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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Compromising and Settling of Derivative Suits In California

When a shareholder sues derivatively, the shareholder is seeking relief not for itself, but for the corporation.  Therefore, it should be expected that the shareholder is not free to compromise or dismiss the suit absent court oversight.  For example, Rule 23.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides: A derivative action may be settled, voluntarily…

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California And Nevada Corporations Can Do This But Not Delaware Corporations

Sometimes it’s nice to tidy up the corporate stock book.  For example, a corporation may effect a stock split and want to collect the outstanding certificates and exchange them for new certificates reflecting the change.  California and Nevada provide a mechanism for this Delaware does not. California Corporations Code Section 422(a) provides: When the articles are…

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Why Did This Dissolved Corporation File Reports With The SEC For Another 18 Years?

Recently, I happened upon across an odd case arising currently pending in the Southern District of Texas, Aztec Oil & Gas, Inc. v. Fisher, Case No. Civ. No. A. H-15-0866 (Jan. 21, 2016).  The ruling issued by Judge Melinda Harmon last month recounts a tangled tale of alleged corporate shenanigans.  What caught my interest was the fact that…

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Delaware Inspection Ruling May Cause Yahoo! Inc. To Regret Not Incorporating In Nevada

In a recent blog post, Delaware lawyer Francis Pileggi discusses a recent ruling by Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster ordering Yahoo! Inc. to produce personal emails of directors and electronically stored information in response to a stockholder inspection demand pursuant to Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law.  Amalgamated Bank v. Yahoo!, Inc., C.A. No.…

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A Failure To Mediate Results In A Failure To Litigate

Mediation is often viewed as less costly alternative to litigation.  Therefore, it is not unusual for parties to include a mediation provision in their contracts, such as the following: The parties agree that any disputes or questions arising hereunder, including the construction or application of [the] Agreement shall be submitted to mediation between [MBA] and [Alaska…

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Corporation Owes No Duty To Warn Former Director Of Impending Option Expiration

Does a corporation commit constructive fraud if it fails to warn a former director of the impending expiration of a stock option?  That was one question decided earlier this month by Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey in  Nelson v. FluoroPharma Med., Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1270 (D. Nev. Jan. 4, 2016).  In granting summary judgment for the…

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The Most Important Principles of Delaware Corporate Law Can’t Be Found In the DGCL

I have often observed that you can read every section of the Delaware General Corporation Law and learn almost nothing about Delaware corporate law.  Here are three of the most fundamental principles of Delaware corporate law that you won’t find in the DGCL: The business judgment rule.  This venerable presumption is derived from, but not stated…

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Nevada Supreme Court Opines On Scope Of Debtor’s Exemption For Stock

NRS 78.746 provides that, with several qualifications, the exclusive remedy of judgment creditors with respect to the stock in a relatively closely held corporation is to charge a stockholder’s shares.  To the extent so charged, the creditor only has the rights of an assignee of the shares.  This means that a judgment creditor has rights…

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Complaint To Administrative Agency Does Not Support Abuse of Process Claim But May Be A Nuisance

Bonnie Springs Ranch sits below towering and very picturesque Aztec Sandstone cliffs a few miles outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.  After terminating a contract to sell some adjacent land, Bonnie Springs alleged that that buyer abused process by filing a citizen’s complaint with the county commissioner for the ulterior purpose of coercion.  As a result of…

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Was This Director Duly Elected Or Appointed?

Suppose that a corporation’s bylaws includes the following two provisions: 1.  The Board of Directors shall consist of one or more members, the number thereof to be determined from time to time by the Board. 2.  Unless otherwise provided in the Articles of Incorporation or in these bylaws, vacancies and newly-created directorship [sic] resulting from any…

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