News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for Company Stock, but Hurdles for Plaintiffs Remain

This week, the U. S. Supreme Court rejected a long-standing “presumption of prudence” that protected an ERISA fiduciary’s decision to allow qualified retirement plan participants to invest in company stock. However, the...more

Delaware Chancery Court Permits Shareholder to Bring Fiduciary Claim for Board’s Violation of a Stock Incentive Plan

On November 8, the Delaware Chancery Court denied a motion to dismiss a derivative action brought by a shareholder of Healthways, Inc. against the company’s president, Ben Leedle, Jr., and the board of directors for approving...more

When It Comes To Proxy Statements, The U.S. District Courts May Not Be So Exclusive After All

A recent ruling by Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons, Jr. caused me to ponder why a case involving alleged misstatements in a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission wasn’t immediately tossed out on...more

Pfeiffer v. Leedle, C.A. No. 7831-VCP (Del. Ch. Nov. 8, 2013) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion denying defendants’ motion to dismiss, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiff alleged particularized facts showing a board of directors breached its fiduciary duty of loyalty by approving the...more

Accidents Happen: Innocent Mistakes By Board May Not Spoil Business Judgment Protection

Recently, the Delaware Court of Chancery in Pfeiffer v. Leedle declined to dismiss a shareholder derivative action against a board for breach of fiduciary duty, where the directors allegedly approved stock options exceeding...more

Court Holds That Plan Sponsor’s SEC Filings Were Incorporated By Reference Into Retirement Plan’s Summary Plan Description and...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has held that an ERISA-regulated employee stock-ownership retirement plan’s incorporation by reference of the plan sponsor’s statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission...more

Fifth Circuit Applies Moench Presumption of Prudence at Motion to Dismiss Stage

The Fifth Circuit recently joined four other circuits (the Second, Third, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits) in holding that the presumption of prudence applicable in employer stock fund cases is appropriately applied at the...more

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