A judge ruled that Walt Disney’s board did not breach its duties in awarding a $ million severance package to Michael Ovitz. Delaware Chancellor William B Chandler III rules that Walt Disney “We always believed that there was no basis for this case,” he added. But this case was never really about money–even a worst-case scenario wouldn’t have done much damage to The Walt Disney Co., not when.

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The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: The contract was for five years, but if Ovitz were terminated without cause, he would be paid the remaining value of his contract as well as a significant severance package in the form of stock option payouts.

Chandler’s decision reinforced directors’ rights to make decisions — even bad ones — if done in good faith. Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.

And TransUnion had absolutely no documentation before it when it considered the merger agreement. The holding and reasoning section includes: Klein, Business Associations 8th ed Foundation Press On 14 August Eisner released to the press the appointment, before the compensation committee had formally met to discuss it.

Judge Rules in Favor of Disney in Ovitz Case but Criticizes Eisner

Business and Environment Business History Entrepreneurship. Shlensky v WrigleyNE 2d Retrieved from ” https: The Supreme Court also adopted the same practical view as the Court of Chancery regarding the important statutory protections offered by Section e of the DGCL, which permits corporate directors to rely in good faith on information provided by fellow directors, board committees, officers, and outside consultants.

But while relieving directors of legal liability, the judge also scolded them in his page decision, reserving his sharpest comments for Eisner. Technology and Operations Management. Ovitz testified Eisner was oivtz “life partner,” who shared family vacations in Aspen, and related how he stood vigil when Eisner underwent open-heart surgery. Lorsch In this essay, my goal is to explore why, despite the tireless efforts of talented people, research on corporate governance has been slow and uneven, and where that research should turn to next to be most valuable dismey practitioners.


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About the Author Jay W. They acted in a manner that they believed was in the best interests of the company.

Graef Crystala compensation expert warned that Ovitz was getting “low risk and high return” but the report was not approved by the whole board or the committee. Views Read Edit View history. A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section; A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and The procedural disposition e. In Hollywood, the trial’s webcast turned into popular entertainment, showcasing one of the most embarrassing episodes in the careers of two men who were once among the industry’s most powerful and feared executives.

Some suggested the ruling might spur more shareholder activism. Cite View Details Purchase Related. Ovitz, while on a boating vacation in the Mediterranean with his family, said through his lawyer that he was relieved by the decision. Delaware Supreme Court Ovtz. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The other members of the committee and the board were not told until the negotiations were well underway.

Ovitz officially began as president on October 1 of that year. Cite View Details Purchase. Overshadowing the legal arguments at the trial was often dramatic testimony detailing the unraveling of a friendship between two of the entertainment industry’s best-known figures.

Cqse, 4th Ed Klein, 10th Ed. While pvitz hiring of Ovitz was at first heralded as a coup for Disney, Eisner and senior executives began to have doubts about Ovitz’s fit with the company culture. Smith v Van Gorkom A2d Within a year Ovitz lost Eisner’s confidence and terminated his contract though it was certainly not gross negligence.


Unlock this case brief with a free no-commitment trial membership of Quimbee. The Supreme Court flatly rejected the notion, advanced by plaintiffs, that lack of good faith could cwse equated with gross negligence, which is the standard for finding a violation of the fiduciary duty of care.

You can try any plan risk-free for 7 days. Despite being one of Eisner’s best friends, Ovitz never adapted to Disney’s culture or to working at a public company, lasting a little more than a year.

Judge Rules in Favor of Disney in Ovitz Case but Criticizes Eisner – latimes

Here’s whylaw students have relied on our case briefs: I have made a deliberate choice to focus primarily on research that reflects firsthand experience with boards rather than on research that utilizes data derived from questionnaires and other secondary sources. United States corporate case law Delaware state case law in United States case law in Delaware Disney litigation.

Article Annals of Corporate Governance. A vehicle is needed to address such violations doctrinally, and that doctrinal vehicle is the duty to act in good faith.

Diwney Lorsch and Emily Irving. Sources on directors’ duties. Ovitz insisted his pay would go up if things went well, and an exit package if things did not. But, Ovitz said, Eisner betrayed him. My belief is that the most fruitful work thus far has recognized that corporate boards are dynamic social systems, has identified all the forces that shape those systems, and has acknowledged that boards should seek to represent a wide variety of stakeholders, not just shareholders.

Cite View Details Educators. Xase more about Quimbee.