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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Corporate Preference For Trade Secret, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2013

The Corporate Preference For Trade Secret, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

Many inventions can be legally protected either by patent or by trade secrecy, and a conventional wisdom exists on how to select between them. This Article adds to that literature by showing that corporations should have an inherent preference for trade secret over patent for reasons relating to their legal form. Among them is the idea that corporations are perpetual entities and therefore perfectly suited to reap the perpetual returns that only a trade secret can offer. The Article also addresses the potential for a conflict between the inherent corporate preference for trade secret and the preferences of corporate managers ...


Benefit Corporations: A Challenge In Corporate Governance, Mark J. Loewenstein Jan 2013

Benefit Corporations: A Challenge In Corporate Governance, Mark J. Loewenstein

Articles

Benefit corporations are a new form of business entity that is rapidly being adopted around the country. Though the legislation varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, most statutes are based on a model proposed and promoted by B Lab, itself a nonprofit corporation. The essence of these statutes is that, in making business judgments, the directors of a benefit corporation must consider the impact of their decisions on the environment and society. The model legislation, though, may create serious governance issues for the directors of benefit corporations that operate under these laws. This article analyzes the model legislation and identifies its ...


Rationalizing Entity Law: Corporate Law And Alternative Entities (Part I), Mark J. Loewenstein Jan 2013

Rationalizing Entity Law: Corporate Law And Alternative Entities (Part I), Mark J. Loewenstein

Articles

In this article, I consider how corporate law and limited liability company law treat five different areas: agency authority, derivative actions, formation issues, veil piercing, and oppression of minority owners. For each such area, I consider whether the law varies depending on the kind of entity involved, why that might be the case, and whether the law should be rationalized; that is, whether legislatures or the courts should seek to harmonize the law across entities. While this short article focuses primarily on corporations and limited liability companies, the issues considered here apply as well to partnerships and, where appropriate, reference ...


Rural Crowdfunding, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2013

Rural Crowdfunding, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

One reason that economic development in rural America lags behind its urban counterpart is the persistent lack of venture capital for rural entrepreneurs. Geography deserves much of the blame, as angel investors and venture capitalists tend to live and work in metropolitan areas on the coasts, in places like Silicon Valley and Boston. Many rural areas are literally thousands of miles away, with the result that venture capital has rarely found its way to rural regions.

Recent federal legislation, however, has the potential to change this dynamic. The JOBS Act authorizes the sale of securities over the Internet to large ...


Crowdfunding Securities, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2013

Crowdfunding Securities, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

A new federal statute authorizes the online "crowdfunding" of securities, a new idea based on the concept of "reward" crowdfunding practiced on Kickstarter and other websites. This method of selling securities had previously been banned by federal securities law but the new CROWDFUND Act overturns that prohibition.

This Article introduces the CROWDFUND Act and explains that it can be expected to have two primary effects on securities law and capital markets. First, it will liberate startup companies to use peer networks and the Internet to obtain modest amounts of capital at low cost. Second, it will help democratize the market ...


Imputation, The Adverse Interest Exception, And The Curious Case Of The Restatement (Third) Of Agency, Mark J. Loewenstein Jan 2013

Imputation, The Adverse Interest Exception, And The Curious Case Of The Restatement (Third) Of Agency, Mark J. Loewenstein

Articles

The imputation doctrine in the common law of agency provides that knowledge of an agent acquired in the course of the agency relationship is imputed to the principal. An important exception to the imputation doctrine, known as the adverse interest exception, provides that knowledge is not imputed if it is acquired by the agent in a course of conduct that is entirely adverse to the principal. These doctrines play an important role in sorting out liability when senior management of a corporation engages in a financial fraud that harms the company. Typically, new management is brought in and it sues ...


Veil-Piercing Unbound, Peter B. Oh Jan 2013

Veil-Piercing Unbound, Peter B. Oh

Articles

Veil-piercing is an equitable remedy. This simple insight has been lost over time. What started as a means for corporate creditors to reach into the personal assets of a shareholder has devolved into a doctrinal black hole. Courts apply an expansive list of amorphous factors, attenuated from the underlying harm, that engenders under-inclusive, unprincipled, and unpredictable results for entrepreneurs, litigants, and scholars alike.

Veil-piercing is misapplied because it is misconceived. The orthodox approach is to view veil-piercing as an exception to limited liability that is justified potentially only when the latter is not, a path that invariably leads to examining ...


What We Talk About When We Talk About Tax Exemption, Philip Hackney Jan 2013

What We Talk About When We Talk About Tax Exemption, Philip Hackney

Articles

Under the Internal Revenue Code, certain nonprofit organizations are granted exemption from federal income tax (“tax-exemption”). Most tax-exemption rationales assume tax-exemption is a subsidy for organizations such as charities that provide some underprovided good or service. These theories assume there should be a tax on the income of nonprofit organizations but provide no justification for this assumption. This article contributes to the literature by examining the corporate income tax rationales as a proxy for why we might tax nonprofit organizations. The primary two theories hold that the corporate tax is imposed to: (1) tax shareholders (“shareholder theory”), and (2) regulate ...


