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Summaries and analysis of recent Delaware court decisions concerning business-related litigation.
Morris James Blogs
Showing 7 posts from November 2011.
What happens when two courts in different states have the same case? Delaware courts, both state and federal, frequently face that question.
A Delaware entity may be sued in Delaware because that is its place of incorporation. Particularly in class action litigation, the Delaware entity may also be sued by a second plaintiff in another jurisdiction where that plaintiff resides, on the same claim brought in Delaware.
In just the last few weeks, the Delaware Court of Chancery and the federal District Court in Delaware have provided guidance of what they will do when faced with multijurisdictional litigation. More ›
This is a rare Court of Chancery decision discussing when a class should be certified. The Court reviewed and dismissed the claim that there was a conflict of interest among class members, based on a funds flow analysis.
This is another case where a party tried to re-do a contract by claiming that the failure to give it more than it bargained for constituted a violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In rejecting that claim, the Court again explains the tight limits of that covenant. It just can not be used to make a new deal.
Affirmer, del Sup. 39, 2013 (October 7, 2013).
This decision upholds the power of the Court of Chancery to appoint a receiver for a dissolved Delaware corporation to collect on the corporation's insurance polices covering asbestos claims. This may be done even more than 10 years after formal dissolution and provides a way to pursue insurance coverage despite the general law that prohibits direct claims against an insurer.
See also the Supreme Court's reversal of part of the Court's ruling at Anderson v. krafft-Murphy Company, Inc. Del Sup. C.A. 85, 2013 ( November 26, 2013).
It is sometimes important to decide if a series of transactions are to be coupled together to be treated as one. The so-called step transaction doctrine does that when applied. Here the Court used the step transaction to interpret an agreement that gave the selling stockholders the right to a bump up in the merger consideration and certain protections if company assets were sold before all the additional consideration was paid. This somewhat lenient application of the doctrine may signal its greater acceptance by the Court.
Recently, the Delaware Supreme Court issued an opinion resolving a dispute between an indenture trustee and the issuer of bonds pursuant to an indenture governed by New York law arising out of the issuer's business plan of divesting certain assets. While any example of the Supreme Court's analysis of a contractual provision is helpful to drafters of those contracts, it was the Supreme Court's emphasis on uniform interpretation of boilerplate provisions that makes this opinion noteworthy. More ›