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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Court Addresses “Fair Value” Determination In Statutory Buyout Proceeding

When when a shareholder sues for involuntary dissolution, the corporation, or the holders of 50% or more of the voting power of the corporation, may avoid the dissolution by purchasing for cash the plaintiff’s shares at their “fair value.”  Cal. Corp. Code § 2000.  The statute establishes several parameters for determining “fair value”.  Thus, “fair value” must…

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When Non-Voting Shares Have The Right To Vote

The California General Corporation Law authorizes a corporation to “issue one or more classes or series of shares or both, with full, limited or no voting rights”.  Cal. Corp. Code § 400(a).  Thus, it may be reasonable to assume that when a corporation issues shares with no voting rights, those shares would have no right to…

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SEC Hands Out Millions While Leaving The Public In The Dark

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a press release announcing its decision to award $20 million “to a whistleblower who promptly came forward with valuable information that enabled the SEC to move quickly and initiate an enforcement action against wrongdoers before they could squander the money.”  That is about all the public will…

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Incorporating In Delaware May Not Eliminate Director Liability Under This California Statute

Some readers may have skipped this week’s posts discussing director liability under California Corporations Code Section 316 on the theory that the statute applies only to directors of corporations incorporated under the General Corporation Law.  That could be a big mistake.  California’s pseudo foreign corporation statute, Corporations Code Section 2115, applies Section 316 to foreign…

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Does The Foolish Director Abide Whilst The Wise Director Flees?

Never fear? Smith Is No Longer Here Yesterday’s post highlighted Section 316 of the California Corporations Code, a statute that imposes joint and several liability on directors who approve specified transactions such as a loan to an officer contrary to Section 315.  Now consider the following scenario: Dr. Zachary Smith, a director, attends a meeting of the…

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In California, Directors Who Abstain May Still Face Liability

Section 316(a) of the California Corporations Code imposes joint and several liability on directors who approve any of the following actions: The making of any distribution to shareholders to the extent contrary Sections 500 – 503; The distribution of assets to shareholders after institution of dissolution proceedings of the corporation, without paying or adequately providing…

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More Silliness In California’s Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act

Readers will know that I have been a frequent critic of California’s Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, Cal. Corp. Code § 17701.01 et seq. In many cases, it is simply hard to believe that the legislature really intended what it enacted. See, e.g., How Confused Is This? California Defines LLCs Subject To New Law To Include…

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All Power To The People: Initiatives And Referenda In California

A year ago, I addressed the effective date of California legislative bills in this post.  In California, the people can also exercise legislative power through two different mechanisms – the initiative and the referendum.  In fact, the California Constitution proclaims: All political power is inherent in the people.  Government is instituted for their protection, security,…

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California Voters Reject 11th Hour Gutting And Amending Of Bills

Not quite a year ago, I wrote: A reader of the California Constitution would be lead to believe that the course of legislation is orderly and predictable.  Under Article IV, Section 8(b), the legislature may make no law except by statute and no statute except by bill.  Every bill, moreover, must have a single subject…

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A New Regulatory Paradigm For The SEC?

Many are speculating on the future of federal securities regulation as a result of the election of Donald J. Trump and the concomitant Republican control of both houses of Congress. Broc Romanek, for example, asks whether Michael S. Piwowar will become the SEC’s next Chairman.  Broc notes that Commissioner Piwowar is an economist, not a lawyer. …

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