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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Corporate Right To Bear Arms, Robert E. Wagner Feb 2024

The Corporate Right To Bear Arms, Robert E. Wagner

William & Mary Business Law Review

The ability of a corporation to exercise constitutional protections has been rife with uncertainty and change since the conception of corporate rights came into existence. The history and rapid development of the corporation, combined with the misapplied and misunderstood “corporate personhood” theory, have resulted in an almost unintelligible hodgepodge of corporate constitutional applications. Similarly, the concept of the right to bear arms has equally been muddled and applied very differently at varying times and locations since before the establishment of the Second Amendment. This Article attempts to clarify how an alternative to the “corporate personhood” theory, namely the “purpose” theory …


Enforcing International Human Rights Law Against Corporations, Barnali Choudhury Jan 2024

Enforcing International Human Rights Law Against Corporations, Barnali Choudhury

All Papers

International human rights law is generally thought to apply directly to states, not to corporations since the latter is not a subject of international law. Some domestic courts are, however, enforcing these norms against corporations in domestic settings. Canadian courts have, for instance, recognized that corporations can be liable for breach of customary international law norms while UK courts have enforced international human rights norms indirectly against corporations relying on a combination of domestic corporate and tort law.

At the same time, some states are choosing to enforce international human rights norms against corporations using regulatory initiatives. These initiatives, known …


What Do We Know About Shareholders' Potential To Solve Environmental And Social Problems?, Bryce C. Tingle Nov 2023

What Do We Know About Shareholders' Potential To Solve Environmental And Social Problems?, Bryce C. Tingle

Georgia Law Review

Securities regulators around the world are attempting to assist socially conscious shareholders in driving changes in the way corporate America operates. At a time when legislative solutions to some of our most pressing social and environmental problems seem far away, many market actors have come to hope that shareholders can succeed in regulating and reforming corporate practices.

This paper summarizes the empirical evidence regarding the behavior of shareholders with explicit ESG mandates, the difficulties outsiders experience in evaluating ESG performance, and the outcomes generated by the limited tools available to shareholders under corporate law. It concludes there is little evidence …


Book Review: Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths: From Alexander To Hitler To The Corporation, Tim Bakken Nov 2023

Book Review: Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths: From Alexander To Hitler To The Corporation, Tim Bakken

Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal

The book Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths is a survey of a vast amount of human wrongdoing. It lays bare the motivations of aggressors who wish to subjugate nations or groups of people and corporate executives and government bureaucrats who make discretionary decisions that harm people. Along with cataloging mass killings by despots and soldiers, the book includes stories about Ponzi-schemers and the deaths of automobile drivers and passengers who were killed by vehicle defects known to the manufacturer. The book posits that “[p]owerful, elite forces are trying to force us backward toward a non-democratic state, one where power, wealth, and prerogative …


The Corporation As A Chartered Government, David Ciepley Jun 2023

The Corporation As A Chartered Government, David Ciepley

Hofstra Law Review

The article focuses on reevaluating the historical role of corporations, highlighting their original purpose of improving governance rather than just liability protection or property management. It explores how early scholars saw corporations as entities with legislative authority. It further argues for returning to this governmental perspective, shedding new light on corporate history and their connection to constitutional government.


The Bankruptcy Of Purdue Pharma In The Wake Of Big Tobacco, Jacob Hedgpeth Apr 2023

The Bankruptcy Of Purdue Pharma In The Wake Of Big Tobacco, Jacob Hedgpeth

University of Colorado Law Review Forum

Two distinct public health crises shook the United States from 1954 to 2023: nicotine addiction from tobacco products, and opioid addiction starting with Purdue Pharmaceutical’s OxyContin. These crises resulted in millions of deaths and immense costs to the country as a whole. The nicotine crisis ended in a national settlement against four major tobacco manufacturers, which yielded hundreds of millions of dollars for those harmed by these products. The owners of Purdue, however, opted for bankruptcy instead of settlement, keeping the majority of the money made from OxyContin for Purdue’s owners, the Sackler family.

