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Full-Text Articles in Law

Shareholder Primacy And The Moral Obligation Of Directors, Mark J. Loewenstein, Jay Geyer Jan 2021

Shareholder Primacy And The Moral Obligation Of Directors, Mark J. Loewenstein, Jay Geyer

Articles

One of the most written-about and important topics in corporate law is the fiduciary obligations of corporate directors. Increasingly, critics of American capitalism have urged that corporations, and implicitly, corporate directors, act in a more socially responsible fashion and thus eschew the notion that shareholder primacy is the exclusive guide to a director’s fiduciary duty. Under this view, directors must consider the effect of their actions on “stakeholders” other than shareholders and be guided by morality—doing the right thing—when making business judgments.

When directors move away from shareholder primacy, however, decision-making becomes more difficult and problematic. This ...


Federal Forum Provisions And The Internal Affairs Doctrine, Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, Ofer Eldar Aug 2020

Federal Forum Provisions And The Internal Affairs Doctrine, Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, Ofer Eldar

Articles

A key question at the intersection of state and federal law is whether corpo- rations can use their charters or bylaws to restrict securities litigation to federal court. In December 2018, the Delaware Chancery Court answered this question in the negative in the landmark decision Sciabacucchi v. Salzberg. The court invalidated “federal forum provisions” (“FFPs”) that allow companies to select federal district courts as the exclusive venue for claims brought under the Secur- ities Act of 1933 (“1933 Act”). The decision held that the internal affairs doc- trine, which is the bedrock of U.S. corporate law, does not permit ...


Pushing The Envelope: Salzberg V. Sciabacucchi And Delaware's Evolving View Of The Internal Affairs Doctrine, Mark J. Loewenstein Jan 2020

Pushing The Envelope: Salzberg V. Sciabacucchi And Delaware's Evolving View Of The Internal Affairs Doctrine, Mark J. Loewenstein

Articles

In January, 2020, the Delaware Supreme Court handed down its decision in Salzberg v. Sciabacucchi, upholding a provision in a certificate of incorporation that designated the federal courts as the exclusive jurisdiction for the litigation of claims under the federal Securities Act of 1933. The inclusion of these provisions in Delaware charters and bylaws – often referred to as “Federal Forum Provisions” or FFPs – raised important questions as to the reach of the internal affairs doctrine. This doctrine provides that the jurisdiction of incorporation regulates the internal affairs of its corporations: the relationship among and between the corporate officers, directors and ...


Crowdfunding Issuers In The United States, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2020

Crowdfunding Issuers In The United States, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

Startup companies can now legally sell shares of stock, bonds, or other securities to the broad public using equity crowdfunding, a new type of online capital market modeled on Kickstarter and other reward crowdfunding websites. Through equity crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can go directly to the broad public (the “crowd”) for investment, without having to go through the usual (and costly) process of an initial public offering (IPO). Equity crowdfunding thus offers a chance for all entrepreneurs, regardless of their physical location, gender, or anything else, to solicit investors and raise capital.

In 2012, new federal legislation—the Jumpstart Our Business Startups ...


Remutualization, Erik F. Gerding Jan 2020

Remutualization, Erik F. Gerding

Articles

Policymakers need to rediscover the organizational form of business entity as a tool of financial regulation. Recent and classic scholarship has produced evidence that financial institutions organized as alternative entity forms – including investment bank partnerships and banks and insurance companies organized as mutual or cooperatives – tend to take less risk, exploit customers/consumer less, or commit less misconduct compared to counterparts organized as investor-owned corporations. This article builds off the work of Hill and Painter on investment banks organized as partnerships, Hansmann on the history and economics of banks and insurance companies organized as mutuals and cooperatives, and other scholars ...


Strengthening The Passivity Default, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox Jun 2019

Strengthening The Passivity Default, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox

Articles

In The Prudence of Passivity, Bryon Harmon and Laura Fisher (hereafter HF) argue that "passive management become the default approach for the investment of trust funds, to be abandoned only when circumstances specifically dictate the use of active management."' In this comment we argue that their thesis could be strengthened (i) by more clearly distinguishing between default law and default investment practices, (ii) by more clearly articulating their favored altering rules.


Alpha Duties: The Search For Excess Returns And Appropriate Fiduciary Duties, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox Mar 2019

Alpha Duties: The Search For Excess Returns And Appropriate Fiduciary Duties, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox

Articles

Modern finance theory and investment practice have shifted toward “passive investing.” The current consensus is that most savers should invest in mutual funds or ETFs that are (i) well-diversified, (ii) low-cost, and (iii) expose their portfolios to age-appropriate stock market risk. The law governing trustees, investment advisers, broker–dealers, 401(k) plan managers, and other investment fiduciaries has evolved to push them gently toward this consensus. But these laws still provide broad scope for fiduciaries to recommend that clients invest instead in specific assets that they believe will produce “alpha” by outperforming the market. Seeking alpha comes at a cost ...


