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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

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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Is Counterfeit Currency A Bank Note?

Counterfeiting was once considered to be tantamount to treason.  It is still a serious, but not capital, crime.  In fact, it is one of only four crimes specifically mentioned in the Constitution.  Notably, however, the Constitution doesn’t mention paper currency, it refers rather to the “securities and current coin of the United States”.   Perhaps…

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Did Ethiopian Electric Power Violate California’s Corporate Securities Law?

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a $6.5 million settlement with Ethiopian Electric Power, which was described in the SEC’s order as “a government-owned power utility headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia”.  According to the order, Ethiopian Electric Power offered and sold bonds to U.S. residents of Ethiopian origin in Washington D.C. and other…

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Is A Blue Sky Exemption For Farms Sustainable?

Today, California regulates the offer and sale of securities more by exemption than qualification.  In addition, California and other states have lost authority over a significant amount of securities transactions due to federal preemption.  The Sustainable Economies Law Center nonetheless is sponsoring a bill, AB 2751 (Brown), to add two new exemptions to the California Corporate…

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