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2006

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Of Fine Lines, Blunt Instruments And Half-Truths: Business Acquisition Agreements And The Right To Lie, Jeffrey M. Lipshaw Dec 2006

Of Fine Lines, Blunt Instruments And Half-Truths: Business Acquisition Agreements And The Right To Lie, Jeffrey M. Lipshaw

ExpressO

In this article, I expand upon a happy coincidence (for scholars) in reconciling the overlap between contract and fraud. Both the recent book by Ian Ayres and Gregory Klass and the Delaware Court of Chancery in Abry Partners Acquisition V, L.P. v. F& W Acquisition, LLC addressed the issue of promissory fraud – the making of a contract as to which the promisor had no intention of performing. Each treatment, however, in focusing on fraudulent affirmative representations, falls short of (a) recognizing the fundamental aspect of deceptive promising in a complex deal, namely the half-truth, (b) articulating an appropriate doctrinal ...


The Duty To Creditors Reconsidered - Filling A Much Needed Gap In Corporation Law, Richard A. Booth Dec 2006

The Duty To Creditors Reconsidered - Filling A Much Needed Gap In Corporation Law, Richard A. Booth

Working Paper Series

The most fundamental question of corporation law is to whom does the board of directors of a corporation owe its fiduciary duty. Recently, the question has tended to be whether and under what circumstances the board of directors has the duty to maximize stockholder wealth. But if a corporation is insolvent (or close to it), business decisions designed to maximize stockholder wealth may result in a reduction of creditor wealth. Although the conventional wisdom is that creditors must protect themselves by contractual means, there is a substantial body of case law that says that creditors can assert claims sounding in ...


Give Me Equity Or Give Me Death - The Role Of Competition And Compensation In Building Silicon Valley, Richard A. Booth Dec 2006

Give Me Equity Or Give Me Death - The Role Of Competition And Compensation In Building Silicon Valley, Richard A. Booth

Working Paper Series

In this essay, I argue that the preeminence of Silicon Valley as an incubator of technology companies is attributable to equity compensation. Ronald Gilson, relying on the work of AnnaLee Saxenian and others who have noted the tendency of Silicon Valley employees to job hop, has suggested that California law prohibiting the enforcement of non-compete agreements was a major factor in the rise of Silicon Valley (and the demise of Route 128). I extend this line of thought by suggesting that California employers may have relied on equity compensation as a substitute way to bind employees. I argue further that ...


Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells Dec 2006

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This paper recounts a number of lessons learned in the course of serving as the Director of Public Charities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It incorporates these lessons into a discussion of the proper analysis of charitable organizations. Should charities be analogized to for-profit firms or are they something that is essentially different? The paper argues that they lack many of the attributes of Coasian firms and that they should be considered as “consumption groups” that have different methods of accountability.


Sex And Capital: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, Claire Moore Dickerson Dec 2006

Sex And Capital: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, Claire Moore Dickerson

Claire Moore Dickerson

From a Symposium on People of Color, Women, and the Public Corporation: Different perceptions of public corporations and of business enterprises in the US and Ghana underscore differences in those institutions, as well as issues of gender and class.


The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder Dec 2006

The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article argues that the origins of judicial review lie in corporate law. Diverging from standard historical accounts that locate the origins in theories of fundamental law or in the American structure of government, the Article argues that judicial review was the continuation of a longstanding English practice of constraining corporate ordinances by requiring that they be not repugnant to the laws of the nation. This practice of limiting legislation under the standard of repugnancy to the laws of England became applicable to American colonial law. The history of this repugnancy practice explains why the Framers of the Constitution presumed ...


Contractarianism, Contractualism, And The Law Of Corporate Insolvency, Riz Mokal Nov 2006

Contractarianism, Contractualism, And The Law Of Corporate Insolvency, Riz Mokal

ExpressO

What is the appropriate way of theorising about corporate bankruptcy law? That lies, argues this paper, in rejecting Pareto and Kaldor-Hicks efficiency in favour of a particular conception of transaction cost efficiency, and in rejecting the ‘contractarian’ Creditors’ Bargain Model in favour of the ‘contractualist’ Authentic Consent Model. The paper vindicates these arguments with an analysis of the automatic stay which characterises the collective liquidation regime, of the pari passu principle often said to be at the heart of this regime, and of the liability imposed in some jurisdictions on the managers of terminally distressed companies for failing to take ...


