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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

How California Made Mergers Potentially More Difficult

The last two sentences of Section 1101 of the Corporations Code can be an unwonted surprise to some practitioners.  They are intended to ensure fair treatment of shareholders in a merger by imposing two requirements: Each share of the same class or series of any constituent corporation must be treated equally with respect to the distribution of…

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Court Decides Successor In Merger May Enforce Arbitration Clause

Can a party to written agreement that does not include an arbitration clause enforce an arbitration provision in another agreement to which it is not a party?  Boiled down to the essentials, this is the question decided yesterday by the Court of Appeal in Jenks v. DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, Cal. Ct. of Appeal Case No.…

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How Many Signatures Are Required For An Agreement of Merger?

Corporations Code Section 313 generally provides that a contract, note or other instrument will not be invalidated as to a corporation by any lack of authority if it is signed by the corporation’s chairman of the board, the president or any vice president and the secretary, any assistant secretary, the chief financial officer or any assistant treasurer.  See If You’re Relying On The…

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The SEC Staff’s Position On Unbundling Gets Even More Weird

“Bundling” was a colonial American practice of unmarried persons sharing the same bed whilst being physically separated by a board or sack.  As might be expected, bundling had its critics.  One Henry Reed Stiles piously carped: Bundling – that ridiculous and pernicious custom which prevailed among the young to a degree which we can scarcely credit –…

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California Enacts Change-in-Control Benefits For Grocery Workers

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 359 (Gonzalez) that will impose a worker retention requirement when there has been a change in ownership or control of grocery establishments.  In general, the bill will require the successor grocery employer to retain eligible grocery workers for a 90-day period.  After that period expires, the successor grocery employer will…

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Out-of-State M&A Lawyer Can Be Sued In California

Many M&A transactions are negotiated across state lines.  When an out-of-state lawyer misrepresents facts in a phone call and email to a lawyer in California, do those communications render the foreign lawyer amenable to suit in California?  In essence, that was the question presented to the Sixth District Court of Appeal in Moncrief v. Clark, Cal. Ct.…

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Liability For Stolen Goods: A Four Thousand Year Old And Still Unsolved Problem

Suppose a businessman purchases inventory from a warehouse and then resells it.  Suddenly, the owner of the goods appears and seeks compensation for her goods on the basis that the warehouse had converted the goods.  The businessman protests that he acted in good faith, had no knowledge of the conversion and had paid full value…

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M&A Broker Exemption Bill Resurrects Financial Statement Replaced in 1988

Last week, the North American Securities Administrators Association withdrew its support for S. 1923 which, if enacted, would exempt “M&A brokers” from the broker registration requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  In this letter to Senators Joe Manchin and David Vitter, Arkansas Securities Commissioner A. Heath Abshure blamed NASAA’s change in position on the…

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Attorney-Client privilege In M&A Transactions

The title of this recent law review article frames the problem well, At the Whim of Your Adversaries: California’s Hazards in Sell-Side Representation and Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege, 54 Santa Clara L. Rev. 651 (2014).  In this article, the authors, practicing attorneys Mattia V. Murawski and Brian R. Wilson, argue for an amendment to the California Evidence Code…

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Some Questions About Delaware’s New Law Allowing Parties To Extend The Statute Of Limitations

Delaware recently amended its law to allow parties to a written contract involving at least $100,000 to provide that any action based on that contract may be brought within a period specified in that contract provided that the action is brought prior to the expiration of 20 years from the accrual of the cause of action.  10…

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