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Full-Text Articles in Law

Centros, California’S “Women On Boards” Statute And The Scope Of Regulatory Competition, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon May 2019

Centros, California’S “Women On Boards” Statute And The Scope Of Regulatory Competition, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

We examine the Centros decision through the lens of SB 826 – the California statute mandating a minimum number of women on boards. SB 826, like the Centros decision, raises questions about the scope of the internal affairs doctrine and its role in encouraging regulatory competition. Despite the claim that US corporate law is characterized by regulatory competition, in the US, the internal affairs doctrine has led to less variation in corporate law than in Europe. We theorize that this is due to the shareholder primacy norm in US corporate law which results in the internal affairs doctrine focusing on matters ...


Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable, Jill E. Fisch Apr 2019

Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sustainability is receiving increasing attention from issuers, investors and regulators. The desire to understand issuer sustainability practices and their relationship to economic performance has resulted in a proliferation of sustainability disclosure regimes and standards. The range of approaches to disclosure, however, limit the comparability and reliability of the information disclosed. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has solicited comment on whether to require expanded sustainability disclosures in issuer’s periodic financial reporting, and investors have communicated broad-based support for such expanded disclosures, but, to date, the SEC has not required general sustainability disclosure.

This Article argues that claims about the relationship ...


Shareholder Collaboration, Jill E. Fisch, Simone M. Sepe Mar 2019

Shareholder Collaboration, Jill E. Fisch, Simone M. Sepe

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Two models dominate the debate on the theory of the firm. Under the management-power model, decision-making power exclusively belongs to corporate insiders (officers and directors). The competing shareholder-power model contemplates increasing shareholder power to limit managerial authority. Both models are focused on managerial agency costs and address the appropriate allocation of power between insiders and shareholders to minimize these costs. Both models also assume that insiders and shareholders are engaged in a competitive struggle for corporate power.

Corporate practice has moved on, however. Increasingly, the insider-shareholder dynamic is collaborative, not competitive. This Article traces the development of insider-shareholder collaboration and ...


The Supreme Court Bar At The Bar Of Patents, Paul Gugliuzza Mar 2019

The Supreme Court Bar At The Bar Of Patents, Paul Gugliuzza

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past two decades, a few dozen lawyers have come to dominate practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. By many accounts, these elite lawyers—whose clients are often among the largest corporations in the world—have spurred the Court to hear more cases that businesses care about and to decide those cases in favor of their clients. The Supreme Court’s recent case law on antitrust, arbitration, punitive damages, class actions, and more provides copious examples.

Though it is often overlooked in discussions of the emergent Supreme Court bar, patent law is another area in which the Court ...


The Futility Of Walls: How Traveling Corporations Threaten State Sovereignty, Darren Rosenblum Jan 2019

The Futility Of Walls: How Traveling Corporations Threaten State Sovereignty, Darren Rosenblum

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Inversions--mergers in which one firm merges with another abroad to avoid taxes in its home country--have spread as globalization has reduced many of the transactional costs associated with relocating. As firms acquire the power to choose the laws that govern them, they challenge the sovereignty of nation-states, who find their ability to tax and regulate firms depleted. States and firms compete in a game of cat and mouse to adapt to this new global reality. The subversion of state power by these firms reveals the futility of walls, both literal and regulatory. This Essay describes the phenomenon of these “traveling ...


Negotiating The Lender Of Last Resort: The 1913 Federal Reserve Act As A Debate Over Credit Distribution, Nadav Orian Peer Jan 2019

Negotiating The Lender Of Last Resort: The 1913 Federal Reserve Act As A Debate Over Credit Distribution, Nadav Orian Peer

Articles

“Lending of last resort” is one of the key powers of central banks. As a lender of last resort, the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) famously supports commercial banks facing distressed liquidity conditions, thereby mitigating destabilizing bank runs. Less famously, lender-of-last-resort powers also influence the distribution of credit among different groups in society and therefore have high stakes for economic inequality. The Fed’s role as a lender of last resort witnessed an unprecedented expansion during the 2007–2009 Crisis when the Fed invoked emergency powers to lend to a new set of borrowers known as “shadow banks”. The decision proved ...


Texas Gulf Sulphur And The Genesis Of Corporate Liability Under Rule 10b-5, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Oct 2018

Texas Gulf Sulphur And The Genesis Of Corporate Liability Under Rule 10b-5, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Articles

This Essay explores the seminal role played by SEC v. Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. in establishing Rule 10b-5’s use to create a remedy against corporations for misstatements made by their officers. The question of the corporation’s liability for private damages loomed large for the Second Circuit judges in Texas Gulf Sulphur, even though that question was not directly at issue in an SEC action for injunctive relief. The judges considered both, construing narrowly “in connection with the purchase or sale of any security,” and the requisite state of mind required for violating Rule 10b-5. We explore the choices ...


