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Showing 5 posts in Fee Awards.

Chancery Shifts Fees, Finds That Defendant’s Litigation Tactics in Books and Records Case Crossed The Line Between Aggressive Litigation And Glaringly Egregious Conduct

Posted In Books and Records, Chancery, Fee Awards, Sanctions


Pettry, et al. v. Gilead Sciences, Inc., C.A. Nos. 2020-0132-KSJM; 2020-0138-KSJM; 2020-0155-KSJM; 2020-0173-KSJM (Del. Ch. July 22, 2021).
Delaware follows the American Rule: all litigants pay their own attorneys’ fees, no matter the outcome of the litigation. In rare cases where a litigant’s conduct is “glaringly egregious,” Delaware courts will make an exception and shift fees. This is known as the “bad faith” exception.
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Court of Chancery Denies Lead Plaintiff’s Application for Incentive Fee from Overall Fee Award

Posted In Chancery, Corporate Benefit Doctrine, Fee Awards


Morrison v. Berry, C.A. No. 12808-VCG (Del. Ch. July 12, 2021)
Delaware courts generally do not award special compensation to lead plaintiffs in class action litigation. Delaware courts typically limit awards to out-of-pocket costs and expenses, unless lead plaintiffs take on extra—essentially, exceptional—burdens in the litigation. Submitting a modest award request does not necessarily portend success that an applicant will receive an award. More ›

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Chancery Shifts Attorneys’ Fees, Reasoning Perjury Is Bad Faith Per Se


Lyons Ins. Agency Inc. v. Wilson, C.A. No. 2017-0092-SG (Del. Ch. Apr. 29, 2021).
In this action, the Court of Chancery noted that it heard “perhaps the most cogent, and certainly the briefest, argument for fee shifting under the bad faith exception I have been privileged to hear: ‘perjury is bad faith.’” Plaintiff Lyons Insurance Agency Inc. (“Lyons”) sued its former employee Howard Wilson, an insurance broker, for breach of the non-compete in his employment contract. At a hearing for a preliminary injunction, Wilson testified that he needed to follow his clients to another firm because he could not entice them to stay at Lyons. Throughout the litigation, he maintained that he had not intended to rob Lyons of business. But, before a damages hearing, Wilson submitted an affidavit repudiating his earlier testimony. At the damages hearing, he testified that he conspired with the other firm to breach his employment agreement, recanting his earlier testimony. More ›

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Chancery Denies Fees to Stockholder who Compelled Admittedly-Overdue Annual Meeting, But Primarily for his Own Interest in Forcing a Buyout

Posted In Fee Awards

Martin v. Harbor Diversified, Inc., C.A. 2018-0762 SG (Del. Ch. Feb. 5, 2020).

A plaintiff who achieves a corporate benefit for the enterprise may be eligible for attorney’s fees, but he is not entitled them. Here, after trial on a paper record, the stockholder-plaintiff obtained an order directing the corporation to hold an annual meeting to elect directors (its first in eight years) and to produce certain books and records. The Court agreed that compelling an annual meeting met the minimum requirements to be eligible for a fee award, but the Court concluded that the circumstances made a fee award inequitable. More ›

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