A recent Seventh Circuit decision in Seafarers Pension Plan v. Bradway may complicate defendants’ ability to use forum-selection bylaws as a basis for dismissal of derivative suits pleading claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
This past year, we highlighted a Delaware Chancery case adopting an expansive view in favor of parties seeking information from companies under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. The Delaware Supreme Court recently affirmed the Chancery Court’s ruling, providing additional appellate guidance on Section 220 and endorsing limits…
The Delaware Supreme Court ruled today that Delaware corporations can adopt charter provisions requiring that actions under the federal Securities Act of 1933 be filed in a federal court. The decision in Salzberg v. Sciabacucchi gives Delaware corporations a way to avoid state-court or multi-forum litigation of Securities Act claims by channeling all such cases into the federal system, where they can be managed more effectively – and where they are subject to the more structured and stringent procedural standards mandated by federal law.
Delaware corporations might want to consider adopting federal-forum charter provisions to address the treatment of potential Securities Act claims.
The Delaware Supreme Court held yesterday that a corporation can be required to produce emails and other electronic documents where necessary to satisfy a shareholder’s legitimate request to inspect corporate books and records under § 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. The Supreme Court also held that, under the circumstances of the case, a court could not impose jurisdictional limitations on the shareholder’s use of documents obtained through the § 220 inspection process.
On April 29, 2015, Senator Bryan Townsend introduced legislation that would amend the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL) to ban fee-shifting bylaws for Delaware stock corporations (non-stock corporations would continue to be able to adopt fee-shifting bylaws). The bill, Senate Bill No. 75, would also confirm the Court of Chancery’s decision in Boilermakers Local 154 Retirement Fund v. Chevron Corp., 73 A.3d 934 (Del. Ch. 2013), by amending the DGCL to permit board-adopted bylaws designating Delaware as the exclusive forum for intra-corporate litigation. However, the bill would reject the Chancery Court’s decision in City of Providence v. First Citizens BancShares, Inc., 99 A.3d 229, 234 (Del. Ch. 2014), by prohibiting Delaware corporations from designating an exclusive forum other than Delaware for such claims.