Oral arg. – Miss.S.Ct. – Feb. 25, 2016

At 1:30, the Miss. S. Ct. will hear the case of William Burgess derivatively on behalf of BancCorp South  v. Aubry Patterson et al 

Burgess filed a shareholder derivative action on behalf of BancorpSouth alleging breaches of fiduciary duty by the defendant board members.    Burgess sent a demand to the Board which replied that it had  “formed a special committee of Directors under Mississippi law to evaluate the subject matter of [Plaintiff’s Demand].”   It later informed Burgess that it did not intend to prosecute Burgess’ demands. Burgess filed suit.

According to the defendants, the claims were the same as in a securities class action case, Winslow v. BancorpSouth, Inc., et al, Case No 3:10-CV-00463, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.   Burgess’ case was stayed until Winslow was settled. When the case was reopened, the defendants moved to dismiss.  Burgess propounded discovery.  Defendants moved for a protective order that discovery not be had. Defendants tendered a sealed copy of the Special Committee Report as an exhibit to their motion for protective order.  Burgess claims that it was unfair for the defendants to disclose the Special Committee Report while refusing to provide a copy to Burgess.

Burgess argues that he should have been permitted discovery.

Burgess’ brief

Patterson et al’s brief

Burgess’ reply brief

Watch the argument here

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