News & Analysis as of

Duty of Loyalty Board of Directors

Activists at the Gate: Court of Chancery Weighs In on Claims Involving Activist Stockholders

Several recent decisions applying Delaware law offer helpful insight about the impact that activist investor involvement has on board decision-making leading to a transaction and how those decisions will be reviewed by the...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Demand Excusal Based On Knowing Violations Of Law

by Morris James LLP on

Kandell v. NIV, C.A. No. 11812-VCG (Sept. 29, 2017) - Derivative plaintiffs alleging that directors allowed the corporation they serve to violate the law typically face dismissal for failure to make pre-suit demand on the...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Duty Of Care and Loyalty Claims

by Morris James LLP on

H&N Management Group Inc. v Couch, C.A. No. 12847-VCMR (Del. Ch. Aug. 1, 2017) - This is a rare case involving apparent lack of care in approving a conflicted transaction and a failure to employ almost any safeguards to...more

Delaware Court Of Chancery Identifies Fiduciary Duty Constraints On Preferred Equity

by Cole Schotz on

A recent decision of the Delaware Court of Chancery (the “Court”) places certain fiduciary constraints on a company’s ability to satisfy its obligations to its preferred equity holders. While investors often seek to acquire...more

Inside the Courts – An Update From Skadden Securities - June 2017

This quarter’s issue includes summaries and associated court opinions of selected cases principally decided between February 2017 and April 2017. The cases address developing trends in class actions, ERISA, fiduciary duties,...more

Delaware Chancery Court Holds That Well-Pled Unocal Claim Does Not Automatically Excuse Pre-Suit Demand

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On May 15, 2017, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III of the Delaware Chancery Court dismissed a shareholder derivative action asserting that the directors of The Williams Companies, Inc. (“Williams”) breached their duty of...more

Court Of Chancery Declines To Hold Unocal Claim Automatically Excuses Demand

by Morris James LLP on

A derivative plaintiff who fails to make a pre-suit demand on the board must show why demand is excused using particularized facts. Here, the plaintiff argued that demand was automatically excused by sufficiently pleading a...more

Home Depot Agrees to Settle Data Breach Shareholders’ Suit

In a surprise move late last week, Home Depot has agreed to settle a shareholders derivative suit filed against current and former members of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Information...more

Yahoo! Data Breach Results in Another Lawsuit Against Corporate Directors and Officers

by Snell & Wilmer on

A number of claims have been made against companies’ directors and officers alleging a breach of fiduciary duty for failing to adequately oversee data security programs. To date, the defendants’ oversight of the programs and...more

Yellow Flags Are Not Red Flags: Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Caremark Claim in Reiter v. Fairbank

by Carlton Fields on

In October 2016, the Delaware Court of Chancery rejected a shareholder derivative lawsuit premised on an alleged lack of oversight by the directors of Capital One Financial Corp., Reiter v. Fairbank, C.A. No. 11693-CB, 2016...more

Delaware Law Updates - 2016 Year in Review

by McCarter & English, LLP on

Our Delaware Corporate and Alternative Entity Law attorneys closely followed the opinions coming from Delaware’s Supreme Court and Court of Chancery. Our 2016 Year in Review is a collection of brief summaries of selected...more

Home Depot Evades Shareholder’s Derivative Suit for 2014 Data Breach

by BakerHostetler on

Public companies that are proactively working to mitigate “cyber” risks and prepare to respond to potential incidents frequently ask whether a “breach” will lead to litigation, loss of customers, stock price decline, and...more

Home Depot Data Breach Derivative Suit Sent Home

Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. of the U.S. District Court of Georgia permanently shelved a derivative suit brought by shareholders of Home Depot. Home Depot is a multinational home improvement retailer. In September, 2014,...more

Shareholders’ Derivative Suit Against Home Depot Dismissed

On November 30, 2016, The Home Depot, Inc. (Home Depot) got a victory in the shareholders’ derivative suit filed against it for its alleged failure to institute necessary controls to secure its data relating to its 2014...more

"Two Court of Chancery Deal Litigation Decisions Provide Helpful Guidance"

Chelsea Therapeutics: Post-Closing Bad Faith Claim a ‘Rare Bird’ in Delaware Absent Allegations of Self-Interestedness or Lack of Independence - In In re Chelsea Therapeutics International LTD Stockholders Litigation,...more

Court Of Chancery Dismisses Post-Closing Claims Under Corwin

by Morris James LLP on

Under the recent Corwin decision, a fully-informed vote by uncoerced and disinterested stockholders to approve a merger invokes the business judgment rule and effectively precludes almost any claim the merger was improper. ...more

Delaware District Court Examines An Officer’s Fiduciary Duties When Projecting Revenues

by Morris James LLP on

Revenue projections are an inexact science, but they should have some basis in fact. Where they are alleged to be without a basis in reality, and indeed contrary to reality, a court may, as here, find that an officer’s...more

Delaware Chancery Court Finds that Director Defendants Can Not “Merge Their Way Out of” Breach of Fiduciary Claims

On July 28, 2016, the Delaware Chancery Court allowed claims of unfair dealing against the Board of property management company Riverstone National Inc. to survive where the directors facilitated a merger that forestalled a...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When Caremark Claim Exists Based On Illegal Conduct

by Morris James LLP on

This decision explains when a Caremark claim exists based on illegal corporate conduct. The “substantial likelihood” of liability that justifies excusing a pre-suit demand on the board must involve a knowing violation of the...more

Delaware Law Updates – The Duty of Loyalty: Anything But ‘Hazy Jurisprudence’ on an Exacting, But Narrow, Standard

by McCarter & English, LLP on

In a recent decision out of the Delaware Court of Chancery—In re Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. Stockholders Litigation., Consol. C.A. No. 9640-VCG—Vice Chancellor Glasscock was faced with a claim that the board of...more

Bankruptcy Court Opinion Clarifies California Law on Duties of Directors & Officers Upon Insolvency

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

It is not unusual in the lifecycle of a start-up for the company to hit road blocks and have cash flow issues. During these times, the board and its members will ask the company’s professionals what their fiduciary duties are...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When A Minority Stockholder May Have Actual Control Over A Deal

by Morris James LLP on

This is another in a series of decisions dealing with the allegation that a minority stockholder controlled a deal through its control of a majority of the board of directors....more

Court Of Chancery Applies Demand Analysis To Changed Board

by Morris James LLP on

This is an interesting decision because it applies the demand rules in a derivative case to an odd situation — when some but not all of the board members have changed between when the challenged conduct occurred and when the...more

Director Cybersecurity Risk Oversight and Actions

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

This article begins by providing an overview of the duty of directors to oversee risk, including cybersecurity risk, in the cyberattack context and then outlines actions that board of directors are taking as reported by...more

Southern District of Florida Case Challenging Bylaw Requiring Minimum Stake to Sue Dismissed

As we have previously discussed, there has been a growing trend of corporations’ adopting various types of bylaws to define the bounds of shareholder litigation. These include forum-selection bylaws and fee-shifting bylaws...more

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