Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 20 of 20

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Hostile Poison Pill, A. Christine Hurt Dec 2016

The Hostile Poison Pill, A. Christine Hurt

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Family Law And Entrepreneurial Action, D. Gordon Smith Mar 2016

Family Law And Entrepreneurial Action, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

In "The Contractual Foundation of Family-Business Law," Benjamin Means aspires to lay the groundwork for a law of family businesses. In this brief response essay, I suggest that a workable family-business law along the lines suggested by Means is consistent with an overarching policy in the United States of promoting entrepreneurial action, and I evaluate the proposal against this policy goal, with particular attention to Means’s arguments in favor of “family-business defaults” and his concern over the potentially disruptive role of fiduciary law.


Pricing Disintermediation: Crowdfunding And Online Auction Ipos, A. Christine Hurt Dec 2015

Pricing Disintermediation: Crowdfunding And Online Auction Ipos, A. Christine Hurt

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Contracts As Organizations, D. Gordon Smith, Brayden G. King Mar 2011

Contracts As Organizations, D. Gordon Smith, Brayden G. King

Faculty Scholarship

Empirical studies of contracts have become more common over the past decade, but the range of questions addressed by these studies is narrow, inspired primarily by economic theories that focus on the role of contracts in mitigating ex post opportunism. We contend that these economic theories do not adequately explain many commonly observed features of contracts, and we offer four organizational theories to supplement-and in some instances, perhaps, challenge-the dominant economic accounts. The purpose of this Article is threefold: first, to describe how theoretical perspectives on contracting have motivated empirical work on contracts; second, to highlight the dominant role of ...


The Dystopian Potential Of Corporate Law, D. Gordon Smith Dec 2008

The Dystopian Potential Of Corporate Law, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

The community of corporate law scholars in the United States is fragmented. One group, heavily influenced by economic analysis of corporations, is exploring the merits of increasing shareholder power vis-a-vis directors. Another group, animated by concern for social justice, is challenging the traditional, shareholder-centric view of corporate law, arguing instead for a model of stakeholder governance. The current disagreement within corporate law is as fundamental as in any area of law, and the debate is more heated than at any time since the New Deal. This paper is part of a debate on the audacious question, Can Corporate Law Save ...


The Undercivilization Of Corporate Law, A. Christine Hurt Dec 2008

The Undercivilization Of Corporate Law, A. Christine Hurt

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Assessing Interest Groups: A Playing Field Approach, Paul Stancil Jan 2008

Assessing Interest Groups: A Playing Field Approach, Paul Stancil

Faculty Scholarship

Despite general public antipathy toward the political influence exerted by corporations, industries, and other special interests, prescriptive applications of interest group theory have not gained much traction. This is primarily a function of previous commentators' inability to solve two difficult and related problems: (1) development of a consensus normative framework in which to apply interest group theory; and (2) development of a meaningful, objective, and workable approach to measuring interest group dynamics in the real world. The article offers solutions to both.

The article first proposes workably competitive pluralism as a norm to which the regulatory process should aspire in ...


Of Breaches Of The Peace, Home Invasions, And Securities Fraud, A. Christine Hurt Dec 2007

Of Breaches Of The Peace, Home Invasions, And Securities Fraud, A. Christine Hurt

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The "Branding Effect" Of Contracts, D. Gordon Smith Apr 2006

The "Branding Effect" Of Contracts, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

In his case study of the MasterCard IPO and its predecessor piece on the Google IPO, Victor Fleischer claims to find evidence of a branding effect of legal infrastructure. The branding effect is not aimed at reducing the potential for opportunism by a counterparty to a contract, but rather at increasing the attractiveness of a product to present and future users or improving the image of a company in the eyes of regulators, judges, and juries. In this essay commenting on Fleischer's work, I endorse the notion that deal structures have branding effects and position Fleischer's work within ...


Law & Entrepreneurship: Do Courts Matter?, D. Gordon Smith, Masako Ueda Mar 2006

Law & Entrepreneurship: Do Courts Matter?, D. Gordon Smith, Masako Ueda

Faculty Scholarship

In this essay, we sketch the outlines of a research agenda exploring links between courts and entrepreneurship. Our conception of law and entrepreneurship encompasses the study of positive law (including constitutions, statutes, and regulations), common law doctrines, and private ordering that relate to the discovery and exploitation of profitable opportunities by new firms. We briefly survey the economics literatures that relate to law and entrepreneurship, including the law and finance literature launched by the work of Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, Andrei Shleifer, and Robert Vishny (LLSV). Relying on the suggestive work of LLSV and other economists who have labored ...


Atomism And The Private Merger Challenge, Paul Stancil Jan 2006

Atomism And The Private Merger Challenge, Paul Stancil

Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores the implications of allowing private parties to challenge mergers and acquisitions under the antitrust laws. It highlights a number of relatively recent developments in antitrust law that suggest an increase in private merger challenges in the future, and it identifies antiquated time of suit doctrines that may lead to inefficient and/or frivolous antimerger filings. It concludes by proposing several significant changes to the existing legal regime: (1) limited fee-shifting; (2) rigid time-of-suit deadlines; (3) single damages; and (4) limits on the use of postacquisition evidence to establish liability. Taken together, these reforms will allow private parties ...


