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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Attorney General Opines On Lay Representation At Administrative Hearings

Over three years ago, I wrote that California’s Office of Administrative Hearings had requested the California Attorney General provide an opinion answering the following question: Does the Administrative Procedure Act (Gov. Code, §§ 11340-11529) authorize a party to a proceeding conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings to be represented by a person who is not…

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Nevada Now Requiring Director Names Upon Incorporation

Until this month, incorporators of Nevada corporations were required to file an initial list of its officers and directors on or before the last day of the first month after filing the initial articles of incorporation (unless the corporation selected an alternative due date (See NRS 78.150 & NAC 78.300 – .380)).  Reportedly, many incorporators failed to file…

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Delaware Special Litigation Committee Review “Could Stand A Good Tweaking”

UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge recently critiqued the Nevada Supreme Court’s decision to follow Auerbach v. Bennett, 419 N.Y.S.2d 920 (1979) rather than Delaware’s Zapata Corp. v. Maldonado, 430 A.2d 779 (Del. 1981).  He concludes: To be sure, Delaware law in this area could stand a good tweaking. The Aronson/Zapata framework continues to rely unduly on…

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New California Law Seeks To Root Out Juror Bias, But What Would Calvin H. Higbie Say?

The right to a jury trial in criminal cases is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and by Article I, Section 16 of the California Constitution.  Implicit in the requirement of a jury is the idea that the jurors will exercise unbiased and intelligent judgments.  Empaneling such a jury is a challenge.…

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Does The SEC Have Exposure For Tipping Inside Information?

Yesterday, I discussed the recent hack of the Securities and Exchange Systems’ electronic filing and retrieval system commonly referred to as EDGAR.  In a written statement disclosing the hack, Chairman Jay Clayton speculated that the incident may have provided a basis for “illicit gain through trading”.  Professor Peter Henning and others have observed that the…

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Hacking EDGAR And Insider Trading

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton launched a sea of news stories last week when he included the following five sentence in a statement on cybersecurity: Notwithstanding our efforts to protect our systems and manage cybersecurity risk, in certain cases cyber threat actors have managed to access or misuse our systems.  In August 2017, the Commission learned…

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How To Win Custody Of A Corporation

In family law, the fights are often over who gets custody of the kids, the pets and the house.  Shareholders battle over many things, but you don’t often hear of custody fights in the corporate context.  Is it even possible to win custody of a corporation?  In Nevada, the answer is yes. NRS 78.347 allows any stockholder to apply to…

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Staff Addresses Family Trusts With Multistate Trustees

When the Securities and Exchange Commission two years ago proposed amendments to Rule 147 and adoption of Rule 147A, I commented on an issue that I foresaw with respect to family and other non-business trusts: Proposed Rule 147 does not address how the residency of non-business trusts should be determined. Many individual investors purchase securities by…

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Binary Options And Securities Regulation

Recently, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) updated and expanded its 2015 advisory warning investors about online binary option schemes.  NASAA offers the following explanation of “binary options”: A binary option is a type of all-or-nothing investment contract, similar to placing a bet. Like the flip of a coin, there are only two possible outcomes: heads…

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Nevada Supreme Court Adopts Delaware’s Direct Harm Test For Derivative Claims

On the same day that the Nevada Supreme Court rejected Delaware’s approach to reviewing special litigation committee determinations, it adopted Delaware’s test for determining whether a shareholder suit is derivative or direct.  Parametric Sound Corp. v. Eighth Judicial District Court, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 59 (2017).  When shareholders sue officers and directors, they may pursue direct…

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