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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Bylaws And Supermajority Board Voting Requirements

Yesterday’s post concerned various provisions that, although not required to be included in the articles of incorporation, must be included if they are to be effective.  One of these provisions relates to supermajority voting requirements: A provision requiring, for any or all corporate actions (except as provided in Section 303 [removal of directors without cause],…

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When A Majority Won’t Suffice

For California corporations, the general rule is that an act or decision done or made by a majority of the directors present at a meeting duly held at which a quorum is present is the act of the board.  Cal. Corp. Code § 307(a)(8).  This general rule is not without its exceptions.  Two of these…

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Are Alternate Committee Members “Then Serving”?

A number of amendments to Delaware’s General Corporation Law took effect at the beginning of this month.  One of these changes was to establish a default quorum requirement for meetings of committees of corporate boards of directors.  New Section 141(c)(4) provides: A majority of the directors then serving on a committee of the board of…

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When Someone Is Missing, Is Consent Unanimous?

The word “unanimous” is derived from two Latin words, unus (meaning one) and animus (mind).  Thus in Plautus’ play, the servant, Stichus, tells his friend, Sagarinus: “ego tu sum, tu es ego, unianimi sumus (I am you and you are I, we are of one mind)”.  T. Maccius Plautus, Stichus Act V, sc. 4:49. Under the California General Corporation Law, directors…

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How Many Board Members Are Required To Take Action?

Suppose your corporation has a five member board of directors but two seats are vacant.  Suppose further that your corporate bylaws included the following two provisions: A.  Three members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting any business of the board. B.  Any final action of the board shall be…

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Why Does Determining A Quorum Have To Be So Complicated?

California’s quorum requirement for meetings of directors appears on its face to be straightforward – a majority of the authorized number of directors constitutes a quorum of the board for the transaction of business.  Cal. Corp. Code § 307(a)(7).  Leaving aside the possibility of an exception in the articles or bylaws (a subject for another post),…

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Numera Senatum! Broker Non-Votes And The Quorum Problem

In ancient Rome, the Senate could not conduct business unless a quorum was present. A senator wishing to delay action by the Senate could demand a quorum count by demanding “numera senatum!,” meaning count the house. The Romans didn’t invent the idea of the quorum. Before the Romans, the Athenians imposed a quorum requirement on…

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When The Best Offensive Strategy May Simply Be To Stay Home

While I enjoy studying and thinking about game theory problems, I find that it is often difficult (at least for me) to apply it to “real world” corporate situations.  Defining the game, the rules and strategies just seems so much more complicated than the usual games discussed in basic game theory texts.  However, I’ve always…

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