Since Chancellor William T. Allen’s seminal ruling in In re Caremark International Inc. Derivative Litigation, the question of the duties owed by corporate officers, not directors, has remained unclear. For years, practitioners, academics and the courts have grappled with this question and others. Recently, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster answered some of these questions and provided long-needed clarity, holding that corporate officers “owe a fiduciary duty of oversight as to matters within their areas of responsibility.” While this opinion provides answers to the questions many have been asking, it also raises concerns.
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