Summary Judgments

What summary judgment motions did the parties file?


What summary judgment motions did the parties file?

In 2006, Princeton and plaintiffs each filed several motions for partial summary judgment.

Princeton asked the court to rule on five issues that would materially advance resolution of the litigation: (1) that Princeton is and will continue to be the sole beneficiary of the Robertson Foundation, as clearly stated in the Certificate of Incorporation; (2) that Article 11(c) of the Foundation’s Certificate of Incorporation does not limit the type of investment income that the Foundation may spend; (3) that the Foundation properly selected and retained PRINCO as its investment manager; (4) that certain of plaintiffs’ claims are too stale to be heard by the court because they fall beyond the applicable laches or limitations period; and (5) that plaintiffs’ demand that fact issues in this litigation be decided by a jury, rather than the court, was improper.

Plaintiffs filed two motions for partial summary judgment. In their first motion, they asked the court to overturn the governance structure of the Foundation (and, by extension, the governance structures of other supporting organizations around the country), which provides for majority representation on the Foundation board for Princeton as the supported organization. (Princeton designates four of the seven members; the Robertson family designates the other three.) In their second motion, plaintiffs asked the court to determine that Princeton had “overcharged” the Robertson Foundation in certain specific spending categories, including, for example, by paying for faculty research, supporting WWS graduate school-based research centers, and constructing buildings that plaintiffs claim do not house WWS graduate program activities.