Justia Contracts Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Delaware Court of Chancery
Florida Chemical Company, LLC v. Flotek Industries, Inc.
The Court of Chancery granted in part an anti-suit injunction sought by a buyer and a parent corporation with whom the buyer contracted to acquire a wholly owned subsidiary (the Company) to bar the seller and its subsidiary from pursuing their claims in a Texas lawsuit, holding that the forum selection provision in the stock purchase agreement applied.Under the stock purchase agreement, the buyer contracted with a Company and caused the Company to enter into a supply agreement with a wholly owned subsidiary of the seller. The stock purchase agreement contained a forum selection provision. The seller signed the stock purchase agreement and did not sign the supply agreement. The seller's subsidiary signed the supply agreement but did not sign the stock purchase agreement. The seller and its subsidiary later filed a lawsuit in Texas state court seeking rescission of the supply agreement. The buyer and the Company then brought this action asking the court to apply the forum selection provision in the stock purchase agreement to the claims implicating the supply agreement. The Court of Chancery granted the request for an anti-suit injunction against the seller and against a non-signatory signatory, holding that an injunction was warranted. View "Florida Chemical Company, LLC v. Flotek Industries, Inc." on Justia Law
Deluxe Entertainment Services Inc. v. DLX Acquisition Corp.
The Court of Chancery granted Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings in this action seeking to draw or claw back several million dollars in cash, holding that Defendants were entitled to the motion.Seller sold all outstanding shares of its wholly owned subsidiary (together, with its subsidiaries, Target) to Buyer (together with Target, Defendants). All of Target's assets, except for those excluded by the parties' purchase agreement, were transferred in the stock transaction (the disputed cash). After the transaction closed, millions of dollars in cash remained in Target's bank accounts. Seller asked Buyer to return the disputed cash but Buyer refused. Seller then brought this complaint. Defendants sought judgment on the pleadings in their favor. The Court of Chancery granted the motion, holding that no material issue of fact existed and that Defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law. View "Deluxe Entertainment Services Inc. v. DLX Acquisition Corp." on Justia Law
Stream TV Networks, Inc. v. SeeCubic, Inc.
In this case involving the validity of an agreement (the Omnibus Agreement) between Stream TV Networks, Inc., its two secured creditors, and fifty-two of its stockholders, the Court of Chancery denied Stream's motion for a preliminary injunction and granted SeeCubic Inc.'s motion for a preliminary injunction, holding that the Omnibus Agreement was valid.In the Omnibus Agreement, Stream agreed to transfer all of its assets to SeeCubic, an entity controlled by Stream's secured creditors. Stream argued that the agreement was invalid and sought a preliminary injunction to prevent SeeCubic from taking any action to enforce it. SeeCubic, on the other hand, argued that the agreement was valid and sought a preliminary injunction preventing Stream or any third-party defendants from taking any action to interfere with it. The Court of Chancery granted SeeCubic's motion, holding that none of Stream's arguments against the validity of the agreement had merit and that SeeCubic was entitled to a preliminary injunction. View "Stream TV Networks, Inc. v. SeeCubic, Inc." on Justia Law
Focus Financial Financial Partners, LLC v. Holsopple
The Court of Chancery granted Scott Holsopple's motion for dismissal from this case, holding that this Court lacked any basis to assert personal jurisdiction over Holsopple.Holsopple previously worked for Focus Operating, LLC, a subsidiary of Focus Financial Partners, LLC (Focus Parent). During his employment with Focus Operating, Holsopple signed five Unit Agreements, two of which selected the courts of Delaware as the exclusive forum for disputes relating to the Unit Agreements. By signing the agreements, Holsopple because a member of Focus Parent. The two most recent iterations of Focus Parent's operating agreement selected the Courts of Delaware as the exclusive forum for disputes relating to the operating agreements. After Holsopple took a position with Hightower Holdings, LLC, a competitor of Focus Operating, Focus Parent filed this lawsuit alleging, among other things, that Holsopple violated the employment-related provisions in the Unit Agreements and violated the exclusive choice-of-forum provisions by filing a lawsuit in California state court. Holsopple filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. After a choice-of-law analysis, the Court of Chancery granted the motion, holding that the Delaware choice-of-forum provisions could not support jurisdiction. View "Focus Financial Financial Partners, LLC v. Holsopple" on Justia Law
In re WeWork Litigation
The Court of Chancery held that management of a Delaware corporation does not have the authority unilaterally to preclude a director of the corporation from obtaining the corporation's privileged information.This dispute concerned obtaining access to privileged communications among management of a company, its in-house counsel, and its outside counsel. The company, acting by and under the direction of a special committee of the company's board of directors, filed an action against a corporation and an L.P. alleging that the defendants breached contractual obligations they owed to the company. The special committee sought access to the privileged communications in order to oppose the company's motion for leave to voluntarily dismiss the complaint. The Court of Chancery held that the members of the special committee were entitled to discovery of the privileged communications. View "In re WeWork Litigation" on Justia Law
