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2000

Columbia Law School

Business Organizations Law

Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Law

Trade Secrets And Mutual Investments, Gillian L. Lester, Eric L. Talley Jan 2000

Trade Secrets And Mutual Investments, Gillian L. Lester, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This paper employs an optimal contracting framework to study the question of how courts should adjudicate disputes over valuable trade secrets (such as customer lists). We focus principally on contexts where trade secrets are formed endogenously, through specific, non-contractible investments that could potentially come from either employers or employees (or both). Within such contexts, we argue, an "optimal" trade secret law diverges in many important respects from existing doctrine. In particular, an optimal doctrine would (1) expressly consider the parties' relative skills at making value enhancing investments rather than the mere existence of a valuable informational asset; (2) tend to ...


Sales And Elections As Methods For Transferring Corporate Control, Ronald J. Gilson, Alan Schwartz Jan 2000

Sales And Elections As Methods For Transferring Corporate Control, Ronald J. Gilson, Alan Schwartz

Faculty Scholarship

Under standard accounts of corporate governance, capital markets play a significant role in monitoring management performance and, where appropriate, replacing management whose performance does not measure up. Recent case law in Delaware, however, appears to have altered dramatically the mechanisms through which the market for corporate control must operate. In particular, the interaction of the poison pill and the Delaware Supreme Court's development of the legal standard governing defensive tactics in response to tender offers have resulted in a decided, but as yet unexplained, preference for control changes mediated by means of an election rather than by a market ...


Ratcheting Labor Standards: Regulation For Continuous Improvement In The Global Workplace, Charles F. Sabel, Dara O'Rourke, Archon Fung Jan 2000

Ratcheting Labor Standards: Regulation For Continuous Improvement In The Global Workplace, Charles F. Sabel, Dara O'Rourke, Archon Fung

Faculty Scholarship

It is a brute fact of contemporary globalization – unmistakable as activists and journalists catalog scandal after scandal – that the very transformations making possible higher quality, cheaper products often lead to unacceptable conditions of work: brutal use of child labor, dangerous environments, punishingly long days, starvation wages, discrimination, suppression of expression and association. In all quarters, the question is not whether to address these conditions, but how.

That question, however, admits no easy answers. Globalization itself has freed capital from many of its former constraints – national workplace standards, collective bargaining, and supervisory state agencies and courts – designed to humanize working conditions ...


The Rise Of Dispersed Ownership: The Role Of Law In The Separation Of Ownership And Control, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2000

The Rise Of Dispersed Ownership: The Role Of Law In The Separation Of Ownership And Control, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Deep and liquid securities markets appear to be an exception to a worldwide pattern in which concentrated ownership dominates dispersed ownership. Recent commentary has argued that a dispersed shareholder base is unlikely to develop in civil law countries and transitional economies for a variety of reasons, including (1) the absence of adequate legal protections for minority shareholders, (2) the inability of dispersed shareholders to hold control or pay an equivalent control premium to that which a prospective controlling shareholder will pay, and (3) the political vulnerability of dispersed shareholder ownership in left-leaning "social democracies". Nonetheless, this article finds that significant ...


Convergence And Its Critics: What Are The Preconditions To The Separation Of Ownership And Control?, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2000

Convergence And Its Critics: What Are The Preconditions To The Separation Of Ownership And Control?, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Recent commentary has argued that deep and liquid securities markets and a dispersed shareholder base are unlikely to develop in civil law countries and transitional economies for a variety of reasons, including (1) the absence of adequate legal protections for minority shareholder, (2) the inability of dispersed shareholders to hold control or pay an equivalent control premium to that which a prospective controlling shareholder will pay and (3) the political vulnerability of dispersed shareholder ownership in left-leaning "social democracies." Nonetheless, this article finds that significant movement in the direction of dispersed ownership has occurred and is accelerating across Europe. To ...


The Direction Of Corporate Law: The Scholars' Perspective, John C. Coffee Jr., Richard A. Booth, R. Franklin Balotti, David C. Mcbride, Edward P. Welch Jan 2000

The Direction Of Corporate Law: The Scholars' Perspective, John C. Coffee Jr., Richard A. Booth, R. Franklin Balotti, David C. Mcbride, Edward P. Welch

Faculty Scholarship

MR. BALOTTI: Good afternoon. My name is Frank Balotti and I've been asked to be the moderator for this afternoon's program. And one of the privileges that I get is to introduce the panel and to call them up to speak in some kind of order, I hope. And I hope that you and the audience will participate by asking questions towards the end of our panel and get involved in the discussion which we hope to promote.

The topic for this afternoon's panel is a scholar's approach to corporation law. And we are fortunate to ...


Corporate Governance Lessons From Russian Enterprise Fiascoes, Merritt B. Fox, Michael A. Heller Jan 2000

Corporate Governance Lessons From Russian Enterprise Fiascoes, Merritt B. Fox, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

This Article draws on a rich array of deviant behavior in Russian enterprises to craft lessons for corporate governance theory. First, Professors Fox and Heller define corporate governance by looking to the economic functions of the firm. Based on this definition, they develop a typology that comprehensively shows all the channels through which bad corporate governance can inflict damage on a country's real economy. Second, they explain the causes of Russian enterprise fiascoes by looking to the particular initial conditions prevailing at privatization – untenable firm boundaries and insider allocation of firm shares – and the bargaining dynamics that have followed ...


The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2000

The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Common justifications for the use of the letter of credit fail to explain its widespread use. The classic explanation claims that the letter of credit provides an effective assurance of payment from a financially responsible third party. In that story, the seller – a Taiwanese clothing manufacturer, for example – fears that the overseas buyer – Wal-Mart – will refuse to pay once the goods have been shipped. Cross-border transactions magnify the concern, because the difficulties of litigating in a distant forum will hinder the manufacturer's efforts to force the distant buyer to pay. The manufacturer-seller solves that problem by obtaining a letter ...


Executives And Hedging: The Fragile Legal Foundation Of Incentive Compatibility, David M. Schizer Jan 2000

Executives And Hedging: The Fragile Legal Foundation Of Incentive Compatibility, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Options are granted to executives to inspire better performance by tying pay to the employer's stock price. Yet this incentive rationale no longer holds if executives can use the derivatives market to simulate a sale of their options, a practice known as hedging. This Article evaluates the effectiveness of existing legal constraints on hedging by executives, including limits derived from contract, securities and tax law. Although investment bankers have been searching for ways around these constraints, the bottom line is that, at least for now, executives are unable to hedge option grants: While contractual limits are rare, the securities ...