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Full-Text Articles in Law

Toward A Horizontal Fiduciary Duty In Corporate Law, Asaf Eckstein, Gideon Parchomovsky May 2019

Toward A Horizontal Fiduciary Duty In Corporate Law, Asaf Eckstein, Gideon Parchomovsky

Cornell Law Review

Fiduciary duty is arguably the single most important aspect of our corporate law system. It consists of two distinct subduties-a duty of care and a duty of loyalty-and it applies to all directors and corporate officers. Yet, under extant law, the duty only applies vertically, in the relationship between directors and corporate officers and the firm. At present, there exists no horizontal fiduciary duty: directors and corporate officers owe no fiduciary duty to each other. Consequently, if one of them falls her peers, they cannot seek direct legal recourse against her even when they stand to suffer significant reputational and ...


Activist Directors And Agency Costs: What Happens When An Activist Director Goes On The Board, John C. Coffee Jr., Robert J. Jackson Jr., Joshua R. Mitts, Robert E. Bishop Jan 2019

Activist Directors And Agency Costs: What Happens When An Activist Director Goes On The Board, John C. Coffee Jr., Robert J. Jackson Jr., Joshua R. Mitts, Robert E. Bishop

Cornell Law Review

We develop and apply a new and more rigorous methodology by which to measure and understand both informed trading and the agency costs of hedge fund activism. We use quantitative data to show a systematic relationship between the appointment of a hedge fund-nominated director to a corporate board and an increase in informed trading in that corporation's stock (with the relationship being most pronounced when the fund's slate of directors includes a hedge fund employee). This finding is important from two different perspectives. First, from a governance perspective, activist hedge funds represent a new and potent force in ...


Impersonal Personhood: Crafting A Coherent Theory Of The Corporate Entity, Bryan P. Magee Jan 2019

Impersonal Personhood: Crafting A Coherent Theory Of The Corporate Entity, Bryan P. Magee

Cornell Law Review

Corporate legal personhood is a baffling and elusive concept. Are corporations persons and, if so, what does this mean? Ascribing the moniker of "person" to a corporation can conjure up the idea that a corporate entity is entitled to all the natural and legal rights that natural "personhood" entails. This, however, ignores that there are different kinds of "legal person" and that the scope of their respective rights differs based on the purpose of the personhood they are given. This Note posits that the law grants corporations entity-hood primarily to centralize contractual rights and obligations. This purpose, this Note contends ...


Will Delaware Be Different? An Empirical Study Of Tc Heartland And The Shift To Defendant Choice Of Venue, Ofer Eldar, Neel U. Sukhatme Nov 2018

Will Delaware Be Different? An Empirical Study Of Tc Heartland And The Shift To Defendant Choice Of Venue, Ofer Eldar, Neel U. Sukhatme

Cornell Law Review

Why do some venues evolve into litigation havens while others do not? Venues might compete for litigation for various reasons, like enhancing their judges’ prestige and increasing revenues for the local bar. This competition is framed by the party that chooses the venue. Whether plaintiffs or defendants primarily choose venue is crucial because, we argue, the two scenarios are not symmetrical.

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods LLC illustrates this dynamic. There, the Court effectively shifted venue choice in many patent infringement cases from plaintiffs to corporate defendants. We use TC Heartland to ...


Sustainable Finance & China’S Green Credit Reforms: A Test Case For Bank Monitoring Of Environmental Risk, Virginia Harper Ho Oct 2018

Sustainable Finance & China’S Green Credit Reforms: A Test Case For Bank Monitoring Of Environmental Risk, Virginia Harper Ho

Cornell International Law Journal

In the past few years, the focus of international organizations on sustainable finance— the integration of environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) considerations into global financial systems— has intensified because of its potential to promote financial stability, better risk assessment, and more efficient allocation of capital. The success of these efforts depends in part on whether banks and other financial institutions can manage, price, and monitor environmental risk.

This Article offers new answers to this question from China— one of the most important global test sites for sustainable finance. Corporate governance theory suggests that creditor monitoring can promote managerial accountability and ...


Benefit Corporations: A Proposal For Assessing Liability In Benefit Enforcement Proceedings, Jaime Lee May 2018

Benefit Corporations: A Proposal For Assessing Liability In Benefit Enforcement Proceedings, Jaime Lee

Cornell Law Review

There has been a growing trend of more socially conscious consumption as a new generation of consumers and business leaders rises to the forefront. This trend has elicited a response from existing corporations and entrepreneurs starting new businesses such that socially-minded goals are taken into account in addition to profit-maximizing goals. Because the traditional corporation models restricted the ability of businesses to serve both socially-conscious and profit-maximizing goals simultaneously, new "fourth sector" corporations that combine aspects of the traditional for-profit, non-profit, and government sectors have been increasing in number. The most notable of these "fourth sector" corporations are benefit corporations ...


Governance Challenges Of Listed State- Owned Enterprises Around The World: National Experiences And A Framework For Reform, Curtis J. Milhaupt, Mariana Pargendler Oct 2017

Governance Challenges Of Listed State- Owned Enterprises Around The World: National Experiences And A Framework For Reform, Curtis J. Milhaupt, Mariana Pargendler

Cornell International Law Journal

Despite predictions of their demise in the aftermath of the collapse of socialist economies in Eastern Europe, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are very much alive in the global economy. The relevance of listed SOEs— firms subject to government ownership, but with a portion of their shares traded on public stock markets— has persisted and even increased around the world, as policymakers have encouraged the partial floating of SOE shares either as a first step toward, or as an alternative to, privatization. In this Article, we evaluate the governance challenges associated with mixed ownership of enterprise, and examine a variety of national ...


Paying For Risk: Bankers, Compensation, And Competition, Simone M. Sepe, Charles K. Whitehead Mar 2015

Paying For Risk: Bankers, Compensation, And Competition, Simone M. Sepe, Charles K. Whitehead

Cornell Law Review

Efforts to control bank risk address the wrong problem in the wrong way. They presume that the financial crisis was caused by CEOs who failed to super­vise risk-taking employees. The responses focus on exe­cutive pay, believing that exe­cu­tives will bring non-execu­tives into line—using incen­­­­tives to manage risk-taking—once their own pay is regu­lated. What they over­look is the effect on non-executive pay of the com­pe­­ti­­tion for talent. Even if exe­­cu­tive pay is regu­lated, and exe­cu­tives act in the bank’s best interests, they ...