Being Informed Does Matter: Fine Tuning Gross Negligence Twenty Plus Years After Van Gorkom, Bernard S. Sharfman Oct 2006

Being Informed Does Matter: Fine Tuning Gross Negligence Twenty Plus Years After Van Gorkom, Bernard S. Sharfman

Bernard S Sharfman

This article first establishes that there are still a number of reasons why being informed does matter, despite the ability to incorporate an exculpation clause into a Delaware corporation’s certificate of incorporation. This is followed by an explanation of how Delaware’s business judgment rule became transformed from a doctrine of abstention to a standard of review in the context of procedural due care. Throughout this article, it is understood that the business judgment rule exits within a framework of corporate authority and accountability and that it serves as a significant tool for the protection of corporate board authority ...


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


Hostile Takeovers And Hostile Defenses: A Comparative Look At U.S. Board Deference And The European Effort At Harmonization, Tyler A. Theobald Oct 2006

Hostile Takeovers And Hostile Defenses: A Comparative Look At U.S. Board Deference And The European Effort At Harmonization, Tyler A. Theobald

ExpressO

The United States and the European Union have taken very different approaches in dealing with tender offers, especially in respect to the amount of power the board of directors has to block an unwanted takeover attempt. The United States has no single set of guiding principles regarding most of substantive corporate law and the field of tender offers is no different. The European Union, on the other hand, has very recently passed legislation that not only attempts to harmonize the corporate takeover laws of all its member states, but seeks to restrict the power of the board of directors. The ...


The Flight From Arbitration: An Empirical Study Of Ex Ante Arbitration Clauses In Publicly-Held Companies’ Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey Miller Oct 2006

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

ExpressO

We study a data set of 2,858 contracts contained as exhibits in Form 8-K filings by reporting corporations over a six month period in 2002 for twelve types of contracts and a seven month period in 2002 for merger contracts. Because 8-K filings are required only for material events, these contracts likely are carefully negotiated by sophisticated parties who are well-informed about the contract terms. These contracts, therefore, provide evidence of efficient ex ante solutions to contracting problems. The vast majority of contracts did not require arbitration. Only about 11 percent of the contracts included binding arbitration clauses. The ...


Confidential Informants In Private Litigation: Balancing Interests In Anonymity And Disclosure, Ethan D. Wohl Oct 2006

Confidential Informants In Private Litigation: Balancing Interests In Anonymity And Disclosure, Ethan D. Wohl

ExpressO

Heightened pleading standards and limits on discovery in private securities fraud actions make confidential informants crucial in many cases. While courts have widely recognized the importance of confidential informants and the need to protect them from retaliation, they have not applied consistent standards for how informants must be identified in pleadings, and have failed to take into account substantial bodies of relevant caselaw when deciding whether to require that informants’ names be disclosed in discovery.

This article offers a framework for when and how confidential informants should be identified, taking into account the competing interests in anonymity and disclosure. It ...


Whistleblower Protections Under The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: A Primer And A Critique, Valerie J. Watnick Oct 2006

Whistleblower Protections Under The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: A Primer And A Critique, Valerie J. Watnick

ExpressO

In the wake of scandals involving Enron Corporation, Arthur Andersen and other corporations, Congress enacted the landmark Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002 (hereinafter the “Act” or “Sarbanes-Oxley”).This article critically examines the whistleblower protections afforded employees under Sarbanes-Oxley. Part I of the article considers the statutory language, the legislative history, and the regulations pursuant to the Act. Part II of the article examines recent decisions by the U.S. Department of Labor in Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower cases (cases under the Act are initially adjudicated by the Department of Labor) and the overall framework ...


