Trustee’s Professional Liability Insurance: No Coverage for Claims Against Trustee Acting as Director of Separate Corporation

wisconsinAs I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), a recurring D&O insurance coverage issue is the question of whether or not an insured person was acting in an insured capacity at the time he or she allegedly committed the wrongful acts alleged against him or her. These questions arise because individuals often act in numerous capacities, but the D&O policy provides coverage only for those acts undertaken as a director or officer of the insured company.


A recent case involved similar questions arising under a professional liability insurance policy that provided coverage for the insured individual’s acts in his capacity as the trustee of two trusts. The individual sought coverage under the policy for claims brought against him in his capacity as a director or officer of separate companies in which the trusts held controlling ownership interests. In a June 30, 2016 opinion (here), the Wisconsin Supreme Court, applying Wisconsin law,  affirmed the intermediate appellate court’s holding that under the policy’s business enterprise exclusion, which precluded coverage for claims arising from the individual’s actions for entities other than the specified trusts, there was no coverage under the policy and the insurer had not breached its duty to defend. Continue Reading

Securities Class Action Lawsuit Filings Continue at Elevated Pace in the Year’s First Half

gavel2013Continuing 2015’s elevated pace, the number of securities class action lawsuit filings during the first half of 2016 accrued in numbers well above both historical averages and recent levels. The first half 2016 levels puts the securities suit filing activity on pace for the most active year for securities class action lawsuit filings since 2004. Continue Reading

Is Australia About to Become the Global Forum of Choice for Securities Class Action Litigation?

ausmapAs I have noted in prior posts, in recent years, there has been a significant growth in shareholder class action litigation in Australia. There are a number of reasons for this development; among other things, Australia’s class action regime is, by comparison to the procedures available in many other jurisdictions, plaintiff-friendly. For these and other reasons, according to a recent law firm memo, Australia may be poised to become “the forum of choice for plaintiffs seeking redress in the world of securities class actions.” The June 27, 2016 memo, which is written by the Quinn Emanuel law firm and is entitled “Australia: An Increasingly Attractive Plaintiffs’ Forum for Securities Class Actions,” and raises a number of interesting questions, as discussed below, and can be found here. Continue Reading

Russian Trade Sanctions-Related Securities Lawsuit Dismissed

seadrillIn a prior post, I noted that among the implications of the international trade sanctions is the possibility that companies affected by sanctions could face D&O claims. Among the risks the sanctions program presents is the possibility that a company dealing with sanctions-related issues could face a follow-on securities lawsuit, as investors seek to hold the company and its senior officials liable for share prices declines following disclosure of sanctions-related issues.


In the Seadrill Limited Securities Litigation, a securities class action lawsuit pending in the Southern District of New York, investors sued the company, a subsidiary, and certain of its directors and officers, for the company’s elimination of its dividend and loss of significant business with a Russian oil company subject to international sanctions following Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea. On June 20, 2016, in an interesting opinion (here), Southern District of New York Lorna Schofield granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the Seadrill case. Due to the case’s factual circumstances, the opinion makes for some interesting reading. In any event, the case represents an important example of the possibilities for D&O claims arising from sanctions-related issues. Continue Reading

What Does the Brexit Vote Mean for the Insurance Industry?

brexitThe historic June 23, 2016 vote by a majority of voters for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has dominated the headlines and roiled financial markets around the world – and for good reason. The U.K.’s withdrawal from the E.U. will have an enormous impact on the U.K itself, on the E.U., and on the rest of the world. Many of the consequences of Brexit will only become apparent as the long process that is about to commence unfolds over the course of the next few years. But while all of the consequences of Brexit will only become fully apparent over time, many of the likely effects can be predicted or at least anticipated now.


Among other things, because the financial services sector is among the industrial segments to which E.U. regulations have most extensively been applied, the financial services sector is among the segments that will be most significantly affected. In the following post, I review some of the ways that Brexit will impact the insurance industry, and discuss the implications for the industry, as well. Continue Reading

Guest Post: Deeper Trends in Securities Class Actions 2006-2015


Michael Klausner


Jason Hegland

There have been a number of important developments in class action securities litigation case filings in the recent years. In the following guest post, Michael Klausner, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School, and Jason Hegland, Executive Director, Stanford Securities Litigation Analytics, using the Stanford Securities Litigation Analytics database, identify and review several of these developments. As their guest post explains, there have been a number of interesting changes with respect to the kinds of cases that are being filed, as well as with respect to who is filing them. I would like to thank Mike and Jason for their willingness to publish their guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to readers of this site. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Mike and Jason’s guest post. Continue Reading

Guest Book Review: Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible

money changes everythingRegular readers know that from time to time I publish my reviews of books that I have recently read. I also publish guest posts from time to time as well. In variance that combines these two practices, today I am posting a guest book review, by fellow Clevelander, attorney, and writer Mark Gamin. In this guest post, Gamin reviews the recent book by Yale School of Management Professor William N. Goetzmann entitled Money Changes Everything: How Finances Made Civilization Possible. I would like to thank Mark for his willingness to publish his guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions on topics of interest to this site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Mark’s guest post. Continue Reading

Securities Litigation in Japan

japanAs I have previously noted, the prevalence of misrepresentation-related securities litigation in Japan increased significantly after the 2004 revisions to the Japanese securities laws. The increase largely has been due to the legislative changes and to a number of high-profile accounting and financial scandals. There are features of the Japanese law that, according to a recent review, make Japan “an attractive forum for securities litigation.” However, claimants still face a number of hurdles, as a result of which, according to a recent academic study, securities litigation in Japan “is still not a widespread phenomenon.” The June 15, 2016 Law 360 article entitled “A Look at Shareholder Remedies in Japan,” can be found here. University of Tokyo Professor Gen Goto’s January 2016 article “Growing Securities Litigation Against Issuers in Japan: Its Background and Reality” can be found here. Continue Reading

Securities Litigation and Life Sciences Companies: An Update

lifesciencesLife sciences companies are among the most frequent targets of securities class action litigation as I noted in a recent post. However, according to a recent law firm report, life sciences company defendants fared well in securities litigation in 2015. The recently released report, written by the Sidley Austin law firm and entitled “Securities Class Actions in the Life Sciences Sector: 2015 Annual Survey,” can be found here. This comprehensive report reviews all of the district court and appellate court decisions in 2015 in securities class action lawsuits pending against life sciences companies, and also reviews the new securities suits that were filed in 2015 against life sciences companies. The report provides a broad overview of the important issues involved with securities class against litigation against life sciences companies. Continue Reading