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Is Every Agent A Fiduciary?

In common parlance, a fiduciary is someone you can trust. The word itself is related to the Latin word, fidere, meaning to trust. We name our dogs “Fido” because dogs are trustworthy companions. For example, a dog named...more

Court Rules LLC Members May Be “Fiduciaries In Fact”

U.S. District Court Judge Tena Campbell’s ruling in Strong v. Cochran, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170073, is a reminder that sometimes what you do matters more than what you say. The case involved claims by the liquidating...more

Did The Co-Founder Of Alcoholics Anonymous Violate Rule 10b-5?

Recently, I enjoyed watching My Name is Bill W., a 1989 movie that starred James Woods, JoBeth Williams and James Garner. The film tells the story of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder William Griffith Wilson (aka Bill W.). In...more

Does Disclosure Of Results Of Internal Investigation Constitute Subject Matter Waiver?

Last Friday, I wrote about one of the docketed appeals in Wynn Resorts, Limited v. Eight Jud. Dist. Ct., 41 Nev. Adv. Op. 52 (2017). Today’s post concerns the other docketed appeal in that case. This appeal addressed...more

Is It A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty To Fail Or Refuse To Conform To Delaware’s Judicial Decisions Or Practices?

The answer to this question in Nevada may soon be an unequivocal “no”. Last week, the Nevada Legislature unanimously passed SB 203 and sent it to Governor Brian Sandoval for signature. Among other things, Section 2 of SB...more

More On Revlon Duties In California

Following yesterday’s post concerning the status of Revlon duties in California, I received a note from Suzanne Weakley, an attorney at the California Continuing Education of the BAR (aka the CEB). For those readers not...more

Is There A “Revlon Duty” In California?

There are certain seminal Delaware corporate law cases that are so well known that corporate lawyers are wont to assume that they have been adopted and followed everywhere. One such case is Revlon, Inc. v. MacAndrews &...more

Best Efforts – A California Perspective

UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge posted some thoughts yesterday on the meaning of contractual “best efforts” requirements. See What do “best efforts” and variants mean? A proposed set of definitions. The...more

Want To File A Derivative Suit? You May Soon Be Required To Read Statutes

I have been writing recently about SB 203, a bill that is now pending in the Nevada legislature. As introduced, the bill would, among other things, require the following...more

Nevada Legislature Ponders Rejection Of Unocal And Revlon Standards

Thirty years ago, the Delaware Supreme Court issued two seminal opinions concerning how courts ought to review director decisionmaking in merger and acquisition transactions. In the first case, Unocal Corporation v. Mesa...more

Professor Bainbridge On My “Beef” With Gantler v. Stephens

Professor Stephen Bainbridge yesterday provided a well considered assessment of my “beef” with the Delaware Supreme Court’s holding in Gantler v. Stephens, 965 A.2d 695, 709 (Del. 2009) that “the fiduciary duties of officers...more

What The Delaware Supreme Court Overlooked In Gantler v. Stephens

I have never been reconciled to the Delaware Supreme Court’s pronouncement in Gantler v. Stephens, 965 A.2d 695, 709 (Del. 2009) that “the fiduciary duties of officers are the same as those of directors”. Officers are, as...more

Officers And The Business Judgment Rule

Last weekend I attended a symposium at the UCLA School of Law entitled “Can Delaware Be Dethroned? Evaluating Delaware’s Dominance of Corporate Law”. The event, organized by ever erudite Professor Stephen Bainbridge,...more

Court Rules Plaintiff Is Not Required To Advance Defendant’s Legal Expenses

Imagine how frustrated you would be if you sued someone and the defendant responded by demanding that you advance his legal expenses in defending your lawsuit. The plaintiff in Allergia, Inc. v. Bouboulis, 2017 U.S. Dist....more

Court Rules Coequal Stockholders Owe Fiduciary Duties To Each Other

Stockholders in closely held corporations often operate their companies as if they were partnerships. Does that mean that the stockholders, like partners, owe fiduciary duties to each other?...more

Are A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty And A Breach Of Governing Documents “Non Bis In Idem”?

Last week, I discussed the Court of Appeal’s consideration of whether the business judgment rule protects a director from claims based on breach of the corporation’s governing documents. See Does The Business Judgment Rule...more

Is a Trustee Ever Just A Trustee?

Trusts are confusing. Fundamentally, a trust describes a relationship, not a person. Thus, the California Supreme Court has described a trust as “a fiduciary relationship with respect to property in which the person holding...more

4/19/2016  /  Fiduciary Duty , RULLCA , Trustees , Trusts

I’m Guessing That The DOL Didn’t Have in Mind Negative Weighing OF ESG Factors

In this post, I noted a recent study by Professor Tracie Woidtke at the University of Tennessee concluding that social-issue shareholder-proposal activism appears to be negatively related to firm value. I therefore raised...more

What Exactly Is “Constructive Engagement”?

Yesterday, I wrote about SB 185 (De León) which mandates that California’s two giant pension funds to liquidate their investments in thermal coal companies on or before July 1, 2017.  One aspect of the bill that I didn’t...more

California’s New “Thermal Coal” Divestment Law Forces Fiduciary Duty Question

Public pension funds exist to provide retirement benefits to public employees.  Cal. Const. Art. XVI, § 17(a).  In 1992, the voters of California tried to eliminate political interference with the state’s retirement funds by...more

Do Public Pension Funds Breach Their Fiduciary Duties By Pursuing Social Issue Proposals?

Yesterday, UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge noted the publication of a recent study that reaches some devastating conclusions for public pension funds.  The study by Professor Tracie Woidtke at the University of...more

Court Poised To Decide Whether Directors Are Agents

Not quite four years ago, I wrote about whether directors are agents. The post was prompted by then Chancellor William B. Chandler III’s assertion...more

Do De Facto Officers Owe Fiduciary Duties?

A recent ruling by Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley addressed the interesting question of whether a consultant might owe a fiduciary duty as a de facto officer.  Music Grp. Macao Commer. Offshore, Ltd. v. Foote, 2015...more

Court Rules Unincorporated Association Aided Director’s Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

Nearly four years ago, I devoted this post about California’s Unincorporated Association Law. Typically, an unincorporated association is a club, church, or other social organization. A criminal street gang might also be an...more

Should Directors Be Required To Have Valid Passports?

Lately, I’ve had occasion to think about director qualifications. Section 212(b)(4) of the California Corporations Code permits the bylaws to to specify the qualifications of directors.  In Section 141(b),the Delaware General...more

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