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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

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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If The Market Makes You Do It, Why Should The SEC?

The basic premise underlying most disclosure requirements seems to be that issuers won’t disclose to investors unless legally required to do so.  Yet, there is ample evidence of issuers making disclosures in the absence of legal compulsion.  Below are just a few examples: Earnings announcements.  While SEC rules require companies to file quarterly and annual…

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The SEC’s Flawed Changes To Exchange Act Forms

Title I of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (aka JOBS) Act amended the Securities Act and the Exchange Act to provide some regulatory relief to issuers that qualify as an “emerging growth company”.  Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted various changes to its forms and rules to conform to Title I.  The SEC elected not to comply with the notice and…

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Can The Legislature Hire Its Own Lawyer?

In early January, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon jointly announced that the California Legislature had hired outside legal counsel to advise on potential legal challenges with the incoming administration of Donald Trump.  I found this interesting as I could not recall a prior circumstance in which the legislature had ever…

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Must A False Statement To A Franchisee Be Made “In this state”?

The list of instruments and interests included within the definition of a “security” in California Corporations Code Section 25019 is long.  A franchise, however, is not to be found amongst the named.  In fact, the statute specifically excludes a franchise subject to registration under the California Franchise Investment Law (Corporations Code Section 31000 et seq.) or exempt…

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Will Congress Deep Six The SEC’s Resource Extraction Rule?

In December of last year, I wrote about how the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Resource Extraction Rule might meet an untimely end.  See There’s Still Time For Congress To Void The SEC’s Resource Extraction Rule (Dec. 14, 2016).  The rule, Rule 13q-1 and an amendment to Form SD, had an extraordinarily difficult birth: Congress had ordered…

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Will The Bureau Of Real Estate Get A Promotion?

 “Not since Clytemnestra and Agamemnon has there been such a mismatch.” Almost five years ago, I decried the demotion and relocation of the Department of Real Estate: Although the DRE issues professional licenses, it is fundamentally a business regulatory department that regulates an industry with an enormous impact on California’s economy.  The activities of its…

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10th Circuit Holds SEC ALJs Are Holding Office Unconstitutionally

In March 2015, I posed the following question: But if you were hailed before an unconstitutional tribunal with the ostensible authority to fine you and bar you from working, would you want a “real” court to step in and consider the constitutionality of the proceedings? Since raising that question, several respondents in administrative proceedings brought by…

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There’s Still Time For Congress To Void The SEC’s Resource Extraction Rule

Last June, the Securities and Exchange Commission belatedly adopted a rule requiring disclosure of resource extraction payments by issuers.  As I wrote at the time: Congress had ordered the SEC to adopt a rule by April 17, 2011.  After belatedly adopting a rule, the U.S. District Court vacated the rule and sent it back to the SEC.  American…

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Is The SEC’s Universal Proxy Proposal A Product Of Agency Capture?

More than six decades ago, the late Professor Marver H. Bernstein published his theory of regulatory capture in Regulating Business By Independent Commission (Greenwood Press 1955).  According to his theory, agencies follow a life cycle of birth, maturity and old age.  As an agency enters senescence, it inevitably becomes captive to the groups that it regulates.…

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