Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiffs brought a shareholders derivative suit against Defendants, seeking damages and a jury trial.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
A party is entitled to a jury trial, under the Seventh Amendment, when the nature of the issue is legal relief.
The claim pressed by the stockholder against directors or third parties is not his own but the corporation's.View Full Point of Law
Stockholders (Plaintiffs) sued directors of the company (Defendants) in a shareholders derivative suit. Alleging the Defendants had violated federal laws, Plaintiffs sought damages and requested a jury trial.
Are plaintiffs in a shareholders derivative suit entitled to a jury trial?
Yes, the Plaintiffs are entitled to a jury trial.
The Court determined that a shareholders derivative suit is both a matter of equitable relief and legal relief on part of the stockholders and the company. Historically, corporations were entitled to a jury under the Seventh Amendment when bringing legal relief claims. Because matters of legal relief and equitable relief are combined in courts today, stockholders are granted entitlement to a jury trial in these mixed claims because they are bringing the suit on behalf of the corporation.