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Business Organizations Law

Cornell University Law School

Empirical legal studies

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U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Liability Survey: Inaccurate, Unfair, And Bad For Business, Theodore Eisenberg Dec 2009

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Liability Survey: Inaccurate, Unfair, And Bad For Business, Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce uses its Survey of State Liability to criticize judiciaries and seek legal change but no detailed evaluation of the survey’s quality exists. This article presents evidence that the survey is substantively inaccurate and methodologically flawed. It incorrectly characterizes state law; respondents provide less than 10 percent correct answers for objectively verifiable responses. It is internally inconsistent; a state threatened with judicial hellhole status ranked first in the survey while venues not on the list ranked lower. The absence of correlation between survey rankings and observable activity suggests that other factors drive the rankings ...


Do Juries Add Value? Evidence From An Empirical Study Of Jury Trial Waiver Clauses In Large Corporate Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller Nov 2007

Do Juries Add Value? Evidence From An Empirical Study Of Jury Trial Waiver Clauses In Large Corporate Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

We study jury trial waivers in a data set of 2,816 contracts contained as exhibits in Form 8-K filings by reporting corporations during 2002. Because these contracts are associated with events deemed material to the financial condition of SEC-reporting firms, they likely are carefully negotiated by sophisticated, well-informed parties and thus provide presumptive evidence about the value associated with the availability of jury trials. A minority of contracts, about 20 percent, waived jury trials. An additional 9 percent of contracts had arbitration clauses that effectively preclude jury trials though the reason for arbitration clauses need not specifically relate to ...


The Flight From Arbitration: An Empirical Study Of Ex Ante Arbitration Clauses In The Contracts Of Publicly Held Companies, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller Jan 2007

The Flight From Arbitration: An Empirical Study Of Ex Ante Arbitration Clauses In The Contracts Of Publicly Held Companies, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Informed parties bargaining for their mutual advantage will tend to agree to provisions that maximize the social surplus. Such bargaining includes provisions regarding the resolution of disputes that might arise under the contract. Thus, if a form of alternative dispute resolution, such as binding arbitration, provides greater social benefits than litigation, the dynamics of the process should tend to induce the parties to include a clause submitting future disputes to arbitration. This Article studies the actual contracting practices of large, sophisticated actors with respect to arbitration clauses. We examined over 2800 contracts, filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in ...


Ex Ante Choices Of Law And Forum: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Merger Agreements, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller Nov 2006

Ex Ante Choices Of Law And Forum: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Merger Agreements, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Legal scholars have focused much attention on the incorporation puzzle—why business corporations so heavily favor Delaware as the site of incorporation. This paper suggests that the focus on the incorporation decision overlooks a broader but intimately related set of questions. The choice of Delaware as a situs of incorporation is, effectively, a choice of law decision. A company electing to charter in Delaware selects Delaware law (and authorizes Delaware courts to adjudicate legal disputes) regarding the allocation of governance authority within the firm. In this sense, the incorporation decision is fundamentally similar to any setting in which a company ...


The Fate Of Firms: Explaining Mergers And Bankruptcies, Clas Bergström, Theodore Eisenberg, Stefan Sundgren, Martin T. Wells Mar 2005

The Fate Of Firms: Explaining Mergers And Bankruptcies, Clas Bergström, Theodore Eisenberg, Stefan Sundgren, Martin T. Wells

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Using a uniquely complete data set of more than 50,000 observations of approximately 16,000 corporations, we test theories that seek to explain which firms become merger targets and which firms go bankrupt. We find that merger activity is much greater during prosperous periods than during recessions. In bad economic times, firms in industries with high bankruptcy rates are less likely to file for bankruptcy than they are in better years, supporting the market illiquidity arguments made by Shleifer and Vishny (1992). At the firm level, we find that, among poorly performing firms, the likelihood of merger increases with ...


Was Arthur Andersen Different? An Empirical Examination Of Major Accounting Firm Audits Of Large Clients, Theodore Eisenberg, Jonathan R. Macey Jan 2004

Was Arthur Andersen Different? An Empirical Examination Of Major Accounting Firm Audits Of Large Clients, Theodore Eisenberg, Jonathan R. Macey

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Enron and other corporate financial scandals focused attention on the accounting industry in general and on Arthur Andersen in particular. Part of the policy response to Enron, the criminal prosecution of Andersen eliminated one of the few major audit firms capable of auditing many large public corporations. This article explores whether Andersen's performance, as measured by frequency of financial restatements, measurably differed from that of other large auditors. Financial restatements trigger significant negative market reactions and their frequency can be viewed as a measure of accounting performance. We analyze the financial restatement activity of approximately 1,000 large public ...


