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Full-Text Articles in Law

A History Of Corporate Law Federalism In The Twentieth Century, William W. Bratton Jan 2024

A History Of Corporate Law Federalism In The Twentieth Century, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

This Article describes the emergence of corporate law federalism across a long twentieth century. The period begins with New Jersey’s successful initiation of charter competition in 1888 and ends with the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002. The federalism in question describes the interrelation of state and federal regulation of corporate internal affairs. This Article takes a positive approach, pursuing no normative bottom line. It makes six observations: (1) the federalism describes a division of subject matter, with internal affairs regulated by the states and securities issuance and trading regulated by the federal government; (2) the federalism is an …


The Structure Of Corporate Law Revolutions, William Savitt Jan 2024

The Structure Of Corporate Law Revolutions, William Savitt

Seattle University Law Review

Since, call it 1970, corporate law has operated under a dominant conception of governance that identifies profit-maximization for stockholder benefit as the purpose of the corporation. Milton Friedman’s essay The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits, published in September of that year, provides a handy, if admittedly imprecise, marker for the coronation of the shareholder-primacy paradigm. In the decades that followed, corporate law scholars pursued an ever-narrowing research agenda with the purpose and effect of confirming the shareholder-primacy paradigm. Corporate jurisprudence followed a similar path, slowly at first and later accelerating, to discover in the precedents and …


Divide, "Two-Step," And Conquer: How Johnson & Johnson Spurred The Bankruptcy System, Patrick Maney Oct 2023

Divide, "Two-Step," And Conquer: How Johnson & Johnson Spurred The Bankruptcy System, Patrick Maney

University of Cincinnati Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Failure Of Market Efficiency, William Magnuson Jan 2023

The Failure Of Market Efficiency, William Magnuson

Faculty Scholarship

Recent years have witnessed the near total triumph of market efficiency as a regulatory goal. Policymakers regularly proclaim their devotion to ensuring efficient capital markets. Courts use market efficiency as a guiding light for crafting legal doctrine. And scholars have explored in great depth the mechanisms of market efficiency and the role of law in promoting it. There is strong evidence that, at least on some metrics, our capital markets are indeed more efficient than they have ever been. But the pursuit of efficiency has come at a cost. By focusing our attention narrowly on economic efficiency concerns—such as competition, …


Moby-Dick As Corporate Catastrophe: Law, Ethics, And Redemption, David Yosifon Dec 2021

Moby-Dick As Corporate Catastrophe: Law, Ethics, And Redemption, David Yosifon

University of Cincinnati Law Review

Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick serves here as a vehicle through which to interrogate core features of American corporate law and excavate some of the deeper lessons about the human soul that lurk behind the pasteboard mask of the law’s black letter. The inquiry yields an illuminating vantage on the ethical consequences of corporate capital structure, the law of corporate purpose, the meaning of voluntarism, the ethical stakes of corporate fiduciary obligations, and the role of lawyers in preventing or facilitating corporate catastrophe. No prior familiarity with the novel or corporate law is required.


Price Elasticity Of Demand In The Market For Governance In Businesses Location Decisions In Oecd Nations From 2015-2019, Luke Kendall May 2021

Price Elasticity Of Demand In The Market For Governance In Businesses Location Decisions In Oecd Nations From 2015-2019, Luke Kendall

Senior Honors Theses

This study proposes a framework of viewing the competition between governments to attract businesses into their jurisdiction as a competitive market. Literature is reviewed on the market forces and incentives of businesses and governments in location decisions. A possible gap in the literature of quantifying the price elasticity of competition between national governments for business activity is identified. OECD data is analyzed using equations supported by literature and results are evaluated to better understand the elasticity of international location decisions. The results of this study indicate that elasticity varies widely between countries, and countries with smaller economies may face more …


Corporate Law For Good People, Yuval Feldman, Adi Libson, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2021

