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Full-Text Articles in Law

Shareholder Primacy Versus Shareholder Accountability, William Wilson Bratton Jan 2024

Shareholder Primacy Versus Shareholder Accountability, William Wilson Bratton

Articles

When corporations inflict injuries in the course of business, shareholders wielding environmental, social, and governance ("ESG") principles can, and now sometimes do, intervene to correct the matter. In the emerging fact pattern, corporate social accountability expands out of its historic collectivized frame to become an internal subject matter-a corporate governance topic. As a result, shareholder accountability surfaces as a policy question for the first time. The Big Three index fund managers, BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street, responded to the accountability question with ESG activism. In so doing, they defected against corporate legal theory's central tenet, shareholder primacy. Shareholder primacy builds …


Three Stories: A Comment On Pritchard & Thompson’S A History Of Securities Laws In The Supreme Court, Harwell Wells Jan 2024

Three Stories: A Comment On Pritchard & Thompson’S A History Of Securities Laws In The Supreme Court, Harwell Wells

Seattle University Law Review

Adam Pritchard and Robert Thompson’s A History of Securities Laws in the Supreme Court should stand for decades as the definitive work on the Federal securities laws’ career in the Supreme Court across the twentieth century.1 Like all good histories, it both tells a story and makes an argument. The story recounts how the Court dealt with the major securities laws, as well the agency charged with enforcing them, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the rules it promulgated, from the 1930s into the twenty-first century. But the book does not just string together a series of events, “one …


The Pioneers, Waves, And Random Walks Of Securities Law In The Supreme Court, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2024

The Pioneers, Waves, And Random Walks Of Securities Law In The Supreme Court, Elizabeth Pollman

Seattle University Law Review

After the pioneers, waves, and random walks that have animated the history of securities laws in the U.S. Supreme Court, we might now be on the precipice of a new chapter. Pritchard and Thompson’s superb book, A History of Securities Law in the Supreme Court, illuminates with rich archival detail how the Court’s view of the securities laws and the SEC have changed over time and how individuals have influenced this history. The book provides an invaluable resource for understanding nearly a century’s worth of Supreme Court jurisprudence in the area of securities law and much needed context for …


Why U.S. States Need Their Own Cannabis Industry Banks, Christoph Henkel, Randall K. Johnson Oct 2023

Why U.S. States Need Their Own Cannabis Industry Banks, Christoph Henkel, Randall K. Johnson

Faculty Works

The legal cannabis trade is the fastest growing industry in the United States. In 2019, about 48.2 million Americans used the drug at least once. As such, it is easy to see why the legal cannabis trade may generate annual revenues exceeding $30 billion in Fiscal Year 2022 alone.

One inconvenient truth, however, is that the parties to any cannabis trade may face a range of difficulties due to conflicts between federal and state laws. These difficulties include the fact that many financial institutions are reluctant to handle cannabis proceeds. One reason is that a lack of alignment in terms …


Stakeholderism Silo Busting, Aneil Kovvali Jan 2023

Stakeholderism Silo Busting, Aneil Kovvali

Articles by Maurer Faculty

The fields of antitrust, bankruptcy, corporate, and securities law are undergoing tumultuous debates. On one side in each field is the dominant view that each field should focus exclusively on a specific constituency—antitrust on consumers, bankruptcy on creditors, corporate law on shareholders, and securities regulation on financial investors. On the other side is a growing insurgency that seeks to broaden the focus to a larger set of stakeholders, including workers, the environment, and political communities. But these conversations have largely proceeded in parallel, with each debate unfolding within the framework and literature of a single field. Studying these debates together …


The Solution To Shadow Trading Is Not Found In Current Insider Trading Law: A Proposed Amendment To Rule 10b5-2, Jamel Gross-Cassel Jan 2023

The Solution To Shadow Trading Is Not Found In Current Insider Trading Law: A Proposed Amendment To Rule 10b5-2, Jamel Gross-Cassel

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

Shadow trading is a lucrative way to exploit a loophole in insider trading law. Insiders abuse this loophole to make six-figure profits and escape liability when done at the right companies. Those who shadow trade use material, nonpublic information to trade not in the securities of their own company, which would be illegal, but in the securities of a closely related company where the information is just as impactful. Efforts to close this loophole rely on the individual insider trading policies of the involved companies. These policies vary in language, making liability for shadow trading dependent on specific language or …


De Facto Shareholder Primacy, Jeff Schwartz Jan 2020

De Facto Shareholder Primacy, Jeff Schwartz

Maryland Law Review

No abstract provided.


