Standard of Review

News & Analysis as of

Tension Between 'Aronson' Analysis and the Standard of Review

On Monday, just after the arrival of the blizzard of 2016 in Delaware, the Court of Chancery created its own momentous event with the release of its opinion in In re EZCorp Consulting Agreement Derivative Litigation, C.A. No....more

PTAB Trial Standard Of Review Requires Affirmance Despite Contrary Evidence

In Merck & Cie v. Gnosis S.p.A., the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that held the challenged claims obvious in an Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceeding. Although the...more

What are the Rules on Indefiniteness of a Patent Specification under 35 USC § 112?

While the question was answered by the Supreme Court in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, 134 S. Ct. 2120 (2014), the Federal Circuit, in The Dow Chemical Company v. Nova Chemicals Corporation (Canada), (2014-1431,...more

New Jersey Tax Court Publishes Decisions That Dual Nexus Standards Are Inappropriate For Throwout

On January 6, 2016, the New Jersey Tax Court approved its January 14, 2014 decision in Lorillard Licensing Company LLC v. Director, Division of Taxation for publication, making the Tax Court decision precedential. The...more

Appeal Court Applies Correctness Standard of Review for Standard Form Contracts, Distinguishes Sattva

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has held that appeal courts will review decisions interpreting standard form contracts on a correctness standard, as opposed to the more deferential standard of review of reasonableness....more

Appellate Review of Downhole Cases: The Supreme Court Repairs the Third Circuit’s Broken Manifest Error Standard in Hayes Fund for...

The Louisiana Supreme Court recently issued a decision in a downhole damages case, reversing the Third Circuit’s misguided application of the manifest error standard of review. Hayes Fund for the First United Methodist Church...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: Released after 11:30 a.m. AC36320 - Valencis v. Nyberg - This decision upheld the granting of a PJR for ~ $1.5 million in favor of the plaintiff property owner when the...more

Objections To Magistrate’s Order Regarding Daubert And Anticipation Are Reviewed

W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. v. C.R. Bard, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 11-515 -LPS, November 24, 2015. Stark, C.J. The court rules on objections to Magistrate’s rulings on a Daubert motion and a Report and Recommendation on...more

The Most Important Principles of Delaware Corporate Law Can’t Be Found In the DGCL

I have often observed that you can read every section of the Delaware General Corporation Law and learn almost nothing about Delaware corporate law.  Here are three of the most fundamental principles of Delaware corporate law...more

Will the Tennessee General Assembly Continue to tell the Judiciary to Put Up or Shut Up?

On October 26, 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court returned the state’s summary judgment standard to normalcy and also gave the Tennessee General Assembly a little more room to invade the judiciary. In Rye v. Women’s Care...more

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals May Limit the Board’s Standard for Evaluating Employers’ Confidentiality Policies

In Hyundai Am. Shipping v NLRB, No. 11-1351 (Nov. 6, 2015), the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently enforced a Board order with respect to a work rule that prohibited employees from discussing matters under investigation...more

Espinoza v. Zuckerberg, No. 9745-CB (Del. Ch. Oct. 28, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In a decision reinforcing the importance of observing corporate formalities, Chancellor Bouchard found that a controlling stockholder cannot ratify a board’s self-dealing with something as informal as an affidavit, a...more

Court of Chancery Applies Business Judgment Standard Under New Supreme Court Precedent

This is an important decision that reverses a prior opinion in the same case. The Court did so because after it issued its prior opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its Corwin decision holding that when a merger is...more

Tennessee Supreme Court Reverses Course and Jettisons Unworkable Summary Judgment Standard

Recently, the Tennessee Supreme Court entered its opinion in Rye v. Women’s Care Center of Memphis, MPLLC. In it, the Supreme Court held the analytical framework governing summary judgments in Tennessee state courts since...more

Standard of Review in Discipline Matter

Professional Conduct Committee of the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics v. Bodnarchuk, 2015 SKCA 81, reinstating a decision of the College Discipline Committee. A paramedic was disciplined by a Discipline Committee of...more

Insights: The Delaware Edition - October 2015

We are pleased to share with you the inaugural issue of Insights: The Delaware Edition, a periodic publication addressing significant Delaware deal litigation and corporation law developments. In This Issue: - Q&A...more

"Dole Ruling Serves as Cautionary Tale for Take-Private Deals"

Earlier this year, in a consolidated breach of fiduciary duty and appraisal action, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial opinion that includes many important takeaways for...more

Blog: Is A Lot More At Stake In The Conflict Minerals Case Than The Conflict Minerals Disclosure Rules?

An amicus brief filed in the conflict minerals case, National Association of Manufacturers, Inc. v. SEC, was submitted this week by a group of anti-smoking and other organizations dedicated to protecting public health: Truth...more

Utah Supreme Court Lays Out Pro-Plaintiff Presumption of Harm Standard in Trade Secret Cases

The Utah Supreme Court recently issued a significant decision laying out a presumption of harm evidentiary standard in trade secret cases, which will be very useful for plaintiffs seeking injunctive relief in cases involving...more

Fourth District Addresses CEQA Baseline Issues In Partially Published Opinion Upholding EIR For Carlsbad Shopping Mall Renovation

In an opinion filed September 10, and later ordered partially published on October 9, 2015, the Court of Appeal affirmed the substance of a judgment upholding an EIR for a regional shopping center renovation project in...more

Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015) (Strine, C.J.)

In this opinion affirming the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a stockholder challenge to a merger, the Delaware Supreme Court held that the approval of the merger by a fully informed, disinterested stockholder majority...more

Patience Please: Rhode Island Supreme Court Reminds Litigants It Has Not Yet Adopted Iqbal And Twombly

In 2007, the United States Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), significantly modified the standard of review applied to motions to dismiss in federal courts. A few years later, in 2009,...more

Delaware Supreme Court Resolves KKR-Gantler Confusion

There has been some debate about the effect of an approval by a majority of a company’s stockholders of a transaction with an unrelated third party - does that invoke the Business Judgment Rule? The question arose over...more

CT Law of the Land

Week of September 23 - Limits of relief possible for Intervenor under CGS 22a-19 - In Hunter Ridge LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission Connecticut’s Supreme Court considered whether injunctive relief was available...more

Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments: A Critique Of OPR’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” (Part I – Proposed “Efficiency...

On August 11, 2015, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a 145-page “Preliminary Discussion Draft” of “Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines” (the “Discussion Draft”). The Discussion Draft “contains...more

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