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Stockholder Proposal Seeks To Ratification Of All Decisions And Actions

For the last six years, Amerco as included a rather unique stockholder proposal in its proxy statement. It’s there again this year. Basically, it asks the stockholders to ratify and affirm all decisions and actions by...more

8/4/2014 - Annual Meeting Board of Directors Corporate Governance Corporate Minutes Meeting Minutes Officers Shareholders Voting Powers Voting Rights

California Dividend Statutes Found To Preempt Common Law Claims

Chapter 5 of the California Corporations Code imposes specific limitations on “distributions to shareholders”, a term defined in Corporations Code section 166. Directors who approve the making of any distribution to...more

7/22/2014 - Board of Directors Dividends Preemption Professional Liability Shareholder Litigation Shareholders

Does A Director Have A Contractual Right To Compensation?

Yesterday, I wrote about stockholder challenges to director compensation. Today’s post considers what happens when a director joins a board. When someone is invited to join a board, she may ask about compensation. The...more

7/9/2014 - Board of Directors Director Compensation Directors Oral Contracts Proxy Statements Shareholder Resolution

When It Comes To Director Compensation Claims, Nevada And Delaware Are Fundamentally Different

Since 1969, there has no question that directors of a Delaware corporation have the authority to set their own compensation. 8 DGCL § 141(h). Having authority to do something, however, doesn’t mean that the use of that...more

7/8/2014 - Board of Directors Director Compensation Directors

If Fee-Shifting Bylaws Are Ever Put On Trial, This Case Should Be Exhibit A

Item 5.07(d) of Form 8-K requires issuers to disclose “the company’s decision in light of such vote as to how frequently the company will include a shareholder vote on the compensation of executives in its proxy materials...more

6/23/2014 - Board of Directors Bylaws Executive Compensation Form 8-K Proxy Statements Say-on-Pay SEC Shareholder Litigation Shareholders

Why Biolase v. Oracle Partners, L.P. May Not Be The Last Word On Resignations

Yesterday, I mentioned the Delaware Supreme Court’s recent holding in Biolase, Inc. v. Oracle Partners, L.P., 2014 Del. LEXIS 278 (Del. June 12, 2014). In an opinion written by Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., the Supreme...more

6/19/2014 - Board of Directors Delaware General Corporation Law Directors Hiring & Firing Resignation

May A Director Resign By Telling Another Director “I Quit”?

Suppose in a fit of pique, a director telephones a fellow director and announces that she is quitting the board. Has the director resigned? California Corporations Code Section 305(d) provides...more

6/18/2014 - Board of Directors Corporations Code Resignation Written Notice

Internal Affairs Doctrine May Not Control Alter Ego Liability

The internal affairs doctrine “is a conflict of laws principle which recognizes that only one State should have the authority to regulate a corporation’s internal affairs — matters peculiar to the relationships among or...more

5/21/2014 - Alter Ego Board of Directors Corporate Veil Directors Internal Affairs Doctrine Officers Personal Liability

CalPERS Proposes To Amend Global Principles

Next Monday, the Investment Committee of CalPERS’ Board of Administration is scheduled to consider several amendments to CalPERS’ Global Principles of Accountable Corporate Governance. Among other changes, the committee will...more

5/13/2014 - Board of Directors CalPERS Corporate Governance Pension Committees

Meandering Through Minutiae – How The Type of Consideration Can Determine The Need For Shareholder Approval

Section 1001 of the California Corporations authorizes a corporation to sell all or substantially all of its assets when the principal terms are approved by the board of directors and the outstanding shares (unless the...more

5/2/2014 - Board of Directors Consideration Corporations Code Sale of Assets

Is It Necessary To Check With The Shareholders Before Hocking The Corporate Crown Jewels?

Corporations Code Section 1001(a) authorizes a corporation to “sell, lease, convey, exchange, transfer, or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of its assets” if the principal terms are approved by the board, and,...more

4/24/2014 - Board of Directors Corporate Governance Shareholders

Is This Proposed Amendment To Delaware’s Stockholder Consent Statute Really Needed?

