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Full-Text Articles in Law

Business Law Bulletin, Spring 2019 Apr 2019

Business Law Bulletin, Spring 2019

Business Law Bulletin

No abstract provided.


Regulating Offshore Finance, William J. Moon Jan 2019

Regulating Offshore Finance, William J. Moon

Faculty Scholarship

From the Panama Papers to the Paradise Papers, massive document leaks in recent years have exposed trillions of dollars hidden in small offshore jurisdictions. Attracting foreign capital with low tax rates and environments of secrecy, a growing number of offshore jurisdictions have emerged as major financial havens hosting thousands of hedge funds, trusts, banks, and insurance companies.

While the prevailing account has examined offshore financial havens as “tax havens” that facilitate the evasion or avoidance of domestic tax, this Article uncovers how offshore jurisdictions enable corporations to evade domestic regulatory law. Specifically, recent U.S. Supreme Court cases restricting the ...


Business Law Bulletin, Spring 2018 Apr 2018

Business Law Bulletin, Spring 2018

Business Law Bulletin

No abstract provided.


Tax Havens As Producers Of Corporate Law, William J. Moon Jan 2018

Tax Havens As Producers Of Corporate Law, William J. Moon

Faculty Scholarship

This Review Essay situates Christopher Bruner’s new book, Re-imagining Offshore Finance, within the literature examining the regulation of cross-border finance and highlights its import for thinking about the complicated (and contested) relationship between territorially-configured domestic laws and the increasingly liberal movement of capital. Part I sets out the book’s central thesis. In addition to highlighting Bruner’s novel framework identifying the factors that propel certain small jurisdictions into becoming magnets for cross-border finance, I outline the limits of the framework in accounting for the stability in the overall demand for the commercialization of sovereignty, only one of which ...


A Private Ordering Defense Of A Company's Right To Use Dual Class Share Structures In Ipos, Bernard S. Sharfman Jan 2017

A Private Ordering Defense Of A Company's Right To Use Dual Class Share Structures In Ipos, Bernard S. Sharfman

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Importance Of The Business Judgment Rule, Bernard S. Sharfman Jan 2017

The Importance Of The Business Judgment Rule, Bernard S. Sharfman

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Business Law Bulletin, Fall 2016 Oct 2016

Business Law Bulletin, Fall 2016

Business Law Bulletin

No abstract provided.


Disciplining Corporate Boards And Debtholders Through Targeted Proxy Access, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2016

Disciplining Corporate Boards And Debtholders Through Targeted Proxy Access, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

Corporate directors committed to a failed business strategy or unduly influenced by the company’s debtholders need a dissenting voice—they need shareholder nominees on the board. This article examines the bias, conflicts, and external factors that impact board decisions, particularly when a company faces financial distress. It challenges the conventional wisdom that debt disciplines management, and it suggests that, in certain circumstances, the company would benefit from having the shareholders’ perspective more actively represented on the board. To that end, the article proposes a bylaw that would give shareholders the ability to nominate directors upon the occurrence of predefined ...


The Value Of Soft Variables In Corporate Reorganizations, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2015

The Value Of Soft Variables In Corporate Reorganizations, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

When a company is worth more as a going concern than on a liquidation basis, what creates that additional value? Is it the people, management decisions, the simple synergies of the operating business, or some combination of these types of soft variables? And perhaps more importantly, who owns or has an interest in these soft variables? This article explores these questions under existing legal doctrine and practice norms. Specifically, it discusses the characterization of soft variables under applicable law and in financing documents, and it surveys related judicial decisions. It also considers the overarching public policy and Constitutional implications of ...


A Training Partnership That Began With A Grant, Vernon Herron, Laura Hoch, Alexandra Podolny Oct 2014

A Training Partnership That Began With A Grant, Vernon Herron, Laura Hoch, Alexandra Podolny

Homeland Security Publications

No abstract provided.