A Proposal To Revise The Sec Instructions For Reporting Waivers Of Corporate Codes Of Ethics For Conflicts Of Interest, Madoka Mori Oct 2006

A Proposal To Revise The Sec Instructions For Reporting Waivers Of Corporate Codes Of Ethics For Conflicts Of Interest, Madoka Mori

ExpressO

Enron’s collapse focused attention on the application of that company’s Code of Ethics to related-party transactions. That focus produced Section 406 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which intends to regulate conflicts of interest between officers and their companies through codes of ethics that public companies adopt. Pursuant to SOX Section 406(a), the Securities Exchange Commission issued new regulations requiring each public company to disclose whether it has a code of ethics, and if a company has not adopted such a code, to explain why it has chosen not to do so. SEC rules also require each ...


The End Of Corporate Governance Law, Steven A. Ramirez Oct 2006

The End Of Corporate Governance Law, Steven A. Ramirez

ExpressO

This article argues that corporate governance is sub-optimal because of special interest influence at both the state and federal level, and because institutionally the mechanisms for promulgating corporate governance are not capable of impounding corporate goverance science. I offer as a solution the creation of depoliticized agency (on par with the Fed) that could administer a federal incorporation regime in an expert manner and without special interest interference. I posit that shareholders should be empowered to select this federal incorporation option.


Venture Capital, Agency Costs, And The False Dichotomy Of The Corporation, Robert P. Bartlett Oct 2006

Venture Capital, Agency Costs, And The False Dichotomy Of The Corporation, Robert P. Bartlett

Scholarly Works

An implicit dichotomy of the corporation exists in legal scholarship. On one side of the dichotomy rests the publicly held corporation suffering from a significant conflict of interest between its managers and dispersed shareholders; on the other side, the closely held corporation plagued by intershareholder conflict. This Article argues that understanding the agency problems that can exist within a firm demands a rejection of this traditional dichotomy and the theories of the firm built upon it. Using venture capital (VC) finance, this Article demonstrates how this dichotomy obscures how all firms -- public and private -- often face the same agency problems ...


Why Pharmaceutical Firms Support Patent Trolls: The Disparate Impact Of Ebay V. Mercexchange On Innovation, Jeremiah S. Helm Oct 2006

Why Pharmaceutical Firms Support Patent Trolls: The Disparate Impact Of Ebay V. Mercexchange On Innovation, Jeremiah S. Helm

Michigan Technology Law Review

Before the unanimous decision in eBay v. MercExchange, patent holders were almost always granted an injunction against an infringer. In fact, the Federal Circuit, in deciding eBay, noted that, upon a finding of infringement, an injunction would issue unless there were extraordinary circumstances. The Court, in a brief opinion, disagreed with the Federal Circuit and explained that the injunction issue in a patent case must be analyzed under the traditional four-factor test.[...] Is the four-factor test fairer or better than the Federal Circuit's near-automatic injunction rule? It is certainly more difficult to administer a factor test as compared to ...


Shareholder (And Director) Fiduciary Duties And Shareholder Activism, Paula J. Dalley Sep 2006

Shareholder (And Director) Fiduciary Duties And Shareholder Activism, Paula J. Dalley

ExpressO

Recent attention to shareholder activism in the business and academic press has ignored the legal ramifications of that phenomenon. Under current law, shareholders are neither principals nor agents of the corporation, the board of directors, or the other shareholders; those seeking to increase shareholder power must confront this legal reality. Specifically, proposals for increased shareholder power on the one hand and recent investor attempts to gain actual management control on the other must both be considered in light of the shareholders’ lack of fiduciary responsibility. Moreover, all directors, including those representing “activist” shareholders, are obligated to exercise independent judgment about ...


Corporations And The Lateral Obligations Of The Social Contract, Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Corporations And The Lateral Obligations Of The Social Contract, Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

Social contract theorists suggest that society at some level is based on the idea that human people surrender freedom for the privilege of participating in society. That participation implicitly requires more than mere minimal compliance with law. Each human person’s contribution to society above the legal baseline, permits humans to create a society that is at least tolerable. Corporations as non-human act without regard for these supra-legal obligations which results in society suffering injustice. Corporate participation in society has become increasingly unjust and has done so to the extent that we may speak of living in a post-ethical world.


