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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

FTB Publishes Disinformation About Corporations

Recently, I happened across a summary of the “key features” of a corporation on the California Franchise Tax Board’s website.  Recognizing that it is always a challenge to summarize accurately complex legal matters, I do beg to differ with some of the FTB’s assertions. A corporation must register with the California Secretary of State before conducting…

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A Corporate Law Takeaway From Judge Nelson’s Ruling In Talcum Powder Case

Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 After a three week trial that included extensive expert testimony, a Los Angeles jury returned a $417 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson ($68 million non-economic and $340 million punitive damages) and its subsidiary Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. ($2 million non-economic and $7 million punitive damages).  Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases, Los Angeles…

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California Court Green Lights Reverse Veil Piercing Of Delaware LLC

Courts historically have applied the alter ego doctrine to “pierce the corporate veil” so that a shareholder may be held liable for the debts or conduct of the corporation.  California has extended the possibility of alter ego liability to members of California limited liability companies: A member of a limited liability company shall be subject to…

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Court Declines To Impose Alter Ego Liability On LLC’s President

In general, the debts, obligations, or other liabilities of a California limited liability company do not become the debts, obligations, or other liabilities of a member or manager solely by reason of the member acting as a member or manager acting as a manager for the LLC.  Cal. Corp. Code § 17703.04(a).  An important exception to this…

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Alter Ego and the Nevada LLC

California’s version of the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act expressly subjects members to potential alter ego liability:  A member of a limited liability company shall be subject to liability under the common law governing alter ego liability, and shall also be personally liable under a judgment of a court or for any debt, obligation,…

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This Hobby Lobby Proposal Is Much Mistaken

Suzanne Weakley, editor-in-chief of the CEB Business Law Practitioner, recently called my attention to this letter from six professors at U.C. Berkeley (Robert P. Bartlett III, Richard Buxbaum, Stavros Gadinis, Justin McCrary, Steven Davidoff Solomon and Eric Talley).  The letter responds to a request for comment from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services with respect to…

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Internal Affairs Doctrine May Not Control Alter Ego Liability

The internal affairs doctrine “is a conflict of laws principle which recognizes that only one State should have the authority to regulate a corporation’s internal affairs — matters peculiar to the relationships among or between the corporation and its current officers, directors, and shareholders — because otherwise a corporation could be faced with conflicting demands.”…

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California’s New RULLCA Provides Ample Potential For Member Liability

Recently, I wrote about Corporations Code Section 17703.04(a) which in singularly inept fashion attempts to establish the non-liability of members of a limited liability company under the California’s new Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act.  Whatever principle Section 17703.04(a) may be trying to enunciate, it’s clear that the new act provides ample opportunity for member liability, including the following: Liability…

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Is LLC Veil Piercing Really “Not Required By Statute”?

Professor Stephen Bainbridge begins his abstract Abolishing LLC Veil Piercing with the following assertion: Courts are now routinely applying the corporate law doctrine of veil piercing to limited liability companies.  This extension of a seriously flawed doctrine into a new arena is not required by statute and is insupportable as a matter of policy. But is…

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Simply Getting Stiffed On A Judgment May Be An Inequitable Result

What happens when you sue someone who is judgment proof?  One solution may be to ask the trial court to amend the judgment to add additional judgment debtors.  Now, it may seem unusual to be able to add judgment debtors who were not part of the litigation.  The procedure, however, is equitable and is based…

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