Friday, August 31, 2012

SCOTUS Cert Grant of Interest on CAFA Jurisdiction & Removal: Standard Fire Insurance v. Knowles

Today the Supreme Court granted certiorari in The Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles (11-1450). Here’s the question presented in the petition for certiorari:

Last Term, this Court held that in a putative class action “the mere proposal of a class . . . could not bind persons who were not parties.” Smith v. Bayer Corp., 131 S. Ct. 2368, 2382 (2011). In light of that holding, the question presented is:

When a named plaintiff attempts to defeat a defendant’s right of removal under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 by filing with a class action complaint a “stipulation” that attempts to limit the damages he “seeks” for the absent putative class members to less than the $5 million threshold for federal jurisdiction, and the defendant establishes that the actual amount in controversy, absent the “stipulation,” exceeds $5 million, is the “stipulation” binding on absent class members so as to destroy federal jurisdiction?

You can find links to the lower court opinion and the cert-stage briefing at SCOTUSblog's casefile.

--A

August 31, 2012 in Class Actions, Recent Decisions, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms $2 Billion Judgment Plus Fees

            The Delaware Supreme Court in Americas Mining Corp. v. Theriault, No 29, 2012 (Del. S. Ct. Aug. 27, 2012), has just affirmed a $2.0316 billion judgment plus an award of plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees in the amount of 15% of the total judgment, or more than $304 million.

            As summarized by the Delaware Supreme Court:  

The Court of Chancery held that the defendants-appellants,
Americas Mining Corporation (“AMC”), the subsidiary of Southern Copper
Corporation’s (“Southern Peru”) controlling shareholder, and affiliate
directors of Southern Peru (collectively, the “Defendants”), breached their
fiduciary duty of loyalty to Southern Peru and its minority stockholders by
causing Southern Peru to acquire the controller’s 99.15% interest in a Mexican
mining company, Minera México, S.A. de C.V. (“Minera”), for much more than it was worth, i.e., at an unfair price.

The Plaintiff challenged the transaction derivatively on
behalf of Southern Peru. The Court of Chancery found the trial evidence
established that the controlling shareholder, Grupo México, S.A.B. de C.V.
(“Grupo Mexico”), through AMC, “extracted a deal that was far better than
market” from Southern Peru due to the ineffective operation of a special
committee (the “Special Committee”).

Hat tip: Delaware Business Court Insider.

PM

August 27, 2012 in Recent Decisions, State Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

2011 Report on Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Released

The report on consumer bankruptcies required by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act has been released for 2011. 

The highlights state, "1.3 million debtors filing for personal bankruptcy in 2011. Compared to 2010, 2011 saw a 11% in drop in case filings, 23% drop in filer assets, 25% drop in filer liabilities, and 28% incidence of repeat filers."

The full report is available here.

PM

August 27, 2012 in Federal Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)