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When shareholders of a company believe the leaders of the company have breached their fiduciary duties to it, they can bring a lawsuit against those leaders in one of two ways. Shareholders can bring the suit in their own names (a direct suit), or they can bring it on behalf of the company if the company failed to bring claims against the leaders on its own (a derivative suit). If the injuries the shareholders are alleging were only suffered by the company, they cannot move forward with any direct claims.
There is perhaps no richer vein of literary gold than conflict between fathers and sons. Hamlet, Robinson Crusoe, multiple characters drawn by Charles Dickens, not to mention the mother of all family contretemps, Oedipus Rex, touch on this deeply human power struggle. One such conflict was the backdrop for the Pennsylvania Superior Court’s recent decision in MBC Development, LP v. James W. Miller, 281 A.3d 332 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2022). The decision serves as an important reminder that courts overwhelmingly favor arbitration as a means of dispute resolution, and gives us an opportunity to think about the virtues of arbitration provisions in organizational documents like limited partnership and operating agreements.