Young Conaway Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Third Circuit Appeal, Wal-Mart v. Trinity

February 16, 2015In The News

Young Conaway attorneys, Rolin P. Bissell, John J. Paschetto and Benjamin M. Potts, and Professor Lynn Stout of Cornell Law School recently filed an Amicus Curiae Brief in support of Trinity Wall Street in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the matter of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Trinity Wall Street (Case No. 14-4764). The brief was submitted on behalf of 38 law professors “whose research and teaching focus primarily on corporate and securities law.”

The Amicus Brief asks the Third Circuit to uphold the November 2014 ruling of the United States District Court for Delaware that Trinity Wall Street had properly submitted for shareholder consideration a precatory proposal urging Wal-Mart’s board to provide oversight concerning the formulation of company policy regarding the sale of products, such as assault rifles with high capacity magazines, that ‘especially [endanger] public safety and well-being,’ ‘have substantial potential’ to damage Wal-Mart’s reputation, and/or ‘would be reasonably considered by many offensive to the family and community values integral to Wal-Mart’s promotion of its brand.” Describing how Trinity’s proposal acknowledges the board’s authority to oversee Wal-Mart’s affairs, the brief argues that the District Court’s ruling preserves an existing, well-established, and important shareholder right that plays a vital role in good corporate governance.

Established in 1697, Trinity Wall Street is an Episcopal parish located at Broadway and Wall Street in New York. One of its missions is to reduce violence in society. It submitted its proposal as part of its efforts to have Wal-Mart and other retailers who sell the Bushmaster AR 15 assault rifle review their governance practices following the December 2012 mass killing of school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. Amicus briefs in support of Trinity Wall Street were also submitted by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (on behalf the parents of five of the children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting).

Click Here ( [subscription may be required] to read Law 360’s coverage of the case and the three separate amicus curiae briefs including the attached brief filed by Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP on behalf of the 38 law professors.