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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Even If Enacted, The Choice Act May Not Repeal The SEC’s Pay Ratio Rule

While prognosticators continue to place odds on whether the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, H.R. 10, will be enacted, many commentators are claiming that it will “repeal” the Securities and Exchange Commission’s pay ratio rule.  Even if H.R. 10 is enacted, I’m not so sure that it would “repeal” the pay ratio rule. It is certainly true…

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Is A Racial Or Ethnic Group A “Person”?

Yesterday’s post concerned the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Matal v. Tam, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3872 (June 19, 2017) that the “disparagement clause” of the Lanham Act violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.  As far as most legal commentators were concerned, that was the one and only headline holding of the case.  Before addressing…

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Incorporating Under A Disparaging Name

In Matal v. Tam, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3872 (June 19, 2017), the U.S. Supreme Court found the “disparagement clause” of the Lanham Act violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.  The “disparagement clause” prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . or bring . . . into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons,…

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The Taxpayer Transparency And Fairness Act Is Anything But

Recently, I wrote about the stealth with which the California legislature enacted AB 102, which it ironically named the Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act of 2017.  Having been birthed in opacity, AB 102 will operate with even less transparency. The bill transfers certain of the responsibilities of the State Board of Equalization to a newly…

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Does Work Product Belong To The Lawyer Or The Law Firm?

California has codified the attorney work product doctrine in Section 2018.030 of the California Code of Civil Procedure.  That statute establishes two categories of protected work product.   Under subdivision (a), a “writing that reflects an attorney’s impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal research or theories is not discoverable under any circumstances”.  Under subdivision (b), other work product of an…

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The Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act of 2017 – A Little Bill May Soon Make Big Changes

The talk of California tax practitioners over the last week has been all about the legislature’s passage of AB 102.  This may be surprising to those who read the bill when it was introduced on January 10 of this year, for the bill consisted of one sentence: It is the intent of the Legislature to…

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California Finders Rule May Soon Take Effect

Nearly one year ago, the California Department of Business Oversight proposed regulations to implement the provisions of AB 667 (Wagner).  The bill, which was enacted in 2015 and took effect last year, created a new exemption from the broker-dealer requirements for finders, or individuals who, for compensation, introduce potential investors and issuers of securities to each other.  The proposed regulations,…

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Fictitious Name Use Fails To Engender Standing Or Jurisdictional Issue

California Code of Civil Procedure Section 367 requires that every action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party of interest.  What happens when a plaintiff sues under a fictitious business name of a dissolved foreign limited liability company?  Yesterday, the Court of Appeal answered that question in The Rossdale Group, LLC v.…

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Does A Political Yard Sign Really Violate The Investment Advisers Act?

“Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . .” Doug Cornelius recently published this post reporting that the SEC staff is taking the position that the pay-to-play rule, Rule 206(4)-5, applies to political yard signs.  [After publishing this post, Doug Cornelius published this clarification.]  The SEC adopted the…

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Insider Trading Is Like A Dog Named “Stay”

Insider trading cases remind me of the following joke attributed to stand-up comic Steven Wright: I bought a dog the other day. I named him Stay. It’s fun to call him. “Come here, Stay! Come here, Stay!” He went insane. Regulation of insider trading is a lot like Wright’s unfortunate pet.  Securities regulators encourage investors…

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