Stock-Market Law And The Accuracy Of Public Companies’ Stock Prices, Kevin S. Haeberle Sep 2019

Stock-Market Law And The Accuracy Of Public Companies’ Stock Prices, Kevin S. Haeberle

Kevin Scott Haeberle

The social benefits of more accurate stock prices—that is, stock-market prices that more accurately reflect the future cash flows that companies are likely to produce—are well established. But it is also thought that market forces alone will lead to only a sub-optimal level of stock-price accuracy—a level that fails to obtain the maximum net social benefits, or wealth, that would result from a higher level. One of the principal aims of federal securities law has therefore been to increase the extent to which the stock prices of the most important companies in our economy (public companies) contain information about firms’ …


Nonvoting Shares And Efficient Corporate Governance, Dorothy S. Lund Jan 2019

Nonvoting Shares And Efficient Corporate Governance, Dorothy S. Lund

Faculty Scholarship

A growing number of technology companies, including Google, Zillow, and Snap, have issued stock that does not allow investors to vote on corporate decisions. But there is fundamental disagreement among scholars and investors about whether nonvoting stock is beneficial or harmful. Critics argue that nonvoting shares perpetually insulate corporate insiders from influence and oversight, and therefore increase agency costs. By contrast, proponents contend that nonvoting shares may provide benefits that exceed these agency costs, such as enabling corporate insiders to pursue their long-term vision for the company without interference from outside shareholders.

This Article offers a novel perspective on this …


Triumph Or Tragedy? The Curious Path Of Corporate Disclosure Reform In The U.K., Cynthia A. Williams, John M. Conley Jul 2017

Triumph Or Tragedy? The Curious Path Of Corporate Disclosure Reform In The U.K., Cynthia A. Williams, John M. Conley

Cynthia A. Williams

No abstract provided.


Tender Offers And The Sale Of Control: An Analogue To Determine The Validity Of Target Management Defense Measures, Stuart R. Cohn Aug 2015

Tender Offers And The Sale Of Control: An Analogue To Determine The Validity Of Target Management Defense Measures, Stuart R. Cohn

Stuart R. Cohn

The hostile tender offer phenomenon has spawned wholesale defensive measures adopted by target company management. In recent years, confrontations like those of Occidental Petroleum-Mead Corporation and American Express-McGraw-Hill have resulted in target management causing the eventual withdrawal of the tender offer by employing a variety of defensive measures known colloquially as “scorched earth” tactics. The “urge to merge” among major corporations will continue to produce unsolicited, nonnegotiated tender offers at varying scales of size. Consequently, strategies and techniques have been created at a pace faster than the process of litigation, causing a discernible lag between the ingenuity of corporate management …


Stock Appreciation Rights And The Sec: A Case Of Questionable Rulemaking, Stuart R. Cohn Aug 2015

Stock Appreciation Rights And The Sec: A Case Of Questionable Rulemaking, Stuart R. Cohn

Stuart R. Cohn

A stock appreciation rights (SARs) program is a form of deferred incentive compensation. Grantees are awarded SAR-units representing an equal number of the grantor’s equity shares currently being traded in public markets. SARs provide grantees the benefit of stock ownership without equity interest, investment, or risk of loss. Stock appreciation rights programs offer various advantages over other forms of executive compensation and have grown rapidly in number. These advantages include the availability of benefits without the requirement of monetary payments, the utilization of SARs as an interest-free form of financing the purchase of stock under tandem stock option programs, the …


Demise Of The Director's Duty Of Care: Judicial Avoidance Of Standards And Sanctions Through The Business Judgment Rule, Stuart R. Cohn Aug 2015

Demise Of The Director's Duty Of Care: Judicial Avoidance Of Standards And Sanctions Through The Business Judgment Rule, Stuart R. Cohn

Stuart R. Cohn

Courts love the so-called business judgment rule. It dispenses quickly and easily with derivative actions against corporate directors and officers, and other challenges to corporate conduct. Unfortunately, the business judgment rule has come to mask its underlying premise, i.e. that there must have been a business judgment made. This article examines the dominance of the business judgment rule over the underlying requirement of the duty of care and suggests reform measures that will bring the duty of care back to its appropriate role in determining the merits of management decision-making processes.