Corporate Law For Good People, Yuval Feldman, Adi Libson, Gideon Parchomovsky

Northwestern University Law Review

This Article offers a novel analysis of the field of corporate governance by viewing it through the lens of behavioral ethics. It calls for both shifting the focus of corporate governance to a new set of loci of potential corporate wrongdoing and adding new tools to the corporate governance arsenal. Behavioral ethics scholarship emphasizes that the large share of wrongdoing is generated by “good people” whose intention is to act ethically. Their wrongdoing stems from “bounded ethicality”—various cognitive and motivational limitations in their ethical decision-making processes—that leads to biased decisions that seem legitimate. Bounded ethicality has important implications for a …


Delaware's Global Competitiveness, William J. Moon Jan 2021

Delaware's Global Competitiveness, William J. Moon

Faculty Scholarship

For about a hundred years, Delaware has been the leading jurisdiction for corporate law in the United States. The state, which deliberately embarked on a mission to build a haven for corporate law in the early twentieth century, now supplies corporate charters to over two thirds of Fortune 500 companies and a growing share of closely held companies. But Delaware’s domestic dominance masks the important and yet underexamined issue of whether Delaware maintains its competitive edge globally.

This Article examines Delaware’s global competitiveness, documenting Delaware’s surprising weakness competing in the emerging international market for corporate charters. It does so principally …


Team Production Theory Across The Waves, Brian R. Cheffins, Richard Williams Jan 2021

Team Production Theory Across The Waves, Brian R. Cheffins, Richard Williams

Vanderbilt Law Review

Team production theory, which Margaret Blair developed in tandem with Lynn Stout, has had a major impact on corporate law scholarship. The team production model, however, has been applied sparingly outside the United States. This article, part of a symposium honoring Margaret Blair’s scholarship, serves as a partial corrective by drawing on team production theory to assess corporate arrangements in the United Kingdom. Even though Blair and Stout are dismissive of “shareholder primacy” and the U.K. is thought of as a “shareholder-friendly” jurisdiction, deploying team production theory sheds light on key corporate law topics such as directors’ duties and the …


Fiduciary Duties And Corporate Climate Responsibility, Cynthia A. Williams Jan 2021

Fiduciary Duties And Corporate Climate Responsibility, Cynthia A. Williams

Vanderbilt Law Review

Corporate-law scholarship for decades has been occupied with agency costs and how to mitigate them. But when I teach the basic business organizations class, starting with agency law and looking at the fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and full disclosure of any agent to her principal, we explore both costs and benefits of agency relationships. I do so by introducing Ronald Coase’s theory of the firm. Using an example close to most second-year law students’ experience, that of buying a suit for interviews, I contrast Brooks Brothers establishing its own factories (the “make” decision) with Brooks Brothers using supply chains, …


Challenging Gender Discrimination In Closely Held Firms: The Hope And Hazards Of Corporate Oppression Doctrine, Meredith R. Miller Jan 2021

Challenging Gender Discrimination In Closely Held Firms: The Hope And Hazards Of Corporate Oppression Doctrine, Meredith R. Miller

Scholarly Works

The #MeToo Movement has ushered sexual harassment out of the shadows and thrown a spotlight on the gender pay gap in the workplace. Harassment and unfair treatment have, however, been difficult to extinguish. This has been true for all workers, including partners – those women who are owners in their firms and claim that they have suffered harassment or unfair treatment based on gender. That is because a partner’s lawsuit for discrimination often will suffer an insurmountable hurdle: plaintiff’s status as a partner in the firm means that they may not be considered an “employee” under the relevant employment discrimination …


Team Production Revisited, William W. Bratton Jan 2021

Team Production Revisited, William W. Bratton

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article reconsiders Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout’s team production model of corporate law, offering a favorable evaluation. The model explains both the legal corporate entity and corporate governance institutions in microeconomic terms as the means to the end of encouraging investment, situating corporations within markets and subject to market constraints but simultaneously insisting that productive success requires that corporations remain independent of markets. The model also integrates the inherited framework of corporate law into an economically derived model of production, constructing a microeconomic description of large enterprises firmly rooted in corporate doctrine but neither focused on nor limited by …


