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Goodman v. Dohmen

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

September 20, 2019

Albert Goodman, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Bert Dohmen, Defendant-Appellant.

          Andrew B. Holmes and Matthew D. Taylor, Holmes Taylor Scott & Jones LLP, Los Angeles, California, for Defendant-Appellant.

          Jeffrey Engerman, Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Engerman PC, Los Alamitos, California, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          Before: Johnnie B. Rawlinson and Mary H. Murguia, Circuit Judges, and James Rodney Gilstrap, [*] District Judge.

         ORDER CERTIFYING A QUESTION OF LAW PURSUANT TO DELAWARE SUPREME COURT RULE 41

         SUMMARY [**]

         Certified Question to the Delaware Supreme Court

         The panel certified the following question of state law to the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware:

In a Delaware limited partnership, does a general partner's request to a limited partner for a one-time capital contribution constitute a request for "limited-partner action" such that the general partner has a duty of disclosure, and, if the general partner fails to disclose material information in connection with the request, may the limited partner prevail on a breach-of-fiduciary-duty claim without proving reliance and causation?

          ORDER

         For the reasons explained in the certificate below, we find that this case involves an important issue of Delaware law, which Delaware courts have yet to resolve. Therefore, we respectfully certify a question of law to the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware. See Del. Sup. Ct. R. 41.

         The Clerk of this Court is directed to file in the Supreme Court of Delaware six certified copies of this certificate and provide copies of the record if requested. This case is withdrawn from submission and stayed pending final action by the Supreme Court of Delaware. The Clerk is directed to administratively close this docket pending further order. The parties shall notify this Court within 14 days of the Supreme Court of Delaware's acceptance or rejection of certification, and, if certification is accepted, within 14 days of the issuance of a decision.[1]

         CERTIFICATE OF QUESTION OF LAW

         (1) The nature and stage of the proceedings are:

         This is a Delaware limited partnership breach-of-fiduciary-duty case. Albert Goodman, plaintiff-appellee, sued Bert Dohmen, defendant-appellant, alleging a breach of the duty of disclosure in connection with a request for limited-partner action. The district court held a bench trial, found Dohmen liable, and awarded Goodman monetary damages. Dohmen appealed, arguing, inter alia, that his duty of disclosure was not triggered because there was no request for limited-partner action within the meaning of Delaware law. The appeal was argued and submitted on April 11, 2019, in Pasadena, California.

         (2) The following facts ...


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