Law Library Blog (February 2018): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law Feb 2018

Law Library Blog (February 2018): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Law Library Newsletters/Blog

No abstract provided.


Governance By Contract: The Implications For Corporate Bylaws, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2018

Governance By Contract: The Implications For Corporate Bylaws, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Boards and shareholders are increasing using charter and bylaw provisions to customize their corporate governance. Recent examples include forum selection bylaws, majority voting bylaws and advance notice bylaws. Relying on the contractual conception of the corporation, Delaware courts have accorded substantial deference to board-adopted bylaw provisions, even those that limit shareholder rights.

This Article challenges the rationale for deference under the contractual approach. With respect to corporate bylaws, the Article demonstrates that shareholder power to adopt and amend the bylaws is, under Delaware law, more limited than the board’s power to do so. As a result, shareholders cannot effectively ...


The Shifting Tides Of Merger Litigation, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall S. Thomas Jan 2018

The Shifting Tides Of Merger Litigation, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall S. Thomas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In 2015, Delaware made several important changes to its laws concerning merger litigation. These changes, which were made in response to a perception that levels of merger litigation were too high and that a substantial proportion of merger cases were not providing value, raised the bar, making it more difficult for plaintiffs to win a lawsuit challenging a merger and more difficult for plaintiffs’ counsel to collect a fee award.

We study what has happened in the courts in response to these changes. We find that the initial effect of the changes has been to decrease the volume of merger ...


The New Bond Workouts, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin Jan 2018

The New Bond Workouts, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Bond workouts are a famously dysfunctional method of debt restructuring, ridden with opportunistic and coercive behavior by bondholders and bond issuers. Yet since 2008 bond workouts have quietly started to work. A cognizable portion of the restructuring market has shifted from bankruptcy court to out-of-court workouts by way of exchange offers made only to large institutional investors. The new workouts feature a battery of strong-arm tactics by bond issuers, and aggrieved bondholders have complained in court. The result has been a new, broad reading of the primary law governing workouts, section 316(b) of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 ...


Who's Causing The Harm?, Catherine A. Hardee Jan 2018

Who's Causing The Harm?, Catherine A. Hardee

Faculty Scholarship

My parents started a software company out of our family room when I was just five years old As a child, the business felt like the sixth member of our family A fourth child who grew up alongside my sisters and me and whom my parents struggled with, stressed over, and strove to infuse with their values just as they did their flesh and blood children. Take pride in your work and stand behind what you do applied equally to homework and product launches. The Golden Rule to treat others as you would like to be treated meant that, long ...


The Big Crowd And The Small Enterprise: Intracorporate Disputes In The Close-But-Crowdfunded Firm, Martin Edwards Jan 2018

The Big Crowd And The Small Enterprise: Intracorporate Disputes In The Close-But-Crowdfunded Firm, Martin Edwards

Journal Articles

Equity crowdfunding is a financial innovation that allows small businesses and startups to access capital through soliciting investment over the Internet. The current literature on crowdfunding has focused on its theoretical background and on the development of crowdfunding exemptions from the securities laws permitting the practice. There is less discussion of the impact of crowdfunding on corporate governance. This article fills that gap by outlining the potential for a panoply of intracorporate disputes between and among majority shareholders and “crowd” minority shareholders, placing the discussion within the longstanding—if uneasy—divide in judicial treatment of disputes in public corporations and ...


Newsroom: Is Wall Between Church And State Crumbling? 10-10-2017, Diana Hassel Oct 2017

Newsroom: Is Wall Between Church And State Crumbling? 10-10-2017, Diana Hassel

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Rwu First Amendment Blog: Diana Hassel's Blog: Is The Wall Between Church And State Crumbling? 10-07-2017, Diana Hassel Oct 2017

Rwu First Amendment Blog: Diana Hassel's Blog: Is The Wall Between Church And State Crumbling? 10-07-2017, Diana Hassel

Law School Blogs

No abstract provided.


China's 'Corporatization Without Privatization' And The Late 19th Century Roots Of A Stubborn Path Dependency, Nicholas Howson Oct 2017

China's 'Corporatization Without Privatization' And The Late 19th Century Roots Of A Stubborn Path Dependency, Nicholas Howson

Articles

This Article analyzes the contemporary program of “corporatization without privatization” in the People's Republic of China (PRC) directed at China's traditional state-owned enterprises (SOEs) through a consideration of long ago precursor enterprise establishments--starting from the last Chinese imperial dynasty's creation of “government-promoted/-supervised, merchant-financed/-operated” (guandu shangban) firms in the latter part of the nineteenth century. While analysts are tempted to see the PRC corporations with listings on international exchanges that dominate the global economy and capital markets as expressions of “convergence,” this Article argues that such firms in fact show deeply embedded aspects of path dependency ...