Dodge V. Ford: What Happened And Why?, Mark J. Roe Jan 2021

Dodge V. Ford: What Happened And Why?, Mark J. Roe

Vanderbilt Law Review

Behind Henry Ford’s business decisions that led to the widely taught, famous-in-law-school Dodge v. Ford shareholder primacy decision were three industrial organization structures that put Ford in a difficult business position. First, Ford Motor had a highly profitable monopoly and needed much cash for the just-begun construction of the River Rouge factory, which was said to be the world’s largest when completed. Second, to stymie union organizers and to motivate his new assembly-line workers, Henry Ford raised worker pay greatly; Ford could not maintain his monopoly without sufficient worker buy-in. And, third, if Ford explicitly justified his acts as in …


Federal Corporate Law And The Business Of Banking, Morgan Ricks, Lev Menand Jan 2021

Federal Corporate Law And The Business Of Banking, Morgan Ricks, Lev Menand

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The only profit-seeking business enterprises chartered by a federal government agency are banks. Yet there is barely any scholarship justifying this exception to state primacy in U.S. corporate law.

This Article addresses that gap. It reinterprets the National Bank Act (NBA) the organic statute governing national banks, the heavyweights of the financial sec- tor-as a corporation law and recovers the reasons why Congress wrote this law: not to catalyze private wealth creation or to regulate an existing industry, but to solve an economic governance problem. National banks are federal instrumentalities charged with augmenting the money supply-- a delegated sovereign privilege. …


Insolvency Law In Emerging Markets, Aurelio Gurrea-Martinez Sep 2020

Insolvency Law In Emerging Markets, Aurelio Gurrea-Martinez

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

Corporate insolvency law can serve as a powerful mechanism to promote economic growth. Ex ante, a well-functioning insolvency framework can facilitate entrepreneurship, innovation and access to finance. Ex post, corporate insolvency law can perform several functions, including the reorganization of viable companies in financial distress, the liquidation of non-viable businesses in a fair and efficient manner, and the maximization of the returns to creditors. Therefore, if having an efficient corporate insolvency framework is essential for any country, it becomes even more important for emerging economies due to their potential for growth and their greater financial needs.


Foreword--Comparative Corporate Law & Governance, Dan W. Puchniak, Randall S. Thomas May 2020

Foreword--Comparative Corporate Law & Governance, Dan W. Puchniak, Randall S. Thomas

Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, especially for the student editors of the Journal, this special issue has been published on time and has been superbly edited. On behalf of the authors, NUS Law, and the Law & Business Program of Vanderbilt Law School, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to the editor in chief, Joshua D. Minchin, and the entire editorial team of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law for their remarkable skill, effort, and dedication in these challenging times. Your performance gives us great hope that the future is extremely bright.


Commercial Law Intersections, Giuliano Castellano, Andrea Tosato Apr 2020

Commercial Law Intersections, Giuliano Castellano, Andrea Tosato

All Faculty Scholarship

Commercial law is not a single, monolithic entity. It has grown into a dense thicket of subject-specific branches that govern a broad range of transactions and corporate actions. When one of these events falls concurrently within the purview of two or more of these commercial law branches - such as corporate law, intellectual property law, secured transactions law, conduct and prudential regulation - an overlap materializes. We refer to this legal phenomenon as a commercial law intersection (CLI). Some notable examples of transactions that feature CLIs include bank loans secured by shares, supply chain financing arrangements, patent cross-licensing, and blockchain-based …


Maine Corporation Law & Practice, Gregory S. Fryer Apr 2020

Maine Corporation Law & Practice, Gregory S. Fryer

Maine Law Review

The scarcity of case law in Maine on corporate law issues of the day is a fact of life for corporate law practitioners in this State. While courts in more populous states fill library shelves with an ever-growing mix of corporate law decisions, we in Maine often can only wonder which way our own courts would turn if presented with those same issues. Faced with a limited amount of local case law, corporate lawyers here might rarely venture beyond well-hewn traditions were it not for two-and now three-fortunate developments. First and foremost is the Maine Business Corporation Act. The Act …


