What is the role of defense counsel in deal litigation? What impact does the involvement of “top” deal litigation firms have on lawsuit outcomes? And what will the impact on deal litigation be from the advent of forum selection by-laws and the recent court crackdown on disclosure-only settlements? These are the questions addressed in an interesting May 2, 2016 paper entitled “Divided Loyalties? The Role of Defense Litigation Counsel in Shareholder M&A Litigation” (here), by C.N.V. Krishnan of Case Western Reserve University; Steven Davidoff Solomon of University of California Berkeley Law School; and Randall Thomas of Vanderbilt Law School. A summary of their paper appears in a May 23, 2016 post on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (here). Continue Reading
It has been nearly six years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2010 decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, in which the Court restricted the ability of shareholders of non-U.S. companies who purchased their shares outside the U.S. to file securities fraud lawsuit in U.S. courts under the U.S. securities laws. In the intervening years, many of the issues questions that the Morrison decision presented have been resolved by the lower courts. However, one issue that has continued to percolate is the question of whether under Morrison the U.S. securities laws apply to transactions involving foreign companies’ unsponsored ADRs traded over-the-counter (OTC) in the U.S.
These issues were presented in the class action lawsuit filed in June 2015 in the Central District of California against Toshiba Corporation. The consolidated lawsuit purported to be filed on behalf of a class of investors who purchased unsponsored Toshiba American Depositary Shares (ADS) over-the-counter in the U.S., as well as on behalf of investors who purchased Toshiba shares on the Tokyo stock exchange. In an interesting May 20, 2016 opinion (here), Central District of California Judge Dean Pregerson held under Morrison that the U.S. securities laws do not apply to unsponsored OTC transactions in Toshiba’s ADSs. Judge Pregerson also granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the claims of the investors who purchased Toshiba shares on the Tokyo stock exchange. Continue Reading
The D&O Diary was on assignment in Canada last week for meetings and to attend a PLUS Canadian Chapter event in Montréal. It was a short sunlit visit to our Northern neighbor, but it was just long enough for a bit of foreign adventure without even leaving the Eastern Time zone. Continue Reading
While financial fraud has always been an important enforcement target for the SEC, the agency recently has shown increased attention to financial reporting cases. In the following guest post, Robert F. Carangelo, Paul A. Ferrillo and Andrew Cauchi of the Weil Gotshal law firm take a look at the SEC’s recent focus on financial reporting and the particular issues that have drawn the agency’s scrutiny. I would like to thank Rob, Paul and Andrew for their willingness to publish their article on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ guest post. Continue Reading
Among the decisions that the Supreme Court issued this past Monday was its unanimous ruling in Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning (here), in which the Court held that the ’34 Act’s exclusive federal jurisdiction provisions do not preclude a claimant from pursuing state law securities claims in state court. In the following guest post, attorneys from the Paul Weiss law firm take a look at the Court’s decision in the case and discuss its implications. I would like to thank the Paul Weiss attorneys for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the Paul Weiss attorneys’ guest post.
In a closely-watched case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that to establish standing to sue, a claimant who alleged that inaccurate information on the Spokeo website about him violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act must show that the supposed FCRA violation caused him “concrete” harm. Defense-side advocates had hoped that the Court would strike down the plaintiffs’ claims in the case and help stem the flow of proliferating “no injury” class action litigation under the FCRA and other federal statutes such as the TCPA and the ADA. However, the Court’s did not strike down the plaintiffs’ claim, but instead remanded the case for the Ninth Circuit to determine whether or not the claimant’s allegations met the “concrete harm” requirements to establish standing. Though the holding is narrow, there is language in the Court’s opinion that may prove helpful for defendants in other cases. A copy of the Court’s May 16, 2016 opinion in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins can be found here. Continue Reading
Readers familiar with my background know that while I have spent the last ten years representing policyholders, I spent the first 25 years or so of my career on the insurer side of the aisle, first as a lawyer representing insurers and later as an insurer employee. Because of that long prior experience, I am generally able to see the insurer’s side of most issues, even when I am advocating on behalf of a policyholder. Though I generally can see where the insurer is coming from, there are two issues that I think the insurers regularly get wrong. Both of these issues arise in the context of private company D&O insurance. The first relates to the wording of the contractual liability exclusion. The second involves the wording of the professional liability exclusion. I discuss both of these issues below. Continue Reading
In the following guest post, Umesh Pratapa takes a look at the law in India governing the duties and responsibilities of independent directors, and discusses the ways that independent directors can manage their exposures and safeguard themselves from liability, and protect themselves with D&O insurance. Umesh is an independent insurance consultant in India. I would like to thank Umesh for his willingness to publish his article on my site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Umesh’s guest post. Continue Reading
As I hope readers know, The D&O Diary is celebrating its tenth anniversary this week. Because I want everyone to be able to join the celebration, the anniversary activities include a special offer. As along as supplies last, any reader who wants a commemorative edition D&O Diary Tenth Anniversary Frisbee can have one, for free. Free, as in no charges. Nada, rien, zilch.
There is, however, one little catch. Continue Reading
When Delaware Chancellor Andre Bouchard rejected the proposed disclosure-only settlement in the litigation arising out of Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia, there was some belief that his decision represented the death knell for these kinds of settlements in merger objection lawsuits. There is indeed some evidence that the number of merger objection lawsuits filed has declined. However, as discussed in an April 29, 2016 Washington Legal Foundation article by attorneys Anthony Rickey and Keola R. Whittaker (here), “Delaware’s sister courts continue to approved disclosure only settlements and award six-figure attorneys’ fees.” As discussed below, the net effect of Delaware’s hostility to disclosure only settlements may not necessarily be that fewer of these kinds of cases get filed, it may be that weaker cases are “driven to other jurisdictions.” Continue Reading