Chancery Finds Advancement Decision Not Immediately Appealable When Reasonableness Disputes Remain

Sider v. Hertz Global Holdings Inc., C.A. No. 2019-0237-KJSM (Del. Ch. Jun 17, 2019).

Prior to this ruling, no Delaware opinion had addressed the question of whether decisions granting entitlement to advancement rights are immediately appealable even though disputes remain as to the reasonableness of the fees. This ruling finds the answer normally should be “no.”

After a bench ruling and an implementing order holding the several plaintiffs were entitled to advancement, Defendant Hertz filed a motion for entry of final judgment pursuant to Court of Chancery Rule 54(b) or for certification of an interlocutory appeal under Supreme Court Rule 42. The Court of Chancery denied Hertz’s motion under both theories, recognizing advancement actions are not infrequent and that Hertz’s situation presented no novel issue and thus the matter did not present a rare instance entitled to Court of Chancery Rule 54(b) relief nor the exceptional case meriting interlocutory review under Supreme Court Rule 42.