A Changing Mosaic In Sec Regulation And Enforcement: Broker-Dealers And Investment Advisers, Douglas M. Branson Jan 2013

A Changing Mosaic In Sec Regulation And Enforcement: Broker-Dealers And Investment Advisers, Douglas M. Branson

Articles

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act directed the SEC to study the issue of whether the Commission should, by regulation, decree broker-dealers (“registered representatives”) subject to the same fiduciary standards applicable to investment advisers, applicable at least since SEC v. Capital Gains Research Bureau, 385 U.S. 180 (1963). The SEC completed such a study in 2011, predictably recommending that the Commission exercise the authority Dodd-Frank had given it, namely, waving its wand, declaring brokers fiduciaries. Many able academics and regulators have adumbrated the pros and the cons of such a regulatory step. To date, however, the SEC has done nothing, undoubtedly ...


Proposals For Corporate Governance Reform: Six Decades Of Ineptitude And Counting, Douglas M. Branson Jan 2013

Proposals For Corporate Governance Reform: Six Decades Of Ineptitude And Counting, Douglas M. Branson

Articles

This article is a retrospective of corporate governance reforms various academics have authored over the last 60 years or so, by the author of the first U.S. legal treatise on the subject of corporate governance (Douglas M. Branson, Corporate Governance (1993)). The first finding is as to periodicity: even casual inspection reveals that the reformer group which controls the "reform" agenda has authored a new and different reform proposal every five years, with clock-like regularity. The second finding flows from the first, namely, that not one of these proposals has made so much as a dent in the problems ...


From Kansas To The Congo: Why Naming And Shaming Corporations Through The Dodd-Frank Act's Corporate Governance Disclosure Won't Solve A Human Rights Crisis, Marcia Narine Jan 2013

From Kansas To The Congo: Why Naming And Shaming Corporations Through The Dodd-Frank Act's Corporate Governance Disclosure Won't Solve A Human Rights Crisis, Marcia Narine

Articles

No abstract provided.


Back To The Future, Sergio J. Campos Jan 2013

Back To The Future, Sergio J. Campos

Articles

No abstract provided.


Deferred Prosecution And Non-Prosecution Agreements And The Erosion Of Corporate Criminal Liability, David M. Uhlmann Jan 2013

Deferred Prosecution And Non-Prosecution Agreements And The Erosion Of Corporate Criminal Liability, David M. Uhlmann

Articles

On April 5, 2010, a massive explosion killed twenty-nine miners at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine near Montcoal, West Virginia. Following the explosion, President Barack Obama vowed that the U.S. Department of Labor would conduct "the most thorough and comprehensive investigation possible" and work with the U.S. Department of Justice ("Justice Department" or the "Department") to address any criminal violations. Later in the month, the President and Vice President flew to West Virginia to eulogize the victims and comfort their families. It was the nation's worst coal mining disaster in forty years. The tragic loss ...


Private Regulation Of Insider Trading In The Shadow Of Lax Public Enforcement: Evidence From Canadian Firms, Laura Nyantung Beny, Anita Anand Jan 2013

Private Regulation Of Insider Trading In The Shadow Of Lax Public Enforcement: Evidence From Canadian Firms, Laura Nyantung Beny, Anita Anand

Articles

Like firms in the United States, many Canadian firms voluntarily restrict trading by corporate insiders beyond the requirements of insider trading laws (i.e., super-compliance). Thus, we aim to understand the determinants of firms’ private insider trading policies (ITPs), which are quasi-contractual devices. Based on the assumption that firms that face greater costs from insider trading (or greater benefits from restricting insider trading) ought to be more inclined than other firms to adopt more stringent ITPs, we develop several testable hypotheses. We test our hypotheses using data from a sample of firms included in the Toronto Stock Exchange/Standard and ...


Revisiting 'Truth In Securities Revisited': Abolishing Ipos And Harnessing Private Markets In The Public Good, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2013

Revisiting 'Truth In Securities Revisited': Abolishing Ipos And Harnessing Private Markets In The Public Good, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

My thesis is that the transition between private- and public-company status could be less bumpy if we unify the public-private dividing line under the Securities Act and Exchange Act. The insight builds on Cohen's thought experiment where Congress first enacted the Exchange Act. My proposed public-private standard would take the company-registration model to its logical conclusion. The customary path to public-company status is through an IPO, typically with simultaneous listing of the shares on an exchange. There is nothing about public offerings, however, that makes them inherently antecedent to public-company status. What if companies became public, with required periodic ...


Corporate And International Tax Reform: Proposals For The Second Obama Administration (And Beyond), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2013

Corporate And International Tax Reform: Proposals For The Second Obama Administration (And Beyond), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) offers an opportune moment to consider proposals for corporate and international tax reform. With the debate over individual tax rates for the income and estate tax settled for the present, the President and Congress are free to consider broader reforms. Few observers doubt that such reforms are sorely needed, for several reasons. First, the long-term budgetary outlook is unsustainable. Second, the U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Third, the current system raises relatively little revenue and large amounts ...


Accelerating The Growth Of The Next Generation Of Innovators, Dana Thompson Jan 2013

Accelerating The Growth Of The Next Generation Of Innovators, Dana Thompson

Articles

In a recent study on the best practices of business incubators that contribute to the success of startups, one of the best practices asserted is to include a business lawyer on the advisory board of business incubators, who may suggest necessary legal issues for startups to address and connect the incubator startups with legal assistance. Although many college and university incubators may have access to experienced attorneys who are able to provide advice, and who are able to represent student-led ventures, most do not have access to a university law clinic established to provide pro bono, direct legal representation and ...