E-Commerce, Cyber, And Electronic Payment System Risks: Lessons From Paypal, Lawrence J. Trautman Aug 2015

E-Commerce, Cyber, And Electronic Payment System Risks: Lessons From Paypal, Lawrence J. Trautman

Lawrence J. Trautman Sr.

By now, almost without exception, every business has an internet presence, and is likely engaged in e-commerce. What are the major risks perceived by those engaged in e-commerce and electronic payment systems? What potential risks, if they become reality, may cause substantial increases in operating costs or threaten the very survival of the enterprise? This article utilizes the relevant annual report disclosures from eBay (parent of PayPal), along with other eBay and PayPal documents, as a potentially powerful teaching device. Most of the descriptive language to follow is excerpted directly from eBay’s regulatory filings. My additions include weaving these materials …


Law And Finance: The Case Of Stock Market Development In China, Zhong Zhang Dr Aug 2015

Law And Finance: The Case Of Stock Market Development In China, Zhong Zhang Dr

Zhong Zhang Dr

Having grown to one of the largest in the world in just over two decades, the stock market of China is cited as a counterexample to the significance of law for financial market development. A thorough examination of the development of China’s stock market however finds that law is actually critical to sustaining market growth and law did play a role in the growth of the market. On the other hand, the trajectory of development in China is growth first followed by law, and the improvement of law is caused by market growth. The experience of China hence suggests that …


Puzzles In Controlling Shareholder Regimes And China: Shareholder Primacy And (Quasi) Monopoly, Sang Yop Kang Aug 2015

Puzzles In Controlling Shareholder Regimes And China: Shareholder Primacy And (Quasi) Monopoly, Sang Yop Kang

Sang Yop Kang

Professor Mark Roe explained that the shareholder wealth maximization norm (“the norm”) is not fit for a country with a (quasi) monopoly, because the norm encourages managers to maximize monopoly rents, to the detriment of the national economy. This Article provides new findings and counter-intuitive arguments as to the tension created by the norm and (quasi) monopoly by exploring three key corporate governance concepts that Roe did not examine—(1) “controlling minority structure” (CMS), where dominant shareholders hold a fractional ownership in their controlled-corporations, (2) “tunneling” (i.e., illicit transfer of corporate wealth to controlling shareholders), and (3) Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs). …


Conflicted Counselors: Retaliation Protections For Attorney-Whistleblowers In An Inconsistent Regulatory Regime, Jennifer M. Pacella Aug 2015

Conflicted Counselors: Retaliation Protections For Attorney-Whistleblowers In An Inconsistent Regulatory Regime, Jennifer M. Pacella

Jennifer M. Pacella, Esq.

Attorneys, especially in-house counsel, are subject to retaliation by employers in much the same way as traditional whistleblowers, often experiencing retaliation and loss of livelihood for reporting instances of wrongdoing about their clients. Although attorney-whistleblowing undoubtedly invokes ethical concerns, attorneys who “appear and practice” before the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) are required by federal law to act as internal whistleblowers under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and report evidence of material violations of the law within the organizations that they represent. An attorney’s failure to comply with these obligations will result in SEC-imposed civil penalties and disciplinary action. Recent federal …


Limiting Leukophobia: Looking Beyond Lockup. Debunking The Strategy Of Turning White Collars Orange, Jared J. Hight Jul 2015

Limiting Leukophobia: Looking Beyond Lockup. Debunking The Strategy Of Turning White Collars Orange, Jared J. Hight

Jared J Hight

The legal and political landscape of the past 30 years has resulted in the abandonment of the utilitarian principle of parsimony as applied to white collar criminals. In response to preceding decades of minor punishments meted out for serious white collar crimes, the Federal Sentencing Commission abandoned the typical past practices of sentencing judges and instead formulated Guidelines that are wildly excessive and no longer balance the need for community safety with the need for that same community to remain economically efficient. The guiding principles of deterrence, rehabilitation, and incapacitation have been deemphasized in a new model that focuses primarily …


The Moral Undercurrent Beneath The Regulatory Regime Of Investor Protection, Huhnkie Lee May 2015

The Moral Undercurrent Beneath The Regulatory Regime Of Investor Protection, Huhnkie Lee

Huhnkie Lee

No abstract provided.


