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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Unregistered Sales Of Certificates Of Deposit

Last spring, the California Department of Business Oversight warned consumers that two related companies have been offering unlicensed online securities broker-dealer services and “unregistered sales of certificates of deposit (CDs)”.  The Department’s announcement raises the question of whether the offer and sale of CDs must be qualified under the Corporate Securities Law of 1968. Section 25019 of…

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Court Rules Fixed Income Annuity Is Not A Security Under The CSL

Because annuity contracts involve the payment of money in the expectation of future payments, one might conclude that they are securities within the meaning of the California Corporate Securities Law of 1968.  Evidently, that is what Mr. Abbit or at least his lawyer believed when they filed a class action lawsuit against an insurer alleging,…

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California’s Private Fund Adviser Exemption

Before the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, many advisers to alternative investment vehicles, such as hedge funds, private-equity funds, and venture capital funds relied on the Section 203(b)(3) exemption from registration under the federal Investment Advisers Act.  In California, investment advisers exempt under Section 203(b)(3) had a corollary temporary exemption from California investment…

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Will New Rule 147A Lead To A Renaissance In California Permit Applications?

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a new intrastate offering exemption under the Securities Act of 1933.  Significantly, new Rule 147A will have no restrictions on offers and will not require that an issuer be organized in the state in which the intrastate offering is being conducted.  I was pleased to see that the adopting release cited…

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Why State Registration Of Security-Based Swaps Is Non-Existent

The regulation of “swaps” lies at the intersection of the commodities and securities regulation.  In the parlance of commodity regulation, a “swap” is a contract or transaction that provides for a payment dependent on an event or contingency “associated with” a financial, economic or commercial consequence.  7 U.S.C. § 1a(47).  A “security-based swap” is a “swap”…

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The JOBS Act And The Convergence Of Private And Public Sales Under The UCC

Section 9610(b) of the California Commercial Code provides that if commercially reasonable, a secured party may dispose of collateral by public or private proceedings, by one or more contracts, as a unit or in parcels, and at any time and place and on any terms.  The Commercial Code, however, does not override applicable securities laws:…

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Is Rescission Ever Legal?

Yesterday’s post concerned when a corporation’s rescission of the issuance of shares does not constitute a “distribution to its shareholders” as defined in Section 166 of the California Corporations Code.  I noted that one of the three conditions is that “it is reasonably likely that the holder or holders of the shares in question could…

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Is Rule 10b-5 The “Mother Of All Litotes”?

Yesterday’s post addressed the use of litotes in California’s broker-dealer suitability rule.  Litotes can be an effective rhetorical device, but as Judge Frank H. Easterbrook observed, it is also ambiguous.  Associated Randall Bank v. Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson, Inc. 3 F.3d 208 (7th Cir. 1993) (“‘Not unlike’ can mean almost anything; although the listener may cancel…

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Is Certiorari A Possibility For SLUSA Question Not Addressed By Any Federal Circuit Court?

In Luther v. Countrywide Financial Corp., 195 Cal. App. 4th 789 (2011), the trial court ruled that state courts do not enjoy concurrent jurisdiction when a class action meeting the definition of a “covered class action” under the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (aka “SLUSA”) did not involve a “covered security”, as also…

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Does “Valid When Made” Apply To Evidences Of Indebtedness Qualified Under The CSL?

Many have expressed disappointment that the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in Midland Funding, LLC v. Madden.  The question presented by the petitioners in the case was as follows: Whether the National Bank Act, which preempts state usury laws regulating the interest a national bank may charge on a loan, continues to have preemptive effect after the national bank has sold…

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