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A Case For Canadian Pay Equity Reform, Sydney Kruth 2015 Western University

A Case For Canadian Pay Equity Reform, Sydney Kruth

Western Journal of Legal Studies

Pay equity must be separated from collective bargaining. An examination of the history of fair pay in unionized workplaces—and the current legal remedies available for pay discrimination—prove that the current strategies to remedy the significant gender pay gap are unsuccessful. Two significant issues hinder pay equity. Pay equity is still subject to collective bargaining in unionized workplaces. The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act (PSECA) has undermined pay equity. The PSECA embodies the dangers of subjecting pay equity issues to collective bargaining. Canada is taking a regressive approach that disregards the importance of pay equity, despite the known benefits ...


Enduring Design For Business Entities, William E. Foster 2015 University of Arkansas

Enduring Design For Business Entities, William E. Foster

William E Foster

The success or failure of an institution may hinge on some of the earliest decisions of its founders. In constitutional design literature, endurance is a widely accepted drafting objective. Indeed, constitutional endurance is positively associated with prosperous and stable societies. Like drafters of constitutions, business organizers have almost innumerable objectives for their enterprises, and attorneys drafting organizational documents must take into account these myriad goals. Oftentimes the drafting process fails to fully address some of the most important of these aims and results in suboptimal structures that lack predictability and reliability.

This article looks specifically at small business organizations and ...


Balance And Team Production, Kelli A. Alces 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Balance And Team Production, Kelli A. Alces

Seattle University Law Review

For decades, those holding the shareholder primacy view that the purpose of a corporation is to earn a profit for its shareholders have been debating with those who believe that corporations exist to serve broader societal interests. Adolph Berle and Merrick Dodd began the conversation over eighty years ago, and it continues today, with voices at various places along a spectrum of possible corporate purposes participating. Unfortunately, over time, the various sides of the debate have begun to talk past each other rather than engage with each other and have lost sight of whatever common ground they may be able ...


Lobbying, Pandering, And Information In The Firm, Adam B. Badawi 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Lobbying, Pandering, And Information In The Firm, Adam B. Badawi

Seattle University Law Review

In their classic and insightful article on team production in corporate law, Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout identify the minimization of rent-seeking as one of the chief benefits of vesting ultimate authority over a firm with the board of directors. In their analysis, this problematic rent-seeking arises when parties need to divide the gains from production after the fact. The squabbling that is likely to ensue may threaten to eat away most, or all, of the gains that come from productive activity. If parties know that this sort of rent-seeking will occur, they may not engage in productive activity in ...


Boards Of Directors As Mediating Hierarchs, Margaret M. Blair 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Boards Of Directors As Mediating Hierarchs, Margaret M. Blair

Seattle University Law Review

In June of 2014, the board of directors of Demoulas Supermarkets, Inc.—better known as Market Basket, a mid-sized chain of grocery stores in New England—decided to oust the man who had been CEO for the previous six years, Arthur T. Demoulas. Most likely, the board of directors did not anticipate what happened next: Thousands of employees, customers, and fans of Market Basket boycotted the stores and staged noisy public protests asking the board to reinstate “Arthur T.” The reaction by employees and customers made what had been a simmering, nasty, intrafamily feud within the closely held Market Basket ...


Choosing The Partnership: English Business Organization Law During The Industrial Revolution, Ryan Bubb 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Choosing The Partnership: English Business Organization Law During The Industrial Revolution, Ryan Bubb

Seattle University Law Review

For most of the period associated with the Industrial Revolution in Britain, English law restricted access to incorporation and the Bubble Act explicitly outlawed the formation of unincorporated joint stock companies with transferable shares. Furthermore, firms in the manufacturing industries most closely associated with the Industrial Revolution were overwhelmingly partnerships. These two facts have led some scholars to posit that the antiquated business organization law was a constraint on the structural transformation and growth that characterized the British economy during the period. Importantly, however, the vast majority of manufacturing firms in the modern sector were partnerships. An easy explanation for ...


The Boundaries Of "Team" Production Of Corporate Governance, Anthony J. Casey, M. Todd Henderson 2015 Seattle University School of Law

The Boundaries Of "Team" Production Of Corporate Governance, Anthony J. Casey, M. Todd Henderson

Seattle University Law Review

We examine the cooperative production of corporate governance. We explain that this production does not occur exclusively within a “team” or “firm.” Rather, several aspects of corporate governance are quintessentially market products. Like Blair and Stout, we view the shareholder as but one of many stakeholders in a corporation. Where we depart from their analysis is in our view of the boundaries of a firm. We suggest that they overweight the intrafirm production of control. Focusing on the primacy of a board of directors, Blair and Stout posit a hierarchical team that governs the economic enterprise. We observe, however, that ...


