DuPont and its lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis and Boies Schiller reached the low point in their patent showdown with Monsanto last August, when a jury concluded that DuPont had willfully infringed Monsanto's Roundup Ready seed patents and awarded a staggering $1 billion in damages. But the aftermath of the trial hasn't been a picnic for the company either.
The Delaware Chancery Court tossed shareholder claims against Attachmate and Elliott Associates over Attachmate's $2.2 billion acquisition of Novell in 2010, but the court ruled that Novell board members can't dodge claims that they acted in bad faith in favoring Attachmate's bid over others.
Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which allows shareholders to sue for access to company books and records, has become a flashpoint in shareholder M&A litigation in recent years. Could the obscure Delaware statute now also become a flashpoint in the campaign to increase the transparency of corporate political contributions?
The Delaware Supreme Court rejected a bid by the private equity firm BVF Partners to scuttle a no-cash settlement over a 2011 merger between Celera Corp. and Quest Diagnostics, but the court also gave BVF a new avenue for going after Celera's board.
A New York state appellate court has clamped down on an attempt by a group of hedge funds to get around the U.S. Supreme Court's Morrison decision. Reversing a lower court ruling, the appellate panel found that the hedge funds were barred from suing Porsche AG because neither the defendant nor most of the plaintiffs are New York state residents. The litigation was sparked by Porsche's 2008 announcement that it had amassed close to a 75 percent stake in Volkswagen, which was a disaster for hedge funds that had shorted VW's stock or made swap deals based on its share price.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C., has accused the SEC of "rolling over" in a proposed $10 million FCPA settlement with IBM. And in a hearing last week, he threatened to cite one of IBM's lawyers at Cravath, Swaine & Moore for contempt of court.