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Category Archives: Delaware Law Update

Delaware Law Update: Director Indemnification and Advancement of Legal Expenses (Part II)

December 27, 2016

In Narayanan v. Sutherland Global Holdings, Inc.,[1] there were three documents that were relevant to Narayanan’s rights to indemnification and advancement of expenses.  First, the company’s certificate of incorporation authorized indemnification and advancement through bylaw provisions, agreements, or otherwise, “in excess of the indemnification and advancement otherwise permitted by [Delaware law].”  Second, the company’s bylaws did provide such indemnification and advancement of expenses, so long as Narayanan’s involvement in such proceedings arose out of his service as a director or officer. … Read the rest

Delaware Law Update: Director Indemnification and Advancement of Legal Expenses (Part I)

December 13, 2016

Companies get sued all the time.  Directors and officers often get named in lawsuits as those responsible for important corporate actions and are particularly vulnerable in that regard.  For this reason, many companies offer their directors and officers liability insurance and certain contractual provisions to protect them against the burden of having to defend a lawsuit with their own money.  Indemnification is a contractual obligation by one party to pay or compensate for all losses (including the legal costs) incurred by another. … Read the rest

When Things Fall Apart: Business Partnership, Disagreement, and Dissolution (Part IV)

September 8, 2016

In Mizrahi v. Cohen,[1] a dentist and an optometrist formed a limited liability company for the purpose of the construction and operation of a mixed-use building in which they intended to set up their respective offices.  The two did not have an LLC agreement at the time they formed the LLC; it was executed a few months later when they purchased the land.  The lender required an LLC agreement and the attorney who represented both members at the closing drafted an LLC agreement. … Read the rest

When Things Fall Apart: Business Partnership, Disagreement, and Dissolution (Part III)

September 6, 2016

In Saunders v. Firtel, as in Cline v. Grelock, the two business partners were close friends.[1]  Firtel was the sole owner of a pharmaceutical sales corporation called Adco and Saunders was a sales representative for a medical supply company.  In 1986, the two decided to enter into a formal business relationship by allowing Saunders to obtain a 49% shareholder interest in Adco and to become an employee of the company.  Their written agreement provided that both would devote their time and efforts to the business and receive an equal combination of compensation and fringe benefits but also allowed Firtel to spend considerable time away and apart from the business. … Read the rest

When Things Fall Apart: Business Partnership, Disagreement, and Dissolution (Part II)

August 30, 2016

In Cline v. Grelock,[1] the business partners were two lifetime friends who started a towing business called American Asset Recovery, LLC (“AAR”) d/b/a Hound Dog Recovery.  To get the business rolling, Grelock and Cline personally guaranteed a bank loan for AAR to purchase a motor vehicle for the business.  Unfortunately, the business was not very successful—it had substantial debts and did not operate at a profit.  The relationship between the two co-owners also deteriorated to the point where continuing the business was not practicable. … Read the rest

Make Sure To Read the Limited Partnership Agreement Before You Sign: Limited Partnership and Fiduciary Duties Under Delaware Law (Part II)

August 25, 2016

Dieckman v. Regency GP LP[1] involved the acquisition of Regency Energy Partners LP (“Regency”) by an affiliated entity in a merger.  Dieckman was a former unitholder of Regency.  Dieckman claimed that Regency’s general partner (“GP”) favored the interests of its affiliates in agreeing to an unfair merger price and, by doing so, breached the limited partnership agreement (“LP agreement”).  Specifically, the LP agreement, which governs GP’s relationship with Regency’s limited partners, provided that whenever GP takes action in its capacity as GP, it must do so in good faith, meaning it “must believe that the determination or other action is in the best interests of the Partnership.”  Interestingly, the LP agreement also contained several “safe harbors” designed to shield GP from claims based on a breach of the LP agreement “or of any duty stated or implied by law or equity” due to conflicts of interest in the following situations:

(i) approval by a majority of the members of the conflicts committee; or

(ii) approval by the vote of a majority of the common units (excluding common units owned by GP and its affiliates).… Read the rest

When Things Fall Apart: Business Partnership, Disagreement, and Dissolution (Part I)

August 23, 2016

Here at The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC, we write and speak frequently on business partnership, especially the 4 Ds (death, disability, divorce, and disagreement), which can have a major impact on businesses.  In our previous blog series on business divorce, for example, we talked about why business partners may disagree, describing some instances of conflict that business owners may encounter, and what they can do to protect themselves and the value of their business in the event of a business break-up and the attendant business disruption. … Read the rest

Make Sure To Read the Limited Partnership Agreement Before You Sign: Limited Partnership and Fiduciary Duties Under Delaware Law (Part I)

August 18, 2016

In our previous blog series on Comparison of LLC Statutes, we talked about fiduciary duties in the context of a limited liability company (LLC).  Fiduciary duty is a legal duty to act solely in another person’s interests.  It generally encompasses the duty of care (duty to act in good faith and exercise reasonable care in carrying out obligations to the company) and the duty of loyalty (duty to put the best interests of your company above any personal advantages).  We mentioned that some states, including Delaware, Texas, and New York, allow an LLC agreement to expand, restrict, or even eliminate a manager’s or a member’s fiduciary duty within limits.  … Read the rest

All postings are intended to be planning tools to familiarize readers with some of the high-level issues discussed therein. No posting is intended to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your transaction planners including attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity.