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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Exit Structure Of Venture Capital, D. Gordon Smith Dec 2005

The Exit Structure Of Venture Capital, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

Venture capital contracts contain extensive provisions regulating exit by the venture capitalists. In this Article, Professor Smith employs financial contracting theory in conjunction with original data collected from 367 venture-backed companies to analyze these exit provisions. He concludes that the combination of exit provisions in a typical venture capital relationship serves to lock venture capitalists into the investment during the initial stage. In later stages of the relationship, the venture capitalists acquire increasing control over exit by securing additional seats on the board of directors and by obtaining contractual exit rights. The result is a sophisticated transfer of control from ...


Capital Requirements In United States Corporation Law, Richard A. Booth Marbury Research Professor Of Law Dec 2005

Capital Requirements In United States Corporation Law, Richard A. Booth Marbury Research Professor Of Law

Faculty Scholarship

This paper focuses on corporation law in the United States as it relates to capital contributions and capital maintenance. In other words, the paper addresses the provisions of corporation law relating to (1) the obligation of investors to contribute to the corporation a specified amount of capital and (2) the obligation of the corporation to maintain a specified amount of capital (and not to pay it back to the stockholders in the form of dividends or payments to repurchase or redeem shares). Traditionally, the amount of capital that must be contributed to and maintained by a corporation is called the ...


Spare The Rod, Spoil The Director? Revitalizing Directors' Fiduciary Duty Through Legal Liability, Lisa M. Fairfax Nov 2005

Spare The Rod, Spoil The Director? Revitalizing Directors' Fiduciary Duty Through Legal Liability, Lisa M. Fairfax

Faculty Scholarship

It appears that our society has tacitly agreed to spare corporate directors any significant legal liability—which includes both financial and incarceration—for failing to perform their duties as board members. Thus, over the last twenty years, there has been a virtual elimination of legal liability—particularly in the form of financial penalties—for directors who breach their fiduciary duty of care. This is true despite the fact that we entrust directors with the awesome responsibility of monitoring all of America's corporations as well as the officers and agents within those corporations. More surprisingly, this tacit agreement against legal ...


The Patent Litigation Explosion, James Bessen, Michael Meurer Oct 2005

The Patent Litigation Explosion, James Bessen, Michael Meurer

Faculty Scholarship

This paper provides the first look at patent litigation hazards for public firms during the 80s and 90s. Consistent with our model, litigation is more likely when prospective defendants spend more on R&D, when prospective plaintiffs acquire more patents and when firms are larger and technologically close. Public firms face dramatically increased hazards of litigation as plaintiffs and even more rapidly increasing hazards as defendants, especially for small public firms. The increase cannot be explained by patenting rates, R&D, firm value or industry composition. Legal changes are the most likely explanation.


Digital Vat And Development: D-Vat And D-Velopment, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Aug 2005

Digital Vat And Development: D-Vat And D-Velopment, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

This article suggests that the time is right for developing countries to consider adopting a comprehensive, fully digital VAT, (complete with certified software and trusted third party intermediaries who could assume all of the taxpayer's VAT responsibilities) within the limited group of enterprises encompassed by the large taxpayer group.

Since the e-commerce revolution began in the 1990's, tax policy discussions in developed economies have enlisted "e-solutions" to streamline consumption tax administration, as well as to resolve technical problems.

Inspiration came from the marketplace. Policy-makers observed widespread, business-initiated e-solutions to consumption tax compliance problems in a wide spectrum of ...


The Role Of Groups In Norm Transformation: A Dramatic Sketch, In Three Parts, Robert B. Ahdieh Jul 2005

The Role Of Groups In Norm Transformation: A Dramatic Sketch, In Three Parts, Robert B. Ahdieh

Faculty Scholarship

Legal scholars, as well as economists, have focused limited attention on the role of coordinated groups of market participants - committees, clubs, associations, and the like - in social ordering generally and in the evolution of norms particularly. One might trace this neglect to some presumptive orientation to state actors (expressive law) and autonomous individuals (norm entrepreneurs) as the sole parties of interest in social change. Yet, alternative stories of social ordering and norm change might also be told. Dramatic recent changes in the contracting practices of the sovereign debt markets offer one such story.

Using the latter by way of illustration ...


