Yahoo to unseal opposition court papers in shareholder lawsuit case

Company is expected to shortly unseal its court filing that opposes setting a trial date in invalidating its controversial employee severance plans, according to a source.

Update 10:30 a.m. PDT: Yahoo plans to unseal its court filing Monday.

Yahoo investors who are hoping to get a glimpse into the company's legal brief filed Monday to oppose holding a trial to remove its controversial employee severance plan will have to wait for an hour or so, according to a source familiar with the filing.

Yahoo's brief seeks to oppose a motion made in a shareholder lawsuit , which asks the court to hold a trial to invalidate the company's employees severance plans and to hold the trial before Yahoo's annual shareholders' meeting August 1.

While the motion to oppose setting a trial date was temporarily filed under seal, Yahoo's motion to dismiss the shareholder amended lawsuit--also filed Monday--was not, according to the Delaware Chancery Court, where both filings were submitted.

Yahoo's employee severance plan has been called a defacto "poison pill" by the plaintiffs, who allege it was put in place to make Microsoft's earlier unsolicited buyout efforts more expensive, a claim Yahoo has previously rejected. The Internet company characterized the plan as an employee retention effort.

Yahoo had unsuccessfully sought to keep the shareholder amended complaint under seal. The recently unsealed documents created a firestorm of controversy for the Internet search pioneer. The amended complaint contained e-mails and information from outside compensation consultants Yahoo had hired, who raised questions regarding the breadth of the severance packages that would be awarded to all full-time employees in the event of a change of control of Yahoo should employees depart the company or their duties or responsibilities change.

 

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