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"There Is No Planet 'B'": How U.S. Music Festival Production Companies Can Reduce Their Negative Environmental Impact By Incorporating As A Benefit Corporation, Bryce Ballard Jun 2021

"There Is No Planet 'B'": How U.S. Music Festival Production Companies Can Reduce Their Negative Environmental Impact By Incorporating As A Benefit Corporation, Bryce Ballard

William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review

The music festival industry in the United States is growing exponentially each year, both in terms of fan attendance and the money being produced by concession, merchandise, and ticket sales. However, there is also a growing realization that there are several negative externalities associated with the growth of the music festival industry, not the least of which is the environmental damage that follows in the wake of music festivals.

The scene at most music festivals in the United States today is the same: a caravan of vehicles lined up single-file waiting to enter the campgrounds, camping tents of various sizes ...


Legal Liability For Corporations Doing Business In The West Bank: An Analysis Of Corporate Liability And A Shareholder Proposal Solution For Mitigating Risky Business Activity, Mila Kelly Jun 2021

Legal Liability For Corporations Doing Business In The West Bank: An Analysis Of Corporate Liability And A Shareholder Proposal Solution For Mitigating Risky Business Activity, Mila Kelly

William & Mary Business Law Review

For over half a century, Israeli Settlements in the occupied West Bank have expanded significantly in both land and economic activity. While this expansion has not been without criticism from the international community over fear of humanitarian law violations, global businesses have not shied away from the profitability of this region. This engagement in corporate activity within any disputed territory comes with its fair share of business risk, including legal liability for complicity in purported human rights violations.

This Note will examine the hypothetical liability for corporations doing business in the West Bank and explain how international law and the ...


Treble, Treble Toil And Trouble: The New Per Se Rule As A Protection Against The Curse Of The "Supreme Evil", Seth Konopasek May 2021

Treble, Treble Toil And Trouble: The New Per Se Rule As A Protection Against The Curse Of The "Supreme Evil", Seth Konopasek

William & Mary Business Law Review

The Supreme Court has called collusion between firms the “supreme evil” of antitrust. Despite public and private enforcement efforts, collusive firms and the cartels they form cost American consumers billions of dollars a year and undermine the virtues of our free market economy. The Chicago School theory of antitrust enforcement, which has dominated antitrust scholarship, vehemently disapproves of private antitrust actions that enable plaintiffs to recover treble damages. Recent scholarship, however, has rejected the Chicago School’s concerns of overdeterrence and embraced the treble damages remedy. This Note follows the recent scholarship and proposes the New Per Se Rule, which ...


Blurred Lines: Disparate Impact And Disparate Treatment Challenges To Subjective Decisions-- The Case Of Reductions In Force, Allan King, Alexandra Hemenway May 2021

Blurred Lines: Disparate Impact And Disparate Treatment Challenges To Subjective Decisions-- The Case Of Reductions In Force, Allan King, Alexandra Hemenway

William & Mary Business Law Review

Subjective employment decisions may be challenged under disparate treatment (intentional discrimination) and/or disparate impact (the discriminatory consequences of a neutral policy) theories of discrimination. However, these theories and supporting evidence often are conflated when the criteria for selecting employees are ill-defined or unrecorded. In those instances, the process by which employees are selected merges with the selections themselves, these legal theories converge as well. This Article critically discusses how courts have struggled to distinguish these theories in cases alleging a discriminatory reduction in force. It suggests how these cases should be submitted to juries, to preserve the liability and ...


Fiduciary Judgment Rules, Julian Velasco Mar 2021

Fiduciary Judgment Rules, Julian Velasco

William & Mary Law Review

Because of the strong moral rhetoric and robust equitable remedies available in fiduciary law, it is not surprising to find lawyers and legal scholars seeking to expand the reach of fiduciary law principles into new relationships and new areas of law. However, expansion often does not work very well because of the demanding and pervasive nature of fiduciary duties. Thus, jurists often turn to the business judgment rule and its policy of underenforcement of fiduciary duties as a way to fit fiduciary law principles into other areas of law. The problem with this approach is that it is based on ...


Designing Dual-Class Sunsets: The Case For A Transfer-Centered Approach, Marc T. Moore Feb 2021

Designing Dual-Class Sunsets: The Case For A Transfer-Centered Approach, Marc T. Moore

William & Mary Business Law Review

Dual-class stock (DCS) structures, and their implications for managerial accountability and corporate governance more broadly, have become prevalent concerns for corporate lawyers and policymakers. Recent academic and practitioner debates on DCS have tended to focus less on the general merits and drawbacks of DCS versus one share/one vote structures, and more on the specific common-ground concern as to whether and how such structures are subjected to contingent reversal or “sunset”. This Article compares the relative advantages and disadvantages of time-, ownership- and transfer-centered models of DCS sunset provisions. It argues in favor of the transfer-centered model on the grounds ...


