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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Myth Deconstructed: “The Emperor’S New Clothes” On The Low-Profit Limited Liability Company, Daniel S. Kleinberger Jan 2010

A Myth Deconstructed: “The Emperor’S New Clothes” On The Low-Profit Limited Liability Company, Daniel S. Kleinberger

Faculty Scholarship

This article carefully debunks each major tenet of the L3C “movement” and reveals the legal and practical realities under “the Emperor’s New Clothes.” Using foundation funds to offer market-rate returns to “tranched” investors is, at best, a complicated device; not appropriate for “branding” and simplistic appeals to social conscience. When a foundation contemplates making a program-related investment, the matter requires careful, individualized, professional assessment, not reliance on a branded template. In this context, the L#C is but a snare and a delusion.


The Fatal Design Defects Of L3cs, Daniel S. Kleinberger Jan 2010

The Fatal Design Defects Of L3cs, Daniel S. Kleinberger

Faculty Scholarship

This article argues that the L3C is an unnecessary and unwise contrivance, and it's very existence is inherently misleading. The notion that an L3C should have privileged status under the Internal Revenue Code (known as the Code) for access to tax-exempt foundation resources is inescapably at odds with the key policies that underpin the relevant Code sections, and L3Cs are not on track-let alone on a fast track-to receive special status under the Code. An ordinary limited liability company (LLC) can perform precisely the same functions proclaimed of L3Cs. In addition, because of technical flaws, the L3C legislation adopted ...


To Be Or Not To Be Both Ceo And Board Chair, Thuy-Nga T. Vo Jan 2010

To Be Or Not To Be Both Ceo And Board Chair, Thuy-Nga T. Vo

Faculty Scholarship

Part I of this article discusses the management and monitoring responsibilities of the board of directors. Part II explores the duality governance structure and its prevalence in corporate America. In Part III, the article examines and weighs the theoretical arguments for and against duality. Based on these arguments, this part assesses the impact of combined or separate CEO and Chair positions on the board’s performance of its management and monitoring responsibilities. Part IV turns to the empirical data on the effect of combined, rather than separate, CEO-Chair roles on corporate performance. Part V explains the views of corporate stakeholders ...


The Single Member Limited Liability Company As Disregarded Entity: Now You See It, Now You Don’T, Daniel S. Kleinberger Jan 2010

The Single Member Limited Liability Company As Disregarded Entity: Now You See It, Now You Don’T, Daniel S. Kleinberger

Faculty Scholarship

The power and complexity of the single member limited liability company (“SMLLC”) comes from a conceptual contradiction: the conflation of owner and organization for tax purposes and the separation of owner and entity for non-tax, state law purposes. The contraction has significant practical consequences, which this article explores and illustrates, considering: • The SMLLC in federal court (single member not permitted to represent the LLC) • The IRS’s tortuous path to determining whether an SMLLC’s sole member is liable for the SMLLC’s unpaid employment taxes (yes; yes vindicated by the courts; then no, as a matter of policy) • Transfer ...


Organizational Liability, James A. Fanto Jan 2010

Organizational Liability, James A. Fanto

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Organizational Liability And The Tension Between Corporate And Criminal Law, Miriam H. Baer Jan 2010

Organizational Liability And The Tension Between Corporate And Criminal Law, Miriam H. Baer

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Teaching Specialized Legal Research: Business Associations, Kris Helge, Terri Lynn Helge Jan 2010

Teaching Specialized Legal Research: Business Associations, Kris Helge, Terri Lynn Helge

Faculty Scholarship

Business associations are a complex substantive topic that can be included in an advanced legal research course that teaches students sophisticated research, writing, and citation skills. This article presents the basic substantive law regarding business associations necessary to deliver instruction about advanced legal research, writing, and citation. This article also offers a model syllabus with suggested sources and assignments for students. These research assignments require students to perform tasks such as citing primary and secondary sources, learning advanced research skills using loose-leaf materials, assimilating information from multiple sources into cogent narratives, locating information using various electronic resources, digests, and other ...


Contract Interpretation Redux, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2010

Contract Interpretation Redux, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contract interpretation remains the largest single source of contract litigation between business firms. In part this is because contract interpretation issues are difficult, but it also reflects a deep divide between textualist and contextualist theories of interpretation. While a strong majority of U.S. courts continue to follow the traditional, "formalist" approach to contract interpretation, some courts and most commentators prefer the "contextualist" interpretive principles that are reflected in the Uniform Commercial Code and the Second Restatement. In 2003, we published an article that set out a formalist theory of contract interpretation to govern agreements between business firms. We argued ...


