Justia Contracts Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Delaware Court of Chancery
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In this opinion, the Court of Appeals suggested reconsidering the holding of CompoSecure, LLC v. CardUX, LLC (CompoSecure II), 206 A.3d 807 (Del. 2018), and permitting a court of equity to consider equitable defenses to a breach of contract claim even when the parties have used the word "void" to describe the consequence of contractual noncompliance.Defendant, a co-founder and member of XRI Investment Holdings LLC (XRI), formed GH Blue Holdings, LLC as a single-member LLC and then transferred all of his Class B units in XRI to Blue (the Blue Transfer). Defendant sought to comply with a provision in the LLC agreement that governed XRI's internal affairs that generally prohibited members from transferring their member interests by evoking an exception for a transfer to a "Permitted Transferee." XRI alleged that the Blue Transfer was void ab initio and never became effective, and Defendant responded that XRI's claim was barred by the equitable defense of acquiescence. The Court of Chancery held (1) there was no impediment to a defendant raising a defense of acquiescence in response to a legal claim; and (2) this decision sets out the rationale for a court to reconsider the holding in CompoSecure II so that the Delaware Supreme Court may consider it in connection with any appeal. View "XRI Investment Holdings LLC v. Holifield" on Justia Law

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The Court of Chancery dismissed without prejudice Plaintiffs' complaint, holding that the action generally lacked an actual controversy and Plaintiffs sought what amounted to an advisory opinion and that the single portion of the dispute that appeared ripe failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.In their complaint, Plaintiffs disputed a company's interpretation of certain provisions in an LLC agreement, The first count was a breach of contract claim seeking a determination regarding the construction of the LLC agreement, and the other count was also styled as a breach of contract claim seeking a declaration that restrictive covenants in certain sections of the LLC agreement were overbroad and unenforceable under Delaware law. Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint under Court of Chancery Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), arguing that no justiciable controversy existed. The Court of Chancery granted the motion, holding (1) the claim in count one was unripe, and the claim in count two did not present a justiciable dispute; and (2) the purchase notice claim in count one is dismissed without prejudice under Rule 12(b)(6). View "Klein v. ECG Topco Holding, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Court of Chancery granted summary judgment in favor of Respondents and confirmed a May 10, 2021 arbitration award, holding that this court was obliged to grant Respondents' cross-motion for summary judgment to confirm the award.Respondent commenced an arbitration proceeding against Petitioner asserting several claims relating to amendments to the parties' LLC agreement. After the arbitrator issued decisions, Petitioner filed a petition to vacate the award in part. Respondent and affiliated entities filed a counterclaim to confirm the arbitration award. All parties moved for summary judgment. The Court of Chancery granted summary judgment in favor of Respondents and confirmed the arbitration award, holding that Petitioner's challenges to the award failed. View "Polychain Capital LP v. Pantera Venture Fund II LP" on Justia Law

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The Court of Chancery denied Defendants' motion to dismiss this complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, holding that Plaintiff's claims were ripe and that the complaint stated claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment.Plaintiff, a stockholder of a company, brought this lawsuit alleging that Defendants breached the terms of an equity compensation plan, that Defendants breached their fiduciary duties, and unjust enrichment. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint in its entirety, arguing that none of Plaintiff's claims were ripe and that Plaintiff failed to state a claim. The Court of Chancery denied the motion to dismiss, holding that Defendants' attacks on the complaint were unavailing. View "Garfield v. Allen" on Justia Law

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The Court of Chancery found for Plaintiff on all counts and counterclaim counts in this case involving affordable rental housing property held by a limited partnership, holding that the new limited partner lacked caused to remove the general partner.At issue was affordable housing projects in a federal program that were held by a Delaware limited partnership. Plaintiffs were the partnership and general partner and Defendant was a new limited partner. Defendant sought either a sale of the property or a buyout of its partnership interests, and when the general partner refused to cooperate, the limited partner attempted to remove the general partner for cause. The general partner sought a declaratory judgment that its removal was invalid, and the limited partner asserted counterclaims for, inter alia, breach of contract. The Court of Chancery found in favor of Plaintiffs on all counts, holding (1) the limited partner failed to prove that the general partner breached its modified judiciary duties or the limited partnership agreement; and (2) therefore, the limited partner lacked cause to remove the general partner. View "JER Hudson GP XXI LLC v. DLE Investors, LP" on Justia Law

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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