The Exit Structure Of Venture Capital, D. Gordon Smith Dec 2005

The Exit Structure Of Venture Capital, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

Venture capital contracts contain extensive provisions regulating exit by the venture capitalists. In this Article, Professor Smith employs financial contracting theory in conjunction with original data collected from 367 venture-backed companies to analyze these exit provisions. He concludes that the combination of exit provisions in a typical venture capital relationship serves to lock venture capitalists into the investment during the initial stage. In later stages of the relationship, the venture capitalists acquire increasing control over exit by securing additional seats on the board of directors and by obtaining contractual exit rights. The result is a sophisticated transfer of control from ...


The Exit Structure Of Strategic Alliances, D. Gordon Smith Apr 2005

The Exit Structure Of Strategic Alliances, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

Today, many biotechnology firms use strategic alliances to contract with other companies. This article contends that the governance structure of these alliances - specifically, the contractual board - provides an integrated restraint on opportunism. While an alliance agreement's exit structure could provide a check on opportunism by allowing the parties to exit at will, such exit provisions also can be used opportunistically. Most alliance agreements, therefore, provide for contractual lock in of the alliance partners, with only limited means of exit. Lock in, of course, raises its own concerns, and the contractual board - which typically is composed of representatives from each ...


Independent Legal Significance, Good Faith, And The Interpretation Of Venture Capital Contracts, D. Gordon Smith Mar 2004

Independent Legal Significance, Good Faith, And The Interpretation Of Venture Capital Contracts, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

Venture capital contracts are inherently incomplete. When interpreting such contracts, courts could deal with the expectations of parties formally by inquiring only about the plain meaning of the contract or qualitatively by enforcing the presumed expectations of the parties, regardless of whether those expectations are expressed in the contract. The Delaware courts have opted for a formal approach. In doing so, they appear to be engaged in an effort to force contracting parties toward completeness. While the duty of good faith appears to respond to the inevitable incompleteness of contracts, the courts largely ignore this duty in preferred stock cases ...


Toward A New Theory Of The Shareholder Role: A Sacred Space In Corporate Transactions, Robert B. Thompson, D. Gordon Smith Dec 2001

Toward A New Theory Of The Shareholder Role: A Sacred Space In Corporate Transactions, Robert B. Thompson, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

Corporate law expresses a profound ambiguity toward the role of shareholders. Courts announce that shareholders are critical to the theory that legitimates the exercise of power - by directors and officers over vast aggregations of property that they do not own. At the same time shareholders have a very difficult time actually making any corporate decisions. In this Article, we strive to define a new role for shareholders by drawing on economic theories of the firm and the structure of corporate law. More particularly we examine the role of shareholders in hostile corporate takeovers, the area where the interests of shareholders ...


A Proposal To Eliminate Director Standards From The Model Business Corporations Act, D. Gordon Smith May 1999

A Proposal To Eliminate Director Standards From The Model Business Corporations Act, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

The Committee on Corporate Laws of the Business Section of the American Bar Association recently adopted amendments to the section of the Model Business Corporation Act (MBCA) enunciating standards of director performance. In place of the current section 8.30, which has been adopted by 42 states, the Committee has adopted two sections - one defining a standard of conduct and one defining a standard of liability for corporate directors. This paper argues that these new standards do not achieve the goals of bifurcation. Moreover, if adopted and used, the new standards will engender confusion and possibly inequitable results. This paper ...


The Shareholder Primacy Norm, D. Gordon Smith Dec 1998

The Shareholder Primacy Norm, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

Corporate directors have a fiduciary duty to make decisions in the best interests of the shareholders. This aspect of fiduciary duty is often called the shareholder primacy norm. Legal scholars generally assume that the shareholder primacy norm is a major factor considered by boards of directors of publicly traded corporations in making ordinary business decisions and that changing the shareholder primacy norm would have an effect on the substance of those decisions. This Article challenges this view and argues that the shareholder primacy norm was never equipped to mediate conflicts between shareholders and nonshareholder constituencies of a corporation. The origins ...


Venture Capital Contracting In The Information Age, D. Gordon Smith Jul 1998

Venture Capital Contracting In The Information Age, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

Most venture capitalists provide services to their portfolio companies beyond capital investment. Although these services form an important part of the bargain between the venture capitalists and the entrepreneur, they are rarely specified or even capable of specification in venture capital contracts. This article examines the moral hazard and adverse selection problems facing entrepreneurs who hire venture capitalists to provide value-added services and describes the role of the market for venture capitalist reputation in addressing those problems. Further, the Article speculates about whether advances in information technology - specifically, the World Wide Web - are likely to improve the efficiency of the ...


Corporate Governance And Managerial Incompetence: Lessons From Kmart, D. Gordon Smith Apr 1996

Corporate Governance And Managerial Incompetence: Lessons From Kmart, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship

Modern corporate governance scholars often extol an activist role by institutional investors in directing corporate activity. Widely viewed as a solution to the collective action problems that inhibit such activism by individual investors, institutional investors are praised for adding value to corporations through their participation in the decision making process. The ouster of Joseph Antonini as Chief Executive Officer of Kmart Corporation in 1995 might be taken as a vindication of this view, because substantial evidence indicates that institutional investors played a crucial role in influencing Kmart's board of directors to remove him. In this Article, Professor Smith challenges ...


The Corporate Principal Place Of Business: A Resolution And Revision, J. Clifton Fleming Jr. Dec 1966

The Corporate Principal Place Of Business: A Resolution And Revision, J. Clifton Fleming Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.