Conspiracy Liability And The Fcpa: The Second Circuit's Rare Interpretation Of The Fcpa In United States V. Hoskins And Its Potential Implications, Morgan R. Knudtsen Jul 2020

Conspiracy Liability And The Fcpa: The Second Circuit's Rare Interpretation Of The Fcpa In United States V. Hoskins And Its Potential Implications, Morgan R. Knudtsen

William & Mary Business Law Review

The scope of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is inherently difficult to ascertain. Over time, the SEC and DOJ have privately settled claims under the FCPA, leaving most interpretation to government agencies. Though agency interpretation happens frequently, there has been little interpretation over major questions such as who is subject to the FCPA’s jurisdiction and how far that jurisdiction extends. United States v. Hoskins, which was decided in August 2018, involved the FCPA, conspiracy, and foreign corporate officials. The Second Circuit in its decision subsequently limited the scope of the FCPA, holding that liability cannot extend to foreign ...


All That Glitters Is Gold: The Regulation Of Hidden Advertisements And Undisclosed Sponsorships In The World Of Beauty Social Media Influencers, Ashley Luong May 2020

All That Glitters Is Gold: The Regulation Of Hidden Advertisements And Undisclosed Sponsorships In The World Of Beauty Social Media Influencers, Ashley Luong

William & Mary Business Law Review

What happens when a trusted acquaintance is caught lying? What if these lies have influenced your purchasing decisions? In the realm of social media influencers, the line between authentic opinions and sponsored advertisements is a blurred one. Influencers have considerable marketing power over millions of followers and their brand of authenticity makes them a desirable partner to big corporations seeking to promote their products. Under current FTC regulations, the simplified rule for advertisement disclosure is to make the disclosure “clear and conspicuous” with very little guidance beyond that phrase. Influencers are uncertain how to disclose, some choosing to toe the ...


Digital Accessibility In The Hospitality And Tourism Industry: Legal And Ethical Considerations, Debra D. Burke, Kenneth J. Sanney, Dan Clapper May 2020

Digital Accessibility In The Hospitality And Tourism Industry: Legal And Ethical Considerations, Debra D. Burke, Kenneth J. Sanney, Dan Clapper

William & Mary Business Law Review

Federal law requires accessibility for public sector websites. What about the web pages and apps of hotels, restaurants, and tourism providers? The Americans with Disabilities Act may cover private sector websites if they are considered a place of public accommodation, but the law is unclear. This Article will provide an overview of the legal responsibilities of operators to provide accessibility to persons with disabilities, discuss the World Wide Web Consortium’s guidelines for web accessibility, and argue that the hospitality and tourism industry has a unique ethical obligation to fill in the gap where the legal system has failed this ...


Securities Exchange Act Section 4e(A): Toothless "Internal-Timing Directive" Or Statute Of Limitation?, Richard E. Brodsky May 2020

Securities Exchange Act Section 4e(A): Toothless "Internal-Timing Directive" Or Statute Of Limitation?, Richard E. Brodsky

William & Mary Business Law Review

The Securities and Exchange Commission has a problem, and everyone knows it: its investigative process suffers from excessive delay, which harms both individuals and entity it investigates and its own enforcement program. This problem has long been recognized and complained about, but never remedied.

In 2010, Congress passed a law specifically designed to solve the problem of excessive delay but, the way the SEC has read the law—which has been acquiesced in by the courts and ignored by subsequent Congresses—has rendered it toothless and essentially meaningless. This has been accomplished, first, by the Commission’s cabined interpretation of ...


Functional Corporate Knowledge, Mihailis Diamantis Nov 2019

Functional Corporate Knowledge, Mihailis Diamantis

William & Mary Law Review

The line between guilt and innocence often turns on what a defendant knew. Although the law’s approach to knowledge may be relatively straightforward for individuals, its doctrines for corporate defendants are fraught with ambiguity and opportunities for gamesmanship. Corporations can spread information thinly across employees so that it is never “known.” And prosecutors can exploit legal uncertainties to bring knowledge-based charges where corporations were merely negligent in how they handled information. Whereas knowledge as a mens rea has unique practical and normative properties that vary with a corporation’s size and industry, corporate law treats knowledge just like any ...


