Item 6. Indemnification of Directors and Officers.
Our charter and bylaws provide that we shall indemnify our officers and directors to the full extent of the general laws of the State of Maryland now or hereafter in force, including the advance of expenses to our officers and directors. Our obligation to advance expenses incurred by our officers and directors as a result of any threatened, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding, whether it be civil, criminal, administrative or investigative is subject to the procedures provided by Section 2-418 and other sections of the Maryland General Corporation Law. Our charter and bylaws also provide that we may indemnify our officers who are not directors to such further extent as shall be authorized by the board of directors, provided that such additional indemnification is consistent with the law.
Section 2-418 of the Maryland General Corporation Law provides, generally, that a corporation may indemnify any director or officer made a party to any proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements, and reasonable expenses actually incurred by the director or officer in connection with the proceeding, unless it is proved that the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the cause of action adjudicated in the proceeding and that such act or omission was committed in bad faith or was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty; or the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property, or services; or, in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful. Notwithstanding the above, a director or officer may not be indemnified for any judgments, penalties, fines, settlements or expenses arising out of any proceeding brought by or in the right of the corporation, in which such director or officer shall have been adjudged liable to the corporation or any judgments, penalties, fines, settlements or expenses arising out of any proceeding charging improper receipt of a personal benefit by such director or officer.
The termination of any proceeding by judgment, order, or settlement does not create a presumption that the director or officer did not meet the standard of conduct required for such director or officer to be indemnified. However, the termination of any proceeding by conviction, plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent, or the entry of an order of probation prior to judgment, creates a rebuttable presumption that the director or officer did not meet standard of conduct required for such director or officer to be indemnified. Indemnification of a director or officer is not permitted unless authorized for a specific proceeding. Such authorization shall only be given following a determination (1) by a majority of a quorum of directors not at the time parties to the proceeding (or a majority of a committee of two or more such directors designated by the full board); (2) by special legal counsel selected by the board of directors; or (3) by the stockholders, that indemnification is permissible because the director or officer met the standard of conduct required for such director or officer to be indemnified.
Section 2-418 provides that, unless otherwise limited by charter, a present or former director or officer who has been successful, on the merits or otherwise, in the defense of any proceeding to which he is made party by reason of his service as a director or officer shall be indemnified against reasonable expenses incurred by the director or officer in connection with the proceeding. Additionally, the statute provides that a court of appropriate jurisdiction, upon application of a director or officer and such notice as the court shall require, may order indemnification in the following circumstances: (1) if it determines a director or officer is entitled to reimbursement pursuant to a director’s or officer’s success, on the merits or otherwise, in the defense of any proceeding he is made a party by reason of his service as a
director or officer, the court shall order indemnification, in which case the director or officer shall be entitled to recover the expenses of securing such reimbursement; or (2) if it determines that a director or officer is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnification in view of all the relevant circumstances, the court may order such indemnification as the court shall deem proper. However, indemnification with respect to any proceeding by or in the right of the corporation or in which liability shall have been adjudged in the case of a proceeding charging improper personal benefit to the director or officer, shall be limited to expenses.
The reasonable expenses incurred by a director or officer who is a party to a proceeding may be paid or reimbursed by the corporation in advance of the final disposition of the proceeding upon receipt by the corporation of both a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good faith belief that the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification by the corporation has been met, and a written undertaking by or on behalf of the director or officer to repay the amount if it shall be ultimately determined that the standard of conduct has not been met.
The indemnification and advancement of expenses provided or authorized by Section 2-418 are not exclusive of any other rights to which a director or officer may be entitled both as to action in his official capacity and as to action in another capacity while holding such office.
Pursuant to Section 2-418, a corporation may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a director, officer, employee, or agent of the corporation, or who, while serving in such capacity, is or was at the request of the corporation serving as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee, or agent of another corporation or legal entity or of an employee benefit plan, against liability asserted against and incurred by such person in any of those capacities or arising out of such person’s position, regardless of whether or not the corporation would have the power to indemnify against liability under Section 2-418. A corporation may provide similar protection, including a trust fund, letter of credit, or surety bond, so long as the form of such protection is not inconsistent with Section 2-418. Additionally, a subsidiary or an affiliate of the corporation may provide the insurance or similar protection.
The foregoing is only a general summary of certain aspects of Maryland law dealing with indemnification of directors and officers and does not purport to be complete. It is qualified in its entirety by reference to the relevant statutes, which contain detailed specific provisions regarding the circumstances under which and the persons for whose benefit indemnification shall or may be made.
Subject to certain exceptions, our directors and officers and our affiliates are insured (subject to certain maximum amounts and deductibles) in each policy year because of any claim or claims made against them by reason of their wrongful acts while acting in their capacities as such directors or officers or while acting in their capacities as fiduciaries in the administration of certain of our employee benefit programs. We are insured, subject to certain retentions and exceptions, to the extent we shall have indemnified our directors and officers for such loss.
Item 9. Undertakings.
We hereby undertake:
(1) To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this Registration Statement: (i) to include any prospectus required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933; (ii) to reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of the Registration Statement (or the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in the Registration Statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than a 20% change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in the effective Registration Statement; and (iii) to include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the Registration Statement or any material change to such information in the Registration Statement. Provided, however, that paragraphs (1)(i) and (1)(ii) do not apply if the Registration Statement is on Form S-8, and the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed or furnished by us pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement.
(2) That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each such post-effective amendment shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
(3) To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering.
(4) That, for purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each filing of Registrant’s annual report pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefit plan’s annual report pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) that is incorporated by reference in the Registration Statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
(5) That, insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933 may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of Registrant pursuant to Registrant’s indemnification provisions, or otherwise, Registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in such Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than payment by Registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the Registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, we will, unless in the opinion of our counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.