Corporate Political Speech: Who Decides, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Robert J. Jackson Jr. Jan 2010

Corporate Political Speech: Who Decides, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Robert J. Jackson Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court spoke clearly this Term on the issue of corporate political speech, concluding in Citizens United v. FEC' that the First Amendment protects corporations' freedom to spend corporate funds on indirect support of political candidates. 2 Constitutional law scholars will long debate the wisdom of that holding, as do the authors of the two other Comments in this issue.3 In contrast, this Comment accepts as given that corporations may not be limited from spending money on politics should they decide to speak. We focus instead on an important question left unanswered by Citizens United: who should have ...


Shareholder Democracy And The Curious Turn Toward Board Primacy, Grant M. Hayden, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2010

Shareholder Democracy And The Curious Turn Toward Board Primacy, Grant M. Hayden, Matthew T. Bodie

Faculty Scholarship

Corporate law is consumed with a debate over shareholder democracy. The conventional wisdom counsels that shareholders should have more voice in corporate governance, in order to reduce agency costs and provide democratic legitimacy. A second set of theorists, described as “board primacists,” advocates against greater shareholder democracy and in favor of increased board discretion. These theorists argue that shareholders need to delegate their authority in order to provide the board with the proper authority to manage the enterprise and avoid short-term decision making.

In the last few years, the classical economic underpinnings of corporate law have been destabilized by a ...


The Cult Of Efficiency In Corporate Law, Stephen E. Ellis, Grant M. Hayden Jan 2010

The Cult Of Efficiency In Corporate Law, Stephen E. Ellis, Grant M. Hayden

Faculty Scholarship

This paper challenges a fundamental assumption of corporate law scholarship. Corporate law is heavily influenced by economics, and by normative economics in particular. Economic efficiency, for example, is seen as the primary goal of good corporate governance. But this dependence on standard notions of economic efficiency is unfortunate, as those notions are highly problematic. In economic theory, efficiency is spelled out in terms of individual preference satisfaction, which is an inadequate foundation for any sort of normative analysis. We argue that on any account of the good, people will sometimes prefer things that aren’t good for them on that ...


Regulatory Dualism As A Development Strategy: Corporate Reform In Brazil, The U.S., And The Eu, Ronald J. Gilson, Henry Hansmann, Mariana Pargendler Jan 2010

Regulatory Dualism As A Development Strategy: Corporate Reform In Brazil, The U.S., And The Eu, Ronald J. Gilson, Henry Hansmann, Mariana Pargendler

Faculty Scholarship

Countries pursuing economic development confront a fundamental obstacle. Reforms that increase the size of the overall pie are blocked by powerful interests that are threatened by the growth-inducing changes. This problem is conspicuous in efforts to create effective capital markets to support economic growth. Controlling owners and managers of established firms successfully oppose corporate governance reforms that would improve investor protection and promote capital market development. In this article, we examine the promise of regulatory dualism as a strategy to diffuse the tension between future growth and the current distribution of wealth and power. Regulatory dualism seeks to mitigate political ...


Excuse Doctrine: The Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2010

Excuse Doctrine: The Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

The world is in a bit of a mess. Oil prices soared to more than $140 per barrel and within months plummeted to below $40. The pound fell from $2 to less than $1.40. Housing and stock prices crashed. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, and bailouts became newspaper staples. When things go awry like this, inevitably many people and firms regret having entered into contracts under more favorable circumstances. Many of them will be looking for ways to limit, or better yet, avoid the consequences. A preeminent contracts scholar, Melvin Eisenberg (2009), has provided them with considerable ammunition in a recent paper ...


A Short History Of Tontines, Kent Mckeever Jan 2010

A Short History Of Tontines, Kent Mckeever

Faculty Scholarship

A tontine is an investment scheme through which shareholders derive some form of profit or benefit while they are living, but the value of each share devolves to the other participants and not the shareholder's heirs on the death of each shareholder. The tontine is usually brought to an end through a dissolution and distribution of assets to the living shareholders when the number of shareholders reaches an agreed small number.

If people know about tontines at all, they tend to visualize the most extreme form – a joint investment whose heritable ownership ends up with the last living shareholder ...


Excuse Doctrine: The Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2010

Excuse Doctrine: The Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

The world is in a bit of a mess. Oil prices soared to more than $140 per barrel and within months plummeted to below $40. The pound fell from $2 to less than $1.40. Housing and stock prices crashed. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, and bailouts became newspaper staples. When things go awry like this, inevitably many people and firms regret having entered into contracts under more favorable circumstances. Many of them will be looking for ways to limit, or better yet, avoid the consequences. A preeminent contracts scholar, Melvin Eisenberg (2009), has provided them with considerable ammunition in a recent paper ...


Corporate Control And The Need For Meaningful Board Accountability, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2010

Corporate Control And The Need For Meaningful Board Accountability, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

Corporations are vulnerable to the greed, self-dealing and conflicts of those in control of the corporation. Courts historically have regulated this potential abuse by designating the board of directors and senior management as fiduciaries. In some instances, however, shareholders, creditors or others outside of corporate management may influence corporate decisions and, in the process, extract corporate value. Courts generally address this type of corporate damage in one of two ways: they designate controlling shareholders as corporate fiduciaries and they characterize creditors, customers and others as contract parties with no fiduciary duties. The traditional roles of corporate shareholders and creditors may ...


