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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Is Someone Else’s Purpose An Improper Purpose?

This post on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation discusses Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster’s recent decision in Wilkinson v. A. Schulman, Inc., 2017 Del. Ch. LEXIS 798.  The case involved a stockholder’s demand for inspection under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law.  Vice Chancellor Laster denied inspection…

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Can A Corporation Be An Officer?

William & Mary Law Review recently published Professor Stephen Bainbridge’s article, Corporate Directors in the United Kingdom.  The abstract begins with the following observation: In the United States, state corporation law uniformly provides that only natural persons may serve as directors of corporations. I haven’t surveyed every state, but I concur as to California and Nevada. …

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FTB Publishes Disinformation About Corporations

Recently, I happened across a summary of the “key features” of a corporation on the California Franchise Tax Board’s website.  Recognizing that it is always a challenge to summarize accurately complex legal matters, I do beg to differ with some of the FTB’s assertions. A corporation must register with the California Secretary of State before conducting…

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Court Finds Tort Claims To Be Covered By Forum Selection Agreement

Contractual forum selection provisions are often broadly written so as to encompass not just claims involving enforcement of the contract but claims arising out of or related to the contract.  But how far do these clauses reach?  In the case of Laboratory Specialists International, Inc. v. Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Inc., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 1036, the…

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Does ISS’ Voting Recommendations Reflect Analysis Or Consensus?

I always appreciate comments from readers of this blog.  One reader responded to yesterday’s post concerning ISS opposition to classified boards: “You seem to be under the impression that ISS comes up with its guidelines through academic research.  Although that CAN come into play, it is much more directly shaped by the policies of its customers.”…

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Is ISS A Board Declassification Denier?

Institutional Shareholder Services (aka ISS) recently published its 2018 Americas Proxy Voting Guidelines Update.  Among other changes, ISS will now recommend a vote against or withhold from the entire board of directors (except new nominees, who will be considered case-by-case) if the company has opted into, or failed to opt out of, state laws requiring a classified…

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Is Every Agent A Fiduciary?

In common parlance, a fiduciary is someone you can trust.  The word itself is related to the Latin word, fidere, meaning to trust.  We name our dogs “Fido” because dogs are trustworthy companions.  For example, a dog named Hachiko (忠犬ハチ公) faithfully returned every day for nine years to Shibuya Station in Tokyo to greet his master…

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Shareholders Sues Officer Of Delaware Corporation In California State Court, Should Texas Law Apply?

Yesterday’s post discussed one aspect of the California Court of Appeal’s opinion in Central Laborers’ Pension Fund v. McAfee, Inc., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 1008.  The case arose from Intel Corporation’s acquisition of McAfee, Inc., a Delaware corporation.  Among other things, the plaintiff complained that David DeWalt, McAfee’s erstwhile president and CEO, in pursuit of his…

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Court Of Appeal Finds No Right To Jury In Shareholder Class Action

In several blog posts, I have commented on the right to a jury trial under California law.  This may seem like an inapposite subject for a blog devoted to corporate and securities law issues.  Nonetheless, I have prognosticated that the right to a jury trial may be a basis for challenging a Delaware choice of law bylaw. …

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California Securities Law Claims Founder On Personal Jurisdiction

Establishing personal jurisdiction may seem mundane, but without it a plaintiff may soon find itself out of court, as did the plaintiff in Marshall v. Galvanoni, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185530. In Marshall, the plaintiff sued a half dozen companies and four individuals over failed investments.  Among other things, the plaintiff alleged violations of California…

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