Re-Thinking Securities Regulation: A Comparative Study Of Asx, Nyse, And Sgx , Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Re-Thinking Securities Regulation: A Comparative Study Of Asx, Nyse, And Sgx , Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

This article approaches the issue of securities regulation starting with an examination of the nature and role of markets and financial markets. It next outlines the various arguments for and against regulation, and then looks at approaches taken by markets and their regulators. The approaches are government regulation, self-regulation and co-regulation, and the structural changes via demutualization and corporate governance. With this background, it turns to examine how these approaches have played out in the markets themselves. The article surveys the regulatory aspects of the ASX, NYSE and the SGX, and reviews the regulatory and financial performance of the markets ...


China-Australia Free Trade Agreement New Icing On An Old Cake-An Opportunity For Fair Trade?, Benedict Sheehy, Jackson N. Maogoto Sep 2006

China-Australia Free Trade Agreement New Icing On An Old Cake-An Opportunity For Fair Trade?, Benedict Sheehy, Jackson N. Maogoto

ExpressO

The on-going challenge in economic development and globalization, particularly for developing countries, is the issue of development and equality in society. The issue becomes particularly problematic when confronted in matters of international trade. Often misnamed anti-globalization activists and pro-globalization activists fail to take note of the underlying assumptions that lead them to conflict—namely, the actual costs and benefits to society that result from their particular positions. In essence, both activists are searching for ways to improve the lives of people in the domestic context and to minimize the damage to their society and environment. China’s impressive economic record ...


Corporations And Social Costs: The Wal-Mart Case Study, Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Corporations And Social Costs: The Wal-Mart Case Study, Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

This article examines the role of the corporate vehicle in the creation of social costs. The article identifies some of the political commitments and philosophies behind the differing notions of corporations. Social costs are those activities which result from business activity and cause uncompensated harm to society. The founding contribution to the law and economics discussion by Ronald Coase is given a thorough treatment. The paper next, turns to the dominant explanation of corporate structure, namely the law and economics model developed expounded by Easterbrook and Fischel. It then applies the theoretical discussion in a case study of the world ...


Un-Fair Trade As Friendly Fire: The Australia-Usa Free Trade Agreement, Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Un-Fair Trade As Friendly Fire: The Australia-Usa Free Trade Agreement, Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

Trade, economists and trade theorists advise, is a mutually beneficial exercise. Among this group, a particular set of advocates, claim that “Free Trade” is in the interest of all parties. As will be demonstrated, Free Trade is not truly “free” but an exercise of foreign policy and the implementation of policies favouring wealthy corporate interest groups. Free Trade is controlled by wealthy nations who have stacked the rules in favour of themselves, and in particular their corporate interests, and against the poor producers in poor nations. This control is used contrary to fairness, economic and ecological logic. Fair trade, by ...


Privatizing Eminent Domain: The Delegation Of A Very Public Power To Private, Non-Profit And Charitable Corporations, Asmara Tekle Johnson Sep 2006

Privatizing Eminent Domain: The Delegation Of A Very Public Power To Private, Non-Profit And Charitable Corporations, Asmara Tekle Johnson

ExpressO

In an age of privatization of many governmental functions such as health care, prison management, and warfare, this Article poses the question as to whether eminent domain should be among them. Unlike other privatized functions, eminent domain is a traditionally governmental and highly coercive power, akin to the government’s power to tax, to arrest individuals, and to license. It is, therefore, a very public power.

In particular, the delegation of this very public power to private, non-profit and charitable corporations has escaped the scrutiny that for-profit private actors have attracted in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ...