From "Federalization" To "Mixed Governance" In Corporate Law: A Defense Of Sarbanes-Oxley, Robert B. Ahdieh Jul 2005

From "Federalization" To "Mixed Governance" In Corporate Law: A Defense Of Sarbanes-Oxley, Robert B. Ahdieh

Faculty Scholarship

Since the very moment of its adoption, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has been subject to a litany of critiques, many of them seemingly well-placed. The almost universal condemnation of the Act for its asserted 'federalization' of corporate law, by contrast, deserves short shrift. Though widely invoked - and blithely accepted - dissection of this argument against the legislation shows it to rely either on flawed assumptions or on normative preferences not ordinarily acknowledged (or perhaps even accepted) by those who criticize Sarbanes-Oxley for its federalization of state corporate law.

Once we appreciate as much, we can begin by replacing the misleading ...


The Exit Structure Of Strategic Alliances, D. Gordon Smith Apr 2005

The Exit Structure Of Strategic Alliances, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

Today, many biotechnology firms use strategic alliances to contract with other companies. This article contends that the governance structure of these alliances - specifically, the contractual board - provides an integrated restraint on opportunism. While an alliance agreement's exit structure could provide a check on opportunism by allowing the parties to exit at will, such exit provisions also can be used opportunistically. Most alliance agreements, therefore, provide for contractual lock in of the alliance partners, with only limited means of exit. Lock in, of course, raises its own concerns, and the contractual board - which typically is composed of representatives from each ...


The One-Stop-Shop In Vat And Rst: Common Approaches To Eu-Us Consumption Tax Problems, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Feb 2005

The One-Stop-Shop In Vat And Rst: Common Approaches To Eu-Us Consumption Tax Problems, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

In March 2004 the European Commission solicited comments on a proposal to simplify value added tax (VAT) obligations through a one-stop scheme. The proposal was modest in scope. It was designed to build upon the success of a similar scheme that dealt with non-EU established persons supplying digital products to non-taxable EU persons. That scheme is found in Article 26c of the Sixth VAT Directive.

In its March Consultation Paper the Commission proposed that businesses established within the EU be allowed to participate in a one-stop scheme that would be similar to the Article 26c scheme. Limited to B2C transactions ...


Corporate Misbehavior By Elite Decision-Makers Symposium - Perspectives From Law And Social Psychology: Introduction, James A. Fanto Jan 2005

Corporate Misbehavior By Elite Decision-Makers Symposium - Perspectives From Law And Social Psychology: Introduction, James A. Fanto

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Bank Mergers In North America: Comparing The Approaches In The United States And Canada, Eric J. Gouvin Jan 2005

Bank Mergers In North America: Comparing The Approaches In The United States And Canada, Eric J. Gouvin

Faculty Scholarship

This Article provides a summary comparison of the processes in the United States and Canada for governmental approval of bank mergers. The topic came to prominence in 1998 when four of Canada's five largest banks unveiled plans that would have resulted in the Royal Bank of Canada merging with the Bank of Montreal and the Toronto Dominion Bank combining with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ("CIBC"). These proposed mergers were rejected by the then Finance Minister, Paul Martin. The reasons given included: (1) the resulting banking industry structure would have concentrated too much economic power in the hands ...


Changing Paradigms: The Liability Of Corporate Groups In Germany, René Reich-Graefe Jan 2005

Changing Paradigms: The Liability Of Corporate Groups In Germany, René Reich-Graefe

Faculty Scholarship

The German law on affiliated companies and groups of companies ("Konzernrecht"), as embodied in the German Stock Corporation Act of 1965, as amended ("Aktiengesetz"), has often been credited for its innovative approach to the dichotomy of liability strategies relevant to corporate groups-viz., the traditional concept of entity liability based on the fundamental doctrine of the legal separateness of the corporate entity and, accordingly, resulting in a limitation of investor liability as the rule, and discrete and rare occurrences of what is almost poetically designated the "piercing of the corporate veil" ("DurchgriffshaJtung") as narrow and reluctantly crafted exceptions, and the more ...


Organizational Form As Status And Signal, Kimberly D. Krawiec Jan 2005

Organizational Form As Status And Signal, Kimberly D. Krawiec

Faculty Scholarship

In this Article, the author analyzes the reactions of 147 New York City law firms to the 1994 enactment of the New York Limited Liability Partnership statute, which provided New York law firm partners with the first convenient mechanism to limit their personal liability for partnership debts. Using both quantitative and qualitative evidence, she evaluates whether the behavior of New York law firms supports the signaling theory of organizational form - that is, the theory that firms use the partnership form to signal to the marketplace that they provide high quality legal services, due to either superior monitoring or to profit ...