Examining Success, Jonathan C. Lipson Feb 2015

Examining Success, Jonathan C. Lipson

Jonathan C. Lipson

Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code presumes that managers will remain in possession and control of a corporate debtor. This presents an obvious agency problem: these same managers may have gotten the company into trouble in the first place. The Bankruptcy Code thus includes checks and balances in the reorganization process, one of which is supposed to be an “examiner,” a private individual appointed to investigate and report on the debtor’s collapse.

We study their use in practice. Extending prior research, we find that examiners are exceedingly rare, despite the fact that they should be “mandatory” in large cases ($5 …


Securities Fraud Damages Under The Pslra, Mohammed A. Misbah Feb 2015

Securities Fraud Damages Under The Pslra, Mohammed A. Misbah

Mohammed A Misbah

The United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act ("PSLRA") implemented several substantive changes affecting certain cases brought under the federal securities laws. It was designed to reduce the number of “frivolous” securities lawsuits filed in federal courts. Prior to the PSLRA, a securities fraud case could proceed with minimal evidence and use pre-trial discovery to search for more evidence that strongly suggested a deliberate fraud. Under the PSLRA plaintiffs need such evidence simply in order to commence an action. This article seeks to explain what evidence is required of a plaintiff in a security fraud case, in order to defeat …


Managing Cyberthreat, Lawrence J. Trautman Jan 2015

Managing Cyberthreat, Lawrence J. Trautman

Lawrence J. Trautman Sr.

Cyber security is an important strategic and governance issue. However, because most corporate CEOs and directors have no formal engineering or information technology training, it is understandable that their lack of actual cybersecurity knowledge is problematic. Particularly among smaller companies having limited resources, knowledge regarding what their enterprise should actually be doing about cybersecurity can’t be all that good. My goal in this article is to explore the unusually complex subject of cybersecurity in a highly readable manner. First, an examination of recent threats is provided. Next, governmental policy initiatives are discussed. Third, some basic tools that can be used …


The Institutional Appetite For Quack Corporate Governance, Alicia J. Davis Jan 2015

The Institutional Appetite For Quack Corporate Governance, Alicia J. Davis

Alicia Davis

This Article offers evidence that higher quality internal corporate governance is associated with higher levels of ownership by institutional investors. This finding is consistent with the idea that institutions have greater reason than individual investors to prefer well-governed firms, but surprising given the substantial empirical evidence that casts doubt on the efficacy of internal governance mechanisms. The study described in this Article also finds that higher quality external governance is associated with lower proportions of ownership by certain types of institutional investors, also a somewhat surprising result given available empirical evidence on the positive relationship between external governance and firm …


Re-Envisioning Investors’ Anti-Director Rights Index: Theory, Criticism, And Implications, Sang Yop Kang Jan 2015

Re-Envisioning Investors’ Anti-Director Rights Index: Theory, Criticism, And Implications, Sang Yop Kang

Sang Yop Kang

‘Law and Finance’ theory – which offers analytical frameworks to measure the protection of public investors and the quality of corporate governance – has dominated the comparative corporate governance scholarship in the last decade. So far, many proponents and critics have had debates on the relevance of the theory and the implications of the theory’s empirical studies. Several important points in relation to shareholder protection, however, have been highly neglected in these debates. In particular, the significance of one-share-one-vote (OSOV) rule has been inappropriately underestimated. In response, this Article explores (1) why OSOV is an utmost critical component in corporate …


Stock-Market Law And The Accuracy Of Public Companies’ Stock Prices, Kevin S. Haeberle Jan 2015

Stock-Market Law And The Accuracy Of Public Companies’ Stock Prices, Kevin S. Haeberle

