Keith Paul Bishop

Keith Paul Bishop

Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP

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What 19 Eminent Law Professors Would Have You Believe

UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge yesterday highlighted an amicus curiae brief filed recently by 19 law professors in Freidrichs v. California Teachers Ass’n. That case, which is now pending before the U.S....more

11/10/2015 - Freidrichs v CA Teachers Assoc Political Contributions Political Speech SCOTUS Shareholders Unions

I’m Guessing That The DOL Didn’t Have in Mind Negative Weighing OF ESG Factors

In this post, I noted a recent study by Professor Tracie Woidtke at the University of Tennessee concluding that social-issue shareholder-proposal activism appears to be negatively related to firm value. I therefore raised...more

11/6/2015 - Administrative Interpretation CalPERS CalSTRS Corporate Governance Corporate Social Responsibility DOL Fiduciary Duty Pension Funds Shareholder Activism Shareholders

Nevada Supreme Court Opines On Scope Of Debtor’s Exemption For Stock

NRS 78.746 provides that, with several qualifications, the exclusive remedy of judgment creditors with respect to the stock in a relatively closely held corporation is to charge a stockholder’s shares.  To the extent so...more

10/30/2015 - Assignees Bankruptcy Code Chapter 7 Closely Held Businesses Judgment Creditors Shareholders Stocks

New Law Attempts To Clarify Legal Status Of LLC Employee Membership Purchase And Option Plans

California Labor Code Section 407 may be a bit of a surprise to many lawyers both in and outside of the state.  It provides: Investments and the sale of stock or an interest in a business in connection with the securing of a...more

10/23/2015 - Advertising Employee Stock Purchase Plans Hiring & Firing Labor Code Public Policy Shareholders Stock Options

Two Is Not A Lot And It’s Certainly Not Extensive

Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster’s ruling in In re Aruba Networks, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 10765-VCL has received widespread coverage.  See, e.g., Kevin LaCroix, Game Over?: Del. Chancery Court Rejects...more

10/19/2015 - Depositions Shareholder Litigation Shareholders

Failure To Follow Up Demand Dooms Derivative Suit

Shareholders wanting to pursue a derivative suit all come to the same fork in the road.  One fork is to make a demand.  The other is to file a lawsuit and allege that demand would have been futile.  Most plaintiffs choose the...more

9/9/2015 - Demand Futility Demand Response Derivative Suit Shareholder Litigation Shareholders

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

50% Shareholder Denied Say In Defense Of Corporation

If two shareholders each own one half of the outstanding shares of a corporation, one might expect that they would have an equal say in just about everything.  It turns out that in some circumstances they won’t....more

8/6/2015 - Breach of Contract Breach of Duty Conflicts of Interest Corporate Dissolution Cross-Complaints Shareholders Standing

CalPERS Claims Success; Proxy Monitor Says CalPERS Success Leads To Lower Stock Prices

“Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair” - In this press release issued last week, CalPERS congratulated itself on the “success” of its proxy voting initiatives:...more

7/28/2015 - CalPERS Corporate Governance Proxy Season Proxy Voting Guidelines Public Pension Shareholder Activism Shareholder Proposals Shareholders

Court Declines To Declare “S” Corporation Shareholders’ Agreement Unenforceable

In general, shareholders of a corporation that has elected to be taxed under Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code are taxed on corporate profits regardless of whether the corporation makes any distribution of those...more

7/27/2015 - Articles of Incorporation Board of Directors Corporations Code Income Taxes Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Public Policy S-Corporation Shareholder Distributions Shareholders Shareholders' Agreements

No Calm In Delaware After Calma v. Templeton

In derivative suits, cases are essentially lost and won at the motion to dismiss stage.  Unless the defendants succeed in winning dismissal, they must confront an unhappy choice between continued litigation with all of its...more

7/23/2015 - Board of Directors Business Judgment Rule Corporate Governance Delaware General Corporation Law Derivative Suit Executive Compensation Fairness Standard Independent Directors Motion to Dismiss SEC Shareholders