Seven Points To Explain Why The Law Ought Not Allow The Elimination Of Fiduciary Duty Within Closely Held Businesses: Cardozo Is Dead; We Have Killed Him., Daniel S. Kleinberger Jan 2005

Seven Points To Explain Why The Law Ought Not Allow The Elimination Of Fiduciary Duty Within Closely Held Businesses: Cardozo Is Dead; We Have Killed Him., Daniel S. Kleinberger

Faculty Scholarship

Prepared as part of the author's work as co-reporter for the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, this essay argues against legislation that empowers private agreements to eliminate fiduciary duty within a business organization. The essay considers: (i) the venerable role of fiduciary duty within business organizations and the limited predictive powers of those urging radical reform; (ii) the absence of prescience in contract drafters; (iii) the strict construction function of fiduciary law; (iv) the inevitable and inappropriate pressure that elimination would put on the obligation of good faith and fair dealing; (v) the differences in remedy available for ...


The Economics Of Limited Liability: An Empirical Study Of New York Law Firms, Kimberly D. Krawiec, Scott Baker Jan 2005

The Economics Of Limited Liability: An Empirical Study Of New York Law Firms, Kimberly D. Krawiec, Scott Baker

Faculty Scholarship

Since the rapid rise in organizational forms for business associations, academics and practitioners have sought to explain the choice of form rationale. Each form contains its own set of default rules that inevitably get factored into this decision, including the extent to which each individual firm owner will be held personally liable for the collective debts and obligations of the firm. The significance of the differences in these default rules continues to be debated. Many commentators have advanced theories, most notably those based on unlimited liability, profit-sharing, and illiquidity, asserting that the partnership form provides efficiency benefits that outweigh any ...


Corporate Responsibility: Ensuring Independent Judgment Of The General Counsel - A Look At Stock Options, Z. Jill Barclift Jan 2005

Corporate Responsibility: Ensuring Independent Judgment Of The General Counsel - A Look At Stock Options, Z. Jill Barclift

Faculty Scholarship

Recent corporate scandals and allegations of corporate fraud in public companies have most people asking how things went so wrong. When looking to assess blame for corporate malfeasance, many ask, “Where were the lawyers?” In several high-profile corporate fraud investigations, outside and in-house lawyers were criticized for not doing more to prevent corporate executives from violating the law, and several general counsels were charged with criminal misconduct by state and federal authorities. Why would the general counsel of a public corporation risk his or her career, reputation, and criminal prosecution to assist executives in perpetuating corporate fraud? The answer may ...


The Closely Held Business Through The Entity-Aggregate Prism, Daniel S. Kleinberger Jan 2005

The Closely Held Business Through The Entity-Aggregate Prism, Daniel S. Kleinberger

Faculty Scholarship

When the law conceptualizes the legal form that houses a closely held business, does it matter whether the law envisages that form as an entity separate from, rather than an aggregate of, the several owners of the business? At one time, this question was at the conceptual core of the law of general partnerships, but the Revised Uniform Partnership Act supposedly put the issue to rest. Moreover, the closely held corporation is emphatically an entity, as is the predominant form of unincorporated organization - the limited liability company. Today, the entity-aggregate question might seem a mere relic of a discarded paradigm ...


Judicial Federalism In The Ecj's Berlusconi Case: Toward More Credible Corporate Governance And Financial Reporting Recent Development, Martin Gelter, Mathias M. Siems Jan 2005

Judicial Federalism In The Ecj's Berlusconi Case: Toward More Credible Corporate Governance And Financial Reporting Recent Development, Martin Gelter, Mathias M. Siems

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, the general public in many countries has become increasingly aware of issues concerning business accounting and financial reporting. Americans hardly need to be reminded of the Enron debacle, where members of the company's senior management engaged in fraudulent off-balance sheet transactions to disguise the true state of the company's financial condition, a scheme that auditors failed to uncover until the company's implosion. This and other major corporate governance cases involving questionable or fraudulent accounting practices led to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. This law was an unprecedented Congressional intervention into corporate governance, an arena ...