Loyalty Loses Ground To Market Freedom In The U.S. Supreme Court, Daniel Harris Apr 2019

Loyalty Loses Ground To Market Freedom In The U.S. Supreme Court, Daniel Harris

William & Mary Business Law Review

In the last decade, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken a much less moralistic and much more market-oriented approach to questions of fiduciary loyalty. In cases involving fiduciaries with conflicts of interest, the Court has shifted the burden of proof to the party claiming unfair treatment, thereby protecting deals and making loyalty harder to enforce. The Court has also struck down or narrowly construed laws designed to prevent disloyalty by fiduciaries on the theory that broad prohibitions on business conduct encroach on constitutionally protected freedoms.

This Article discusses how the Supreme Court’s new approach represents a departure from ...


Criminal Trade Secret Theft Cases Against Judgment Proof Defendants In Texas And California, Michelle Evans, Kurt M. Saunders Apr 2019

Criminal Trade Secret Theft Cases Against Judgment Proof Defendants In Texas And California, Michelle Evans, Kurt M. Saunders

William & Mary Business Law Review

Trade secret theft is a costly and ongoing risk to many businesses. As the two most populous states, California and Texas are home to numerous businesses that own trade secrets. Although civil remedies afford one source of relief when a trade secret has been stolen or disclosed, collecting on a judgment may be impossible due to the Homestead laws in both states, which effectively render the defendants judgment proof. In such cases, another alternative is to consider a criminal prosecution under the Federal Economic Espionage Act or state law. The same misconduct that results in civil liability can also violate ...


Government Ownership Of Banks: A Curse Or A Blessing For The United States?, Yueh-Ping (Alex) Yang Apr 2019

Government Ownership Of Banks: A Curse Or A Blessing For The United States?, Yueh-Ping (Alex) Yang

William & Mary Business Law Review

During the Financial Crisis of 2007–2008, the Treasury injected an enormous amount of capital and held equity in 707 financial institutions to stabilize the U.S. financial system. The government’s large-scale ownership of banks alarmed the U.S. banking sector. The mainstream opinion in the United States strongly opposed this practice, mostly due to the distrust of the government and the fear that government intervention would jeopardize private shareholders’ interests. Later developments, including the Treasury’s quick exit from its holdings and the Dodd-Frank Act’s declaration of the end of bailouts, suggest that the U.S. government ...


Snapshot Of Trade Secret Developments, Elizabeth A. Rowe Feb 2019

Snapshot Of Trade Secret Developments, Elizabeth A. Rowe

William & Mary Law Review Online

As we enter the second year of the DTSA, this Article presents a snapshot of developments to assess whether there appears to be any significant doctrinal changes afoot in trade secret litigation— including civil and/or criminal—during the past year. Professors David Levine and Christopher Seaman provided some empirical data and quantitative analysis of the case filings during the first year of litigation under the DTSA (from May 2016 to May 2017). This Article complements their excellent work by taking a qualitative look at some of the substantive rulings from the following year. My assessment based on this limited ...


Interpreting Organizational "Contracts" And The Private Ordering Of Public Company Governance, Megan Wischmeier Shaner Feb 2019

Interpreting Organizational "Contracts" And The Private Ordering Of Public Company Governance, Megan Wischmeier Shaner

William & Mary Law Review

Corporate law is undergoing an explosion of governance by private ordering. With increasing frequency and creativity, the charter and bylaws of public corporations are being used as tools for restructuring key aspects of corporate governance. The current focus of parties, courts, and scholars has been on the facial validity of these efforts. In light of courts’ willingness to uphold corporate governance contracting, legal battles will morph from validity challenges to interpretation disputes. Yet interpretation principles are a topic to which corporate scholars have devoted limited attention. With interpretation poised to take on an influential role in shaping corporate law and ...


The Value Of Insider Control, Benjamin Means Feb 2019

The Value Of Insider Control, Benjamin Means

William & Mary Law Review

According to conventional wisdom, insider control of businesses is detrimental to the interests of noncontrolling investors. Family-run businesses, in particular, are seen as nepotistic and inefficient. Yet, commentators have overestimated the dangers of insider control and overlooked its potential benefits for all stakeholders. Controlling owners have a personal stake that gives them reason to identify with their business and to adopt responsible business practices capable of creating lasting value. A stewardship model of insider control helps explain the continuing vitality of family businesses as well as the success of recent public offerings by Facebook, Google, and Snapchat involving low-vote or ...


