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Summaries and analysis of recent Delaware court decisions concerning business-related litigation.

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Showing 104 posts in Jurisdiction.

Court Of Chancery Explains Jurisdiction Based On Delaware Incorporation

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Terramar Retail Centers LLC v. Marion #2-Seaport Trust, C.A. No. 12875-VCL (Aug. 18, 2017)

Merely incorporating a business in Delaware does not automatically subject you to personal jurisdiction in the Delaware courts. But, when the act of incorporation is part of the events forming the basis for a claim, it may be enough. This decision explains the parameters of jurisdiction based on incorporating in Delaware.

Court Of Chancery Declines To Exercise Personal Jurisdiction Based On A Choice Of Law Provision In A Stockholders’ Agreement

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EBP Lifestyle Brands Holdings Inc. v. Boulbain, C.A. No. 2017-0269-JRS (Aug. 4, 2017)

This decision holds that owning shares in a closely-held Delaware corporation and entering into a stockholders’ agreement containing a Delaware choice of law provision is not a sufficient basis, standing alone, for a Delaware court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident under Delaware’s long-arm statute. While these circumstances may be factors in the long-arm and due process analysis, more is required to purposefully avail oneself of Delaware law and be subject to personal jurisdiction in its courts.

Court Of Chancery Rejects Jurisdiction Based On Contract Interpretation

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Green v. Geico General Insurance Co., C.A. 9431-VCS (February 1, 2017)

As this decision explains, the Court of Chancery will not have jurisdiction based on the claim an injunction is needed to force a defendant to comply with the proper interpretation of a contract. Rather, the presumption is that once the Superior Court interprets the contract that the defendant will honor that judgment.

Superior Court Interprets New Jurisdiction Statute

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JCM Innovation Corp. v. FL Acquisition Holdings Inc., C.A. N15C-10-255-EMD-CCLD (September 30, 2016)

Delaware recently amended Section 111 of the DGCL to confer jurisdiction on the Court of Chancery over certain actions arising out of asset sales. The intent was not to divest Superior Court of jurisdiction when the dispute was not really over how to interpret a sale or merger agreement’s terms, an area of Chancery expertise, but more of a straightforward asset sale. This decision explains that distinction.

Delaware Supreme Court Limits Jurisdiction Over Registered Corporations

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Genuine Parts Company v. Cepec,  No. 528, 2015 (April 18, 2016)

Under Delaware law, an entity doing any business in Delaware must register to do so and thereby appoint a registered agent to receive process. For years this was held to confer general jurisdiction over that entity, even for claims that did not arise out of the business it did in Delaware. This decision reverses that old law and confines jurisdiction over non-Delaware entities to claims that arise out of what they have done in Delaware. Of course, there are still exceptions to that general rule, such as when an entity expressly agrees to jurisdiction in Delaware.

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Director/Officer Implied Consent Statute and Rejects Hana Ranch

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Hazout v. Tsang Mun Ting, No. 353, 2015 (Del. February 26, 2016)

Rejecting the Court of Chancery’s narrow reading of the director/officer implied consent statute in Hana Ranch, Inc. v. Lent, 424 A.2d 28, 30 (Del. Ch. 1980), an interpretation that had been followed by lower courts for decades, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that a non-resident officer sued in Delaware is subject to personal jurisdiction in actions brought “by or on behalf of, or against” the corporation if that officer “is a necessary or proper party” to the case, even if the case does not involve an alleged breach of the officer’s fiduciary or statutory duties. More ›

Court Of Chancery Explains Section 205 Jurisdiction

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Knoll Capital Management LP v. Advaxis Inc., C.A. 11417-VCN (January 29, 2016)

Under the fairly new provisions of Section 205 of the DGCL, the Court may validate certain “defective corporate acts,” including “any act or transaction purportedly taken by or on behalf of the corporation that is … within the power of a corporation …, but is void or voidable due to a failure of authorization.”  More ›

Court Of Chancery Dismisses Case On Forum Grounds Against A Delaware Entity

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VTB Bank v. Navitron Projects Corp, C.A. 8514-VCN (December 29, 2015)

This is the rare decision where a suit against a Delaware entity is dismissed on the basis that Delaware is a too inconvenient forum. When foreign law is both unclear and will establish the basis for any relief, a foreign plaintiff may find it hard to sue in Delaware unless the suit contains the allegation that the very formation of the Delaware entity is part of the alleged wrong.

Court Of Chancery Explains When To Uphold Delaware As A Forum

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Pipal Tech Ventures Private Ltd. v. Moengage Inc., C.A. 10381-VCG (December 17, 2015)

This decision applies Delaware’s forum non conveniens law to a suit against a Delaware corporation arising out of events in India. The analysis is helpful for other cases because it deals with all the various factors to be considered, such as availability of discovery in a foreign country.  As a result, it is a precedent for upholding jurisdiction over a Delaware entity is proper even if the events occurred far away.

Court Of Chancery Explains Jurisdiction For Veil-Piercing

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Doberstein v G-P Industries Inc., C.A. 9995-VCP (October 30, 2015)

This is an interesting decision for its discussion on what must be pled to obtain Chancery jurisdiction in a claim seeking to pierce the corporate veil. It is not enough to just allege the entity was used to defraud. Rather, the complaint must meet the more exacting standards set out in this opinion.

Court Of Chancery Explains Jurisdiction

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Mirosoft Corporation v. Patent Revenue Partners LLC, C.A. 8092-VCP (October 15, 2015)

It is often assumed that merely by registering an entity in Delaware as part of a business transaction that you have become subject to the jurisdiction of the Delaware courts. But as this decision points out, that is not as simple as you might think. More ›

Court of Chancery Explains Jurisdiction Despite Declaratory Judgment

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Doe v. Coupe,  C.A. No. 10983-VCP (July 14, 2015)

It is often contended that the availability of a declaratory judgment in Superior Court to determine the parties’ rights may deprive the Court of Chancery of jurisdiction to grant an equitable remedy such as an injunction. After all, it is assumed that the parties will obey the decision of the Court in deciding their rights. More ›

Court Of Chancery Interprets Forum Selection Clause

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Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB v. Caesars Entertainment Corporation, C.A. 10004-VCG (March 18, 2015) This is an interesting decision because it holds that a forum selection clause must be "clear and unambiguous" before it will be held to provide an exclusive forum for all disputes. Clauses that just refer to specific types of disputes, such as contract disputes, will then not control where other disputes may be filed.

Court Of Chancery Explains Conspiracy Theory Of Jurisdiction

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Virtus Capital L.P. v. Eastman Chemical Company, C.A. 9808-VCL (February 11, 2015) This is a very useful decision because of its detailed explanation of the conspiracy theory of jurisdiction, which was first adopted in the famous Istituto Bancario case. As the decision makes clear, breaches of fiduciary duty claims are particularly suited for that theory and do not violate the corporate shield doctrine.