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Business Associations Keyed to Bainbridge
Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Citation:792 F.3d 323 (3rd Cir. 2015)
Trinity is one of the wealthiest religious institutions in the United States. Part of its mission was to reduce violence in society. Trinity pressed Wal-Mart to explain its continued sale of the Bushmaster AR-15. Trinity then drafted a shareholder proposal aimed at filling the governance gap it perceived in Wal-Mart. On January 2014, Wal-Mart notified Trinity of its belief that it could exclude the proposal from its 2014 proxy materials. Trinity disagreed, stating that its proposal didn’t meddle in ordinary course decision-making, but focused on big picture oversight and supervision that is the responsibility of the Board. On April, 2014, just 17 days before Wal-Mart’s proxy materials were due at the printer, Trinity filed a declaratory judgment against Wal-Mark, seeking a declaration that Wal-Mart’s decision to omit the proposal from its 2014 proxy materials violates section 14(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act.
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