Barriers To Effective Risk Management, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2010

Barriers To Effective Risk Management, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

“As long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.”**

This now infamous quote by Charles Prince, Citigroup’s former Chief Executive Officer, captures the high-risk, high-reward mentality and overconfidence that permeates much of corporate America. These attributes in turn helped to facilitate a global recession and some of the largest economic losses ever experienced in the financial sector. They also represent certain cognitive biases and cultural norms in corporate boardrooms and management suites that make implementing a meaningful risk culture and thereby mitigating the impact of future economic downturns a ...


Crisis, Rescue And Corporate Social Responsibility Under American Corporate Law, Robert J. Rhee Jan 2010

Crisis, Rescue And Corporate Social Responsibility Under American Corporate Law, Robert J. Rhee

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter discusses the legal issues of rescue and corporate social responsibility during times of public crisis. It analyzes a corporate board’s fiduciary duty related to the management of a public crisis and the provision of aid to government and the public. The thesis is that American corporate law adequately provides corporate boards authority to assume broad principles of corporate social responsibility, and that during a public crisis this authority is specially recognized in the enabling statutes of corporate law and should be broadened even further to pursue the public good in exigent circumstances.


Bonding Limited Liability, Robert J. Rhee Jan 2010

Bonding Limited Liability, Robert J. Rhee

Faculty Scholarship

Limited liability is considered a “birthright” of corporations. The concept is entrenched in legal theory, and it is a fixed reality of the political economy. But it remains controversial. Scholarly debate has been engaged in absolute terms of defending the rule or advocating its abrogation. Though compelling, these polar positions, often expressed in abstract arguments, are associated with disquieting effects. Without limited liability, efficiency may be severely compromised. With it, involuntary tort creditors bear some of the cost of an enterprise. Most other proposals for reforming limited liability have been incremental, such as modifying veil piercing. However, neither absolutism nor ...


The Madoff Scandal, Market Regulatory Failure And The Business Education Of Lawyers, Robert J. Rhee Jan 2010

The Madoff Scandal, Market Regulatory Failure And The Business Education Of Lawyers, Robert J. Rhee

Faculty Scholarship

This essay suggests that a deficiency in legal education is a contributing cause of the regulatory failure. The most scandalous malfeasance of this new era, the Madoff Ponzi scheme, evinces the failure of improperly trained lawyers and regulators. It also calls into question whether the prevailing regulatory philosophy of disclosure of disclosure is sufficient in a complex market. This essay answers an important question underlying these considerations: What can legal education do to better train business lawyers and regulators for a market that is becoming more complex? One answer, it suggests, is a simple one: law schools should teach a ...


Keynote Address: The Role Of Lawyers In The Global Financial Crisis, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2010

Keynote Address: The Role Of Lawyers In The Global Financial Crisis, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

In recent articles, the author has argued that the global financial crisis can be attributed in large part to three causes — conflicts, complacency and complexity — as well as to a type of tragedy of the commons. This article, which comprised the keynote address for the 2010 Corporate Law Teachers Association Conference, will focus on the failure of market observers, including corporate lawyers, to foresee or act on critical correlations that might have prevented, or at least mitigated, the crisis. Although conflicts, complacency, complexity and the tragedy of the commons can help to explain this failure, the goal will be less ...


Ignoring The Writing On The Wall: The Role Of Enterprise Risk Management In The Economic Crisis, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2010

Ignoring The Writing On The Wall: The Role Of Enterprise Risk Management In The Economic Crisis, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

Enterprise risk management (ERM) targets overall corporate strategy and, when implemented correctly, can manage a corporation’s risk appetite and exposure. When ignored or underutilized, it can contribute to a corporation’s demise. In fact, many commentators point to ERM failures as contributing to the severity of the 2008 economic crisis. This essay examines the different approaches to ERM adopted by financial institutions affected by the 2008 economic crisis and how ERM contributed to the survival or failure of those firms. It then considers ERM in the broader context of corporate governance generally. This discussion reflects on ERM techniques for ...


Locating Innovation: The Endogeneity Of Technology, Organizational Structure, And Financial Contracting, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2010

Locating Innovation: The Endogeneity Of Technology, Organizational Structure, And Financial Contracting, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

There is much we do not understand about the "location" of innovation: the confluence, for a particular innovation, of the technology associated with the innovation; the innovating firm's size and organizational structure; and the financial contracting that supports the innovation. This Essay suggests that these three indicia are determined simultaneously and discusses the interaction among them through four examples of innovative activity whose location is characterized by tradeoffs between pursuing the activity in an established company, in a smaller, earlier-stage company, or some combination of the two. It first considers the dilemma faced by an established company in deciding ...