Recent Developments in Business Divorce Litigation 2023


Byeongsook Seo

Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
1200 17th Street, Suite 1900
Denver, CO 80202
[email protected]



Melissa Donimirski

Heyman Enerio Gattuso & Hirzel LLP
300 Delaware Avenue, Suite 200
Wilmington, DE 19801
[email protected]

Janel M. Dressen

Anthony Ostlund Louwagie Dressen
& Boylan P.A.
90 South 7th Street
3600 Wells Fargo Center
Minneapolis, MN 55402
[email protected]

Jennifer Hadley Catero

Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
One East Washington Street, Suite 2700
Phoenix, AZ 85004
[email protected]

John Levitske

HKA Global, L.L.C.
300 South Wacker Drive, Suite 2600
Chicago, IL 60606
[email protected]

Samuel Neschis

Neschis & Tolitano, LLC
311 West Superior Street, Suite 314
Chicago, Illinois 60654
[email protected]

Tyson Prisbrey

Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
15 West South Temple, Suite 1200
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
[email protected]

John C. Sciaccotta

Aronberg Goldgehn
330 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60611
[email protected]


§ 1.1. Introduction

The term “business divorce” includes disputes that cause business partners to end their partnership, situations that require owners to separate, or circumstances where a business partner wishes to change the composition of management. This chapter provides summaries of developments related to such business divorce matters that arose from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022 from mostly nine states.

Contributors to this chapter used their best judgment in selecting business divorce cases to summarize. We then organized the summaries, first, by subject matter, then, by jurisdiction. This chapter, however, is not meant to be comprehensive.

The reader should be mindful of how any case in this chapter is cited. Some jurisdictions prohibit courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published. To the extent unpublished cases are summarized, the reader should always consult local rules and authority to ensure the unpublished cases can serve as relevant and permissible precedent. The reader should also be mindful that this chapter provides a “snapshot” of developments within a single year. Any development in a particular year covered by this chapter may be altered by legislation or cases in subsequent years.

We hope this chapter assists the reader in understanding recent developments in business divorces.

§ 1.2. Access to Books and Records

§ 1.2.1. California

Fowler v. Golden Pac. Bancorp Inc., 80 Cal.App.5th 205, 295 Cal.Rptr.3d 501 (2022). A trial court granted a director plaintiff’s petition for a writ of mandate against a corporation to enforce his statutory and absolute right to inspect corporate books and records as a director under Cal. Corporations Code § 1602. The corporation appealed, then moved to dismiss the appeal as moot due to another company acquiring the corporation and eliminating the plaintiff as a board member during the pendency of the appeal. The court agreed that the primary issue on appeal is moot because plaintiff is no longer a member of the corporation’s board of directors and, therefore, has no director’s inspection rights. But the court exercised …

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