These four tobacco giants and Purdue …


The Article Iii "Party" And The Originalist Case Against Corporate Diversity Jurisdiction, Mark Moller, Lawrence B. Solum Apr 2023

The Article Iii "Party" And The Originalist Case Against Corporate Diversity Jurisdiction, Mark Moller, Lawrence B. Solum

William & Mary Law Review

Federal courts control an outsize share of big-ticket corporate litigation. And that control rests, to a significant degree, on the Supreme Court’s extension of Article III’s Diversity of Citizenship Clause to corporations. Yet, critics have questioned the constitutionality of corporate diversity jurisdiction from the beginning.

In this Article and a previous one, we develop the first sustained critique of corporate diversity jurisdiction.

Our previous article demonstrated that corporations are not “citizens” given the original meaning of that word. But we noted this finding alone doesn’t sink general corporate diversity jurisdiction. The ranks of corporate shareholders include many undoubted “citizens.” And …


The Disembodied First Amendment, Nathan Cortez, William M. Sage Feb 2023

The Disembodied First Amendment, Nathan Cortez, William M. Sage

Faculty Scholarship

First Amendment doctrine is becoming disembodied—increasingly detached from human speakers and listeners. Corporations claim that their speech rights limit government regulation of everything from product labeling to marketing to ordinary business licensing. Courts extend protections to commercial speech that ordinarily extended only to core political and religious speech. And now, we are told, automated information generated for cryptocurrencies, robocalling, and social media bots are also protected speech under the Constitution. Where does it end? It begins, no doubt, with corporate and commercial speech. We show, however, that heightened protection for corporate and commercial speech is built on several “artifices” - …


Anticompetitive Corporate Spin-Offs, Alexa Rosen Grealis Jan 2023

Anticompetitive Corporate Spin-Offs, Alexa Rosen Grealis

University of Miami Business Law Review

Section 355 of the Internal Revenue Code allows corporations to “spin-off” parent-controlled businesses tax-free. Traditionally an important tool for divestitures and restructurings with U.S. tax consequences, recent trends suggest section 355 is also of interest to firms facing US antitrust consequences. Statements and maneuvering by some such companies indicate firms are considering spinning-off businesses to avert liability and ‘break up’ on their own terms. Despite widespread renewed interest in using antitrust laws to break up large corporations, the antitrust implications of corporate spin-offs have thus far escaped scholarly notice and scrutiny.

This Note posits that it is a mistake to …


Sb 148 - Amendments To The Nonprofit Code, Joseph Shafritz, Jonathan Shaw Jan 2023

Sb 148 - Amendments To The Nonprofit Code, Joseph Shafritz, Jonathan Shaw

Georgia State University Law Review

The Act revises, simplifies, and modernizes the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code, providing greater flexibility in forming and running such organizations.


Zeroing In On Net-Zero: From Soft Law To Hard Law In Corporate Climate Change Pledges, Daniel C. Esty, Nathan De Arriba-Sellier Jan 2023

Zeroing In On Net-Zero: From Soft Law To Hard Law In Corporate Climate Change Pledges, Daniel C. Esty, Nathan De Arriba-Sellier

University of Colorado Law Review

One hundred and ninety-seven nations endorsed a target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by midcentury in the 2021 Glasgow Climate Pact. As countries around the world have begun to develop their plans for deep decarbonization, it has become evident that the private sector will need to deliver much of what is required for the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy. The commitment to net-zero emissions by the year 2050 has therefore cascaded to the corporate world, leading hundreds of major companies to make their own net-zero GHG pledges. What constitutes a meaningful net-zero corporate pledge, however, remains unclear—and what …


Against Settlement In Transnational Business And Human Rights Litigation, Hassan M. Ahmad Jan 2023