Untangling The Web Of Consignment Law: The Journey From The Common Law & Article 2 To Revised Article 9, Willa Gibson Feb 2019

Untangling The Web Of Consignment Law: The Journey From The Common Law & Article 2 To Revised Article 9, Willa Gibson

William & Mary Business Law Review

This Article examines and analyzes the law of consignments from the common law through Revised Article 9 with a goal towards identifying and analyzing the uncertainties and confusion that have persisted throughout the transition from the common law to the UCC. The law of consignments has abounded with uncertainty since its genesis under common law. In an attempt to clarify the persistent confusion and disarray surrounding the law, the UCC enacted section 2-326; but the statute was not a model of clarity, engendering increased uncertainty and confusion. Courts wrestled with how to interpret the provision to be consistent with the ...


Mutuals: An Area Of Legal Climate Change, Karl T. Muth, Andrew Leventhal Apr 2018

Mutuals: An Area Of Legal Climate Change, Karl T. Muth, Andrew Leventhal

William & Mary Business Law Review

Underappreciated in its importance and often-misunderstood in its implications, the choice between a company limited by shares and a company organized as a mutual is an important decision in sectors ranging from agriculture to banking to insurance. Adding gravity to this particular decision is the difficulty and enormous cost of corporate metamorphosis between company types later in the company’s life. The authors examine the history of the mutual form, its popularity’s rise and fall during the twentieth century, and its advantages and disadvantages in today’s environment.


The Early Eight And The Future Of Consumer Legal Activism To Fight Modern-Day Slavery In Corporate Supply Chains, Andrew G. Barna Mar 2018

The Early Eight And The Future Of Consumer Legal Activism To Fight Modern-Day Slavery In Corporate Supply Chains, Andrew G. Barna

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Can Taxes Mitigate Corporate Governance Inefficiencies?, Noam Noked Nov 2017

Can Taxes Mitigate Corporate Governance Inefficiencies?, Noam Noked

William & Mary Business Law Review

Policymakers have long viewed tax policy as an instrument to influence and change corporate governance practices. Certain tax rules were enacted to discourage pyramidal business structures and large golden parachutes, and to encourage performance-based compensation. Other proposals, such as imposing higher taxes on excessive executive compensation, have also attracted increasing attention.

Contrary to this view, this Article contends that the ability to effectively mitigate corporate governance inefficiencies through the use of corrective taxes is very limited, and that these taxes may cause more harm than benefit. There are a few reasons for the limited effectiveness of corrective taxes. Importantly, the ...


Smith V. Van Gorkom And The Kobayashi Maru: The Place Of The Trans Union Case In The Development Of Delaware Corporate Law, Robert T. Miller Nov 2017

Smith V. Van Gorkom And The Kobayashi Maru: The Place Of The Trans Union Case In The Development Of Delaware Corporate Law, Robert T. Miller

William & Mary Business Law Review

Although it is dangerous to attempt to say anything new about Smith v. Van Gorkom, the most controversial decision in the history of Delaware corporate law, this Article tries to do so by arguing that the extensive development of Delaware law since the time of the case allows us a perspective on Van Gorkom not available when the case was decided in 1985 or, indeed, for a long time thereafter. In particular, Van Gorkom had as important a role in the evolution of Delaware law as the three other outstanding cases decided by the Delaware Supreme Court in the miracle ...


Corporate Directors In The United Kingdom, Stephen M. Bainbridge Nov 2017

Corporate Directors In The United Kingdom, Stephen M. Bainbridge

William & Mary Law Review Online

In the United States, state corporation law uniformly provides that only natural persons may serve as directors of corporations. Corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities otherwise recognized in the law as legal persons are prohibited from so serving. In contrast, the United Kingdom allowed legal entities to serve as directors of a company. In 2015, however, legislation came into force adopting a general prohibition of these so-called corporate directors, albeit while contemplating some exemptions. This Article argues that there are legitimate reasons companies may wish to appoint corporate directors. It also argues that the transparency and accountability concerns that ...


Distributed Governance, Carla L. Reyes, Nizan Geslevich Packin, Ben Edwards Sep 2017

Distributed Governance, Carla L. Reyes, Nizan Geslevich Packin, Ben Edwards

William & Mary Law Review Online

Distributed ledger technology disrupts traditional business organizations by introducing new business entities without the directors and officers of traditional corporate entities. Although these emerging entities offer intriguing possibilities, distributed entities may suffer significant collective action problems and expose investors to catastrophic regulatory and governance risks. Our Article examines key considerations for stakeholders and argues that distributed entities must be carefully structured to function effectively. This Article breaks new ground by critically examining distributed entities. We argue that a distributed model is most appropriate when distributed ledger technology solves a unique corporate governance problem. We caution against ignoring the lessons painstakingly ...


