William Wheeler

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Corporate litigation is often a highly complex process. The rules and regulations surrounding shareholder demands, derivative lawsuits, review committees, and corporate dissolution create a convoluted procedural web that can be exceedingly difficult to untangle. Due to this complexity, federal court is an attractive choice for many civil litigants; federal forums have predictable and established rules of procedure and federal judges tend to have more time to give each case individualized consideration. These factors can accelerate and smooth the litigation process. However, throughout the last two decades, litigants in corporate dissolution actions have had no choice but to seek relief in state courts, as there were no federal forums available for petitioners seeking corporate dissolution.

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Deal v. Tugalo Gas Co., Inc. opened the doors of federal courthouses in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida to petitioners seeking corporate dissolution. Deal’s holding rejects the traditional application of the “Burford abstention” doctrine and creates a circuit split with the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second and Sixth Circuits