Against Settlement In Transnational Business And Human Rights Litigation, Hassan M. Ahmad

All Faculty Publications

In Against Settlement, Owen Fiss argued that settlement may not always be the optimal result of civil suits, particularly those that involve novel or ambiguous areas of law or ostensible power imbalances. That work spurred a range of scholarship around the merits and demerits of settlement. And although the settlement versus litigation debate is now almost four decades old, its currency persists in common law systems in which courts are, at times, called upon to expand or even re-envision doctrines or procedural rules. This article revisits that debate. It applies Against Settlement to transnational business and human rights litigation that …


Bankruptcy’S Identity Crisis, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2023

Bankruptcy’S Identity Crisis, David A. Skeel Jr.

University of Pennsylvania Law Review

"The large companies that currently file for Chapter 11 look very different than the typical Chapter 11 cases of the past. The liability side of debtors’ balance sheets is much more complex and now consists primarily of secured rather than unsecured obligations. Many firms that might once have borrowed on a secured basis from a bank and on an unsecured basis from bondholders now have first and second liens instead. Leveraged loans have further contributed to the prevalence of secured debt. While these developments are beneficial in many respects, they have exacerbated two serious problems in Chapter 11. The first …


The Disembodied First Amendment, Nathan Cortez, William M. Sage Jan 2023

The Disembodied First Amendment, Nathan Cortez, William M. Sage

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

First Amendment doctrine is becoming disembodied—increasingly detached from human speakers and listeners. Corporations claim that their speech rights limit government regulation of everything from product labeling to marketing to ordinary business licensing. Courts extend protections to commercial speech that ordinarily extended only to core political and religious speech. And now, we are told, automated information generated for cryptocurrencies, robocalling, and social media bots are also protected speech under the Constitution. Where does it end? It begins, no doubt, with corporate and commercial speech. We show, however, that heightened protection for corporate and commercial speech is built on several “artifices” - …


Reforming Shareholder Claims In Isds, Julian Arato, Kathleen Claussen, Jaemin Lee, Giovanni Zarra Jan 2023

Reforming Shareholder Claims In Isds, Julian Arato, Kathleen Claussen, Jaemin Lee, Giovanni Zarra

Articles

ISDS stands alone in empowering shareholders to bring claims for reflective loss (SRL) – meaning claims over harms allegedly inflicted upon the company, but which somehow affect share value. National systems of corporate law and public international law regimes generally bar SRL claims for strong policy reasons bearing on the efficiency and fairness of the corporate form. Though not necessitated by treaty text, nor beneficial in policy terms, ISDS tribunals nevertheless allow shareholders broad and regular access to seek relief for reflective loss. The availability of SRL claims in ISDS ultimately harms States and investors alike, imposing surprise ex post …


Corporate Innovation: One Path To More Sustainable Big Business, David Nows Dec 2022

Corporate Innovation: One Path To More Sustainable Big Business, David Nows

University of Cincinnati Law Review

No abstract provided.


Ethnic Economies, Cultural Resources, And The African American Question, Lan Cao Dec 2022

Ethnic Economies, Cultural Resources, And The African American Question, Lan Cao

University of Cincinnati Law Review

No abstract provided.


Beyond The Corporate Responsibility To Respect Human Rights In The Dawn Of A Metaverse, Kuzi Charamba Dec 2022

Beyond The Corporate Responsibility To Respect Human Rights In The Dawn Of A Metaverse, Kuzi Charamba

University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review

Technological advances in the 21st century pose new threats to human rights from business activities. In this new technological age, individuals and communities engage through an increasing myriad of digital means and platforms, all facilitated by a smaller, more powerful set of global BigTech companies, such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Meta (formerly known as Facebook). In so doing, however, our lives as workers, consumers, and citizens become subject to increasing corporate control through surveillance capitalism and algorithmic governance. With the dawn of metaverses—3D immersive digital environments in which you can interact with others via avatars and through virtual and …


