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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Fictitious Name Use Fails To Engender Standing Or Jurisdictional Issue

California Code of Civil Procedure Section 367 requires that every action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party of interest.  What happens when a plaintiff sues under a fictitious business name of a dissolved foreign limited liability company?  Yesterday, the Court of Appeal answered that question in The Rossdale Group, LLC v.…

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Does A Political Yard Sign Really Violate The Investment Advisers Act?

“Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . .” Doug Cornelius recently published this post reporting that the SEC staff is taking the position that the pay-to-play rule, Rule 206(4)-5, applies to political yard signs.  [After publishing this post, Doug Cornelius published this clarification.]  The SEC adopted the…

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Insider Trading Is Like A Dog Named “Stay”

Insider trading cases remind me of the following joke attributed to stand-up comic Steven Wright: I bought a dog the other day. I named him Stay. It’s fun to call him. “Come here, Stay! Come here, Stay!” He went insane. Regulation of insider trading is a lot like Wright’s unfortunate pet.  Securities regulators encourage investors…

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Is It A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty To Fail Or Refuse To Conform To Delaware’s Judicial Decisions Or Practices?

The answer to this question in Nevada may soon be an unequivocal “no”.  Last week, the Nevada Legislature unanimously passed SB 203 and sent it to Governor Brian Sandoval for signature.  Among other things, Section 2 of SB 203 declares: The directors and officers of a domestic corporation, in exercising their duties under NRS 78.138 and 78.139,…

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Disclaiming Proper Appointment With The Secretary Of State – “All You Have To Do Is Ask”

A lot of things in life may upset you.  One these might be discovering that you have been improperly appointed as an agent for service of process, director or officer of a California corporation.  Corporations Code Section 1503(b) somewhat oddly provides: The resignation of an agent may be effective if, on a form prescribed by…

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Referring To Extraneous Agreements In The Articles of Incorporation

I didn’t take note of AB 1535 (Maienschein) when it was introduced earlier this year because I thought it was a “spot” bill.  See “See Spot Run“. As introduced, the bill simply added “which may include a reference to a separate shareholder agreement” to the introductory clause of Corporations Code Section 2000(a).  When I was later asked…

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State Controller Defeats Judgment Creditor’s Claim To Escheated Funds

Here is the question: Can a judgment creditor can enforce an assignment issued pursuant to the Enforcement of Judgments Law (CCP § 680.10 et seq.) for escheated property pursuant to the Unclaimed Property Law (CCP § 1500 et seq.) when the judgment debtor is a suspended corporation pursuant to the Revenue & Taxation Code §…

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Did This Corporation’s Law Firm Unwittingly Join The Criminal Prosecution Team?

In Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), the Supreme Court held that the prosecution has a duty under the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause to disclose evidence to a criminal defendant.   The former Chief Executive Officer of IAR Systems Software, Inc. invoked this right after the San Mateo District Attorney charged him with felony…

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Want To “Bury” Your Response To SEC Comments? Here’s How

I have long assumed that when you search “CORRESP” by issuer name, you would see all correspondence filed on EDGAR with respect to that issuer.  I was therefore surprised when I recently searched for a letter responding to the staff’s comments but couldn’t find it either in the complete list of EDGAR filings or by searching…

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A Shareholder Consent In Its Dotage May Or May Not Be Valid

California Corporations Code Section 603(a) broadly authorizes shareholder action by written consent: Unless otherwise provided in the articles, any action that may be taken at any annual or special meeting of shareholders may be taken without a meeting and without prior notice, if a consent in writing, as specified in [Corporations Code] Section 195, setting…

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