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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Professor Bainbridge Precises Corporate Philanthropy

Earlier this week, UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge precised the question of corporate philanthropy.  He notes “Virtually all states have adopted statutes specifically granting corporations the power to make charitable donations, which eliminates the ultra vires issue.”  Several years back, I compared California’s and Delaware’s statutes: Delaware’s statute appears to be more limited than California’s…

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Delaware Special Litigation Committee Review “Could Stand A Good Tweaking”

UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge recently critiqued the Nevada Supreme Court’s decision to follow Auerbach v. Bennett, 419 N.Y.S.2d 920 (1979) rather than Delaware’s Zapata Corp. v. Maldonado, 430 A.2d 779 (Del. 1981).  He concludes: To be sure, Delaware law in this area could stand a good tweaking. The Aronson/Zapata framework continues to rely unduly on…

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More On Suing The CEO For Social Activism

The last few days, I’ve been writing about the legal issues raised by Jon L. Pritchett and Ed Tiryakian in a recent opinion piece published by The Wall Street Journal.  To sum up the discussion so far, Professor Stephen Bainbridge responded to Messrs. Pritchett and Tiryakian by arguing that the business judgment rule should bar…

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Can Shareholders Sue CEOs For Corporate Social Activism?

In an August 17, 2017 opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal, Jon L. Pritchett and Ed Tiryakian had the following message for shareholders: Our message to small shareholders of companies like Starbucks, Merck and Target: You can sue when a CEO decides to institute a corporate social-responsibility program that has no benefit to the business.…

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Inside And Outside Reverse Veil Piercing

UCLA Professor Stephen Bainbridge has published several posts commenting on my post discussing Curci Invs. v. Baldwin, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 698.  The issue in Curci was whether reverse veil piercing of a limited liability company is possible in light of Postal Instant Press, Inc. v. Kaswa Corp., 162 Cal.App.4th 1510 (2008).  The Court distinguished Postal…

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Did The Harvard Shareholder Rights Project Prove Itself Wrong?

In December 2014, Stanford Law School Professor Joseph A. Grundfest and Daniel M. Gallagher incited an academic titanomachy when they released a draft of an academic paper provocatively entitled “Did Harvard Violate Federal Securities Law?  The Campaign Against Classified Boards of Directors“.  In this case, “Harvard” was the Harvard Shareholder Rights Project which described itself as “a clinical program operating at…

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Qualification Of Offers And Sales Of Non-Voting Common Stock Is No Snap In California

In March, Snap Inc. announced that it and the selling stockholders had sold of 230 million shares of Class A Common Stock to the public at an initial public offering price of $17.00 per share.  The gross proceeds of the offering to the company and its selling stockholders was $3.91 billion. Even successful offerings have…

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California And Van Gorkom

As a corporate lawyer, it is hard to ignore the Delaware Supreme Court’s opinion in Smith v. Van Gorkom, 488 A.2d 858 (1985) overruled on other grounds Gantler v. Stephens, 965 A.2d 695 (Del. 2009).  Professor Stephen Bainbridge has called it “one of the most important corporate law decisions of the 20th century” and Bernard Sharfman has…

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Donald Trump’s Contribution To Nevada Corporate Law (And My Book)

A signature block in a contract seems like a small thing, but sometimes it can lead to litigation.  When an officer signs a contract, is he signing solely as agent for the corporation or might he also be signing in his individual capacity?  In 1993, future presidential candidate Donald J. Trump faced just that question…

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Professor Bainbridge Takes On S.B. 75 And The Delaware Bar

UCLA Law Professor Stephen Bainbridge recently posted an article calling Delaware’s recently enacted S.B. 75 a “self-inflicted wound”.   SB 75, which was signed into law late last month, limits the ability of Delaware stock corporations to adopt so-called “fee shifting” bylaw provisions. What I find particularly interesting is Professor Bainbridge’s thesis that the Delaware legislature…

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