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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

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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Court Decides Successor In Merger May Enforce Arbitration Clause

Can a party to written agreement that does not include an arbitration clause enforce an arbitration provision in another agreement to which it is not a party?  Boiled down to the essentials, this is the question decided yesterday by the Court of Appeal in Jenks v. DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, Cal. Ct. of Appeal Case No.…

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New Law Attempts To Clarify Legal Status Of LLC Employee Membership Purchase And Option Plans

California Labor Code Section 407 may be a bit of a surprise to many lawyers both in and outside of the state.  It provides: Investments and the sale of stock or an interest in a business in connection with the securing of a position are illegal as against the public policy of the State and…

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Court Sorts Out California RULLCA Transition Muddle

Yesterday, I wrote about Kennedy v. Kennedy, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 329 (Apr. 20, 2015).  That post discussed the Court of Appeal’s holding that under the General Corporation Law the dismissal of a cause of action for involuntary dissolution with prejudice vitiates any right to buy out the shareholder seeking dissolution.  The plaintiff, however, also…

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Does “Valid Issuance” Require A Stock Certificate?

As I mentioned yesterday, every holder of shares is entitled to a signed certificate pursuant to California Corporations Code Section 416(a) (unless the corporation a system for issuing, recording and transfering uncertificated shares pursuant to Section 416(b)).  Does that mean that shares are not validly issued until a stock certificate has been properly executed and delivered? …

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A New Fine Question – What Date Should Be Placed On A Stock Certificate?

One fine morning in the middle of the Precession of the Equinoxes, a reader asked me a new fine question that he had never asked before. He asked, “What date should be placed on a stock certificate?” A preliminary question might be why date a stock certificate at all? Corporations Code Section 416(a) entitles every…

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