Recently, I wrote about a proposal to amend Section 141(f) of the Delaware General Corporation Law to permit inchoate directors to take action by written consent. The Corporation Law Section of the Delaware State Bar is...more

4/18/2014 - Board of Directors Delaware General Corporation Law Proxies Shareholders Written Consent

Directors’ Alleged Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Not Subject To Anti-SLAPP Statute

A SLAPP is a strategic lawsuit against public participation. California enacted Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16 as an antidote to SLAPP suits. In general, a SLAPP is subject to a special motion to strike unless the...more

4/17/2014 - Anti-SLAPP Board of Directors Directors Fiduciary Duty Standard Pacific

This Proposed Amendment To DGCL Section 141(f) Is A Curate’s Egg

In AGR Halifax Fund, Inc. v. Fiscina, 743 A.2d 1188 (1999), the Delaware Court of Chancery was asked to decide whether a consent given by persons before they became directors could become effective if delivered to the...more

4/16/2014 - Board of Directors Consent Corporate Counsel Corporate Governance

Can The Political Concerns Of Corporate Officers Be Of Any Concern Of The Corporation?

Suppose a corporation’s Chief Executive Officer becomes involved in a particularly abhorent (but legal) political movement. Suppose further that the Board of Directors is concerned that the corporation’s stockholders,...more

4/11/2014 - Board of Directors CEOs Political Expression

Just Who Is Behind The Universal Proxy?

Recently, it was reported that the Council of Institutional Investors had submitted a petition for rule making to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Indeed, the CII did submit this petition on January 8, 2014. ...more

1/22/2014 - Ballots Board of Directors CII Directors Proxies SEC

“Wherever You Go, There You Are”, But Will You Be In The Proper County?

The California General Corporation Law makes numerous references to the “proper county”. For example, Corporations Code Section 304 empowers the superior court of the proper county to remove a director in specified...more

12/18/2013 - Board of Directors Corporate Governance Directors

An Unexpected Impasse

If a corporation has four directors and two shareholders, one owning 60 shares and the other owning 40 shares, it seems obvious that the majority shareholder should be able to elect a majority of the board of directors. ...more

11/13/2013 - Board of Directors Directors Shareholder Votes Shareholders

Deadlocked But Not Out Of Options

While not prohibited by the General Corporation Law, a board comprised of an even number of directors suffers from one potential disability. It can become deadlocked. When that unfortunate situation arises, there are...more

11/12/2013 - Board of Directors Corporate Governance Directors Disability

Court Of Appeal Holds Breach Of Fiduciary And Conflict Of Interest May Be Grounds For Summary Election Challenge

Section 709 of the California Corporations Code creates a summary procedure that allows any shareholder or any person who claims to have been denied the right to vote to petition the Superior Court for a determination of the...more

10/11/2013 - Board of Directors Conflicts of Interest Corporate Governance Fiduciary Duty Shareholder Votes Shareholders

When Directors Are Or Become Bad Actors . . .

I’ve devoted several blog posts to the multifarious problems engendered by the SEC’s new “bad actor” disqualification provisions. I’ve done so because Rule 506(d) is so poorly drafted that, like the annals of Volusius, its...more

10/4/2013 - Bad Actors Board of Directors Disqualification Private Offerings Rule 506 Offerings SEC

Senators Pass Gender Diversity Resolution – Have They Read Ecclesiazusae?

In late August, the California Senate approved SCR 62 which encourages “equitable and diverse gender representation on corporate boards”. The resolution also urges...more

9/9/2013 - Board of Directors Diversity Gender Equity New Legislation Women in the Law

Must Designated Directors Keep A Secret?

Yesterday’s post concerned the attorney-client privileged issues in Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster’s recent decision in Kalisman v. Friedman, 2013 Del. Ch. LEXIS 100 (April 17, 2013). I found another statement in the...more

7/11/2013 - Board of Directors Confidentiality Controlling Stockholders Directors Disclosure Personal Representatives Shareholder Rights Shareholders

Kalisman v. Friedman – A California Analysis

A few months ago, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster issued an interesting decision involving director inspection rights and the attorney-client privilege. Kalisman v. Friedman, 2013 Del. Ch. LEXIS 100 (April 17, 2013). ...more

7/10/2013 - Attorney-Client Privilege Board of Directors Corporate Governance Corporate Officers Directors Duty of Loyalty Incorporation Inspections

Another Possible Exception To Exclusive Forum Bylaws

Yesterday, I discussed several vulnerabilities of exclusive forum bylaws should they be challenged in California. The California General Corporation Law includes many provisions that expressly subject foreign corporations to...more

6/28/2013 - Board of Directors Bylaws Corporate Governance Foreign Corporations

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