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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Shares of Foreign Subsidiaries

I expect that little or no thought is given to the possible application of California’s Corporate Securities Law of 1968 when a corporation incorporates a subsidiary under the laws of a foreign country.  However, the issuance of shares to a corporate parent located in California may well involve the offer and sale of securities in California.  As…

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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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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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Buying Assets? Have You Considered This Secretary’s Certificate?

California Corporations Code Section 1001 requires approval by the outstanding shares (Corp. Code § 152) of the principal terms of a sale of all or substantially all of a corporation’s assets (unless the transaction is in the usual and regular course of business).  Presumably, corporate sellers are in a good position to determine whether Section 1001…

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LLC Bound By Agreement Signed By Manager’s Manager

Justice Kenneth R. Yegan clearly and concisely frames the question in Western Surety Co. v. La Cumbre Office Partners, LLC, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 77 (2017): ” natural person is the managing member of a limited liability company (LLC 1) that is the sole manager of another limited liability company (LLC 2). The person signs an…

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Who Votes As Proxy For Shares Standing In The Name Of Another Corporation?

The Proxy Season blog yesterday discussed the following question from the Q&A Forum of TheCorporateCounsel.net: Under Delaware law, can a Board of Directors authorize a person who is not an officer of the company to act as agent and vote shares of stock for the Company that it holds in another entity? John Jenkins responded…

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Rescission And The California Corporations Code

Yesterday, I wrote about an attempt, albeit unsuccessful, to avoid a forum selection clause by a claim of rescission.  The plaintiffs’ in that case, Hatteras Enterprises, Inc. v. Forsythe Cosmetic Group, Ltd., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100352 (July 30, 2016), invoked California Civil Code Section 1691, which specifies how a party may rescind.  The grounds for…

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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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Is Rule 10b-5 The “Mother Of All Litotes”?

Yesterday’s post addressed the use of litotes in California’s broker-dealer suitability rule.  Litotes can be an effective rhetorical device, but as Judge Frank H. Easterbrook observed, it is also ambiguous.  Associated Randall Bank v. Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson, Inc. 3 F.3d 208 (7th Cir. 1993) (“‘Not unlike’ can mean almost anything; although the listener may cancel…

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Genealogy And The Corporate Lawyer

Who is family and how close are they?  These aren’t questions that typically occupy the mind of a corporate lawyer.  Occasionally, however, consanguinity matters even to a corporate lawyer.  Thus, Section 308 of the California Corporations Code authorized the Superior Court to appoint a provisional director (or directors) when there is either a deadlock on the…

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