The Group Dynamics Theory Of Executive Compensation, Michael B. Dorff Sep 2006

The Group Dynamics Theory Of Executive Compensation, Michael B. Dorff

ExpressO

The corporate governance debate has focused recently on executive compensation. While defenders of the status quo assert that CEO compensation – and corporate governance generally -- is efficient, critics contend that boards have been captured by powerful CEOs who demand excessive pay unconditioned on their performance. Both sides argue that the evidence garnered from CEO compensation justifies their positions on legal reform of corporate governance as a whole. Defenders of the status quo argue that the system works well as is, as demonstrated by the enormous success of U.S. corporations. Critics concerned about managerial power propose reforms that will increase board ...


Enforcing Foreign Summary/Default Judgments: The Damoclean Sword Hanging Over Pro Se Canadian Corporate Defendants? Case Comment On U.S.A. V. Shield Development, Antonin I. Pribetic Sep 2006

Enforcing Foreign Summary/Default Judgments: The Damoclean Sword Hanging Over Pro Se Canadian Corporate Defendants? Case Comment On U.S.A. V. Shield Development, Antonin I. Pribetic

ExpressO

Following the 2003 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Beals v. Saldanha, where the “real and substantial connection” test is otherwise met (i.e. consent-based jurisdiction, presence-based jurisdiction or assumed jurisdiction) the only available defences to a domestic defendant seeking to have a Canadian court refuse enforcement of a foreign judgment are fraud, public policy and natural justice. The 2005 Ontario decision in United States of America v. Shield Development Co., presents an opportunity to critically analyze the defence of natural justice through a juxtaposition of American and Canadian procedural law. The thesis is that procedural justice mandates that “form ...


Too Big To Fail: Moral Hazard In Auditing And The Need To Restructure The Industry Before It Unravels, Lawrence A. Cunningham Sep 2006

Too Big To Fail: Moral Hazard In Auditing And The Need To Restructure The Industry Before It Unravels, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Large audit firms may believe that they are too big to fail. Arthur Andersen’s 2002 criminal indictment reduced their number from five to four, and the government decided in 2005 to avoid indicting KPMG for crimes it admitted committing. If audit firms interpret the government’s reluctance to indict as signaling aversion to tough action against them, moral hazard arises. This offsets auditing improvements mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that are designed to strengthen auditors’ reputations with managers for thoroughness and improve financial statement reliability. Neutralizing this moral hazard requires a credible alternative industry structure so that ...


Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Sep 2006

Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The functional linkages between law and media have long been signficant in shaping American democratic governance. Over the past thirty-five years, environmental analysis has similarly become essential to shaping international and domestic governmental policy. Environmentalism—focusing as it does on realistic interconnected accounting of the full potential negative consequences as well as benefits of proposed actions, policies, and programs, over the long term as well as the short term, with careful consideration of all realistic alternatives— provides a legal perspective important for societal sustainability. Because environmental values and norms are often in tension with established industrial interests that resist public ...


The Seductive Comparison Of Shareholder And Civic Democracy, Usha Rodrigues Sep 2006

The Seductive Comparison Of Shareholder And Civic Democracy, Usha Rodrigues

Scholarly Works

This Comment takes the common comparison of shareholder democracy and political democracy in a new direction by exploring the parallels between the board of directors and the Electoral College, examining both institutions in light of the differences between nation and corporation and their contrasting histories. Both are "once removed" representative democracies, because both systems only give the voters the right to vote for representatives who then select those who actually govern. The Comment next considers, with a critical eye, the underlying premise that shareholder and civic democracies can be compared at all, given the radically different nature of the corporate ...


Explaining The Value Of Transactional Lawyering, Steven L. Schwarcz Aug 2006

Explaining The Value Of Transactional Lawyering, Steven L. Schwarcz

ExpressO

This article attempts, empirically, to explain the value that lawyers add when acting as counsel to parties in business transactions. Contrary to existing scholarship, which is based mostly on theory, this article shows that transactional lawyers add value primarily by reducing regulatory costs, thereby challenging the reigning models of transactional lawyers as “transaction cost engineers” and “reputational intermediaries.” This new model not only helps inform contract theory but also reveals a profoundly different vision than existing models for the future of legal education and the profession.