Francis G.X. Pileggi

Kevin LaCroix on his widely-respected blog called The D&O Diary, comments on the results of a Cornerstone Research report which found that the number of appraisal actions filed in Delaware courts declined in 2017 and 2018–compared to increases every year from 2010 to 2016. Kevin provides excellent insights and a link to the actual report from Cornerstone Research about this aspect of Delaware corporate litigation.  …
In County of Berks v. Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, 2019 WL 1076828 (Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. Jan. 3, 2019), the court explained that it is well established that OOR and its appeals officers have authority to order an in camera review of documents that have been withheld or redacted where, in the appeals’ officers’ judgment, in camera review is necessary to develop an adequate record to rule on an agency’s claim of privilege or…
Delaware case law is well-established regarding the aspect of the fiduciary duty of loyalty that prohibits a corporate director from usurping a corporate opportunity. A recent decision from the Delaware Court of Chancery applies that well-settled prohibition in a flexible manner to a set of facts that have apparently not been squarely addressed in prior precedent.  In Personal Touch Holding Corp. v. Glaubach, C.A. No. 11199-CB (Del. Ch. Feb. 25, 2019), the court awarded damages for…
A recent decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery provides an example of those rare instances where the court refers a violation of legal ethics to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for investigation, as compared to the court itself determining the appropriate penalty. See Charter Communications Operating LLC v. Optymyze, LLC, et al., C.A. No. 2018-0865-JTL, letter (Del. Ch. Mar. 5, 2019) Some readers are surprised to read about Delaware court opinions which explain that the Delaware…
A recent decision by the Complex Commercial Litigation Division of the Delaware Superior Court in Winshall, et al. v. Viacom International, Inc., C.A. No. N15C-06-137 EMD CCLD (Del. Super., Feb. 25, 2019), ruled that a claim for indemnification was not ripe until a final adjudication, after appeal, was decided.  In a matter involving a claim for indemnification for attorneys’ fees based on a finding of a breach of a merger agreement by the Court…
Ameliorating the relative paucity of case law on the prerequisites for successfully motioning the Delaware Supreme Court for approval to file an amicus curiae brief, is a recent Order in the matter styled In re Verizon Insurance Coverage Appeals, Nos. 558, 560,  561, 2018, Order (Del. Feb. 21, 2019). The Delaware Supreme Court via this Order denied a motion to file an amicus brief by a trade association because the proposed amicus brief: (i) addressed an issue not raised in…
Among the multitude of court decisions on DGCL Section 220 highlighted on these pages, a rare bird is the shifting of fees by the court based on the bad-faith exception to the American Rule. In a rare instance that should not be considered anything other than unusual, the Court of Chancery recently granted, in a transcript ruling, fee shifting in a books and records action in which the court found that there was no justification for…
A recent short Order of the Court of Chancery reiterated one of the limitations on the right of a director to receive corporate information. In the latest installment of the internecine imbroglio in the litigation captioned Schnatter v. Papa John’s International, Inc., C.A. No. 2018-0542-AGB, Order, (Del. Ch. Feb. 25, 2019), the Court explained that DGCL Section 141(c) allows a board to act “openly with the knowledge of the excluded director to appoint a special committee,…
A recent post-trial decision from the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a claim for corporate books and records based on DGCL § 220 after finding that there was no credible basis for wrongdoing to support the stated investigative purpose for the demand. Hoeller v. Tempur Sealy International, Inc., C.A. No. 2018-0336-JRS (Del. Ch. Feb. 12, 2019).  Section 220 cases are among the most common forms of Delaware corporate litigation. (In terms of the number…
News from the Department of Self-Promotion: Recently I was awarded the 2019 Chief Justice William Killen Award for Second Amendment Legal Advocacy in connection with my most recent successful legal challenge of certain state regulations. The award was presented on behalf of the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, which is an affiliate of the National Rifle Association, before a group of about 600 people in Dover. In a recent Delaware court opinion highlighted on these pages, my colleague Jamie Inferrera and…