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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Investors Claim Failure To Qualify Justifies Issuer’s Return Of Investment

The remedy for failure to qualify the sale of a security is either rescission or damages.  Cal. Corp. Code § 25503.  Thus, one typically expects to see investors alleging a failure to qualify as grounds for returning their investments.  In a recent case, however, investors argued that a failure to qualify justified not returning their investments…

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Welcome To California: No Foreign Corporations Need Apply

California continues to hemorrhage corporate charters to Delaware and Nevada.  The most recent potential emigrant is SJW Corp. which filed this proxy statement last week seeking shareholder approval of a reincorporation from California to Delaware.  Can California and other states stanch the flow by offering licenses only to domestic corporations? Surely, there must be some…

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Substantial, Systematic, And Continuous Contacts Do Not Establish General Jurisdiction

California courts may exercise personal jurisdiction over nonresidents “on any basis not inconsistent with the Constitution of this state or of the United States”.  Code Civ. Proc. § 410.10.  Seventy years ago, Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone described the constitutional standard in terms of whether the out-of-state person had certain minimum contacts with the forum state such that the maintenance…

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District Court Refuses To Halt SEC Administrative Proceedings

While serving as General Counsel to California’s Business, Transportation & Housing Agency, I was from time to time asked to respond to ersatz summons and other documents issued by “Our One Supreme Court”.  Given that these “courts” existed only in the minds of their creators, these summons were ignored.  But if you were hailed before an…

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Covenants Not To Compete – By The Numbers

In a recently published article, three professors undertook an empirical analysis of noncompetition and other restrictive postemployment covenants in public company Chief Executive Officer contracts.  Norman D. Bishara, Kenneth J. Martin, and Randall S. Thomas, An Empirical Analysis of Noncompetition Clauses and Other Restrictive Postemployment Covenants, 68 Van. L. Rev. 1 (2015).  Readers should be cognizant…

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Did The Judge’s Ruling Truly Decimate The Defendant’s Contention?

Yesterday’s post concerned Justice M. Kathleen Butz’ recent holding in Yee v. Am. Nat’l Ins. Co., 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 257 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015).  The case involved the California Controller’s attempt to examine the records of American National Insurance Company.  When the insurer resisted, the Controller convinced the trial court to issue a preliminary…

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Controller Must Still “Look To Find A Reason To Believe”

Last month, I wrote about reports that the SEC is seeking years of employment agreements, nondisclosure agreements and other documents in an effort to ferret out possible restraints on whistleblowers.  See Is Anything Fishy With The SEC’s Whistleblower Inquiries?  As noted in the post, the SEC can ask, it can even subpoena, but it takes a court to enforce…

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Should The SEC Adopt Governance Principles (For Itself)?

When I served as Commissioner of Corporations for the State of California, I was sometimes asked about the other Commissioners.  However, I never concerned myself with the “other Commissioners” because there were no other Commissioners.  Unlike some other states, California had no Securities Commission, just a Commissioner.  In light of recent criticism of several instances of unilateral…

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Section 25501.5 – I Ask Again What Do It Mean?

Corporations Code Section 25501.5 generally authorizes an action for rescission (or damages, if the security is no longer owned) by any person “who purchases a security from or sells a security to a broker-dealer that is required to be licensed and has not”.  A right of rescission makes sense when the unlicensed broker-dealer is acting…

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Will The FAA Give Wings To Arbitration Bylaws?

In January, I discussed the Court of Appeal’s decision in Cobb v. Ironwood Country Club, 233 Cal. App. 4th 960 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2015).  I found the case interesting because the Court applied a contract law analysis to an arbitration bylaw: Ironwood asserts that its bylaws constitute a contract between the Club and each of…

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