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Business Organizations Law

Notre Dame Law School

Corporate governance

Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Diminishing Duty Of Loyalty, Julian Velasco Sep 2018

The Diminishing Duty Of Loyalty, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

Fiduciary duties comprise an integral part of corporate law. It is generally understood that directors owe the corporation and its shareholders two fiduciary duties: the duty of care and the duty of loyalty. Although both duties are firmly established in corporate law, they are not treated equally. It is generally understood that the duty of loyalty is enforced far more rigorously than the duty of care. The justification for this dichotomy is twofold. First, differential treatment is appropriate because of the relative urgencies of the underlying subject matter: loyalty issues pose greater risks than do care issues. Second, the deference ...


A Defense Of The Corporate Law Duty Of Care, Julian Velasco Apr 2015

A Defense Of The Corporate Law Duty Of Care, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

Most people would acknowledge the importance of the duty of loyalty, but the same is not true of the duty of care. Historically, the corporate law duty of care has been underenforced at best, and arguably unenforced entirely. Some scholars do not consider the duty of care to be a fiduciary duty at all, and there are those who would do away with it entirely. In this paper, I intend to provide a comprehensive defense of the corporate law fiduciary duty of care. I hope to show that the duty of care is not simply an ill-fitting appendage to the ...


Fiduciary Duties And Fiduciary Outs, Julian Velasco Jan 2013

Fiduciary Duties And Fiduciary Outs, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

Fiduciary outs are virtually ubiquitous in acquisition agreements, but almost unheard of in other contexts. This is because the fiduciary out is an inherently problematic device. Although it is not intended to do so, it almost necessarily transforms an agreement into an option in the hands of one party. Nevertheless, fiduciary outs make sense in the context of acquisition agreements. This is because fiduciary outs are essentially contractual proxies for fiduciary duties. As such, they have the same purpose: to protect shareholders from abuse at the hands of directors. Fiduciary outs do this in the context of acquisition agreements by ...


How Many Fiduciary Duties Are There In Corporate Law?, Julian Velasco Jan 2010

How Many Fiduciary Duties Are There In Corporate Law?, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

Historically, there were two main fiduciary duties in corporate law, care and loyalty, and only the duty of loyalty was likely to lead to liability. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Delaware Supreme Court breathed life into the duty of care, created a number of intermediate standards of review, elevated the duty of good faith to equal standing with care and loyalty, and announced a unified test for review of breaches of fiduciary duty. The law, which once seemed so straightforward, suddenly became elaborate and complex. In 2006, in the case of Stone v. Ritter, the Delaware Supreme Court rejected ...


Shareholder Ownership And Primacy, Julian Velasco Jan 2010

Shareholder Ownership And Primacy, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

According to the traditional view, the shareholders own the corporation. Until relatively recently, this view enjoyed general acceptance. Today, however, there seems to be substantial agreement among legal scholars and others in the academy that shareholders do not own corporations. In fact, the claim that shareholders do own corporations often is dismissed as merely a “theory,” a “naked assertion,” or even a “myth.” And yet, outside of the academy, views on the corporation remain quite traditional. Most people - not just the public and the media, but also politicians, and even bureaucrats and the courts - seem to believe that the shareholders ...


Taking Shareholder Rights Seriously, Julian Velasco Jan 2007

Taking Shareholder Rights Seriously, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

The great corporate scandals of the recent past and the resulting push for legal reform have revived the role of the shareholder in the corporation as a subject of great debate. Those who favor an expanded role for shareholders in corporate governance tend to focus on developing new legal rights for shareholders, and their critics respond with reasons why such rights are unnecessary and inappropriate. While these issues certainly are worthy of consideration, issues concerning existing shareholder rights are more fundamental. If existing rights are adequate or could be improved, then new rights may not be necessary; but if existing ...


The Fundamental Rights Of The Shareholder, Julian Velasco Jan 2006

The Fundamental Rights Of The Shareholder, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

Shareholders have many legal rights, but they are not all of equal significance. This article will argue that two rights — the right to elect directors and the right to sell shares — are more important than any others, that these rights should be considered the fundamental rights of the shareholder, and that, as such, they deserve a great deal of respect and protection by law.

The history of corporate law has been one of increasing flexibility for directors and decreasing rights for shareholders. Although the law seems to have coalesced around the norm of shareholder primacy, this is not necessarily reflected ...


Just Do It: An Antidote To The Poison Pill, Julian Velasco Jan 2003

Just Do It: An Antidote To The Poison Pill, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

The poison pill is the most powerful defense against hostile takeovers. It can render a company takeover-proof, or nearly so. Efforts at developing an antidote have focused largely on shareholder-adopted bylaws, but the legality of such proposals has been questioned by many. In any event, shareholder-adopted bylaws have not been very successful in eliminating poison pills thus far. In order to effect takeovers, hostile bidders cannot rely on the courts or the target company's shareholders; they can rely only on themselves. In this article, I propose a strategy for hostile bidders to counteract the poison pill and to consummate ...


The Enduring Illegitimacy Of The Poison Pill, Julian Velasco Jan 2002

The Enduring Illegitimacy Of The Poison Pill, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

The poison pill is the ultimate defense against a hostile takeover. From management's perspective, it is almost too good to be true. Originally, the poison pill was seen as a way to guard against the worst of hostile takeover tactics. It has been successful; the poison pill has virtually eliminated these tactics from the repertoires of hostile bidders. However, the poison pill is extremely potent, capable of preventing all hostile takeovers, regardless of their underlying merit. Thus, the poison pill eventually became the means to employ a just say no defense of resisting hostile takeovers, regardless of the interests ...