Maine Corporation Law & Practice, Gregory S. Fryer Apr 2020

Maine Corporation Law & Practice, Gregory S. Fryer

Maine Law Review

The scarcity of case law in Maine on corporate law issues of the day is a fact of life for corporate law practitioners in this State. While courts in more populous states fill library shelves with an ever-growing mix of corporate law decisions, we in Maine often can only wonder which way our own courts would turn if presented with those same issues. Faced with a limited amount of local case law, corporate lawyers here might rarely venture beyond well-hewn traditions were it not for two-and now three-fortunate developments. First and foremost is the Maine Business Corporation Act. The Act …


Delaware's New Competition, William J. Moon Apr 2020

Delaware's New Competition, William J. Moon

Northwestern University Law Review

According to the standard account in American corporate law, states compete to supply corporate law to American corporations, with Delaware dominating the market. This “competition” metaphor in turn informs some of the most important policy debates in American corporate law.

This Article complicates the standard account, introducing foreign nations as emerging lawmakers that compete with American states in the increasingly globalized market for corporate law. In recent decades, entrepreneurial foreign nations in offshore islands have used permissive corporate governance rules and specialized business courts to attract publicly traded American corporations. Aided in part by a select group of private sector …


The Misuse Of Tobin’S Q, Robert Bartlett, Frank Partnoy Mar 2020

The Misuse Of Tobin’S Q, Robert Bartlett, Frank Partnoy

Vanderbilt Law Review

In recent years, scholars have addressed the most important topics in corporate law based on a flawed assumption: that the ratio of the market value of a corporation’s securities to their book value is a valid measure of the value of the corporation. The topics have included staggered boards, incorporation in Delaware, shareholder activism, dual-class share structures, share ownership, board diversity, and other significant aspects of corporate governance. We trace the history of this flawed assumption, and document how it emerged from Tobin’s q, a concept from an unrelated area in macroeconomics. We show that scholars have misused Tobin’s q, …


Management Succession In Korea: Tunneling, Semi-Tunneling, And The Reaction Of Corporate Law, Kyung-Hoon Chun Jan 2020

Management Succession In Korea: Tunneling, Semi-Tunneling, And The Reaction Of Corporate Law, Kyung-Hoon Chun

Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

Recently in Korea, certain issues of corporate law became the subjects of fierce political debates unlike many other jurisdictions where corporate law issues generally remain in the exclusive realm of professionals and academics. This Article begins with the question of why corporate law issues attracted so much political attention in Korea and whether such political attention actually helped improve the corporate law. In pursuing the answers to such questions, this Article identifies a recurring pattern: (i) existence of strict rules against seeking private benefits; (ii) various clever measures to circumvent such rules; (iii) failure of the courts to regulate such …


Singapore Company Law And The Economy: Reciprocal Influence Over 50 Years, Vincent Ooi, Cheng Han Tan Sep 2019

Singapore Company Law And The Economy: Reciprocal Influence Over 50 Years, Vincent Ooi, Cheng Han Tan

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

A strong reciprocal relationship has existed between Singapore Company Law (SCL) and the economy since Independence in 1965. Swift Parliamentary responses to economic events and successful implementation of Government policies has made it possible to clearly attribute cause and effect to statutory amendments and economic events in turn, proving the reciprocal relationship between the two. The first theme of this article seeks to explain the fundamental characteristics of SCL that have resulted in such an unusually strong reciprocal relationship: (1) Autochthonous nature of SCL; (2) Responsive nature of legislation; and (3) Government control at multiple levels of implementation. The second …


Propuesta Para La Mejora Y Modernización De La Legislación Societaria En Ecuador [Proposal For The Improvement And Modernization Of Corporate Law In Ecuador] In Spanish, Aurelio Gurrea-Martinez, Cesar Coronel Jones Jun 2019

Propuesta Para La Mejora Y Modernización De La Legislación Societaria En Ecuador [Proposal For The Improvement And Modernization Of Corporate Law In Ecuador] In Spanish, Aurelio Gurrea-Martinez, Cesar Coronel Jones

