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Court Of Chancery Requires Effective Pre-Suit Investigation

South v. Baker, C.A. 7294-VCL (September 25, 2012)

Many lawyers believe that it may be okay to file suit and do an investigation of the facts later through discovery. Not so in some derivative litigation. This decision explains what pre-suit investigation is required to sustain a derivative suit alleging a Caremark claim.  It is required reading for its detailed review of the current law.

Briefly, at least when a Caremark claim is asserted, it is almost mandatory that a Section 220 action to inspect the corporation's records be done before filing suit.  Absent that inspection, a plaintiff better have a very good factual basis to allege that the directors violated their duty to oversee their company's compliance with the law.

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