The Team Production Model As A Paradigm, Brian R. Cheffins 2015 Seattle University School of Law

The Team Production Model As A Paradigm, Brian R. Cheffins

Seattle University Law Review

Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout suggested a few years after the publication of their 1999 Virginia Law Review article, A Team Production Theory of Corporate Law, that their team production model was poised to emerge as part of a new corporate law “paradigm.” In so doing, they specifically invoked Thomas Kuhn’s well-known analysis of scientific revolutions. This Article revisits Blair and Stout’s team production theory by offering a critique of their claim that their model is destined to become a new corporate law paradigm in the Kuhnian sense. In so doing the Article draws upon key corporate law ...


The Long Road To Reformulating The Understanding Of Directors' Duties: Legalizing Team Production Theory?, Thomas Clarke 2015 Seattle University School of Law

The Long Road To Reformulating The Understanding Of Directors' Duties: Legalizing Team Production Theory?, Thomas Clarke

Seattle University Law Review

In this Article, the historical evolution of corporate governance is considered, highlighting the different eras of governance, the dominant theoretical and practical paradigms, and the reformulation of paradigms and counter paradigms. Two alternative and sharply contrasting theorizations, one collective and collaborative (the work of Berle and Means), the other individualistic and contractual (agency theory and shareholder value) are focused upon. The explanatory potential of Blair and Stout’s team production theory is elaborated, along with its conception of the complexity of business enterprise, with a mediating hierarch (the board of directors) securing a balance between the interests of different stakeholders ...


Testing The Normative Desirability Of The Mediating Hierarch, Zachary J. Gubler 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Testing The Normative Desirability Of The Mediating Hierarch, Zachary J. Gubler

Seattle University Law Review

In their influential article, A Team Production Theory of Corporate Law, Professors Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout explained how corporate law might be viewed as an attempt at solving what is known as the team production problem. At its core, this problem has to do with the opportunistic behavior that arises when multiple economic actors make investments—whether of labor, capital, or otherwise—in a business venture where these investments are said to be “firm specific” because they cannot be easily withdrawn and redeployed in other projects. The problem is how to construct a governance regime that will create incentives ...


Team Production & The Multinational Enterprise, Virginia Harper Ho 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Team Production & The Multinational Enterprise, Virginia Harper Ho

Seattle University Law Review

Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout’s path-breaking article, A Team Production Theory of Corporate Law, advances a dual thesis: first, that team production theory does a better job than its competitors (in particular, principal–agent theory) of explaining the advantages of the public corporation and key features of corporate law; and second, that, as a matter of corporate law, corporate boards are charged with advancing the collective interest of all the contributors to the corporate enterprise rather than the shareholders’ interests alone. Its central insight is that the role of the independent, or insulated, corporate board is to serve as ...


The History Of Team Production Theory, Ron Harris 2015 Seattle University School of Law

The History Of Team Production Theory, Ron Harris

Seattle University Law Review

In this short Essay, the author consider the team production theory developed by Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout1 from a historical perspective, in three senses. First, does the theory fit the historical use of the corporate form? Second, can it explain the development of corporation law doctrines? And third, can we place the development of the theory as such into the intellectual history of corporation theories at large? The author will state my bottom line up front: while the Article finds the team production theory insightful and useful for my historical research, for teaching corporation law, and for thinking about ...


The Agency Cost Paradigm: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Claire A. Hill, Brett H. McDonnell 2015 Seattle University School of Law

The Agency Cost Paradigm: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Claire A. Hill, Brett H. Mcdonnell

Seattle University Law Review

In the “managerialist” world that preceded our present shareholder value world, some corporate managers could, and did, help themselves when they should have been doing their jobs. The modern agency cost paradigm has focused attention on this problem, in part by conceptualizing the duty of corporate managers as maximizing shareholder value. This paradigm has had a variety of effects: some good, some bad, and some ugly. The agency cost paradigm has had a good effect by focusing on the problem of managerial enrichment and providing a simple, clear benchmark—shareholder value-- that may quickly indicate when managers are performing badly ...


A Theory Of The Just Corporation, Ronit Donyets-Kedar 2015 Seattle University School of Law

A Theory Of The Just Corporation, Ronit Donyets-Kedar

Seattle University Law Review

In their seminal article A Team Production Theory of Corporate Law, Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout hold that the modern corporation is best understood in terms of team production. Challenging the principal–agent model, Blair and Stout offer an analysis that considers the various stakeholders of the corporation as members of a team. Accordingly, they suggest, the purpose of corporate law is to provide a response to the problems created by collective production processes, in particular those pertaining to the distribution of profits stemming from the cooperation. According to Blair and Stout, the solution to this problem is to be ...