Mandatory Disclosure In Primary Markets, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2019

Mandatory Disclosure In Primary Markets, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

Mandatory disclosure—the idea that companies must be legally required to disclose certain, specified information to public investors—is the first principle of modern securities law. Despite the high costs it imposes, mandatory disclosure has been well defended by legal scholars on two theoretical grounds: ‘Agency costs’ and ‘information underproduction.’ While these two concepts are a good fit for secondary markets (where investors trade securities with one another), this Article shows that they are largely irrelevant in the context of primary markets (where companies offer securities directly to investors). The surprising result is that primary offerings—such as an IPO ...


Prosecuting Securities Fraud Under Section 17(A)(2), Wendy Gerwick Couture Jan 2019

Prosecuting Securities Fraud Under Section 17(A)(2), Wendy Gerwick Couture

Articles

No abstract provided.


Principles For State Prosecution Of Securities Crime In A Dual-Regulatory, Multi-Enforcer Regime, Wendy Gerwick Couture Jan 2019

Principles For State Prosecution Of Securities Crime In A Dual-Regulatory, Multi-Enforcer Regime, Wendy Gerwick Couture

Articles

This article proposes principles for the exercise of prosecutorial discretion when prosecuting securities crime under state law. Securities transactions in the United States are subject to a dual-regulatory, multi-enforcer regime. Securities are dually regulated by the federal government and the states, with each regulatory scheme including both civil and criminal enforcement provisions. Those laws are multi-enforced at each level by a regulator, private parties, and prosecutors. And yet, the role of state prosecution of securities crime within this regime is undertheorized, and there is little guidance for state prosecutors about how their prosecutorial decisions affect this regime. This article, drawing ...


Securities Law In The Sixties: The Supreme Court, The Second Circuit, And The Triumph Of Purpose Over Text, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Nov 2018

Securities Law In The Sixties: The Supreme Court, The Second Circuit, And The Triumph Of Purpose Over Text, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Articles

This Article analyzes the Supreme Court’s leading securities cases from 1962 to 1972—SEC v. Capital Gains Research Bureau, Inc.; J.I. Case Co. v. Borak; Mills v. Electric Auto-Lite Co.; Superintendent of Insurance v. Bankers Life & Casualty Co.; and Affiliated Ute of Utah v. United States—relying not just on the published opinions, but also the Justices’ internal letters, memos, and conference notes. The Sixties Court did not simply apply the text as enacted by Congress, but instead invoked the securities laws’ purposes as a guide to interpretation. The Court became a partner of Congress in shaping the securities laws ...


Texas Gulf Sulphur And The Genesis Of Corporate Liability Under Rule 10b-5, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Oct 2018

Texas Gulf Sulphur And The Genesis Of Corporate Liability Under Rule 10b-5, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Articles

This Essay explores the seminal role played by SEC v. Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. in establishing Rule 10b-5’s use to create a remedy against corporations for misstatements made by their officers. The question of the corporation’s liability for private damages loomed large for the Second Circuit judges in Texas Gulf Sulphur, even though that question was not directly at issue in an SEC action for injunctive relief. The judges considered both, construing narrowly “in connection with the purchase or sale of any security,” and the requisite state of mind required for violating Rule 10b-5. We explore the choices ...


Citing Counsel's Opinion About The Merits Of Legal Proceedings In Sec Filings, Wendy Gerwick Couture Jul 2018

Citing Counsel's Opinion About The Merits Of Legal Proceedings In Sec Filings, Wendy Gerwick Couture

Articles

No abstract provided.


Informed Trading And Its Regulation, Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, Gabriel V. Rauterberg Jun 2018

Informed Trading And Its Regulation, Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, Gabriel V. Rauterberg

Articles

Informed trading--trading on information not yet reflected in a stock's price-- drives the stock market. Such informational advantages can arise from astute analysis of varied pieces of public news, from just released public information, or from confidential information from inside a firm. We argue that these disparate types of trading are all better regulated as part of the broader phenomenon of informed trading. Informed trading makes share prices more accurate, enhancing the allocation of capital, but also makes markets less liquid, which is costly to the efficiency of trade. Informed trading thus poses a fundamental trade-off in how it ...


High‐Frequency Trading And The New Stock Market: Sense And Nonsense, Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, Gabriel V. Rauterberg Feb 2018

High‐Frequency Trading And The New Stock Market: Sense And Nonsense, Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, Gabriel V. Rauterberg

Articles

The stock market has been transformed during the last 25 years. Human suppliers of liquidity like the NASDAQ dealers and NYSE specialists have been replaced by algorithmic market making; stocks that once traded on a single venue now trade across twelve exchanges and a multitude of alternative trading systems. New venues like dark pools, and new participants like high‐frequency traders, have emerged to take on prominent roles. This new market has had more than its share of controversy and regulatory scrutiny, particularly in the wake of Michael Lewis’s bestseller Flash Boys. In this article, the authors analyze five ...