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

This paper seeks to provide some policy recommendations for the improvement and modernization of corporate law in Ecuador. These proposals have been based on the international literature and the particular features of Ecuador (that is, a country with many micro and small companies, state-owned enterprises, underdeveloped capital markets, unsophisticated courts, among other aspects). Secondly, since the legal, economic and institutional features of Ecuador can be found in other Latin American countries, this paper also seeks to be helpful to other countries in the region planning to reform their corporate laws. Finally, this paper seeks to contribute to the improvement and …


Law And The Blockchain, Usha Rodrigues Jan 2019

Law And The Blockchain, Usha Rodrigues

Scholarly Works

All contracts are necessarily incomplete. The inefficiencies of bargaining over every contingency, coupled with humans’ innate bounded rationality, mean that contracts cannot anticipate and address every potential eventuality. One role of law is to fill gaps in incomplete contracts with default rules. The blockchain is a distributed ledger that allows the cryptographic recording of transactions and permits “smart” contracts that self-execute automatically if their conditions are met. Because humans code the contracts of the blockchain, gaps in these contracts will arise. Yet in the world of “smart contracting” on the blockchain, there is no place for the law to step …


Traceable Shares And Corporate Law, George S. Geis Oct 2018

Traceable Shares And Corporate Law, George S. Geis

Northwestern University Law Review

A healthy system of shareholder voting is crucial for any regime of corporate law. The proper allocation of governance power is subject to debate, of course, but the fitness of the underlying mechanism used to stuff the ballot boxes should concern everyone. Proponents of shareholder power, for instance, cannot argue for greater control if the legitimacy of the resulting tallies is suspect. And those who advocate for board deference do so on the bedrock of authority that reliable shareholder elections supposedly confer.

Unfortunately, our trust in the corporate franchise was forged during an era that predates modern complexities in the …


Trapped In A Metaphor: The Limited Implications Of Federalism For Corporate Governance, Robert B. Ahdieh Jun 2018

Trapped In A Metaphor: The Limited Implications Of Federalism For Corporate Governance, Robert B. Ahdieh

Robert B. Ahdieh

Trapped in a metaphor articulated at the founding of modern corporate law, the study of corporate governance has - for some thirty years - been asking the wrong questions. Rather than a singular race among states, whether to the bottom or the top, the synthesis of William Cary and Ralph Winter’s famous exchange is better understood as two competitions, each serving distinct normative ends. Managerial competition advances the project that has motivated corporate law since Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means - effective regulation of the separation of ownership and control. State competition, by contrast, does not promote a race to …


The (Misunderstood) Genius Of American Corporate Law, Robert B. Ahdieh Jun 2018

The (Misunderstood) Genius Of American Corporate Law, Robert B. Ahdieh

Robert B. Ahdieh

In this Reply, I respond to comments by Bill Bratton, Larry Cunningham, and Todd Henderson on my recent paper - Trapped in a Metaphor: The Limited Implications of Federalism for Corporate Governance. I begin by reiterating my basic thesis - that state competition should be understood to have little consequence for corporate governance, if (as charter competition's advocates assume) capital-market-driven managerial competition is also at work. I then consider some of the thoughtful critiques of this claim, before suggesting ways in which the comments highlight just the kind of comparative institutional analysis my paper counsels. Rather than a stark choice …


From "Federalization" To "Mixed Governance" In Corporate Law: A Defense Of Sarbanes-Oxley, Robert B. Ahdieh Jun 2018

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

Robert B. Ahdieh

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 …


Uncharted Waters? Legal Ethics And The Benefit Corporation, Joseph Pileri May 2018

Uncharted Waters? Legal Ethics And The Benefit Corporation, Joseph Pileri

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Corporate law norms are reflected in lawyers’ ethical duties. The enactment of benefit corporation legislation across the country signals a legislative acknowledgment that corporate law can serve as a public, rather than a merely private, ordering mechanism. Benefit corporations expressly adopt a public benefit as a legal purpose of the enterprise. While many have written about this important development with respect to corporate fiduciary law, this essay is the first to explore the professional and ethical responsibility of lawyers representing benefit corporations. In the last century, as scholars and courts drove an understanding of corporate law that elevated the interests …