Tag Archives: D&O liability

Next Up: A Home Depot Data Breach-Related D&O Lawsuit?

After claimants filed shareholders’ data breach-related derivative suits against the boards of Target (here) and Wyndham Worldwide (here), a number of commentators (including me) asked whether we could see a wave of cybersecurity related D&O lawsuits. Interestingly, since these two lawsuits were filed more than a year ago, there have been no further lawsuits of … Continue Reading

An Alarming Liability Award Against Not-for-Profit Organization’s Directors and Officers

A question that frequently recurs when I am speaking to directors and officers of non-profit organizations is why – given that their firms have no shareholders – they need to bother with D&O insurance. The reality is that even though officials at non-profit firms don’t have to worry about the possibility of shareholder claims, non-profit … Continue Reading

Personal Liability for Corporate Officials Under U.S. Import Laws

Import laws and custom duties are not areas of the law into which I frequently (or lightly) venture, but I delve into these topics here and now because developments in these areas have served up yet another example where individual corporate officers have been held liable personally for matters that previously had been regarded exclusively … Continue Reading

Guest Post: Evolutionary Change in the Liability of an Independent Director in India

  The recent Satyam scandal and ensuing litigation put the duties of independent directors under scrutiny.  The recently enacted Companies Act of 2013 addressed a number of issues relating to the duties and liabilities of independent directors.  In the following guest post, Burzin Somandy of Somandy & Associates in Mumbai takes a look at the … Continue Reading

More About Stories We’re Following

Cybersecurity as a D&O Liability Issue: I have noted in prior posts on this site (refer for example here) that cybersecurity represents, among other things, a D&O liability exposure. The recent lawsuits filed against Target (refer here) and Wyndham Worldwide (refer here) underscore this point. In addition, at least according to a July 7, 2014 Bloomberg … Continue Reading

Guest Post: BSA/AML Enforcement Trends and D&O Liability

In the following guest post, Christopher Laursen, Senior Vice President and Chair, Financial Institutions and Bank Practice at NERA Economic Consulting, takes a look at the current enforcement trends involving the Bank Secrecy Act and the Anti-Money Laundering regulations. I welcome guest submissions from responsible persons on topics of interest to readers of this blog. If … Continue Reading

The Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine Gets an Administrative Extension

One of the more troublesome trends in recent years has been the increasing willingness of lawmakers and regulators to try to impose liability on corporate officials without regard for the requirements of the corporate form and even without reference to whether the officials are culpable in any way. (Refer here for my most recent discussion … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Insured vs. Insured Exclusion Unambiguously Precludes Coverage for FDIC Failed Bank Lawsuit

One of the recurring D&O insurance coverage issues that has arisen during the current wave of failed bank litigation has been the question whether coverage for an action by the FDIC in its role as receiver of a failed bank against a failed bank’s directors and officers is precluded by the Insured vs. Insured exclusion … Continue Reading

Advisen Releases Private Company D&O Study

There is a great deal of information available about the liabilities of publicly traded companies, as well as about the D&O insurance implications arising from those liabilities. It can be a bit of a challenge to locate the same of information concerning private companies. For that reason, it is fortunate that Advisen and AIG have … Continue Reading

Protection for Public Company Directors and Officers: Indemnification and Insurance

In an environment where public company directors and officers face increasing scrutiny and expanding liability exposures, the indemnification and insurance protections available to them are increasingly important. A July 15, 2013 memorandum from the Gibson Dunn law firm entitled “Director and Officer Indemnification and Insurance – Issues for Public Companies to Consider” (here) takes a … Continue Reading

Mutual Fund Directors in the Hot Seat?

Mutual fund directors have been attacked before. For example, in his 2002 letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, Berkshire chairman Warren Buffett took a detour in an essay about corporate governance to express concerns about mutual fund directors. He noted that mutual fund directors effectively have only two “important duties”; to pick the fund manager … Continue Reading

Failed Bank Directors’ and Officers’ Affirmative Defenses Against the FDIC Stricken

In order to try to defend themselves from claims asserted against them by the FDIC as receiver for a failed bank, the failed bank’s directors and officers often raise affirmative defenses, either based on pre-receivership conduct (as for example, in connection with pre-failure examinations) or post-receivership conduct (as for example in connection with the agency’s … Continue Reading

Nonprofit Board Members’ Statutory Immunity

Most states have adopted statutes providing individuals who serve as directors on nonprofit boards with limited immunity from liability. Among other issues that frequently arise is the scope of the protection provided under this statutory immunity. A recent decision from the Connecticut Appellate Court in a case involving a liability claim against the volunteer President … Continue Reading

Guest Post How Officers and Directors of Financial Intermediaries Can Avoid Personal Liability in the Post-Dodd-Frank Market

As the current wave of bank failure litigation has unfolded, the directors and officers of banking institutions rightly have become more concerned about the own potential liability exposures and interested in learning more about how they might be able to reduce their risks and exposures. In the following guest post, Joseph T. Lynyak III , … Continue Reading

FDIC’s Failed Bank Lawsuit against Former IndyMac Officers Goes to Trial

Trial in the FDIC’s failed bank lawsuit against three former officers of IndyBank commenced on November 6, 2012 in the federal court in Los Angeles. According Scott Reckard’s November 9, 2012 Los Angeles Times article (here), the parties’ counsel have delivered their opening statements. The case, which was the first failed bank lawsuit the FDIC … Continue Reading

Corporate Officials’ Strict Liability Conviction Under the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine Can Have “Career-Ending” Consequences

Under the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine, corporate officials can be held liable for misconduct in which they did not participate and of which they have been entirely unaware, based on their responsibility for the corporation itself. As shown in a July 27, 2012 opinion from the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (here), a misdemeanor … Continue Reading

The Impact of the JOBS Act on D&O Liability and Insurance

On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (commonly referred to as the JOBS Act). This legislation, which enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress, is intended to ease the IPO process for emerging growth companies and to facilitate capital-raising by reducing regulatory burdens and disclosure obligations. Among other … Continue Reading

Guest Post: Banking Agencies Challenge California’s Business Judgment Rule: Will This Expand Officer and Inside Director Liability?

Among the important questions that will need to be answered in connection with the current wave of failed bank litigation is the question of extent to which the non-director officers will be able to defend themselves in reliance on the business judgment rule.     In the following guest post, Jonathan Joseph (pictured to the … Continue Reading

Taking a Look at the Limits of Indemnification

Indemnification is the first and most important line of defense for the protection of directors and officers. But corporate officials are not always entitled to indemnification. For example, under Delaware law, they cannot claim mandatory indemnification if their defense is not successful. And they cannot seek permissive indemnification is they did not act in good … Continue Reading

The Top Ten D&O Stories of 2011

The year just ended was eventful in many ways. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards and droughts were scattered across the globe, and political unrest shook many countries. In a year filled with such significant developments, events in the world of D&O liability pale by comparison. But even if there were no earth-shaking events, 2011 was … Continue Reading