Keith Paul Bishop

Keith Paul Bishop

Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP

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Who Signs The Bylaws?

I am occasionally asked who should sign the bylaws. The question presumes that bylaws must be signed. Although the California General Corporation Law requires that the original or a copy of the bylaws be available to...more

8/22/2016 - Bylaws Corporate Governance Corporate Officers General Corporation Law

Ouch! Proxy Statement Argues That Resolving Dispute In California Court Was “Costly And Time Consuming”

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once famously told Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: ““Holmes, when you strike at a king, you must kill him.” For the full story, see The Corporations Code Can Make Suing Your Former Employees Costly. I was...more

8/19/2016 - Bylaws Clawbacks Delaware General Corporation Law Deutsche Bank Forum Selection Clause General Corporation Law Proxy Statements Rule 21F SEC Shareholder Approval Whistleblower Awards

Are A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty And A Breach Of Governing Documents “Non Bis In Idem”?

Last week, I discussed the Court of Appeal’s consideration of whether the business judgment rule protects a director from claims based on breach of the corporation’s governing documents. See Does The Business Judgment Rule...more

6/27/2016 - Board of Directors Breach of Duty Business Judgment Rule Bylaws Fiduciary Duty Homeowners' Association

Drafting Bylaws – Four Things To Consider

Four points to consider when drafting these often crucially important, but tiresome, documents: - Distinguish among Shall/Will/Must. I often cite Bylaws as an example of how “shall” may sometimes mean “must” while other...more

6/16/2016 - Bylaws Contract Drafting Contract Terms

Who Decides Whether A Shareholder Has Complied With An Advance Notice Bylaw?

UCLA Professor Stephen Bainbridge asked the following question concerning advance notice bylaw provisions in “The Professor is Stumped: Today’s Corporate Law Question“...more

5/24/2016 - Advance Notice Business Judgment Rule Bylaws Corporate Governance Shareholder Meetings

The Delaware Court Of Chancery’s Not So Exclusive Jurisdiction

Section 145(k) of the Delaware General Corporation Law is quite clear and emphatic about which court may hear actions for indemnification or advancement of expenses: The Court of Chancery is hereby vested with exclusive...more

9/25/2015 - Arbitration Attorney's Fees Bylaws Delaware General Corporation Law Exclusive Forum Indemnification Clauses Indemnity Agreements Principal Place of Business

Was This Director Duly Elected Or Appointed?

Suppose that a corporation’s bylaws includes the following two provisions: 1.  The Board of Directors shall consist of one or more members, the number thereof to be determined from time to time by the Board...more

9/16/2015 - Articles of Incorporation Board of Directors Bylaws Corporate Minutes Insurance Litigation Meeting Minutes Policy Exclusions

Does The Power To Choose Not Include The Power To Remove?

Last week I wrote about Vice Chancellor John W. Noble’s ruling in Gorman v. Salamone, C.A. No. 10183-VCN (Del. Ch. July 31, 2015) that a stockholder adopted bylaw empowering stockholders to remove officers is invalid.  The...more

8/10/2015 - Board of Directors Bylaws Corporate Governance Corporate Officers Delaware General Corporation Law Shareholders

Did You Ever Wonder What You Might Do In California But Not Delaware?

A recent decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery tackles the question of whether a stockholder may adopt a bylaw granting stockholders the right to remove officers.  In Gorman v. Salamone, C.A. No. 10183-VCN (Del. Ch. July...more

8/7/2015 - Bylaws Corporate Officers Delaware General Corporation Law Shareholder Rights Shareholders

SEC Clawback Proposal Overlooks Contract Law Fundamentals

In proposing the clawback rules for stock exchanges mandated by Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission evinces little regard for contrary...more

7/14/2015 - Bylaws Clawbacks Corporate Governance Dodd-Frank Employment Contract Executive Compensation Indemnity Agreements SEC

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...more

7/2/2015 - Bylaws Delaware General Corporation Law Fee-Shifting

Should Directors Be Required To Have Valid Passports?