Same Sex Marriage And Its Implications For Employee Benefits: Proceedings Of The 2005 Meeting Of The Association Of American Law Schools Sections On Employee Benefits, And Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Issues, Maria O'Brien, Constance Hiatt, Shannon Minter, Teresa S. Collett Jan 2005

Same Sex Marriage And Its Implications For Employee Benefits: Proceedings Of The 2005 Meeting Of The Association Of American Law Schools Sections On Employee Benefits, And Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Issues, Maria O'Brien, Constance Hiatt, Shannon Minter, Teresa S. Collett

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Maria O'Brien Hylton*: Welcome to this session on "Same Sex Marriage and its Implications for Employee Benefits." I'm Maria Hylton and I will introduce our speakers and moderate the program.

Our first speaker is Constance Hiatt, who is a partner with the Hanson Bridgett law firm here in San Francisco. She represents mostly large employers and large employee benefit plans, including the State of California's 401(k) and 457 plans as well as the University of California's benefits office. So, she has extensive experience in the employee benefits area and she came to us, to ...


Uncovering A Gatekeeper: Why The Sec Should Mandate Disclosure Of Details Concerning Directors' And Officers' Liability Insurance Policies, Sean J. Griffith Jan 2005

Uncovering A Gatekeeper: Why The Sec Should Mandate Disclosure Of Details Concerning Directors' And Officers' Liability Insurance Policies, Sean J. Griffith

Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores the connection between corporate governance and directors’ and officers’ (D&O) insurance. It argues that D&O insurers act as gatekeepers and guarantors of corporate governance, screening and pricing corporate governance risks to maintain the profitability of their risk pools. As a result, in a well-working insurance market, D&O insurance premiums would convey the insurer's assessment of a firm's governance quality. Simply stated, firms with better corporate governance would pay relatively low D&O premiums, while firms with worse corporate governance would pay more. This simple relationship could signal important information to investors and ...


Good Faith Business Judgment: A Theory Of Rhetoric In Corporate Law Jurisprudence, Sean J. Griffith Jan 2005

Good Faith Business Judgment: A Theory Of Rhetoric In Corporate Law Jurisprudence, Sean J. Griffith

Faculty Scholarship

This Article develops a theory of rhetoric in corporate law jurisprudence. It begins by examining a recent innovation in Delaware case law: the emerging principle of “good faith.” Good faith is an old notion in law generally, but it offers to bring significant change to corporate law, including realignment of the business judgment rule and a shift in the traditional balance between the authority of boards and the accountability of boards to courts. This Article argues, however, that good faith functions as a rhetorical device rather than a substantive standard. That is, it operates as a speech act, a performance ...


In The Shadow Of Delaware - The Rise Of Hostile Takeovers In Japan, Curtis J. Milhaupt Jan 2005

In The Shadow Of Delaware - The Rise Of Hostile Takeovers In Japan, Curtis J. Milhaupt

Faculty Scholarship

Despite longstanding predictions to the contrary, hostile takeovers have arrived in Japan. This Essay explains why and explores the implications of this phenomenon, not only for Japanese corporate governance, but also for our understanding of corporate law development around the world today. Delaware law figures prominently in the recent Japanese events. A highprofile battle for corporate control has just generated a judicial standard for takeover defenses that might be called a Unocal rule with Japanese characteristics. Meanwhile, ministy-endorsed takeover guidelines have been formulated that are heavily influenced by the familiar "threat" and "proportionality" tests under Delaware law, along with many ...


Daedalean Tinkering, Sean J. Griffith Jan 2005

Daedalean Tinkering, Sean J. Griffith

Faculty Scholarship

This Review describes David Skeel's account of corporate scandal and evaluates his policy recommendations in his recent book, Icarus in the Boardroom. It argues that although the book provides a compelling history of corporate scandal, its focus on federal responses to scandal--from the enactment of the Interstate Commerce Act to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act--misses an important part of the story. As corporate law scholars have long pointed out, corporations exist within a network of constraints, based in part on law and in part on markets, norms, and other non-legal sanctions. Because it omits any sustained discussion of the reaction of ...


New Business Entities In Evolutionary Perspective, Henry Hansmann, Reiner Kraakman, Richard Squire Jan 2005

New Business Entities In Evolutionary Perspective, Henry Hansmann, Reiner Kraakman, Richard Squire

Faculty Scholarship

The new types of business forms that have developed over the past thirty years all combine the freedom of contracting that is traditional to the partnership with the pattern of creditors' rights that is traditional to the business corporation. Legal scholars differ on the issue of whether these new business forms are more partnership-like or corporation-like. Those taking the partnership-like view argue that the degree of freedom of contract is the essential difference between the traditional corporation and partnership forms, while those adhering to the corporation-like view argue that the pattern of creditors' rights is the essential difference. The authors ...


