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Many states, including Delaware, have passed statutory protections which provide directors and officers with advancement and indemnifications rights.  When a director or officer is sued, the corporation advances defense expenses (and generally seeks reimbursement for that advancement under Side-B of its directors and officers insurance policy).  But the statutory protections for advancement and indemnity are not applicable to all individuals affiliated with the company – they generally apply only to directors and officers.

With “title creep” and “title inflation” prevalent in the financial services industry, that issue has become murkier over time.  Is a vice-president an officer of the Company by virtue of his title?  That question took center stage in a recent decision by the Third Circuit – Aleynikov v. Goldman Sachs Group – where a Goldman Sachs computer programmer sought advancement of defense expenses arising out of criminal allegations that he copied source code developed at Goldman Sachs and transferred them to an outside server. 

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