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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Enforceability Of Exclusive Forum Bylaw May Hinge On The Meaning Of “May”

No California appellate court has yet addressed the validity of forum selection bylaws in a published decision.  When the question comes before a California appellate court, the outcome may turn on the meaning of “may” in California Corporations Code Section 2116.  The statute in its entirety provides: The directors of a foreign corporation transacting intrastate…

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Knowledge Of Loan Extensions Precludes Exoneration

The California Civil Code devotes several sections to the subject of the exoneration of sureties.  Section 2819, for example, intones: “A surety is exonerated, except so far as he or she may be indemnified by the principal, if by any act of the creditor, without the consent of the surety the original obligation of the…

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Officers And The Business Judgment Rule

Last weekend, I attended a symposium at the UCLA School of Law entitled “Can Delaware Be Dethroned? Evaluating Delaware’s Dominance of Corporate Law”.  The event, organized by ever erudite Professor Stephen Bainbridge, featured presentations by leading scholars and practitioners from around the country.  I was therefore surprised when the discussion turned to whether Delaware applies the business…

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Which Comes First, Rescission Or Choice Of Forum?

A recent ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Arthur D. Spatt raises the interesting question of whether a choice of law provision can be vitiated by rescission.  The case, Hatteras Enterprises, Inc. v. Forsythe Cosmetic Group, Ltd., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100352 (July 30, 2016), involved six separate agreements, each containing a New York choice of law…

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Is Rescission Ever Legal?

Yesterday’s post concerned when a corporation’s rescission of the issuance of shares does not constitute a “distribution to its shareholders” as defined in Section 166 of the California Corporations Code.  I noted that one of the three conditions is that “it is reasonably likely that the holder or holders of the shares in question could…

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Why Delaware Corporations Should Worry About California Law When Making Dividends

When paying a dividend to shareholders, California corporations are subject to Chapter 5 of the California Corporations Code.  Corporations incorporated in Delaware and other states may also be subject to Chapter 5 if they meet the conditions of Corporations Code Section 2115, California’s pseudo-foreign corporation statute.  Section 2115 excepts companies with outstanding companies listed on…

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More On Inspecting The Shareholder List And The Regulation Of Alien Implants

Yesterday’s post discussed California’s “absolute” right of shareholders to inspect the shareholder list established by Section 1600 of the California Corporations Code.  Some additional points are briefly worth noting: Neither the articles of incorporation or bylaws may limit this statutory inspection right.  Cal. Corp. Code § 1600(d). The right to inspect the shareholder list is…

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Court Of Appeal Finds Indemnity Includes First Party Claims

Three years ago, I wrote this brief post about how to interpret an indemnity claim.  I wrote that post to remind readers that the California Civil Code not only defines “indemnity”, it provides a series of interpretational rules.  According to the Code, “indemnity” is “a contract by which one engages to save another from a…

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There Two Ways To Create An Obligation And Six Ways To Extinguish It

California defines an “obligation” as “a legal duty, by which a person is bound to do or not to do a certain thing.”  Cal. Civ. Code § 1427.  An obligation is created in one of two ways: by contract or by operation of law.  Cal. Civ. Code § 1428.  The Civil Code, however, provides six different means…

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Oracular Utterances From California’s Civil Code

In prior posts, I’ve mentioned the Etruscans who were the northern neighbors of the Latins and the erstwhile kings of Rome.  The last of these kings was Tarquinius Superbus, also known as Tarquin the Proud.  According to the ancient sources, Tarquinius Superbus was induced, or tricked, into buying a set of books (actually scrolls) from the Sybil…

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