Tag Archives: duty of loyalty

Chancery Allows Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty for Approval of Stock Options in Violation of Stock Option Plan

Pfeiffer v. Leedle, C.A. No. 7831-VCP (Del. Ch. Nov. 8, 2013). Issue Addressed:  Whether the approval of stock option grants that exceeded the maximum number of stock options allowed under the stock incentive plan was the basis for a breach of fiduciary duty claim against both the board that approved it and the executive who … Continue Reading

Chancery Applies Business Judgment Rule to Freezeout by Majority Shareholder

In Re MFW Shareholder Litigation, C.A. No. 6566-CS (Del. Ch. May 29, 2013). Issue Addressed: What standard of review should apply to a going-private merger conditioned upfront by the controlling stockholder on approval by both a properly empowered, independent committee and an informed, uncoerced majority-of-the-minority vote. Short Answer: When a controlling stockholder merger has, from the … Continue Reading

Delaware Fiduciary Duty of Disclosure Explained by Chancery

In re Wayport, Inc. Litigation, Cons., C.A. No. 4167-VCL (Del. Ch. May 1, 2013). Issues Addressed: Among the several issues addressed in this case, the most noteworthy is a fulsome discussion and restatement of the fiduciary duty of disclosure that directors and majority shareholders owe to other existing shareholders from whom they are purchasing or selling … Continue Reading

Chancery Addresses Right to Direct Claim for Dilution of Minority Shareholders

Carsanaro v. Bloodhound Technologies, Inc., C.A. No. 7301-VCP (Del. Ch. March 15, 2013). This 76-page Chancery decision addresses issues that include the following: (1) when a claim for dilution of minority shares can be pursued directly instead of, or in addition to, derivately; (2) restrictions imposed by DGCL Section 160 on the right to redeem … Continue Reading

Duties of Directors of Insolvent Company Addressed

Edgewater Growth Capital Partners LP v. HIG Capital, Inc., C.A. 3601-CS (Del. Ch., Feb. 28, 2013). This 70-page decision provides useful and extensive analysis of the duties of directors of an insolvent corporation and related claims against a private equity shareholder who enforced its foreclosure rights. The court dismissed the claims and found that the foreclosure … Continue Reading

Delaware Board’s Fiduciary Duty of Oversight for Foreign Operations

In re Puda Coal, Inc. Stockholders Litigation, C.A. No. 6476-CS (Del. Ch. Feb. 6, 2013)(Bench ruling). Thanks to Tariq Mundiya of Willkie Farr for forwarding the transcript. This bench ruling, highlighted on The Harvard Law School Corporate Governance Blog, for which I am a contributing author, addressed a claim for a breach of the board’s duty of … Continue Reading

Chancery Grants Relief on Both Fiduciary Duty and Contract Claims Against Member of Joint Venture

In Re: Mobilactive Media, LLC, Consol. C.A. No. 5725-VCP (Del. Ch., Jan. 25, 2013).  What this Case is About:  This decision addresses claims between two members of a joint venture based on both breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.  Both claims were allowed to proceed and both claims prevailed as non-duplicative.  The Court also … Continue Reading

Key Delaware Corporate and Commercial Decisions in 2012

Noteworthy 2012 Corporate and Commercial Decisions from Delaware’s Supreme Court and Court of Chancery. By: Francis G.X. Pileggi and Kevin F. Brady. Introduction This is the eighth year that we are providing an annual review of key Delaware corporate and commercial decisions. During 2012, we reviewed and summarized over 200 decisions from Delaware’s Supreme Court … Continue Reading

No Damages Proven for Breach of Fiduciary Duty by Director Leaking Data

Shocking Technologies, Inc. v. Michael, C.A. No. 7164-VCN (Del. Ch. Oct. 1, 2012). Issues addressed: (1) Whether a dissident director may leak confidential data as part of his battle with the majority of directors, without breaching the duty of loyalty? (2) When a director breaches his duty of loyalty by leaking confidential data, but no … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Affirms $2 Billion Judgment and $300 Million in Fees for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

The Delaware Supreme Court today, in the case of Americas Mining Corp. v. Theriault, No. 29, 2012 (Del. Aug. 27, 2012), read here, in a 110-page opinion, upheld the Court of Chancery’s 100-plus page decision awarding over $2 billion in damages based on a breach of fiduciary duty claim in connection with the sale of … Continue Reading

Dismissal of One Derivative Lawsuit Not Bar to Second Derivative Claim by Second Stockholder

Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement Systems v. Pyott, C.A. 5795-VCL (Del. Ch. June 11, 2012). Issues Addressed Whether collateral estoppel, Rule 23.1 or Rule 12(b)(6) apply to require the dismissal of a Delaware derivative suit based on the dismissal in California of a related derivative suit in which a federal court granted a Rule 23.1 … Continue Reading

Court of Chancery Awards Lost Future Earnings as Damages to Hedge Fund Managers Due to Fraud of Majority Partner

Paron Capital Management LLC v. Crombie, C.A. No. 6380-VCP (Del. Ch. May 22, 2012). Issue Addressed: Whether the breach of fiduciary duty owed by a hedge fund manager to his partners entitles them to lost future earnings. Short Answer: The Court found that the partners who were defrauded were entitled to lost future earnings and other costs associated … Continue Reading

Key Delaware Corporate and Commercial Decisions in First 4 Months of 2012

The following key Delaware corporate and commercial decisions from the first four months of 2012 are a follow-up to our summary of the key decisions that we featured from 2011. We highlight on these pages all the corporate and commercial opinions from Delaware’s Supreme Court and Court of Chancery, and we have chosen the following 2012 rulings … Continue Reading

Delaware Court of Chancery Awards Attorneys’ Fees of $660,000

Auriga Capital Corp. v. Gatz Properties, LLC, is an iconic opinion from the Delaware Court of Chancery that was issued on Jan. 27, 2012 and highlighted on these pages here.  This decision is momentous because it explains why fiduciary duties will apply by default to managers and controlling members of LLCs unless those duties are … Continue Reading

Chancery Explains Basis for Fiduciary Duty Default Standards Applicable to LLCs

Auriga Capital Corp. v. Gatz Properties LLC, C.A. No. 4390-CS (Del. Ch., Jan. 27, 2012), read opinion here. What this Case is About and Why it is Important This case establishes a high-water mark in terms of providing the most comprehensive explanation, based on legislative history and a review of Delaware cases, to explain why … Continue Reading

Chancery Finds Corporate Officers Usurped Corporate Opportunities and Converted Resources in Violation of their Fiduciary Duty of Loyalty

In a post-trial decision, the Court of Chancery in Dweck v. Nasser, C. A. No. 1353-VCL (Jan. 18, 2012), found that Dweck, the former CEO, a director and 30% stockholder in Kids International Corporation (“Kids”), and Kevin Taxin, Kids’ President, breached their fiduciary duties of loyalty to Kids by establishing competing companies that usurped Kids’ … Continue Reading

Delaware Supreme Court Issues Major Ruling on Shareholder Ratification Doctrine and Duties of Corporate Officers

In Gantler v. Stephens, (Del. Supr., Jan. 27, 2009), read opinion here, the Delaware Supreme Court, yesterday,  issued a major decision on important matters of Delaware corporate law. Delaware’s High Court  for the first time confirmed and clarified that officers of Delaware corporations have the same fiduciary duties as directors of Delaware corporations. In addition, … Continue Reading