After many decades of law practice, legal veteran Richard M. Leisner, a Senior Member in the Trenam law firm in Tampa, found that increasingly he has been called upon to be a sounding board and resource on proposed corporate transactions. In the following guest post, which is the first installment in a three-part series, Richie recounts a number of “open door encounters” – that is, occasions when colleagues came to his office to discuss pending matters. There are a number of important lessons from the tales described below. A version of this article previously was published in Trenam Law News & Insights, available at www.trenam.com. I would like to thank Richie for allowing me to publish his 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 Richie’s article. Continue Reading Guest Post: Corporate Governance Tales From (Virtual) Open Door Encounters – Part 1
In the current economic turmoil, bankruptcy is a big concern. In the following guest post, Andrew Solyntjes, Markel Bermuda Limited, and Andrew G. Lipton, of the White & Williams law firm, take review some of the key bankruptcy-related D&O insurance issues. A version of this article previously was published as a White & Williams client alert. I would like to thank the authors 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. Here is the authors’ article. Continue Reading Guest Post: Bankruptcy and D&O Insurance: Top Tips and Reminders
As prior reports have noted (for example, here), securities suits filings against companies based outside outpaced the filing activity levels overall in the year’s first half. A new report from AIG takes a closer look at the first half 2020 U.S. securities suit filings against non-U.S. companies, and concludes among other things that the first half filings could result in the highest annual total of lawsuits against foreign filers in years. The AIG report, entitled “US Securities Class Actions: International US-Listed Companies/H1 2020” can be found here. Continue Reading First Half 2020 Securities Suits Against Foreign Issuers Outpaced Overall Filing Levels
The current racial justice movement has created an environment in which corporations and other organizations are under pressure to reconsider and address their diversity and inclusion practices. Organizations that lack racial diversity in their corporate leadership – particularly on their boards of directors – have come in for increasing criticism and, as I have noted on this blog (most recently here), the possibility of board diversity litigation. In addition, beyond the scrutiny and litigation, the California legislature has passed a bill that would require publicly traded companies in the state to have at least one director from a minority community by the close of 2021.
It now appears that as a result of both the scrutiny, the legislation, and perhaps even because of the litigation threat, a number of companies have proactively taken steps to address these issues by pleading to add a Black director to their boards within a year. Continue Reading Growing Number of Companies Pledge to Address Board Diversity Issues
In the following guest post, John Reed Stark President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, takes a look at questions of confidentiality surrounding a discovery dispute between class action plaintiffs and a data breach victim company relating to forensic work conducted by Crowdstrike, Inc. in connection with a 2018 data security incident at Marriott International, Inc. As Stark notes, the issue of protecting the confidentiality of post-data breach forensic findings (when the forensic firm is typically engaged by counsel) has become of critical importance and has significant consequences. A version of this article previously was published on Cybersecurity Docket. I would like to thank John for allowing me to publish his 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 John’s article. Continue Reading Guest Post: More Battles Over Digital Forensic Findings
In the latest development in Pfizer’s long-running efforts to recover from its D&O insurers amounts the company paid in defense and settlement of prior securities litigation (the “Morabito Action”), a Delaware Superior Court Judge, applying Delaware law, has held that the company’s settlement with a lower level excess insurer for less than that insurer’s policy limit did not create a gap relieving an upper layer excess insurer of its payment obligations. The court also found that the company’s earlier notice of a different securities litigation did not trigger the policy’s Prior Notice exclusion. The court’s August 28, 2020 opinion can be found here. Continue Reading Excess Insurer Cannot Avoid Payment Where Underlying Insurer Settled With Policyholder for Less Than Full Policy Limits
Every year after Labor Day, I take a step back and survey the most important current trends and developments in the world of Directors’ and Officers’ liability and insurance. This year’s review is set out below. As the following discussion shows, this is a particularly eventful time in the world of D&O. Continue Reading What to Watch Now in the World of D&O
In yesterday’s post, I noted that earlier this week, a plaintiff shareholder had filed a board diversity lawsuit against the Gap. Turns out, that the same day yet another company was also hit with a board diversity shareholder derivative lawsuit, this time involving the board of directors and Chief Executive Officer of the medical and industrial product company Danaher Corporation. The Danaher lawsuit is in many ways substantially similar to the prior lawsuits that have been filed against companies that have no African-Americans on their boards of directors; however, the Danaher lawsuit is the first filed against a company outside California (Danaher is based in the District of Columbia), and it was filed by a different law firm than the one that had filed all of the prior board diversity suits. The complaint in the Danaher action can be found here. Continue Reading Yet Another Board Diversity Derivative Lawsuit, This Time Against Danaher’s Board
In the latest in a series of lawsuits against high-profile companies alleging that the companies’ boards lack African-American directors, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a shareholder derivative lawsuit against the board of directors of the clothing retailer, The Gap. The lawsuit is substantially similar to the lawsuits filed by the same plaintiffs’ law firm against Oracle (here), Facebook (here), Qualcomm (here), and NortonLifeLock (here). A copy of the lawsuit against The Gap’s board can be found here. Continue Reading The Gap Hit with Board Diversity Derivative Lawsuit
In the following guest post, David H. Topol of the Wiley law firm takes a look at the recent decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to amend the agency’s operative definition of the term “accredited investor.” A copy of the agency’s final rule incorporating the revised definition can be found here. The agency’s August 26, 2020 press release about the change can be found here. I would like to thank David for allowing me to publish his 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 David’s article. Continue Reading Guest Post: SEC Definition of “Accredited Investor”: A Step Forward or Backward?