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Delaware's Court of Chancery Clarifies Scope of Inspection Under Books and Records Demands

Posted In Access to ESI, Business Law, Case Summaries

In Amalgamated Bank v. Yahoo!, Inc., C.A. No. 10774-VCL (Del. Ch. Feb. 2, 2016), Plaintiff Amalgamated Bank’s Section 220 books and records demand sought, among other things, the emails of certain Yahoo officers and directors.  Yahoo objected to the request as overly broad, but the Court found differently.  Continuing the trend from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Ind. Elec. Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW, 95 A.3d 1264, 1271 (Del. 2014), which first permitted access beyond board materials, the Court ordered inspection of certain Yahoo director and officer documents and communications.  In addition, the Court found that the directors’ and officers’ personal email accounts were subject to inspection if they were used to conduct business.  This development signals to corporate officers and directors’ that personal emails may be discoverable in a 220 Action if the emails are essential to fulfilling a plaintiff’s proper purpose. More ›