The Emergence Of New Corporate Social Responsibility Regimes In China And India, Shruti Rana, Afra Afsharipour Jan 2014

The Emergence Of New Corporate Social Responsibility Regimes In China And India, Shruti Rana, Afra Afsharipour

Faculty Scholarship

In an era of financial crises, widening income disparities, and environmental and other calamities linked to corporations, calls for greater corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) are increasing rapidly around the world. Though CSR efforts have generally been viewed as voluntary actions undertaken by corporations, a new CSR model is emerging in China and India. In a marked departure from CSR as it is known in the United States and as it has been developing through global norms, China and India are moving towards mandatory, not voluntary, CSR regimes. They are doing so not only in a time of great global economic ...


The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act: Time To End The Corporate Welfare, Robert J. Rhee Sep 2013

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act: Time To End The Corporate Welfare, Robert J. Rhee

Faculty Scholarship

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, inflicted enormous losses on the insurance industry and businesses. In the wake of the disruptions occurring in the insurance market at the time, the government enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 to create a “temporary” federal backstop against catastrophic losses. This program subsidized private risk with public funds through a cost-sharing program for which the government does not receive any compensation. The compelling need for the program was unclear even in the smoldering aftermath of 9/11. Yet in response to effective lobbying by the insurance industry and business interests, Congress ...


Corporate Culture And Erm, Michelle M. Harner Jul 2013

Corporate Culture And Erm, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

The attitudes and actions of those viewed as leaders within a company (commonly referred to as “tone at the top”) help to define corporate culture and are critical to implementing a successful enterprise risk management (ERM) program. This paper explores the challenges and benefits of creating a risk-aware corporate culture, including the potential legal implications for boards of directors.


The Potential Cost And Value Of Erm, Michelle M. Harner Mar 2013

The Potential Cost And Value Of Erm, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

The concept of enterprise risk managment (ERM) as a holistic approach to managing a company's risk profile has tremendous appeal. However, companies are frequently skeptical about its value and whether the results will justify the cost, effort, and challenges of implementing a meaningful ERM process. This report considers some of those concerns and highlights the governance, compliance, and cultural value of ERM.


The Tort Foundation Of Duty Of Care And Business Judgment, Robert J. Rhee Jan 2013

The Tort Foundation Of Duty Of Care And Business Judgment, Robert J. Rhee

Faculty Scholarship

This Article corrects a misconception in corporation law – the belief that principles of tort law do not apply to the liability scheme of fiduciary duty. A board’s duty of care implies exposure to liability, but the business judgment rule precludes it. Tort law finds fault; corporation law excuses it. The conventional wisdom says that the tort analogy fails. This dismissal of tort prinicples is wrong. Although shareholder derivative suits and ordinary tort cases properly yield systemically antipodal outcomes, they are bound by a common analytical framework. The principles of board liability are rooted in tort doctrines governing duty, customs ...


The Naked Fiduciary, Michelle M. Harner, Jamie Marincic Jan 2012

The Naked Fiduciary, Michelle M. Harner, Jamie Marincic

Faculty Scholarship

Business law is grounded in the common law of fiduciary duty. Courts and policymakers have been loath to abandon that principle. Yet, particularly in the contractual context of limited liability companies (LLCs), the fiduciary label is illusory and may undercut sound governance practices for those entities. This Article presents an in-depth empirical study about governance provisions included in LLC operating agreements and examines the implications of the data in the context of various types of businesses that might choose to organize as LLCs. The Article uses the data and related case studies to offer a new approach to LLC governance ...


The Search For An Unbiased Fiduciary In Corporate Reorganizations, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2011

The Search For An Unbiased Fiduciary In Corporate Reorganizations, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

When a company experiences financial distress, a control contest often follows. Management fights to remain in control of the company, and shareholders, creditors and others try to influence management’s exercise of that control—or wrest it away. This is not a new phenomenon. The degree of influence now exerted by corporate stakeholders in the distressed context, however, is strikingly different than in the past. Recent headlines highlight that stakeholder control issues are at the forefront of financially-distressed situations large and small. The U.S. government, as creditor, dictated the terms of Chrysler’s and General Motors’ bankruptcies. It also ...