The "Middle Ground" Of Products Liability Analysis, Patrick Shalvey Apr 2022

The "Middle Ground" Of Products Liability Analysis, Patrick Shalvey

Undergraduate Theses and Capstone Projects

The area of products liability has been the subject of intense debate for the past half-century, perhaps never more strongly than the decades comprising the second half of the twentieth century. Specifically, the 1970s was the decade that introduced the judicial community to this debate. In the 1970s and a few decades prior, consumerism skyrocketed to levels never seen before in the United States and in the world. Logically, this drastic increase in consumerism came with a drastic increase in products liability lawsuits. Manufacturing companies and corporations were forced to pay damages to injured parties at levels they never came …


Corporations As Private Regulators, Wentong Zheng Apr 2022

Corporations As Private Regulators, Wentong Zheng

UF Law Faculty Publications

The growing trend of corporations imposing restrictions on suppliers, contractors, and customers beyond the requirements of existing laws requires rethinking the nature and impact of corporations' private regulatory power. This trend, which this Article refers to as "Corporations as Private Regulators" (CPR), represents a paradigmatic shift in how corporations participate in the making of public policies. This Article conceptualizes the corporate CPR power as the exercise of a right of refusal to deal with counterparties. This right of refusal could be theorized as a new form of property right, whose allocation has important implications for both rights and wealth. The …


Business, Human Rights, And Transitional Justice: Overcoming The Regulatory Dysfunction Of International Law, Jelena Aparac Mar 2022

Business, Human Rights, And Transitional Justice: Overcoming The Regulatory Dysfunction Of International Law, Jelena Aparac

Global Business Law Review

It is said that traditional international public law is state-centric and concerns mostly State obligations and responsibility. For this, it excluded corporate actors from any accountability mechanism, even when the corporations contribute to armed conflicts and international crimes. International law does not provide a clear definition of what amounts to “subjects” under this set of rules or criteria for how to determine legal personality. At the same time, some branches of international public law directly regulate corporate actions, namely international economic law and international humanitarian law. Conversely, international courts and tribunals have accepted the corporate jus standi, in some …


Empowering Diversity Ambition: Brummer And Strine’S Duty And Diversity Makes The Legal And Business Case For Doing More, Doing Good, And Doing Well, Lisa Fairfax Mar 2022

Empowering Diversity Ambition: Brummer And Strine’S Duty And Diversity Makes The Legal And Business Case For Doing More, Doing Good, And Doing Well, Lisa Fairfax

All Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Misreading Menetti: The Case Does Not Help You Avoid Liability For Your Own Fraud, Val D. Ricks Feb 2022

Misreading Menetti: The Case Does Not Help You Avoid Liability For Your Own Fraud, Val D. Ricks

St. Mary's Law Journal

Several decades ago, an incorrect legal idea surfaced in Texas jurisprudence: that business entity actors are immune from liability for fraud that they themselves commit, as if the entity is solely responsible. Though the Supreme Court of Texas has rejected that result several times, it keeps coming back. The most recent manifestation is as a construction of Texas’s unique veil-piercing statute. Many lawyers have suggested that this view of the veil-piercing statute originated in Menetti v. Chavers, a San Antonio Court of Appeals case decided in 1998. Menetti has in fact played a prominent role in the movement to …


The Direct-Derivative Distinction, The Special Litigation Committee, And The Uniform Act: A Response To Professor Weidner, Daniel S. Kleinberger Jan 2022

The Direct-Derivative Distinction, The Special Litigation Committee, And The Uniform Act: A Response To Professor Weidner, Daniel S. Kleinberger

Faculty Scholarship

The Unfortunate Role of Special Litigation Committees in LLCs has a deeply pejorative view of the Uniform Law Commission “second generation” limited liability company act, and that view extends far deeper than the target suggested by the article’s title. The article’s fundamental attack is on the distinction between direct and derivative claims; the criticisms of ULLCA’s provisions on special litigation committees depend on that attack. In support of its wide-ranging attack, The Unfortunate Role seeks to marshal history, policy, logic, and a research study pertaining to the outcome of derivative claims. Unfortunately, however, the article (i) misapprehends the drafting history …


