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Corporate law

2021

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Articles 1 - 25 of 25

Full-Text Articles in Law

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.


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

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

Faculty Publications

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.


Do Esg Funds Deliver On Their Promises?, Quinn Curtis, Jill Fisch, Adriana Z. Robertson Dec 2021

Do Esg Funds Deliver On Their Promises?, Quinn Curtis, Jill Fisch, Adriana Z. Robertson

Michigan Law Review

Corporations have received growing criticism for contributing to climate change, perpetuating racial and gender inequality, and failing to address other pressing social issues. In response to these concerns, shareholders are increasingly focusing on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria in selecting investments, and asset managers are responding by offering a growing number of ESG mutual funds. The flow of assets into ESG is one of the most dramatic trends in asset management.

But are these funds giving investors what they promise? This question has attracted the attention of regulators, with the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange …


Shareholder Wealth Maximization: A Schelling Point, Martin Edwards Oct 2021

Shareholder Wealth Maximization: A Schelling Point, Martin Edwards

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

Imagine a reality television game show where two contestants begin the game in two different places in New York City. The object of the game is for the two contestants to find each other, but they do not know anything about each other and they have no way of communicating. If they succeed, both contestants win a prize. If they fail, they get nothing. With no ability to explicitly bargain over the meeting, the parties have to make an educated guess about what the other person is most likely to do. Most people, confronted with this sort of tacit …


Climate Change As Systemic Risk, Barnali Choudhury Jul 2021

Climate Change As Systemic Risk, Barnali Choudhury

Articles & Book Chapters

Hindsight tells us that COVID-19, thought by former President Trump and others to have come out of nowhere, is more aptly labelled a “gray rhino” event, one that was highly probable and preventable. Indeed, despite considerable evidence of the impending threats of pandemics, for the most part, governments failed to prepare for the pandemic, resulting in wide-scale social and economic losses.

The lessons from COVID-19, however, should remind us of the perils of ignoring gray rhino risks. Nowhere is this more apparent than with climate change, a highly probable, high impact threat that has largely been ignored to date. Despite …


Deal Protection Devices, Albert H. Choi Jun 2021

Deal Protection Devices, Albert H. Choi

Articles

In mergers and acquisitions transactions, a buyer and a seller will often agree to contractual mechanisms (deal protection devices) to deter third parties from jumping the deal and to compensate a disappointed buyer. With the help of auction theory, this Article analyzes various deal protection devices, while focusing on the two most commonly used mechanisms: match rights and target termination fees. A match right gives the buyer a right to “match” a third party’s offer so as to prevent the third party from snatching the target away, while a termination fee compensates the buyer when a third party acquires the …


Federal Rules Of Platform Procedure, Rory Van Loo Jun 2021

Federal Rules Of Platform Procedure, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Tech platforms serve as private courthouses for disputes about speech, lodging, commerce, elections, and reputation. After receiving allegations of defamatory content in top search results, Google must decide between protecting one person's public image and another's profits or speech. Amazon adjudicates disputes between consumers and third-party merchants about defective or counterfeit items. For many small businesses, layoffs and bankruptcy hang in the balance. This Article begins to uncover the processes that these platforms use to resolve disputes and proposes reforms. Other important businesses that intermediate, such as credit card companies ruling on a disputed charge between a merchant and consumer, …


The Corporate Transparency Act: A Step Toward Broken Shells, Brendan O'Leary May 2021

The Corporate Transparency Act: A Step Toward Broken Shells, Brendan O'Leary

Journal of Legislation

No abstract provided.


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 …


Reconsidering The Evolutionary Erosion Account Of Corporate Fiduciary Law, William W. Bratton Jan 2021

Reconsidering The Evolutionary Erosion Account Of Corporate Fiduciary Law, William W. Bratton

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article reconsiders the dominant account of corporate law’s duty of loyalty, which asserts that the courts have steadily relaxed standards of fiduciary scrutiny applied to self-dealing by corporate managers across more than a century of history—to the great detriment of the shareholder interest. The account originated in Harold Marsh, Jr.’s foundational article, Are Directors Trustees? Conflicts of Interest and Corporate Morality, published in The Business Lawyer in 1966. Marsh’s showing of historical lassitude has been successfully challenged in a recent book by Professor David Kershaw. This Article takes Professor Kershaw’s critique a step further, asking whether the evolutionary …


Caremark And Esg, Perfect Together: A Practical Approach To Implementing An Integrated, Efficient, And Effective Caremark And Eesg Strategy, Leo E. Strine Jr., Kirby M. Smith, Reilly S. Steel Jan 2021

Caremark And Esg, Perfect Together: A Practical Approach To Implementing An Integrated, Efficient, And Effective Caremark And Eesg Strategy, Leo E. Strine Jr., Kirby M. Smith, Reilly S. Steel

Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership

With increased calls from investors, legislators, and academics for corporations to consider employee, environmental, social, and governance factors (“EESG”) when making decisions, boards and managers are struggling to situate EESG within their existing reporting and organizational structures. Building on an emerging literature connecting EESG with corporate compliance, this Essay argues that EESG is best understood as an extension of the board’s duty to implement and monitor a compliance program under Caremark. If a company decides to do more than the legal minimum, it will simultaneously satisfy legitimate demands for strong EESG programs and promote compliance with the law. Building on …


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, …


Choice Of Law And The Preponderantly Multistate Rule: The Example Of Successor Corporation Products Liability, Diana Sclar Jan 2021

Choice Of Law And The Preponderantly Multistate Rule: The Example Of Successor Corporation Products Liability, Diana Sclar

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

Most state rules of substantive law, whether legislative or judicial, ordinarily adjust rights and obligations among local parties with respect to local events. Conventional choice of law methodologies for adjudicating disputes with multistate connections all start from an explicit or implicit assumption of a choice between such locally oriented substantive rules. This article reveals, for the first time, that some state rules of substantive law ordinarily adjust rights and obligations with respect to parties and events connected to more than one state and only occasionally apply to wholly local matters. For these rules I use the term “nominally domestic rules …


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 …


The Growth Of Vancouver As An Innovation Hub: Challenges And Opportunities, Camden Hutchison, Li-Wen Lin Jan 2021

The Growth Of Vancouver As An Innovation Hub: Challenges And Opportunities, Camden Hutchison, Li-Wen Lin

All Faculty Publications

This article assesses the development of Vancouver as an entrepreneurial region. Using data collected from commercial startup databases, we find that Vancouver produces more startups and receives more venture capital financing per capita than any other major Canadian city. However, we also find that Vancouver lags many U.S. cities on these same metrics. In light of our empirical findings, we explore whether differences in entrepreneurial activity between Canada and the United States are due to differences in the countries’ legal environments. We conclude that legal differences do not explain observed economic disparities, and that differences in entrepreneurial activity are due …


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 …


Restoration: The Role Stakeholder Governance Must Play In Recreating A Fair And Sustainable American Economy A Reply To Professor Rock, Leo E. Strine Jr. Jan 2021

Restoration: The Role Stakeholder Governance Must Play In Recreating A Fair And Sustainable American Economy A Reply To Professor Rock, Leo E. Strine Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

In his excellent article, For Whom is the Corporation Managed in 2020?: The Debate Over Corporate Purpose, Professor Edward Rock articulates his understanding of the debate over corporate purpose. This reply supports Professor Rock’s depiction of the current state of corporate law in the United States. It also accepts Professor Rock’s contention that finance and law and economics professors tend to equate the value of corporations to society solely with the value of their equity. But, I employ a less academic lens on the current debate about corporate purpose, and am more optimistic about proposals to change our corporate governance …


Corporate Crime And Punishment: An Empirical Study, Dorothy S. Lund, Natasha Sarin Jan 2021

Corporate Crime And Punishment: An Empirical Study, Dorothy S. Lund, Natasha Sarin

Faculty Scholarship

For many years, law and economics scholars, as well as politicians and regulators, have debated whether corporate punishment chills beneficial corporate activity or, in the alternative, lets corporate criminals off too easily. A crucial and yet understudied aspect of this debate is empirical evidence. Unlike most other types of crime, the government does not measure corporate crime rates; therefore, the government and researchers alike cannot easily determine whether disputed policies are effectively deterring future incidents of corporate misconduct. In this Article, we take important first steps in addressing these questions. Specifically, we use three novel sources as proxies for corporate …


Cleaning Corporate Governance, Jens Frankenreiter, Cathy Hwang, Yaron Nili, Eric L. Talley Jan 2021

Cleaning Corporate Governance, Jens Frankenreiter, Cathy Hwang, Yaron Nili, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Although empirical scholarship dominates the field of law and finance, much of it shares a common vulnerability: an abiding faith in the accuracy and integrity of a small, specialized collection of corporate governance data. In this paper, we unveil a novel collection of three decades’ worth of corporate charters for thousands of public companies, which shows that this faith is misplaced.

We make three principal contributions to the literature. First, we label our corpus for a variety of firm- and state-level governance features. Doing so reveals significant infirmities within the most well-known corporate governance datasets, including an error rate exceeding …


Validation Capital, Alon Brav, Dorothy S. Lund, Edward B. Rock Jan 2021

Validation Capital, Alon Brav, Dorothy S. Lund, Edward B. Rock

Faculty Scholarship

Although it is well understood that activist shareholders challenge management, they can also serve as a shield. This Article describes “validation capital,” which occurs when a bloc holder’s — and generally an activist hedge fund’s — presence protects management from shareholder interference and allows management’s pre-existing strategy to proceed uninterrupted. When a sophisticated bloc holder with a large investment and the ability to threaten management’s control chooses to vouch for management’s strategy after vetting it, this support can send a credible signal to the market that protects management from disruption. By protecting a value-creating management strategy that might otherwise be …


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 …


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. …