Law And The Rise Of The Firm , Henry Hansmann, Reiner Kraakman, Richard Squire Jan 2005

Law And The Rise Of The Firm , Henry Hansmann, Reiner Kraakman, Richard Squire

Faculty Scholarship

Organizational law empowers firms to hold assets and enter contracts as entities that are legally distinct from their owners and managers. Legal scholars and economists have commented extensively on one form of this partitioning between firms and owners: namely, the rule of limited liability that insulates firm owners from business debts. But a less-noticed form of legal partitioning, which we call "entity shielding," is both economically and historically more significant than limited liability. While limited liability shields owners' personal assets from a firm's creditors, entity shielding protects firm assets from the owners' personal creditors (and from creditors of other ...


The Commercialization Of Open Source Software: Do Property Rights Still Matter?, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2005

The Commercialization Of Open Source Software: Do Property Rights Still Matter?, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

A major shift toward open source software is underway as companies are more critically evaluating the cost effectiveness of their IT investments, seeing the benefits of collaborative development, and looking for ways to avoid vendor lock-in. At the same time, academics and industry visionaries are criticizing the use of a traditional appropriation mechanism for innovation – the patent – by bemoaning the decisions of U.S. and foreign governments to permit software patents, the rising numbers of patents on software-related innovations (the so-called arms race build-up), and the cost and frequency of patent litigation in the software industry. The critics generally have ...


Patents, Venture Capital, And Software Start-Ups, Ronald J. Mann, Thomas W. Sager Jan 2005

Patents, Venture Capital, And Software Start-Ups, Ronald J. Mann, Thomas W. Sager

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the relation between the patenting behavior of startup firms and the progress of those firms through the venture capital cycle. Linking data relating to venture capital financing of software startup firms with data concerning the patents obtained by those firms, we find significant and robust positive correlations between patenting and several variables measuring the firm's performance (including number of rounds, total investment, exit status, receipt of late stage financing, and longevity). The data also show that (1) only about one in four venture-backed software firms acquired even one patent during the period of the study; (2 ...


Going-Private Decisions And The Sarbanes-Oxley Act Of 2002: A Cross-Country Analysis, Ehud Kamar, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Eric L. Talley Jan 2005

Going-Private Decisions And The Sarbanes-Oxley Act Of 2002: A Cross-Country Analysis, Ehud Kamar, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This article investigates whether the passage and the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) drove firms out of the public capital market. To control for other factors affecting exit decisions, we examine the post-SOX change in the propensity of public American targets to be bought by private acquirers rather than public ones with the corresponding change for foreign targets, which were outside the purview of SOX. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that SOX induced small firms to exit the public capital market during the year following its enactment. In contrast, SOX appears to have had little ...


An Empirical Investigation Of Liquidation Choices Of Failed High-Tech Firms, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2005

An Empirical Investigation Of Liquidation Choices Of Failed High-Tech Firms, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This paper compares a dataset of failed venture-backed firms to information about the firm's liquidation choices. The first finding is that firms in California are much less likely to use the bankruptcy process than firms in other states, largely because of their ability to use a cheaper and less formal assignment for the benefit of creditors procedure. The paper explores a number of reasons why that procedure succeeds in California more than it does elsewhere, including differences in statutory support for the procedure, the sophistication of market participants in California, the close-knit venture communities in California, and unusual rules ...


Takeovers In The Boardroom: Burke Versus Schumpeter, Ronald J. Gilson, Reinier Kraakman Jan 2005

Takeovers In The Boardroom: Burke Versus Schumpeter, Ronald J. Gilson, Reinier Kraakman

Faculty Scholarship

This article was written for a symposium on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Martin Lipton's 1979 article, Takeover Bids in the Target's Boardroom. In our view, Takeover Bids is a Burkean take on a messy Schumpeterian world that, during 1980s, reached its apex in Drexel Burnham's democratization of finance through the junk bond market. But the irony is that today, long after the Delaware Supreme Court has adopted many of Lipton's views, there is a new market for corporate control that no longer poses the threats – or supports the opportunities – that the market of ...