January 31, 2012

Our Mini-Theme: A Preview of the Forthcoming Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation

William D. Johnston

The Business and Corporate Litigation Committee is the home within the ABA Business Law Section for lawyers, law students, and judges interested in litigation (and alternative dispute resolution) affecting corporations and other business entities. The Committee benefits immeasurably from the knowledge and expertise of its members, including numerous active and supportive business court judges. And the Committee prides itself on being open to--and welcoming of--new members.

For the past 16 years, the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee has been preparing the Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation. The 1996 version included 11 chapters authored by 24 Committee members. This year's version, a two-volume bound set with accompanying CD-ROM, includes 27 chapters authored by more than 200 Committee members. As before, the Committee will introduce the publication with an outstanding, three-hour CLE program presented during the Spring Meeting of the Business Law Section.

The mini-theme of this issue of Business Law Today is a preview of the Annual Review, showcasing portions of four chapters that will be included in this year's publication. First, Nancy Adams and Kristen Scammon of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo P.C. review directors and officers' liability insurance case law developments and point out traps for the unwary in connection with the availability (or not) of coverage in the context of governmental investigations. Second, Paul Brown of Cousins, Chipman & Brown, LLP and Tyler O'Connell of DLA Piper LLP review key corporate and alternative entity law decisions from Delaware courts and non-Delaware courts applying Delaware law. They highlight numerous cases in which investor-plaintiffs were successful, and in which their counsel received substantial fee awards. Third, Chris Haaf and Monica Platt of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP review cases that have addressed securities laws claims under the Dodd-Frank Act. They observe that many of the 2011 cases focused on the whistleblower provisions of that statute and took a fresh look at the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Finally, Mac McCoy and Matthew Allen of Carlton Fields, P.A. review the three most notable class action decisions that reached the United States Supreme Court in 2011. They discuss why each case is significant in its own right, and how each of the cases may shape class action litigation in 2012 and beyond.

If you are not already a member of the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee, please consider joining. The benefits are many, and the cost of joining is zero. We hope to see you at the "Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation" program during the 2012 Spring Meeting in Las Vegas (Thursday, March 22, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.). Copies of the Annual Review, at the discounted meeting price, will be available!

William D. Johnston