Committee Capture? An Empirical Analysis Of The Role Of Creditors' Committees In Business Reorganizations, Michelle M. Harner, Jamie Marincic Jan 2011

Committee Capture? An Empirical Analysis Of The Role Of Creditors' Committees In Business Reorganizations, Michelle M. Harner, Jamie Marincic

Faculty Scholarship

The number of businesses experiencing financial distress increased significantly during the past several years. The number of Chapter 11 reorganization cases likewise rose. And many of these business failures were spectacular, leaving little value for creditors and even less for shareholders. Consequently, how the business debtor’s limited asset pie is divided and who gets to allocate the pieces are very relevant and important questions.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code generally contemplates the appointment of a committee of the debtors’ unsecured creditors to serve as a fiduciary for all general unsecured creditors and as a statutory watchdog over the debtor ...


Mitigating Financial Risk For Small Business Entrepreneurs, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2011

Mitigating Financial Risk For Small Business Entrepreneurs, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

Financial distress by definition threatens a company’s viability. Entrepreneurial and start-up entities are particularly vulnerable to this threat. Yet, much of the discussion following the recent recession focuses almost exclusively on financial institutions and “too-big-to-fail” entities. This essay re-examines lessons gleaned from the recession in the context of smaller, entrepreneurial entities. Specifically, it analyzes how small business entrepreneurs might invoke principles of enterprise risk management to mitigate the long-term impact of financial distress on their business models. It also considers related refinements to extant small business regulations, including the U.S. bankruptcy laws. The essay’s primary objective is ...


Activist Distressed Debtholders: The New Barbarians At The Gate?, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2011

Activist Distressed Debtholders: The New Barbarians At The Gate?, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

The term “corporate raiders” previously struck fear in the hearts of corporate boards and management teams. It generally refers to investors who target undervalued, cash-flush or mismanaged companies and initiate a hostile takeover of the company. Corporate raiders earned their name in part because of their focus on value extraction, which could entail dismantling a company and selling off its crown jewels. Today, the term often conjures up images of Michael Milken, Henry Kravis or the movie character Gordon Gekko, but the alleged threat posed to companies by corporate raiders is less prevalent—at least with respect to the traditional ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Corporate Ethics, Agency, And The Theory Of The Firm, Robert J. Rhee Jan 2008

Corporate Ethics, Agency, And The Theory Of The Firm, Robert J. Rhee

Faculty Scholarship

This conference paper suggests that the problem of corporate ethics cannot be reduced to the autonomous person. Although the greatest influence on action and choice is one's moral constitution, it does not follow that the agent's behavior is the same within or without the firm. Ethics is a function of corporate form. The theory of agency cannot dismiss the firm as a fiction or metaphorical shorthand since that which does not exist should not be able to cause ethical breakdowns in corporate action. Thus, the theory of the firm, which emphasizes profit and wealth maximization, should incorporate a ...


The Impact Of The Sarbanes-Oxley Act On Non-Shareholder Constituents: A Silver Lining, But Will It Endure?, Lisa M. Fairfax Jan 2008

The Impact Of The Sarbanes-Oxley Act On Non-Shareholder Constituents: A Silver Lining, But Will It Endure?, Lisa M. Fairfax

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Duty To Creditors Reconsidered - Filling A Much Needed Gap In Corporation Law, Richard A. Booth Jan 2007

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

Faculty Scholarship

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 ...


Devilry, Complicity, And Greed: Transitional Justice And Odious Debt, David C. Gray Jan 2007

Devilry, Complicity, And Greed: Transitional Justice And Odious Debt, David C. Gray

Faculty Scholarship

The doctrine of odious debts came into its full in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century to deal with the financial injustices of colonialism and its stalking horse, despotism. The basic rule, as articulated by Alexander Sack in 1927, is that debts incurred by an illegitimate regime that neither benefit nor have the consent of the people of a territory are personal to the regime and are subject to unilateral recision by a successor government. While the traditional doctrine focused on the nature and circumstances of individual debts, it has been expanded in recent years, moving the focus from the ...