Hostile Takeovers And Overreliance, Anthony Niblett 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Hostile Takeovers And Overreliance, Anthony Niblett

Seattle University Law Review

Commentators have argued that employees should be compensated in the event of a hostile takeover; otherwise, the threat of such a takeover will fail to incentivize firm-specific investments by employees. Such deferred compensation is analogous to the payment of damages following a breach of contract. The analogous breach, here, is the breach of an implicit contract between management and employees. Employees trusted management to compensate them for firm-specific investments not explicitly contracted for. This Article uses a familiar result from the contract law literature: There is no measure of damages for breach of contract that can generate both efficient breach ...


Buying Teams, Andres Sawicki 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Buying Teams, Andres Sawicki

Seattle University Law Review

The Sixth Annual Berle Symposium reflects on Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout’s classic article: A Team Production Theory of Corporate Law. Blair and Stout recast the modern law of public corporations through the lens of the team production theory of the firm. Here, I apply Blair and Stout’s insights—emphasizing the value of team production, independent monitors, and intellectual property rights—to a novel corporate transaction structure: the acqui-hire. In an acqui-hire, a publicly owned technology firm wants to add a start-up’s engineers. Instead of simply hiring them, though, it buys the start-up, discards most of its ...


Team Production And Securities Laws, Urska Velikonja 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Team Production And Securities Laws, Urska Velikonja

Seattle University Law Review

In the seminal paper that this symposium celebrates, A Team Production Theory of Corporate Law, Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout made two related points. First, that Delaware law does not require shareholder primacy in public corporations. Rather, the broad deference afforded to the decisions of predominantly independent corporate boards of directors is consistent with a contrary theory, that of team production, or, as they call it, “the mediating hierarch” theory. The fundamental role of the board of directors is to mediate between the interests of various stakeholders that contribute to the corporation’s output. As a result, Delaware courts have ...


Litigating Consumer Protection Acts In The Hamp Context, Amanda Martin 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Litigating Consumer Protection Acts In The Hamp Context, Amanda Martin

Seattle University Law Review

The foreclosure crisis has lingered despite the improving economy. To alleviate this crisis, the U.S. government implemented the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP), a Treasury-sponsored initiative that aims to prevent foreclosure by encouraging mortgage loan servicers to modify the mortgages of qualified homeowners. The Treasury Department has extended HAMP multiple times—from its original ending date in 2013 to its present ending date in 2016. While HAMP has indeed helped homeowners avoid foreclosure, the program has spawned an array of litigation as servicer misconduct runs rampant. As the Ninth Circuit recently noted, “the [HAMP] program seems to have created ...


With The Emergence Of Public Benefit Corporations, Directors Of Traditional For-Profit Companies Should Tread Cautiously, But Welcome The Opportunity To Invest In Social Enterprise, McKenzie Holden Granum 2015 Seattle University School of Law

With The Emergence Of Public Benefit Corporations, Directors Of Traditional For-Profit Companies Should Tread Cautiously, But Welcome The Opportunity To Invest In Social Enterprise, Mckenzie Holden Granum

Seattle University Law Review

Social entrepreneurship has become the popular term used to describe business forms that aim to produce profits while also seeking to significantly advance one or more social or environmental goals. In response to an increase in social entrepreneurship across sectors—from progressive industries like organic farming to conservative industries such as insurance and banking—several states have adopted new corporate governance structures. Such legislation allows incorporating businesses to choose an off-the-shelf formation type that embeds a social mission into its legal structure. The bulk of the newly implemented statutory forms provide not only a new framework for social entrepreneurs to ...


Shareholder Wealth Maximization As Means To An End, Robert P. Bartlett, III 2015 Seattle University School of Law

Shareholder Wealth Maximization As Means To An End, Robert P. Bartlett, Iii

Seattle University Law Review

In several recent cases, the Delaware Chancery Court has emphasized that where a conflict of interest exists between holders of a company’s common stock and holders of its preferred stock, the standard of conduct for directors requires that they strive to maximize the value of the corporation for the benefit of its common stockholders rather than for its preferred stockholders. This article interrogates this view of directors’ fiduciary duties from the perspective of incomplete contracting theory. Building on the seminal work of Sanford Grossman and Oliver Hart, incomplete contracting theory examines the critical role of corporate control rights for ...


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