Faculty Publications

The social benefits of more accurate stock prices—that is, stock-market prices that more accurately reflect the future cash flows that companies are likely to produce—are well established. But it is also thought that market forces alone will lead to only a sub-optimal level of stock-price accuracy—a level that fails to obtain the maximum net social benefits, or wealth, that would result from a higher level. One of the principal aims of federal securities law has therefore been to increase the extent to which the stock prices of the most important companies in our economy (public companies) contain information about firms’ …


Who Sits On Texas Corporate Boards? Texas Corporate Directors: Who They Are & What They Do, Lawrence J. Trautman Nov 2014

Who Sits On Texas Corporate Boards? Texas Corporate Directors: Who They Are & What They Do, Lawrence J. Trautman

Lawrence J. Trautman Sr.

Corporate directors play an important role in governing American business, in the capital formation process, and are fundamental to the stewardship of economic growth. Texas businesses play a disproportionately important role among the states in aggregate U.S. job creation, responsible for 37% of all net new American jobs since the post 2008-2009 recovery began. It is the job of the board of directors to govern the corporation. The duties and responsibilities of a corporate director include: the duty of care; duty of loyalty; and duty of good faith. This paper results from the author’s previously assembled biographical data for most …


Halliburton, Basic And Fraud On The Market: The Need For A New Paradigm, Charles W. Murdock Sep 2014

Halliburton, Basic And Fraud On The Market: The Need For A New Paradigm, Charles W. Murdock

Charles W. Murdock

Summary: Halliburton, Basic and Fraud on the Market: The Need for a New Paradigm

If defrauded securities plaintiffs cannot bring a class-action lawsuit, there often will be no effective remedy since the amount at stake for individual plaintiffs is not sufficient to warrant the substantial costs of litigation. To surmount the problem of individualized reliance and establish commonality, federal courts for twenty-five years have been employing the Basic fraud-on-the-market theory which posits that, in an efficient market, investors rely on the integrity of the market price.

While class certification at one time was a matter of course, today it is …


The Rise And Rise Of The One Percent: Getting To Thomas Piketty's Wealth Dystopia, Shi-Ling Hsu Aug 2014

The Rise And Rise Of The One Percent: Getting To Thomas Piketty's Wealth Dystopia, Shi-Ling Hsu

Shi-Ling Hsu

Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-first Century, which is surely one of the very few economics treatises ever to be a best-seller, has parachuted into an intensely emotional and deeply divisive American debate: the problem of inequality in the United States. Piketty's core argument is that throughout history, the rate of return on private capital has usually exceeded the rate of economic growth, expressed by Piketty as the relation r > g. If true, this relation means that the wealthy class – who are the predominant owners of capital – will grow their wealth faster than economies grow, which …


Corporate Boardroom Diversity: Why Are We Still Talking About This?, Lawrence J. Trautman Jul 2014

Corporate Boardroom Diversity: Why Are We Still Talking About This?, Lawrence J. Trautman

Lawrence J. Trautman Sr.

What exactly is board diversity and why does it matter? How does diversity fit in an attempt to build the best board for any organization? What attributes and skills are required by law and what mix of experiences and talents provide the best corporate governance? Even though most companies say they are looking for diversity, why has there been such little progress? Are required director attributes, which are a must for all boards, consistent with future diversity gains and aligned with achieving high performance and optimal board composition? My goal is to provide answers to these questions, and to discuss …


E-Commerce And Electronic Payment System Risks: Lessons From Paypal, Lawrence J. Trautman Jun 2014

E-Commerce And Electronic Payment System Risks: Lessons From Paypal, Lawrence J. Trautman

Lawrence J. Trautman Sr.

What are the major risks perceived by those engaged in e-commerce and electronic payment systems? What development risks, if they become reality, may cause substantial increases in operating costs or threaten the very survival of the enterprise? This article utilizes the relevant annual report disclosures from eBay (parent of PayPal), along with other eBay and PayPal documents, as a potentially powerful teaching device. Most of the descriptive language to follow is excerpted directly from eBay’s regulatory filings. My additions include weaving these materials into a logical presentation and providing supplemental sources for those who desire a deeper look (usually in …