Court Rules Shareholders May Be Sued In De Facto Dissolution

California Corporations Code Section 2011 provides that causes of action against a dissolved corporation, whether arising before or after dissolution, may be enforced against its shareholders if any of the assets of the...more

7/6/2015 - Corporate Dissolution Corporations Code Debt Shareholder Distributions Shareholders

Before Rapunzel There Was Rudabeh

In Koehler v. NetSpend Holdings, Inc., 2013 Del. Ch. LEXIS 131 (Del. Ch. May 21, 2013), Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III wrote “In fact, NetSpend appears more Rapunzel than Penelope; she must, it seems, let down her hair or...more

6/16/2015 - Board of Directors Delaware General Corporation Law Duty of Care Exculpatory Clauses Merger Agreements Private Equity Revlon Standard Share Price Shareholders Target Company

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

Does The SEC’s Unbundling Rule Deprive Stockholders The Right To Vote On The Whole?

A forthcoming academic paper looks for bundling in more than 1,500 management proposals between 2003 and 2012.  Bundling occurs when multiple matters are combined into a single proposal.  The authors, James Cox, Fabrizio...more

5/27/2015 - Bundling Rules SEC Shareholder Rights Shareholder Votes Shareholders

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

Email Notice Without Consent Is Not Notice

The California General Corporation Law unequivocally authorizes the giving of notice of stockholder meetings by electronic transmission. Section 601(b) provides “Notice of a shareholders’ meeting or any report shall be given...more

4/15/2015 - Corporate Officers Corporations Code Directors Electronic Communications Email Hedging Proposed Regulation SEC Shareholder Meetings Shareholders Written Notice

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

SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Volte-Face Is Pointlessly Outré But It Does Have Real World Ramifications

Readers may recall that last December Whole Foods Market, Inc. had secured the SEC staff’s concurrence in excluding a shareholder access proposal submitted by Jim McRitchie. Then, SEC Chair Mary Jo White directed the staff...more

2/19/2015 - No-Action Letters Proxy Access Rule Proxy Statements Rule 14a-8 SEC Shareholder Proposals Shareholders Whole Foods

The SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Process Just Became Even More Pointlessly Outré

Yesterday, Broc Romanek posted on SEC Chair Mary Jo White’s Friday surprise with respect the no-action letter request submitted by Whole Foods Market, Inc. Readers may recall that in December Whole Foods had obtained the...more

1/20/2015 - Board of Directors Mary Jo White No-Action Letters Proxy Access Rule Proxy Statements SEC Shareholder Activism Shareholder Proposals Shareholders Whole Foods

This Stockholder Would Rather Fly To Delaware Than Drive To L.A.

Yesterday’s post mentioned the recent Delaware Supreme Court decision in United Techs. Corp. v. Treppel, 2014 Del. LEXIS 608 (Del. Dec. 23, 2014). The case involved an inspection demand under Section 220 of the Delaware...more

1/14/2015 - Books & Records Delaware General Corporation Law Inspection Rights Shareholder Litigation Shareholders

Stockholder Inspections Of Delaware Corporations In California

In United Techs. Corp. v. Treppel, 2014 Del. LEXIS 608 (Del. Dec. 23, 2014), the Delaware Supreme Court held that the Court of Chancery had authority to condition a stockholder’s inspection under Section 220 of the Delaware...more

1/13/2015 - Books & Records Corporations Code Delaware General Corporation Law Inspection Rights Internal Affairs Doctrine Shareholders

‘Tis A “Bootless Labour” To Ask The Staff To Appeal Its Own No-Action Advice

In This “Appeal” Of Whole Foods’ No-Action Letter Isn’t Very Appealing, I wrote about Jim McRitchie’s attempt to “appeal” the staff’s decision with respect to the exclusion of his proxy access proposal to Whole Foods Market,...more

1/12/2015 - Appeals No-Action Letters SEC Shareholder Proposals Shareholders Whole Foods

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