Brown v. City Library of Wilmington
The Court of Chancery dismissed Plaintiff's complaint for declaratory relief and injunctive relief against the City Library of Wilmington for failure to state a claim, holding that the complaint failed to state a claim for breach of contract.After Plaintiff was banned from various sections of the Library, he filed this complaint seeking to enjoin the Library from banning him and from suspending his privileges. Plaintiff further sought to induce the Library to enforce Library regulations and asked that the Court "rewrite the organizational chart of the Library." The Library filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. The Court of Chancery granted the motion, holding that Plaintiff's count for breach of contract did not state a claim on which relief could be granted. View "Brown v. City Library of Wilmington" on Justia Law
Applied Energetics, Inc. v. Farley
The Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part the motion for partial summary judgment filed by Applied Energetics, Inc. (the Company) on its claims against George Farley, the Company's former director and principal executive officer, and AnneMarieCo, LLC, holding that Farley lacked authority to issue himself twenty-five million shares and grant himself an annual salary of $150,000 per year but that the Company was not entitled to summary judgment on Farley's counterclaims.The Company asserted several claims based on Farley's actions. Farley filed counterclaims against the Company for breach of contract, for unjust enrichment, and to validate his actions under section 205 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. The Company moved for partial summary judgment. The Court of Chancery granted the motion in part and denied it in part, holding (1) because Farley was the Company's sole remaining director when he issued himself stock and granted himself compensation, Farley's actions were invalid; (2) because the Company had the corporate power to issue shares and compensate its officers and directors Farley's acts could be validated under section 205; (3) the Court had the power to validate Farley's decision to grant himself a salary; and (4) evidence could support Farley's claim for compensation under a theory of quantum merit. View "Applied Energetics, Inc. v. Farley" on Justia Law
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Ballard
The Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint brought in an effort to collect on an unpaid judgment, holding that one claim must be dismissed as untimely.JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. sued Data Treasury Corporation (DTC) and obtained a final judgment against DTC for $69 million. JPMorgan bought this action in an effort to collect on its judgment. DTC moved to dismiss all of JPMorgan's claims on a variety of grounds. JPMorgan claimed that DTC's directors should be liable for dividends DTC paid its stockholders after DTC licensed its patents to someone other than JPMorgan in violation of DTC's obligation to tell JPMorgan under a license agreement. JP Morgan also claimed it was entitled to recover the distributions because they were fraudulent transfers. The Court of Chancery held (1) JPMorgan had standing as a creditor of DTC to assert a claim under Section 174 to recover for itself and other creditors of DTC the dividends DTC paid; (2) the six-year limitations period in 8 Del. C. 174 is a statute of repose. The court thus finds that JPMorgan’s Section 174 claim must be dismissed as untimely; and (3) all of JPMorgan’s fraudulent transfer claims were timely filed. View "JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Ballard" on Justia Law
Stempien v. Marnie Properties, LLC
In this construction dispute, the Court of Chancery granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ complaint seeking to vacate or modify an arbitration award for failure to state a claim and denying Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, holding that the arbitrator did not exceed the scope of his authority or act in manifest disregard of the law when he awarded Defendant damages.In their first claim, Plaintiffs argued that the arbitrator’s interpretation of the provisions in the contract between the parties regarding the total cost of the construction project evidences a manifest disregard for the law. In their second claim, Plaintiffs argued that the arbitrator exceeded his authority and acted in manifest disregard of the law when he issued an award for fees and expenses to Defendant. The Court of Chancery disagreed, holding that the arbitrator did not act in manifest disregard of the law in either respect. View "Stempien v. Marnie Properties, LLC" on Justia Law
Ross v. Institutional Longevity Assets LLC
In this dispute regarding the commercialization of a patent covering a method for pooling insurance policies the Court of Chancery granted Defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings in which they argued that they did not owe any of the contractual or fiduciary obligations that Plaintiff sought to enforce, holding that Defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law.Plaintiff brought this action asserting claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties related to Defendants’ business development of a patent-holding entity and Defendants’ failure to provide certain information to Plaintiff. The Court of Chancery granted Defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings, thus mooting Plaintiff’s motion to compel and motion for default judgment, holding That Defendants carried their burden to show that Plaintiff could prove no set of facts in support of his claims that would entitle him to relief and that Defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law. View "Ross v. Institutional Longevity Assets LLC" on Justia Law