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Disney for Deal Lawyers

Deal Points
Spring 2006, Michael A. Pittenger and Michael K. Reilly

Front and center on the national legal stage last year was the Disney litigation, which consumed thirty-seven trial days in Delaware’s Court of Chancery and resulted in a 175 page opinion in which Chancellor William B. Chandler concluded that the defendants had not breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the hiring and termination of Michael Ovitz as the Walt Disney Company’s President. While Disney dealt primarily with the hiring, termination, and compensation of a key executive and the conduct of directors in connection therewith, many of its teachings are particularly relevant to deal lawyers advising corporate boards or committees about the negotiation, evaluation, and approval of significant transactions.

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