Archives: Chancery Court Updates

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Requirements for Confidential Treatment of Chancery Court Filings

A recent Court of Chancery decision explains the prerequisites that must be satisfied to obtain court approval to prohibit the public from viewing documents filed with the court. In The Chemours Co. v. DowDuPont, Inc., C.A. No. 2019-0351-SG (Del. Ch. June 7, 2019), the court denied a motion for confidential treatment and explained why the requirements of Rule … Continue Reading

Mid-Year Review of Key Delaware Corporate and Commercial Decisions

Over the last 14 years that I have published this blog, I have compiled an annual review with a list of key Delaware corporate and commercial decisions that have widespread utility to practitioners, especially those court decisions that are not widely covered by other legal publications or the mainstream press. On a few occasions, I have prepared a mid-year … Continue Reading

Delaware A.G. Obtains Cancellation of LLC Certificate of Formation

The Delaware Attorney General announced today that she obtained a Consent Judgment to secure the cancellation of  the Certificates of Formation for several LLCs allegedly involved in criminal activities or otherwise “abusing its LLC powers and privileges” in connection with the website Backpage.com. The Consent Decree signed by the Court of Chancery was dated June … Continue Reading

Chancery Orders Mandatory Indemnification per DGCL Section 145(c)

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery decision ordered mandatory indemnification based on success in underlying litigation pursuant to DGCL § 145(c), in the matter styled:  Brown v. Rite Aid Corporation, C.A. No. 2017-0480-MTZ (Del. Ch. May 24, 2019). Issue Addressed:  Whether dismissal of the underlying litigation based on a technical argument was “success” for purposes of … Continue Reading

Forum Selection Clause Interpreted Based on Austrian Law

A forum selection clause, controlled by Austrian law, was recently interpreted by the Delaware Court of Chancery as a mandatory forum selection clause requiring the dispute to be litigated in Vienna.  In Germaninvestments A.G. v. Allomet Corporation, C.A. No. 2018-0666-JRS (Del. Ch. May 23, 2019), the court also determined that the choice of law provision … Continue Reading

Chancery Grants Advancement on Counterclaims

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery bench ruling granted advancement in connection with defensive counterclaims against a former officer and director.  In Dodelson v. AC Hold Co., Inc., C.A. No. 2019-0029-SG (transcript) (Del. Ch. May 21, 2019), the court interpreted the provisions of a charter with advancement provisions, and reasoned that advancement was warranted. An … Continue Reading

Court Orders Waiver of Privilege Due to Deficient Privilege Log

A recent bench ruling from the Court of Chancery granted a motion to compel production of documents improperly withheld as privileged–and in the process ordered that privilege was waived due to the deficient preparation of the privilege log.  See Mountain West Series of Lockton Companies, LLC v. Alliant Insurance Services, Inc., C.A. No. 2019-0226-JTL (transcript) … Continue Reading

Chancery Denies Indemnification Claim Seeking Recoupment of Advancement

A recent Court of Chancery decision rejected an attempt to recoup advancement based on the terms of an indemnification clause. See Computer Sciences Corporation v. Pulier, C.A. No. 11011-CB (Del. Ch. May 21, 2019), for this recurring issue in Delaware corporate and commercial litigation. Issue Addressed:  May a company recoup, via an indemnification claim, the amounts … Continue Reading

Chancery Applies Corporate Advancement Case Law to LLC Context

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery decision interpreted the advancement provisions of an LLC Agreement by applying case law interpreting DGCL Section 145 in the corporate context.  In Freeman Family LLC v. Park Avenue Landing LLC, C.A. No. 2018-0683-TMR (Del. Ch. Apr. 30, 2019), the court reviewed the applicability of “defined phrases” that are familiar … Continue Reading

Chancery Considers Exception to Production of Attorney-Client Privileged Communications

A recent short ruling from the Delaware Court of Chancery examined one of the exceptions to the general rule that attorney-client privileged information is not subject to production. In Tigani v. Tigani, C.A. No. 2017-0786-KSJM (Del. Ch. April 10, 2019), the court addressed a motion to compel documents from various law firms that were withheld … Continue Reading

No Equitable Jurisdiction for This Declaratory Judgment Suit

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery opinion provides a reminder of the limited jurisdiction of Delaware’s court of equity and why not all suits for declaratory judgment satisfy the narrow subject matter jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery.  See Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., C.A. No. 2018-0384-MTZ (Del. Ch. Mar. 26, 2019). Background: … Continue Reading

Consent to Jurisdiction Implied by Adoption of Forum Selection Bylaw

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery decision is noteworthy for its finding that the adoption of a forum selection bylaw implied consent to jurisdiction to the extent that it required lawsuits by stockholders against the company to be filed in Delaware.  See In re: Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. Derivative Litigation, C.A. No. 2018-0058-JTL (consol.) (Del. Ch. … Continue Reading

Chancery Finds Usurpation of Corporate Opportunity

Delaware case law is well-established regarding the aspect of the fiduciary duty of loyalty that prohibits a corporate director from usurping a corporate opportunity. A recent decision from the Delaware Court of Chancery applies that well-settled prohibition in a flexible manner to a set of facts that have apparently not been squarely addressed in prior precedent.  … Continue Reading

Delaware Courts and Legal Ethics

A recent decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery provides an example of those rare instances where the court refers a violation of legal ethics to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for investigation, as compared to the court itself determining the appropriate penalty. See Charter Communications Operating LLC v. Optymyze, LLC, et al., C.A. No. 2018-0865-JTL, … Continue Reading

Director Not Entitled to Privileged Communications with Board Special Committee

A recent short Order of the Court of Chancery reiterated one of the limitations on the right of a director to receive corporate information. In the latest installment of the internecine imbroglio in the litigation captioned Schnatter v. Papa John’s International, Inc., C.A. No. 2018-0542-AGB, Order, (Del. Ch. Feb. 25, 2019), the Court explained that DGCL … Continue Reading

Chancery Denies Section 220 Demand for Corporate Books and Records

A recent post-trial decision from the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a claim for corporate books and records based on DGCL § 220 after finding that there was no credible basis for wrongdoing to support the stated investigative purpose for the demand. Hoeller v. Tempur Sealy International, Inc., C.A. No. 2018-0336-JRS (Del. Ch. Feb. 12, … Continue Reading

Chancery Enjoins Shares Issued to Director Without Stockholder Approval

A recent Court of Chancery decision is notable for its analysis of an issuance of shares approved by a sole director–but without stockholder approval. In the matter of Applied Energetics, Inc. v. Farley, C.A. No. 2018-0489-TMR (Del. Ch. Jan. 24, 2019), the court considered a somewhat unusual set of facts that included a shell corporation, at the time of … Continue Reading

Chancery Clarifies Director’s Right to Corporate Records

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery decision addressed the important issue of the right of directors to be given access to corporate records. In Schnatter v. Papa John’s International, Inc., C.A. No. 2018-0542-AGB (Del. Ch. Jan. 15, 2019), Delaware’s court of equity considered a claim under Section 220(d) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL) … Continue Reading

Words Prevail Over Conflicting Numbers in Contract

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery decision determined that “words” prevailed over “numbers” when they appear next to each other as contract terms in a manner that is inconsistent and contradictory. In Fetch Interactive Television, LLC v. Touchstream Technologies, Inc., C.A. No. 2017-0637-SG (Del. Ch. Jan. 2, 2019), the court described in extensive detail the … Continue Reading
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