Archives: Chancery Court Updates

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Delaware Courts’ Response to the Coronavirus

According to the World Health Organization this afternoon, and a televised announcement from the President of the United States this evening, a novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has now been declared to be a worldwide pandemic. Two other examples of how serious this situation is: The President announced a travel ban from most of Europe to the U.S. … Continue Reading

Claims by Long-Term Close Friend Proceed Against Faithless Business Partner

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery opinion discussed the nuances of an unusual personal and business relationship, akin to a “familial intimacy”, that formed the basis for the court to conclude that a fiduciary relationship could be proven at trial.  See Bamford v. Penfold, L.P., C.A. No. 2019-0005-JTL (Del. Ch. Feb. 28, 2020). Short Overview: … Continue Reading

Chancery: AmTrust squeeze-out must face stiff review after failing MFWcontrolling shareholder test

This post was prepared by Frank Reynolds, who has been following Delaware corporate law, and writing about it for various legal publications, for over 30 years. The Delaware Court of Chancery recently ruled that AmTrust, Inc.’s controlling shareholders’ go-private buyout of the insurer must be reviewed under the harsh light of the entire fairness standard … Continue Reading

Chancery Addresses Liquidated Damages Clause in Non-Competition Agreement

The following synopsis was prepared by Chauna Abner, an attorney in the Delaware office of Eckert Seamans. In Lyons Ins. Agency, Inc. v. Kelly Wark, et al., C.A. No. 2017-0348-SG (Del. Ch., Jan. 28, 2020), the Court of Chancery opined on the enforceability of a liquidated damages provisions in a non-competition agreement. The Court explained … Continue Reading

Chancery Addresses Usurpation of Corporate Opportunity

The following synopsis was prepared by Chauna Abner, an attorney in the Delaware office of Eckert Seamans. In Leased Access Preservation Association v. Ivan Thomas, et al., C.A. No. 2019-0310-KSJM, Order (Del. Ch. Jan. 8, 2020), a non-profit, non-stock corporation filed suit against Ivan Thomas, a former board member of the plaintiff, alleging, in part, … Continue Reading

Anthology of Blurbs About Recent Delaware Corporate and Commercial Decisions

In a departure from the manner in which most cases have been highlighted on these pages, this post includes a collection of short blurbs about recent Delaware corporate and commercial decisions, identifying the key issues addressed, with a link to the whole opinion. This experimental approach to highlighting recent decisions was prompted by a combination … Continue Reading

Chancery finds failure to allege conspiracy means dismissal of ex-director and his foreign firms

This post was prepared by Frank Reynolds, who has been following Delaware corporate law, and writing about it for various legal publications, for over 30 years. The Delaware Court of Chancery recently dismissed the remaining defendants from a lawsuit that Wanu Water Inc.’s founder filed against directors and shareholders who allegedly conspired to seize control, finding a boardroom rival’s … Continue Reading

Chancery: Tesla investors need only prove Musk had coercive influence ability in SolarCity deal

This post was prepared by Frank Reynolds, who has been following Delaware corporate law, and writing about it for various legal publications, for over 30 years. The Delaware Court of Chancery recently found that a trial is needed to decide whether, despite his minority share of Tesla Motors Inc., CEO Elon Musk could exert a controller’s … Continue Reading

Chancery Denies Attorneys’ Fees for Successful Suit to Compel Annual Meeting

The Court of Chancery recently denied a request for attorneys’ fees that were sought pursuant to the corporate benefit doctrine despite a successful suit under Section 211 of the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL) to compel a company to hold an annual meeting. In Martin v. Harbor Diversified, Inc., C.A. No. 2018-0762-SG (Del. Ch. Feb. … Continue Reading

Court of Chancery Denies Motion to Dismiss Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Claim

This post was authored by R. Montgomery (“Monty”) Donaldson, a Delaware business and commercial litigator for many years, a friend and colleague of Francis Pileggi, and a follower of this blog. The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing has received considerable play in Delaware in recent years. In fact, over the last half-decade, … Continue Reading

Chancery Grants Defamation Damages

A recent Delaware decision is notable for two reasons. First, it provides an example of a relatively rare defamation finding in a decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery. In Laser Tone Business Systems, LLC v. Delaware Micro-Computer LLC, C.A. No. 2017-0439-TMR (Del. Ch. Jan. 17, 2020), the court granted damages in the amount of … Continue Reading

Chancery Enforces Post-Mediation Term Sheet

A recent decision of the Delaware Court of Chancery provides a useful example of why the terms of a successful mediation need to be sufficiently memorialized in writing, immediately, so that the settlement can be enforced in the event that a formal and comprehensive settlement agreement is not completed later. In Starkman v. O’Rourke, No. … Continue Reading

Vice Chancellor Does Not Follow Prior Section 220 Decisions

A recently published Delaware Court of Chancery decision must be read by anyone who seeks to understand the latest iteration of Delaware law involving Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law in connection with demands by stockholders for corporate books and records. Lebanon County Employees’ Retirement Fund v. AmerisourceBergen Corporation, No. 2019-0527-JTL (Del. Ch. Jan. … Continue Reading

Investors can’t support claim they were short-changed when directors changed merger partners

This post was prepared by Frank Reynolds, who has been following Delaware corporate law, and writing about it for various legal publications, for over 30 years. The Court of Chancery has tossed out a shareholder class action that accused Essendant Inc.’s directors and CEO of disloyally jilting merger mate Genuine Parts Co. in favor of … Continue Reading

Moving records action to New York would not be more efficient for plaintiff, Chancery says

This post was prepared by Frank Reynolds, who has been following Delaware corporate law, and writing about it for various legal publications, for over 30 years. Rallye Motors Holding, LLC cannot use Delaware’s McWanedoctrine to force its ex-CEO to move his books-and-records action to New York, where a fellow member and ex-employee of that limited … Continue Reading

Chancery Analyzes Standard of “Commercially Reasonable Efforts”

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery decision discussed many issues of great interest to commercial and corporate litigators in connection with a finding that Boston Scientific Corporation could not justifiably terminate an acquisition agreement with the target company, including an analysis of the familiar contractual standard of “commercially reasonable efforts,” which has been held to be synonymous with … Continue Reading

On second look, Chancery finds buyer’s revised charge avoids ex-CEO’s advancement claim

This post was prepared by Frank Reynolds, who has been following Delaware corporate law, and writing about it for various legal publications, for over 30 years. A recent Court of Chancery opinion reversed an earlier advancement decision in favor of Heartland Payment System LLC ex-CEO Robert Carr after finding buyer Global Payments Inc.’s amended complaint narrowed its … Continue Reading

Chancery says Tutor Perini owes subsidiary’s former owners $8 million under holdback pact

This post was prepared by Frank Reynolds, who has been following Delaware corporate law, and writing about it for various legal publications, for over 30 years. The Delaware Chancery Court ordered general contractor Tutor Perini Corp. to turn over $8 million to Greenstar Services Corp.’s former owners, after finding they met the terms of a … Continue Reading

Chancery Grants Access to Special Litigation Committee Documents

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery opinion involved a rare situation: A special litigation committee decided that the derivative plaintiff should be able to pursue a derivative suit that was filed against the company.  In the matter styled: In re Oracle Corporation Derivative Litigation, C.A. No. 2017-0337-SG (Del. Ch. Dec. 4, 2019), the court addressed … Continue Reading
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