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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Shareholders Sues Officer Of Delaware Corporation In California State Court, Should Texas Law Apply?

Yesterday’s post discussed one aspect of the California Court of Appeal’s opinion in Central Laborers’ Pension Fund v. McAfee, Inc., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 1008.  The case arose from Intel Corporation’s acquisition of McAfee, Inc., a Delaware corporation.  Among other things, the plaintiff complained that David DeWalt, McAfee’s erstwhile president and CEO, in pursuit of his…

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Judge Rules Internal Affairs Doctrine Governs California Insider Trading Statute

As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, California has its own insider trading statute – California Corporations Code Section 25402.  The statute is included in the California Corporate Securities Law of 1968.  In general, the jurisdiction of organization of an issuer is irrelevant to the application of the CSL.  Thus, in most instances, the operative issue will…

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Officers Of Foreign Corporations And The California Courts

Yesterday’s post concerned Section 2116 of the California Corporations Code.  Courts sometimes describe Section 2116 as codifying the internal affairs doctrine.  See, e.g., Vaughn v. LJ Internat., Inc., 174 Cal. App. 4th 213, 223 (2009) and Voss v. Sutardja, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8795 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 26, 2015).  To the extent that Section 2116 codifies the…

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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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Nevada Legislature Mulls Codification Of The Internal Affairs Doctrine

Delaware and Nevada are each in the business of marketing their corporate laws to businesses in other states.  Thus, it should surprise no one that these states don’t appreciate it when their legal offerings are undermined by other states.  One way to protect the franchise is by embracing the “internal affairs doctrine”. The internal affairs…

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Why An Understanding Of Officers As Agents May Be Important

In several recent posts, I have noted that officers, unlike directors, are agents of the corporation.  Recognizing the agency status of officers can affect the legal analysis in a number of significant ways, including: Choice of law.  California Corporations Code Section 2116 explicitly provides that the law of the jurisdiction of incorporation applies to 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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Court Rejects Challenge To Internal Affairs Doctrine

Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. is a publicly traded company that is incorporated in Bermuda.  Marvell’s U.S. operating subsidiary is based in California.  A year ago, an institutional stockholder filed a derivative suit against Marvell and several of its officers and directors.  The factual bases for the plaintiff’s suit were securities law violations but the plaintiff…

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Officers And The Internal Affairs Doctrine

My guess is that most attorneys would say that the duty of an officer to the corporation are governed by the law of the state of incorporation under the “internal affairs doctrine”.  As explained by the U.S. Supreme Court, the “internal affairs doctrine” is a conflict of laws principle that “recognizes that only one State should…

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