Secured Debt And The Likelihood Of Reorganization, Clas Bergström, Theodore Eisenberg, Stefan Sundgren May 2002

Secured Debt And The Likelihood Of Reorganization, Clas Bergström, Theodore Eisenberg, Stefan Sundgren

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Theory suggests that secured creditors may increasingly oppose a debtor’s reorganization as the value of their collateral approaches the amount of their claims. If reorganization occurs and the value of the firm appreciates, the secured creditor receives only part of the gain. But if the firm’s value depreciates, the secured creditor bears all of the cost. Secured claimants, thus, often have more to lose than to gain in reorganizations. This study of Finnish reorganizations filed in districts that account for most of the country’s reorganizations finds that creditor groups most likely to be well-secured are most likely ...


Larger Board Size And Decreasing Firm Value In Small Firms, Theodore Eisenberg, Stefan Sundgren, Martin T. Wells Apr 1998

Larger Board Size And Decreasing Firm Value In Small Firms, Theodore Eisenberg, Stefan Sundgren, Martin T. Wells

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Several studies hypothesize a relation between board size and financial performance. Empirical tests of the relation exist in only a few studies of large U.S. firms. We find a significant negative correlation between board size and profitability in a sample of small and midsize Finnish firms. Finding a board-size effect for a new and different class of firms affects the range of explanations for the board-size effect.


Realigning Corporate Governance: Shareholder Activism By Labor Unions, Stewart J. Schwab, Randall S. Thomas Feb 1998

Realigning Corporate Governance: Shareholder Activism By Labor Unions, Stewart J. Schwab, Randall S. Thomas

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Is Chapter 11 Too Favorable To Debtors? Evidence From Abroad, Theodore Eisenberg, Stefan Sundgren Sep 1997

Is Chapter 11 Too Favorable To Debtors? Evidence From Abroad, Theodore Eisenberg, Stefan Sundgren

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Chapter 11 is widely believed to be among the industrialized world's most debtor-oriented reorganization laws. Critics assert that Chapter 11 is too easily available and that it allows debtors too much control by, inter alia, not requiring appointment of a trustee. One criticism of Chapter 11, low returns to unsecured creditors, resonates with an important theme of this Symposium, the Bebchuk-Fried proposal to reduce secured creditor priority in insolvency proceedings. The Chapter 11 criticisms and the Bebchuk-Fried proposal raise the question whether less easy access to Chapter 11, reduced debtor control, diminished secured creditor priority, or other changes could ...


The Value Of Obvious Empirical Results And The Omniscient Mr. Palans: Response To Mr. Palans' Comments, Theodore Eisenberg Oct 1994

The Value Of Obvious Empirical Results And The Omniscient Mr. Palans: Response To Mr. Palans' Comments, Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Mr. Palans' comment raises one worthwhile question. Most of the rest of his rant is either off the subject or too shallow to warrant extended discussion. The useful question Mr. Palans raises is whether this research is of value. The article did not defend this mode of work; perhaps I am too immersed in it to always keep in mind the merits of discussing the question. So let me spell out its benefits here.


Should We Abolish Chapter 11? The Evidence From Japan, Theodore Eisenberg, Shoichi Tagashira Jan 1994

Should We Abolish Chapter 11? The Evidence From Japan, Theodore Eisenberg, Shoichi Tagashira

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Optimizing reorganization proceedings for small and midsized businesses is an important issue in every industrial country. But little information exists about the actual operation of such proceedings. Recent U.S. bankruptcy studies focus either on consumer bankruptcies or on large Chapter 11 cases involving publicly listed firms. This article presents the results of a comprehensive empirical study of Japan's most frequently used business bankruptcy reorganization provision. Small and midsized reorganizations have become important for several reasons. First, unlike large firms, the vast majority of small businesses fail to obtain confirmation of a Chapter 11 plan and end up in ...