Amending Corporate Charters And Bylaws, Albert H. Choi, Geeyoung Min Aug 2017

Amending Corporate Charters And Bylaws, Albert H. Choi, Geeyoung Min

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recently, courts have embraced the contractarian theory that corporate charters and bylaws constitute a “contract” between the shareholders and the corporation and have been more willing to uphold bylaws unilaterally adopted by the directors. This paper examines the contractarian theory by drawing a parallel between amending charters and bylaws, on the one hand, and amending contracts, on the other. In particular, the paper compares the right to unilaterally amend corporate bylaws with the right to unilaterally modify contract terms, and highlights how contract law imposes various limitations on the modifying party’s discretion. More generally, when the relationship of contracting ...


Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley Jun 2017

Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley

Articles

For centuries, the duty of loyalty has been the hallowed centerpiece of fiduciary obligation, widely considered one of the few “mandatory” rules of corporate law. That view, however, is no longer true. Beginning in 2000, Delaware dramatically departed from tradition by granting incorporated entities a statutory right to waive a crucial part of the duty of loyalty: the corporate opportunities doctrine. Other states have since followed Delaware’s lead, similarly permitting firms to execute “corporate opportunity waivers.” Surprisingly, more than fifteen years into this reform experiment, no study has attempted to either systematically measure the corporate response to these reforms ...


When Is It Necessary For Corporations To Be Essentially At Home: An Exploration Of Exceptional Cases, Pricilla Heinz Jan 2017

When Is It Necessary For Corporations To Be Essentially At Home: An Exploration Of Exceptional Cases, Pricilla Heinz

Law Student Publications

This comment examines the current state of the law surrounding the exercise of general jurisdiction and forecasts the circumstances under which the Supreme Court is likely to clarify its recent decisions. Its purpose is to explore the principles announced in Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown and Daimler AG v. Bauman and consider whether the due process rationales offered in the past coincide with the new essentially at home standard imposed for general jurisdiction. Moreover, this comment analyzes the reactions of the lower courts in the wake of these decisions and predicts where the Supreme Court is headed ...


Standing After Snowden: Lessons On Privacy Harm From National Security Surveillance Litigation, Margot E. Kaminski Jan 2017

Standing After Snowden: Lessons On Privacy Harm From National Security Surveillance Litigation, Margot E. Kaminski

Articles

Article III standing is difficult to achieve in the context of data security and data privacy claims. Injury in fact must be "concrete," "particularized," and "actual or imminent"--all characteristics that are challenging to meet with information harms. This Article suggests looking to an unusual source for clarification on privacy and standing: recent national security surveillance litigation. There we can find significant discussions of what rises to the level of Article III injury in fact. The answers may be surprising: the interception of sensitive information; the seizure of less sensitive information and housing of it in a database for analysis ...


Appraising Merger Efficiencies, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2017

Appraising Merger Efficiencies, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Mergers of business firms violate the antitrust laws when they threaten to lessen competition, which generally refers to a price increase resulting from a reduction in output. However, a merger that threatens competition may also enable the post-merger firm to reduce its costs or improve its product. Attitudes toward mergers are heavily driven by assumptions about efficiency gains. If mergers of competitors never produced efficiency gains but simply reduced the number of competitors, a strong presumption against them would be warranted. We tolerate most mergers because of a background, highly generalized belief that most or at least many produce cost ...


The Bylaw Puzzle In Delaware Corporate Law, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2017

The Bylaw Puzzle In Delaware Corporate Law, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In less than a decade, Delaware’s legislature has overruled its courts and reshaped Delaware corporate law on two different occasions, with proxy access bylaws in 2009 and with shareholder litigation bylaws in 2015. Having two dramatic interventions in quick succession would be puzzling under any circumstances. The interventions are doubly puzzling because with proxy access, Delaware’s legislature authorized the use of bylaws or charter provisions that Delaware’s courts had banned; while with shareholder litigation, it banned bylaws or charter provisions that the courts had authorized. This Article attempts to unravel the puzzle.

I start with corporate law ...


Progressive Era Conceptions Of The Corporation And The Failure Of The Federal Chartering Movement, Camden Hutchison Jan 2017

Progressive Era Conceptions Of The Corporation And The Failure Of The Federal Chartering Movement, Camden Hutchison

Faculty Publications

Despite the economic integration of the several states and the broad regulatory authority of the federal government, the internal affairs of business corporations remain primarily governed by state law. The origins of this system are closely tied to the decentralized history of the United States, but the reasons for its continued persistence—in the face of significant federalization pressures—are not obvious. Indeed, federalization of corporate law was a major political goal during the Progressive Era, a period which witnessed significant expansion of federal involvement in the national economy. By examining the historical record of Progressive Era policy debates, this ...


