Commentary & Analysis

Supreme Court rejects special presumption of prudence for ESOP fiduciaries

By Steven Flores, Esq., Winston & Strawn

From Westlaw Journal Securities: Steve Flores of Winston & Strawn discusses a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that will impact cases concerning employee stock ownership plans.

In Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (June 25, 2014), the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a widely accepted presumption of prudence favoring fiduciaries of qualified retirement plans designed to invest primarily in employer stock through employee stock ownership plans, or ESOPs.  The plaintiffs in this case alleged that in 2007, Fifth Third Bancorp and several officers breached fiduciary duties to the Fifth Third ESOP, because they knew, or should have known, that Fifth Third’s stock was overvalued and excessively risky.

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‘Cyber governance: What every director needs to know,’ by Paul A. Ferrillo, Esq., Weil Gotshal & Manges

 

 

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Paul Ferrillo

Paul Ferrillo

 

Can I fly or can’t I fly? Drones in the wake of the NTSB’s Pirker opinion

By Tim Adelman, Esq., LeClairRyan

From Westlaw Journal Aviation: Attorney Tim Adelman of LeClairRyan discusses the recent influx of drones into U.S. airspace and the challenges the Federal Aviation Administration faces in determining whether or how to regulate these new aircraft.

One of the fastest-evolving areas of aviation is the use of drones.  Although “drone” is the popular term, it is not used in the industry, which initially used “unmanned aerial vehicle,” or UAV.

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Fracking-related quakes may keep courts busy

By Chris Faulkner, Breitling Energy

From Westlaw Journal Environmental: Chris Faulkner of Breitling Energy, and author of the book “The Fracking Truth,” discusses the connection between the underground disposal of contaminated fracking fluids and earthquakes, and makes recommendations on how to address the ongoing disposal problem.

For a long time, experts believed the act of retrieving oil and gas from shale formations through the method of hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, was causing minor earthquakes nearby.  The earthquakes were few and far between, and when they did occur, were very minor in nature.

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‘ESI: My Amex! Litigators and clients must work together to reduce e-discovery costs,’ by Chad Stouffer, Esq., and Aaron Lukas, Esq., Cozen O’Connor

 

 

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Chad Stouffer

Chad Stouffer

Aaron Lukas

Aaron Lukas

Fringe Benefits: Alpha Here and Now

The fashion world lives and dies on trends, but lately the apparel sector has been suffering from a lack of compelling new looks. Shoppers don’t open their wallets when they think they have similar items in their closets – and the winter’s bad weather kept them home. As the season warms up, perhaps fringe styles will kick-start retail sales. Read the full analysis on Alpha Now.

Succeed or die: Learning from behind the scenes of Spotify, Summly & Coindesk

Shak Khan

By Andrew Fletcher, Manager, Collaborative Projects, Thomson Reuters

What does Shak Khan do? Behind the title of Special Projects at Spotify, and the numerous other tech successes that Shak has been involved in, is the story of someone who had the hunger and drive to “get to where I want to get to or die.” He counts the four key ingredients that took him from being a high-school dropout to a successful entrepreneur as: loss of sleep, dreams, books, and pain. A key part of this being able to balance the need to dream in order to have the vision of where he wanted to go, with the hard work to make it happen. His first business in the early 90s typified that hard work approach. He would read Loot and then drive around London buying broken mobile phones to polish and repair them. He’d then fly to Dublin on the same day where he could sell them for triple the price. He’d then count his money in the toilets at Dublin airport before flying home and repeating it again the next day. (more…)

Truly thinking outside the box

Truly thinking outside the box

As we remember and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, the passing of veterans who fought in that war (that Tom Brokaw called part of the Greatest Generation) is always sad. When I lived in the UK, I was always humbled by the few remaining WWI veterans who turned up for Remembrance Day in wheelchairs with canes and by the wreaths laid at memorials all across the country.  (more…)

Supreme Court to decide important issue in class-action litigation

By Ella Aiken, Esq., and Malcolm Seymour, Esq., Garvey Schubert Barer

From Westlaw Journal Environmental: Ella Aiken and Malcolm Seymour of Garvey Schubert Barer discuss a class-action case recently accepted for review by the U.S. Supreme Court and its potential impact on defendants’ access to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, No. 13-719, cert. granted (U.S. Apr. 7, 2014), concerning a removing defendant asserting federal jurisdiction on the basis of the federal diversity statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332.  The court will review whether the defendant must attach sufficient documentary evidence to prove the jurisdictional amount to the notice of removal itself, or whether such evidence may be introduced during briefing on a motion to remand.

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A warrior’s heart

Maya Angelou speaks during a ceremony to honor South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in Washington, November 21, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou passed away last week. Her heart gave out at 86. She was a victim of rape, segregation, and abuse, but found her voice through lived shame and silence. She lived her life to the fullest, not only as a poet, but also as an activist and “warrior for equality, tolerance and peace.”

I had the honor of meeting Maya over 20 years ago at the College of St. Catherine in Minnesota, where she spoke to an auditorium full of women from all walks of life. She talked about tolerance and the importance for women to forge a path towards full citizenship. She was a voice against racism, bigotry, fear and hatred. She inspired me to write and to believe that a full voice was an authentic voice. It has taken me all this time to fully understand the message she was trying to convey at the time: what finding your voice really means. (more…)