struggling corporations seeking capital or startups willing to trade equity for cash should read the Delaware Court of Chancery's recent transcript ruling in Elite Horse Investments Ltd. v. T3...more

CorpCast Episode 1: Sections, 204, 205 and In re Numoda [Video]

Morris James LLP’s Corporate and Fiduciary Litigation Group introduces CorpCast, a podcast discussing Delaware corporate and commercial law and practice. In this first episode, we discuss In re Numoda Corporation S’holders...more

ISS Issues FAQs on Proxy Voting Policies Regarding Bylaw and Charter Amendments Adopted Without Shareholder Approval

Existing (ISS) voting policy is to recommend against the election of boards of directors if charter or bylaw amendments were enacted without shareholder approval and in a manner that materially diminishes shareholders’ rights...more

GE and Others Voluntarily Adopt Proxy Access

GE has voluntarily adopted a proxy access by-law proposal. The by-law permits a shareowner, or a group of up to 20 shareowners, owning 3% or more of the Company’s outstanding common stock continuously for at least three...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

2015 Proxy Season: What to Expect

As we approach this year’s proxy season, it is a good time to reflect on last year’s developments and to plan for this year’s hot topics. A Look Back - In addition to reviewing your own shareholder voting results...more

Withdrawal of Whole Foods No-Action Letter Leaves a Hole in Proxy Access Proposal Defense

On January 16, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that, for the 2015 proxy season, the Division of Corporation Finance will not express any views as to whether a company may exclude a shareholder...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

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - January 2015

In this issue: - News from the Courts - Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Fiduciary Duties in Sale Context and Overturns Judicial Imposition of Auction in Deal with Passive Market Check - Illinois Court...more

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