Tax Treatment Of A Marijuana Business, Douglas A. Kahn, Howard Bromberg Jan 2017

Tax Treatment Of A Marijuana Business, Douglas A. Kahn, Howard Bromberg

Articles

Currently, twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes and permit the conduct of a business marketing of marijuana for that purpose. Eight of those states and the District of Columbia permit the recreational use of marijuana. There is reason to believe that more states will decriminalize the marketing of marijuana. However, marijuana is listed in Schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) which makes it illegal under federal law to manufacture or distribute marijuana even when it is legal to do so under local state law. In a ...


When Social Enterprises Fail, Jonathan Brown Jan 2017

When Social Enterprises Fail, Jonathan Brown

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article identifies the conflicts between social enterprise legislation and bankruptcy law and presents a normative argument for a legal regime that would harmonize the two. Focusing on benefit corporations, the most widely adopted social enterprise form, this Article observes that existing law leaves uncertainty as to the role of directors at a time of financial distress and will produce outcomes that are at odds with the core goals of social enterprise legislation. Then, drawing on academic proposals for contract-based systems of bankruptcy, this Article argues that just as a firm may opt out of a corporate governance norm of ...


Unilateral Corporate Regulation, William Magnuson Jan 2017

Unilateral Corporate Regulation, William Magnuson

Faculty Scholarship

Corporations today wield unprecedented power in politics and society, and they have a tremendous effect on human welfare around the globe. At the same time, they are increasingly difficult to regulate. Corporations are savvy and mobile, and they can relocate to avoid burdensome domestic regulation with surprising ease. The agility of corporations creates a dilemma for government decisionmakers seeking to balance the need to attract the wealth that corporations create with the desire to pursue other policy priorities. One potential approach that governments have used to address this dilemma is international cooperation, and a growing number of scholars have argued ...


Corporate Power Is Corporate Purpose I: Evidence From My Hometown, Leo E. Strine Jr. Dec 2016

Corporate Power Is Corporate Purpose I: Evidence From My Hometown, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper is the first in a series considering a rather tired argument in corporate governance circles, that corporate laws that give only rights to stockholders somehow implicitly empower directors to regard other constituencies as equal ends in governance. By continuing to suggest that corporate boards themselves are empowered to treat the best interests of other corporate constituencies as ends in themselves, no less important than stockholders, scholars and commentators obscure the need for legal protections for other constituencies and for other legal reforms that give these constituencies the means to more effectively protect themselves.

Using recent events in the ...


Corporate Power Is Corporate Purpose Ii: An Encouragement For Future Consideration From Professors Johnson And Millon, Leo E. Strine Jr. Oct 2016

Corporate Power Is Corporate Purpose Ii: An Encouragement For Future Consideration From Professors Johnson And Millon, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper is the second in a series considering the argument that corporate laws that give only rights to stockholders somehow implicitly empower directors to regard other constituencies as equal ends in governance. This piece was written as part of a symposium honoring the outstanding work of Professors Lyman Johnson and David Millon, and it seeks to encourage Professors Johnson and Millon, as proponents of the view that corporations have no duty to make stockholder welfare the end of corporate law, to focus on the reality that corporate power translates into corporate purpose.

Drawing on examples of controlled companies that ...


Multinational Firms And Tax Havens, James R. Hines Jr., Anna Gumpert, Monika Schnitzer Oct 2016

Multinational Firms And Tax Havens, James R. Hines Jr., Anna Gumpert, Monika Schnitzer

Articles

Multinational firms with operations in high-tax countries can benefit the most from reallocating taxable income to tax havens, though this is sufficiently difficult and costly that only 20.4% of German multinational firms have any tax haven affiliates. Among German manufacturing firms, a 1 percentage point higher foreign tax rate is associated with a 2.3% greater likelihood of owning a tax haven affiliate. This is consistent with tax avoidance incentives and contrasts with earlier evidence for U.S. firms. The relationship is less strong for firms in service industries, possibly reflecting the difficulty of reallocating taxable service income.


Hedge Fund Activism, Poison Pills, And The Jurisprudence Of Threat, William W. Bratton Aug 2016

Hedge Fund Activism, Poison Pills, And The Jurisprudence Of Threat, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter reviews the single high profile case in which twentieth century antitakeover law has come to bear on management defense against a twenty-first century activist challenge—the Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision to sustain a low-threshold poison pill deployed against an activist in Third Point LLC v. Ruprecht. The decision implicated an important policy question: whether a twentieth century doctrine keyed to hostile takeovers and control transfers appropriately can be brought to bear in a twenty-first century governance context in which the challenger eschews control transfer and instead makes aggressive use of the shareholder franchise. Resolution of the ...