Investors' Paradox, Anita K. Krug Jan 2018

Investors' Paradox, Anita K. Krug

Articles

For the first time in an era, new investment products for smaller ("retail ") investors are emerging. These products are mutual funds that engage in the types of trading and investment activities that have long been the province of sophisticated investors. Accordingly, the new funds (called "alternative funds") promise to reduce the gulf between retail investors and their sophisticated counterparts, in terms of portfolio diversification and investment results.

This Article describes the complex mix of factors that spawned alternative funds and critically evaluates the funds' potential, the first scholarly work to do so. It additionally unearths the paradox that impedes the ...


Thinking Fast And Slow About The Concept Of Materiality, Mark J. Loewenstein Jan 2018

Thinking Fast And Slow About The Concept Of Materiality, Mark J. Loewenstein

Articles

Determining whether, for securities law purposes, a misrepresentation or omission is material raises interesting questions. The Court of Appeals in SEC v. Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. provided some guidance on materiality, and the U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in several times in the past 50 years. This article first discusses what Texas Gulf Sulphur contributed to the doctrine of materiality, then briefly considers other dimensions of the doctrine, and finally moves to its thesis: The doctrine of materiality should take into account important psychological insights and heuristics that may affect the way that a fact finder decides whether a ...


The Evolution Of Entrepreneurial Finance: A New Typology, J. Brad Bernthal Jan 2018

The Evolution Of Entrepreneurial Finance: A New Typology, J. Brad Bernthal

Articles

There has been an explosion in new types of startup finance instruments. Whereas twenty years ago preferred stock dominated the field, startup companies and investors now use at least eight different instruments—six of which have only become widely used in the last decade. Legal scholars have yet to reflect upon the proliferation of instrument types in the aggregate. Notably missing is a way to organize instruments into a common framework that highlights their similarities and differences.

This Article makes four contributions. First, it catalogues the variety of startup investment forms. I describe novel instruments, such as revenue-based financing, which ...


Board Rooms And Jail Cells- Assessing Ngo Approaches To Private Environmental Governance, Joshua Galperin Jan 2018

Board Rooms And Jail Cells- Assessing Ngo Approaches To Private Environmental Governance, Joshua Galperin

Articles

Staff of the Nature Conservancy often find themselves in corporate board rooms. Staff of Greenpeace often find themselves in jail cells. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) prides itself on its non-confrontational, collaborative deal making, partnering closely with corporations like chemical giant Dow and agricultural lightning rod Monsanto. Both Dow and Monsanto, in fact, are members of TNC’s Business Council along with the likes of BP, Shell, and Cargill. Greenpeace, on the other hand, prides itself on direct action, civil disobedience, and non-violent confrontation. Greenpeace has launched combative operations against Dow, Monsanto, and other TNC collaborators. While business partners praise TNC ...


Stock Market Manipulation And Its Regulation, Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, Gabriel Rauterberg Jan 2018

Stock Market Manipulation And Its Regulation, Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, Gabriel Rauterberg

Articles

More than eighty years after federal law first addressed stock market manipulation, the federal courts remain fractured by disagreement and confusion concerning manipulation law's most foundational issues. There remains, for example, a sharp split among the federal circuits concerning manipulation law's central question: Whether trading activity alone can ever be considered illegal manipulation under federal law? Academics have been similarly confused-economists and legal scholars cannot agree on whether manipulation is even possible in principle, let alone on how to properly address it in practice.


Optimal Issuer Disclosure Of Opinions, Wendy Gerwick Couture Jan 2018

Optimal Issuer Disclosure Of Opinions, Wendy Gerwick Couture

Articles

This Article adds to the scholarly literature about the optimal level of disclosure by issuers of securities by proposing a new theoretical framework that encompasses not only the choice between silence and disclosure, which has been widely discussed, but also the subsidiary decision between disclosure as an opinion and as a statement of fact, which has been ignored. This framework informs the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ongoing review of mandatory disclosure rules and contextualizes the potential impacts of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund,1 which clarified that ...


Texas Gulf Sulphur: A Case Study On Responding To Market Rumors, Wendy Gerwick Couture Jan 2018

Texas Gulf Sulphur: A Case Study On Responding To Market Rumors, Wendy Gerwick Couture

Articles

This essay uses Texas Gulf Sulphur as a case study on an issue that companies continue to face today: whether, and how, to respond to market rumors. This essay analyzes the countervailing incentives that influence whether companies respond to market rumors, applies those pressures to the facts of Texas Gulf Sulphur, and concludes that counsel today would likely advise similarly situated companies to remain silent rather than respond to market rumors. Drawing therefrom, this essay argues that silence is not the socially optimal response and that the dueling pressures on companies should be adjusted to incentivize companies to respond to ...


Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard Nov 2017

Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using a sample of all companies named as defendants in securities class actions between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008, we study parallel suits relying on state corporate law arising out of the same allegations as the securities class actions. We test several ways that parallel suits may add value to a securities class action. Most parallel suits target cases involving obvious indicia of wrongdoing. Moreover, we find that although a modest percentage of parallel suits are filed first, over 80 percent are filed after a securities class action (termed “follow-on” parallel suits). We find that parallel suits and ...


Stock Market Futurism, Merritt Fox, Gabriel Rauterberg Jul 2017

Stock Market Futurism, Merritt Fox, Gabriel Rauterberg

Articles

The U.S. stock market is undergoing extraordinary upheaval. The approval of the application of the Investors Exchange (IEX) to become the nation's newest stock exchange, including its famous "speed bump," was one of the SEC's most controversial decisions in decades. Other exchanges have proposed a raft of new innovations in its wake. This evolving equity market is a critical piece of national infrastructure, but the regulatory scheme for its institutions is increasingly frayed. In particular, current regulation draws sharp distinctions among different kinds of markets for trading stocks, treating stock exchanges as self-regulatory organizations immune from private ...


Rest In Peace, Rule 505, Wendy Gerwick Couture Jul 2017

Rest In Peace, Rule 505, Wendy Gerwick Couture

Articles

After 37 years in existence,1 the Rule 505 exemption from registration has been repealed, effective May 22, 2017. This essay reviews the evolution of Rule 505 over its lifetime; examines Rule 505’s role within Regulation D and analyzes why that role eventually became obsolete; and argues that Rule 505 leaves behind a legacy that should continue to inform policy discussions about exemptions from registration.


The Other Securities Regulator: A Case Study In Regulatory Damage, Anita K. Krug Jan 2017

The Other Securities Regulator: A Case Study In Regulatory Damage, Anita K. Krug

Articles

Although the Securities and Exchange Commission is the primary securities regulator in the United States, the Department of Labor also engages in securities regulation. It does so by virtue of its authority to administer the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the statute that governs the investment of retirement assets. In 2016, the DOL used its securities regulatory authority to adopt a rule that, for the first time, designates securities brokers who provide investment advice to retirement investors as fiduciaries subject to ERISA's stringent transaction prohibitions. The new rule's objective is salutary, to be sure. However this Article ...


Royalty Securitization, Kristelia García Jan 2017

Royalty Securitization, Kristelia García

Articles

No abstract provided.


Glass Half-Empty Approach To Securities Regulation, Wendy Gerwick Couture Jan 2017

Glass Half-Empty Approach To Securities Regulation, Wendy Gerwick Couture

Articles

In this Article, I propose a novel approach, which I call the “glass-half-empty” approach, to analyze the appropriate boundaries of securities regulation. This approach assumes a baseline of “full” regulation and then analyzes which regulations should be stripped away because the costs exceed the benefits. This is the opposite of the traditional approach, which assumes a baseline of zero regulation, identifies a market failure, and then weighs the costs and benefits of regulatory intervention.

Although, in theory, the two approaches should reach the same conclusions about the appropriate bounds of securities regulation, the glass-half-empty approach yields new insights because it ...


The Sec's Shift To Administrative Proceedings: An Empirical Assessment, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Prichard Jan 2017

The Sec's Shift To Administrative Proceedings: An Empirical Assessment, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Prichard

Articles

Congress has repeatedly expanded the authority of the SEC to pursue violations of securities laws in proceedings adjudicated by the SEC's own administrative law judges, most recently through the Dodd-Frank Act. We report the results from an empirical study of SEC enforcement actions against non-financial public companies to assess the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on the balance between civil court and administrative enforcement actions. We show a general decline in the number of court actions and an increase in the number of administrative proceedings post-Dodd-Frank. At the same time, we show an increase in average civil penalties post-Dodd-Frank ...


Risk Of Regulatory Arbitrage: A Response To "Securities Regulation In Virtual Space", Wendy Gerwick Couture Jan 2017

Risk Of Regulatory Arbitrage: A Response To "Securities Regulation In Virtual Space", Wendy Gerwick Couture

Articles

In Securities Regulation in Virtual Space, Eric C. Chaffee explores the potential applicability of the securities laws to virtual transactions based on virtual activity and argues that, although many of these transactions likely qualify as “investment contracts” under S.E.C. v. W.J. Howey Co., they should be excluded under the context clause because, among other reasons, application of the securities laws would stifle creativity within this innovative space. This Response proposes a reframing of the Howey test as a response to the risk of regulatory arbitrage, argues that the context clause should only exclude transactions that do not ...