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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Is A “Rule” An “Order” And Why Would Anyone Care?

Pay-to-Play Rule Challenged Doug Cornelius recently wrote about the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission’s anti “pay-to-play” rule under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  New York Republican State Comm. v. SEC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138964 (D.D.C. Sept. 30, 2014).  In a nutshell, the rule (206(4)-5) prohibits federally registered and…

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Why Does Determining A Quorum Have To Be So Complicated?

California’s quorum requirement for meetings of directors appears on its face to be straightforward – a majority of the authorized number of directors constitutes a quorum of the board for the transaction of business.  Cal. Corp. Code § 307(a)(7).  Leaving aside the possibility of an exception in the articles or bylaws (a subject for another post),…

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Court Of Appeal Embraces De Facto LLC Dissolution

Under the former Beverly-Killea Limited Liability Company Act, a limited liability company was dissolved upon the first to occur of any of the following three events: The occurrence of an event specified in its governing documents; A majority vote of the members to dissolve; or A judicial decree of dissolution. Cal. Corp. Code § 17350…

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Imposing The Corporate Death Penalty

In this post published yesterday, UCLA Law Professor Stephen Bainbridge challenges the following statements attributed to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: I do, however, believe that corporations which deliberately, purposefully, maliciously and systematically sponsor climate lies should be given the death penalty.  This can be accomplished through an existing legal proceeding known as “charter revocation.”  State Attorneys…

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Legend Removal Requires Proper “Request To Register Transfer”

Removal of legends from restricted securities (i.e., securities issued without registration under the Securities Act of 1933) can be a tricky business for transfer agents, issuers and their counsel.  Improperly removing legends can get them in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  See, e.g., Holladay Stock Transfer, Inc. and Sharon M. Owens, Securities and Exchange Act…

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New Law Aims At Clarifying Status Of Ex Officio Directors

Yesterday’s post considered the various paths to becoming a director under the California General Corporation Law.  The California Nonprofit Corporation Law defines “directors” in a similar fashion but makes it clear that the articles or bylaws may designate that a natural person is a director by reason of occupying a specified position within or outside…

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Just How Many Ways Are There To Become A Director?

Lao Tzu (老子) is said to have written that there a many paths to enlightment, but how many paths are there to becoming a director?  To answer the question, let’s look at the definition of “directors” in the California General Corporation Law: “‘Directors’ means natural persons designated in the articles as such or elected by…

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The General Counsel Is Not The Shareholders’ Agent

A recent paper by Adair Morse, Wei Wang, and Serena Wu, Executive Gatekeepers: Useful and Divertible Governance, tackles interesting questions about the the effectiveness of internal gatekeepers and the impact of equity incentives on those gatekeepers.  However, I couldn’t get past the second sentence of the paper that asserts, without authority: These executive gatekeepers, typically holding the…

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Governor Signs Bill Narrowing Grounds For Business Entity Reinstatement

Over the years, I’ve received several calls asking what can be done when a business entity has been wrongfully terminated.  Answering this question became a bit easier in 2006 with the enactment of AB 2588 (Runner) which authorized a court to reinstate a business entity for any of the following three reasons: The factual representations…

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1, 2 or 3 Years? How Should Boards Decide The Frequency Of Say-On-Pay Votes?

Although the initial ruckus over how to determine the outcome of executive compensation say-on-frequency votes has subsided, I still maintain that the Securities and Exchange Commission botched the rule (§240.14a-21(b)).  More importantly, it seems many boards don’t understand the challenges with ascertaining and applying stockholder preferences after the votes have been counted.  At the time,…

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