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Shareholders Sues Officer Of Delaware Corporation In California State Court, Should Texas Law Apply?

Our November 16, 2017 post discussed one aspect of the California Court of Appeal’s opinion in Central Laborers’ Pension Fund v. McAfee, Inc., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 1008. The case arose from Intel Corporation’s acquisition of...more

“Lead Independent Director” Or “Presiding Director”?

Neither California nor Nevada require that a corporation have either a “lead independent director” or “presiding director” and yet many corporations state that they have such a position. Why?...more

Still More On Suing The CEO For Social Activism

Last week, I devoted several posts to the question of suing the CEO for social activism. The catalyst for the discussion was an August 17, 2017 Op-Ed piece by Jon L. Pritchett and Ed Tiryakian in The Wall Street Journal. ...more

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...more

Suing The CEO For Social Activism Is Likely To Be Challenging Under Nevada Law

Yesterday’s post concerned asked the question whether shareholders can sue CEOs for social activism. The answer is of course, yes. The more interesting question is whether shareholders will win the suit. To answer that...more

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...more

Another “Best Practices” May Not Be Best After All

For years, I’ve been critical of governance experts who promote “best practices” without any basis that these practices are actually effective, much less the best. For example, the Harvard Law School’s Shareholder Rights...more

Court Declines To Impose Alter Ego Liability On LLC’s President

In general, the debts, obligations, or other liabilities of a California limited liability company do not become the debts, obligations, or other liabilities of a member or manager solely by reason of the member acting as a...more

A Field Guide To Distinguishing Directors From Officers

A colleague who is not a corporate lawyer recently noted that in common parlance directors and officers are often simply lumped together as the “same thing”. He suggested that I devote a post to a primer on the differences...more

Is It A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty To Fail Or Refuse To Conform To Delaware’s Judicial Decisions Or Practices?

The answer to this question in Nevada may soon be an unequivocal “no”. Last week, the Nevada Legislature unanimously passed SB 203 and sent it to Governor Brian Sandoval for signature. Among other things, Section 2 of SB...more

Professor Bainbridge On My “Beef” With Gantler v. Stephens

Professor Stephen Bainbridge yesterday provided a well considered assessment of my “beef” with the Delaware Supreme Court’s holding in Gantler v. Stephens, 965 A.2d 695, 709 (Del. 2009) that “the fiduciary duties of officers...more

Why An Understanding Of Officers As Agents May Be Important

In several recent posts, I have noted that officers, unlike directors, are agents of the corporation. Recognizing the agency status of officers can affect the legal analysis in a number of significant ways, including...more

What The Delaware Supreme Court Overlooked In Gantler v. Stephens

I have never been reconciled to the Delaware Supreme Court’s pronouncement in Gantler v. Stephens, 965 A.2d 695, 709 (Del. 2009) that “the fiduciary duties of officers are the same as those of directors”. Officers are, as...more

Officers And The Business Judgment Rule

Last weekend I attended a symposium at the UCLA School of Law entitled “Can Delaware Be Dethroned? Evaluating Delaware’s Dominance of Corporate Law”. The event, organized by ever erudite Professor Stephen Bainbridge,...more

10th Circuit Holds SEC ALJs Are Holding Office Unconstitutionally

In March 2015, I posed the following question: But if you were hailed before an unconstitutional tribunal with the ostensible authority to fine you and bar you from working, would you want a “real” court to step in and...more

Pay By Another Name Might Be Salt

Yesterday’s post concerned the classification of directors and officers as employees for purposes of California’s workers’ compensation law. Effective January 1, 2017, California Labor Code Section 3351(c) will define...more

Is A Corporate Director An Employee Subject To Workers’ Compensation?

Corporate lawyers tend to believe that directors and officers are not ineluctably employees. Thus, it may come as a surprise that California’s workers’ compensation law has for some time defined an “employee” to include...more

What Law Governs Real Property Conveyances By Foreign Corporations?

Consider the following fact pattern - Joe is the Chief Executive Officer of Transient, Inc., a Delaware corporation that is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Transient’s sole asset is 100 acres of undeveloped land in...more

Why Nevada Is A More Reliable Alternative To Delaware

Directors and officers cannot always base their decisions on first-hand information. As a practical matter, they must receive and act based on information and opinions of others. The question then becomes whether a...more

Why Affixing A Secretary’s Certificate Might Protect The Innocent

Transactional lawyers are used to obtaining officers’ certificates to back up their opinions or to deliver to the other party pursuant to a purchase or sale agreement. I wonder, however, how many buyers or secured lenders...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

Officers: Got Business Judgment Rule? Nevada Says Yes, Delaware Maybe Not

Francis Pileggi writes about a recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson in which she refused to consider whether the business judgment rule applied to officers of a Delaware corporation...more

Can Limited Partnerships Have Officers?

Can limited partnerships have officers? In many cases, individuals with officer titles will actually be officers of the general partner. My question is whether a limited partnership itself may have officers....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

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...more

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