Shearman & Sterling LLP | Securities Litigation
Shearman Litigation: Need-to-Know Litigation Weekly
This links to the home page

Shearman Litigation

Need-to-Know Litigation Weekly

Welcome to Shearman & Sterling LLP’s Need-To-Know Litigation Weekly, which analyzes notable U.S. decisions, orders and developments each week in areas of Securities Litigation, M&A Litigation, Government/Regulatory Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation and IP Litigation. This weekly newsletter is intended to supplement our various publications and thought leadership concerning these important substantive areas.


By clicking on the title of any case writeup, you can expand beyond the introductory paragraph to read the entire summary and analysis, and you also can access the underlying material. Clicking on the title of any case writeup also automatically will take you to our Need-To-Know Litigation Weekly microsite, which provides separate links to the four substantive areas (Securities Litigation, M&A Litigation, Government/Regulatory Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation and IP Litigation), each of which contains filters that are searchable both by substantive topic and by time period that will enable you to search and access our existing case summaries and analyses.

Please feel free to contact us at litigation_weekly@shearman.com if you would like us to add any of your colleagues to the weekly distribution list.

SECURITIES LITIGATION


Overview Of Cases Of Particular Interest Currently Pending Before The Supreme Court Of The United States


Looking ahead, we preview cases currently pending before the Supreme Court—which have already been accepted for review by the Court—that may be of particular interest to readers of the Need-to-Know Litigation Weekly.  These cases pertain to various topics in Securities, Enforcement, and, as to one, arbitration.

Read More


Northern District Of Illinois Certifies Class In A Commodities Market Manipulation Suit, Holding That Proposed Class Made A Sufficient Showing Of Rule 23 Requirements

On January 3, 2020, Judge Edmond E. Chang of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division granted Plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class of investors in an action alleging that two major food companies (“Defendants”) manipulated the wheat futures market.  Plaintiffs asserted claims against Defendants under Sections 6(c)(1) and 9(a)(2) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), under Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act (“Sherman Act”), and for common law unjust enrichment.  Harry Ploss v. Kraft Foods Group Inc. et al., No. 1:15-cv-02937 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 3, 2020).     

Read More
 


GOVERNMENT/REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT

 

Overview Of Cases Of Particular Interest Currently Pending Before The Supreme Court Of The United States

Looking ahead, we preview cases currently pending before the Supreme Court—which have already been accepted for review by the Court—that may be of particular interest to readers of the Need-to-Know Litigation Weekly.  These cases pertain to various topics in Securities, Enforcement, and, as to one, arbitration.

Read More
 


M&A

 

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal Of Derivative Suit Alleging Board Approved Transaction Involving Unnecessary Litigation Exposure 
 

On January 13, 2020, in an opinion authored by Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr., the Supreme Court of Delaware affirmed the dismissal by Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III of the Delaware Court of Chancery of a stockholder derivative suit for lack of pre-suit demand.  McElrath v. Kalanick, et al., C.A. No. 2017-0888 (Del. Jan. 13, 2020).  As discussed in our post on the prior decision, plaintiff alleged that the directors of a technology company had breached fiduciary duties in connection with the approval of an acquisition, in particular as related to purported intellectual property infringement by the target.  Noting that the company had an exculpatory charter provision, the Delaware Supreme Court explained that the directors were insulated from due care violations and could only be liable for bad faith.  Referring to allegations that the board heard a presentation that summarized the transaction, reviewed the risk of litigation, generally discussed due diligence and asked questions, the Court found that the complaint raised an inference of a “functioning board” and did not reasonably suggest the board intentionally ignored relevant risks.  Thus, the Court affirmed the dismissal because a majority of the board was disinterested for purposes of pre-suit demand as it “had no real threat of personal liability.”
 

Read More
 


ANTITRUST

 

United States District Court Judge Denies Writers Guild Motion To Dismiss Antitrust Suit Brought By Hollywood Talent Agencies Alleging The Orchestration Of An Illegal Boycott In The Entertainment Industry

 

On January 6, 2020, District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. of the United States District Court for the Central District of California denied defendants, Writers Guild of America West, Inc. and Writers Guild of America East, Inc.’s (“WGA”) motion to dismiss an action brought by three of the largest Hollywood talent agencies alleging that WGA violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by orchestrating an illegal boycott.  William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, LLC., et al. v. Writers Guild of America, West, Inc. et al., No. 2:19-cv-05465-AB-FFMx (Jan. 7, 2020).    
 

Read More
 


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

 

Federal Circuit Rejects A Wide Scope Inquiry Into Options Available At The Time Of Invention In An Obvious-To-Try Analysis

 

On January 6, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) reversed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judgment in an inter partes examination (IPR) of a U.S. patent.  Google LLC v. Koninklijke Philips N.V., Appeal No. 2019-1234 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 6, 2020) (nonprecedential).  The CAFC applied the obvious-to-try inquiry and found that the claims were obvious.
 

Read More