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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,...more

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...more

Getting To The Point On Director Elections

Last week in The Mentor Blog, Broc Romanek mentioned a blog posting of mine from September 2015: Was This Director Duly Elected Or Appointed? My post was concerned Intelligent Digital Systems, LLC v. Beazley Ins. Co., Inc.,...more

The Principal Executive Office – It’s Not Just About Venue

Last week, I wrote about the venue implications of the location (or lack of) a corporation’s principal executive office. The location of a corporation’s PEO isn’t just about venue, however. Numerous provisions of the...more

Why The Location Of The Principal Executive Office Matters

The California General Corporation Law does not require that a California corporation have a principal executive office located in California. In fact, Section 177 explicitly contemplates that a corporation’s PEO may be...more

Hiring & Firing Officers In California

John Jenkins at The Mentor Blog addresses the question of who has authority to hire and fire officers? He notes...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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