Rethinking Corporate Governance For A Bondholder Financed, Systemically Risky World, Steven L. Schwarcz Mar 2017

Rethinking Corporate Governance For A Bondholder Financed, Systemically Risky World, Steven L. Schwarcz

William & Mary Law Review

This Article makes two arguments that, combined, demonstrate an important synergy: first, including bondholders in corporate governance could help to reduce systemic risk because bondholders are more risk averse than shareholders; second, corporate governance should include bondholders because bonds now dwarf equity as a source of corporate financing and bond prices are increasingly tied to firm performance.


The Ethics Of Representing Founders, Paul R. Tremblay Feb 2017

The Ethics Of Representing Founders, Paul R. Tremblay

William & Mary Business Law Review

Lawyers assisting entrepreneurial startups frequently work with individual founders before any formal organizational client materializes. In advising founders about such legal matters as whether to establish an entity, and if so, which entity best fits the needs of the enterprise, as well as how to arrange the owners’ relationships within the business, the lawyer necessarily has an attorney-client relationship with someone. The prevailing scholarship about startup representation pays surprisingly little attention to the posture of the lawyer and her founder-clients in the pre-organization context. This Article investigates the lawyer’s responsibilities and commitments in depth.

A lawyer working with a ...


Regulating Culture: Improving Corporate Governance With Anti-Arbitration Provisions For Whistleblowers, Nizan Geslevich Packin, Ben Edwards Aug 2016

Regulating Culture: Improving Corporate Governance With Anti-Arbitration Provisions For Whistleblowers, Nizan Geslevich Packin, Ben Edwards

William & Mary Law Review Online

A focus on corporate culture, especially at financial institutions, has emerged as a regulatory, public, and media priority in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. With Dodd-Frank, Congress embraced whistleblower statutes as a key instrument to improve corporate culture and governance, and to extirpate undesired and unethical business practices. Despite the clear policy goals, Dodd- Frank’s unclear statutory text has created interpretative controversies. Although Dodd-Frank adds anti-arbitration provisions to preexisting whistleblower statutes, it does not include a dedicated, standalone anti-arbitration provision for Dodd-Frank’s new whistleblower cause of action. This Article argues that courts should not allow employers ...


Corporate Governance In An Era Of Compliance, Sean J. Griffith May 2016

Corporate Governance In An Era Of Compliance, Sean J. Griffith

William & Mary Law Review

Compliance is the new corporate governance. The compliance function is the means by which firms adapt behavior to legal, regulatory, and social norms. Formerly, this might have been conceived as a typical governance matter to be handled at the discretion of the board of directors. Compliance, however, does not fit traditional models of corporate governance. It does not come from the board of directors, state corporate law, or federal securities law. Compliance amounts instead to an internal governance structure imposed upon the firm from the outside by enforcement agents. This insight has important implications, both practical and theoretical, for corporate ...


Lack Of Marketability And Minority Discounts In Valuing Close Corporation Stock: Elusiveness And Judicial Synchrony In Pursuit Of Equitable Consensus, Stephen J. Leacock Apr 2016

Lack Of Marketability And Minority Discounts In Valuing Close Corporation Stock: Elusiveness And Judicial Synchrony In Pursuit Of Equitable Consensus, Stephen J. Leacock

William & Mary Business Law Review

This Article discusses the often subtle tasks faced by the courts in construing close corporations law, which is state law. The judiciary in individual states has skillfully managed the invention, continuing development and ongoing evolution of lack of marketability and minority discounts as it strives to honor its constitutional mandate to resolve controversies between minority and majority shareholders in close corporations relating to valuing close corporations’ stock. These controversies arise in the context of share transactions in such corporations. Close corporations are traditionally not listed on stock exchanges, and the legislatures in some states have, in some instances, helped to ...


Walking On Thin Ice: Does The Revenue Procedure 2013-13 Signify The Demise Of Leveraged Spin-Offs?, Natalia Caruso Apr 2015

Walking On Thin Ice: Does The Revenue Procedure 2013-13 Signify The Demise Of Leveraged Spin-Offs?, Natalia Caruso

William & Mary Business Law Review

Corporate taxpayers, when weighing leveraged spin-off transactions, have long relied on the comfort of Internal Revenue Service rulings to “bless” the deals. These transactions, when structured properly, are not subject to tax under section 355 of the Internal Revenue Code (“I.R.C.”) and can potentially provide great monetizing opportunities to public companies. Recent developments in the Internal Revenue Service’s ruling policy, however, removed the safety blanket companies had relied upon, as the Internal Revenue Service announced its decision to cease the issuance of the rulings addressing the deals’ qualification for tax-free treatment.

This Note will examine the history ...