Lately, I’ve had occasion to think about director qualifications. Section 212(b)(4) of the California Corporations Code permits the bylaws to to specify the qualifications of directors.  In Section 141(b),the Delaware General...more

6/9/2015 - Board of Directors Bylaws Corporations Code Delaware General Corporation Law Fiduciary Duty Passports

No Pay Bylaws Fall Short Of Ending Forced Subsidization

In a post published yesterday on The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Delaware lawyer A. Thompson Bayliss and Mark Mixon write that no pay provisions “could transform stockholder...more

6/2/2015 - Attorney's Fees Bylaws Corporate Governance Fee-Shifting Shareholder Litigation Shareholders

SB 75 May Prove To Be Delaware’s Seven Sisters

A century ago, New Jersey was the state in which to incorporate. Long before former Iraqi President popularized the expression “Mother of Battles” (“Um El-Ma’arek“), the famed legal scholar Adolph A. Berle, Jr. bestowed the...more

5/14/2015 - Bylaws Delaware General Corporation Law Fee-Shifting New Legislation

Here’s One Way To Recover Attorneys’ Fees Without Adopting A Fee Shifting Bylaw

With the ongoing hullabaloo concerning the legislative demise of fee shifting bylaw provisions under Delaware law, little attention has been paid to California law. More importantly, no one seems to have noticed that...more

5/12/2015 - Attorney's Fees Bylaws Delaware General Corporation Law Derivative Suit Fee-Shifting Shareholders

It’s Time To Put A Stop To Fee-Shifting (But Not In the Way You Might Think)

The problem with “fee-shifting bylaws” starts with the name.  A better name might be “anti fee-shifting bylaws” because they end the fee shifting that otherwise applies.  Without fee-shifting bylaws, plaintiffs’ attorneys are...more

5/11/2015 - Bylaws Derivative Suit Fee-Shifting Shareholders

Will Delaware’s Fee-Shifting Bylaw Bill Be A Boon To Other States?

Late last week, Senate Bill 75 was introduced in Delaware. This bill is in part a reaction to the Delaware Supreme Court’s holding in ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund, 91 A.3d 554 (Del. 2014) upholding as facially...more

5/6/2015 - ATP Tours Bylaws Delaware General Corporation Law Fee-Shifting Proposed Legislation

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...more

4/21/2015 - Board of Directors Bylaws Corporate Governance Corporations Code Quorum

Do Your Bylaws Make Obtaining Waivers Of Notice More Onerous?

Yesterday’s post concerned waivers of notice of shareholders’ meetings under Section 602 of the California Corporations Code.  Although not required to do so, corporate bylaws often parrot the statute.  One popular guidebook,...more

4/14/2015 - Bylaws Corporate Governance Corporations Code Email Shareholder Meetings Shareholders

Will FAA Give Wings To Arbitration Bylaws?

In January, I discussed the Court of Appeal’s decision in Cobb v. Ironwood Country Club, 233 Cal. App. 4th 960 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2015). I found the case interesting because the Court applied a contract law analysis to an...more

3/20/2015 - Arbitration Bylaws Federal Arbitration Act

Court Of Appeal Decides Against Arbitration Bylaw Amendment

Much has been written of late about the enforceability of exclusive forum bylaws. What happens when the forum isn’t a court, but an arbitration? Does it make any difference if the arbitration bylaw is adopted after a...more

1/29/2015 - Appeals Arbitration Bylaws Exclusive Forum Proposed Amendments

In Texas Can Some Shares Be More Equal Than Others?

Although Rome before Augustus is often described as a republic, it was in many respects ruled by the wealthy who jealously guarded their power. So it was with Rome’s comitia centuriata. In theory, this was an assembly of...more

12/16/2014 - Bylaws Proxy Season Proxy Statements Shareholder Proposals Shareholders Whole Foods

Do Some Companies Already Have Fee-Shifting Provisions (And Not Know It)?

A lot of folks these days are arguing and writing about fee-shifting bylaws as if they were some kind of novel and sudden irruption, like Athena bursting from Zeus’ skull. This overlooks the existence of fee-shifting...more

11/21/2014 - American Rule Bylaws Employment Contract Fee-Shifting Indemnity Agreements

All Shares Are Equal But With Proxy Access Some Shares Are More Equal Than Others

In George Orwell’s famous satire of Stalin’s Soviet Union, Animal Farm, the animals started out with seven commandments. The seventh commandment was “All Animals Are Equal”. As time passed, three of the original...more

11/10/2014 - Bylaws Proxy Access Rule Shareholder Litigation Shareholder Rights Shareholders

If Bylaws Are Contracts, Where’s The Boilerplate?

Bylaws hardly constitute literature. For the most part, they simply regurgitate the applicable general corporation law with a few permitted changes here and there. In general, there seems to be two schools of thought when...more

10/23/2014 - Boilerplate Language Bylaws Contract Formation Corporate Governance

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