The Elastic Corporate Form In International Law, Julian Arato Jan 2022

The Elastic Corporate Form In International Law, Julian Arato

Articles

The corporate form is being distorted by international law. Surprisingly, this is occurring in the law of foreign investment, where one would expect the stability and efficiency of corporate formalities to matter most. The main driver is a highly enforceable mode of treaty-based arbitration known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), which affords foreign investors a private right of action to sue sovereign states. Questions of corporate law come up regularly in ISDS. But when addressing them, tribunals have varied widely in their respect for core formalities. This is undermining the basic relationships among all corporate stakeholders—including shareholders, management, creditors, governments, …


Judicial Activism In Transnational Business And Human Rights Litigation, Hassan M. Ahmad Jan 2022

Judicial Activism In Transnational Business And Human Rights Litigation, Hassan M. Ahmad

All Faculty Publications

This article explores a more expansive adjudicative role for domestic judiciaries in the U.S., U.K., and Canada in private law disputes that concern personal and environmental harm by multinational corporations that operate in the Global South. This expansive role may confront—although not necessarily upend—existing understandings around the separation of powers in common law jurisdictions. I canvass existing literature on judicial activism. Then, I detail legality gaps in the selected common law home states, which can be broken down into four categories: i) failed legislation; ii) deficient legislation; iii) judicial restraint; and iv) judicial deference.

I suggest three ways to actualize …


Why The Corporation Locks In Financial Capital But The Partnership Does Not, Richard Squire Jan 2022

Why The Corporation Locks In Financial Capital But The Partnership Does Not, Richard Squire

Faculty Scholarship

Each partner in an at-will partnership can obtain a cash payout of his interest at any time. The corporation, by contrast, locks in shareholder capital, denying general payout rights to shareholders unless the charter states otherwise. What explains this difference? This Article argues that partner payout rights reduce the costs of two other characteristics of the partnership: the non-transferability of partner control rights, and the possibility for partnerships to be formed inadvertently. While these characteristics serve valuable functions, they can introduce a bilateral-monopoly problem and a special freezeout hazard unless each partner can force the firm to cash out his …


Canada's Integrity Regime: The Corporate Grim Reaper, Jessica Tillipman, Samantha Block Jan 2022

Canada's Integrity Regime: The Corporate Grim Reaper, Jessica Tillipman, Samantha Block

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

In 2019, SNC-Lavalin made global headlines after it was revealed that the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, had interfered in the prosecution of the company for the bribery of Libyan officials. Although the scandal was primarily viewed as political, it also highlighted flaws in Canada’s Integrity Regime; specifically, the regime’s unworkable and draconian approach to debarment. This Article will address the pressing need in Canada to modify its debarment remedy and enact a system that more effectively protects the government’s interests. To illuminate the current issues facing Canada’s Integrity Regime, this Article will begin by examining Canada’s debarment system, outlining …


Organizational Conflicts Of Interest: Cautionary Tales, Jessica Tillipman Jan 2022

Organizational Conflicts Of Interest: Cautionary Tales, Jessica Tillipman

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

A recent, high-profile investigation involving McKinsey & Company (McKinsey) and its contracts with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reminded us that organizational conflicts of interest (OCIs) are an integrity issue that never should be written off as a check-the-box exercise during the procurement process. This incident highlighted the need to address critical gaps in this area of the law. This article appeared in the August 2022 issue of Contract Management magazine published by the National Contract Management Association. Used with permission.


Stealth Governance: Shareholder Agreements And Private Ordering, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2022

Stealth Governance: Shareholder Agreements And Private Ordering, Jill E. Fisch

All Faculty Scholarship

Corporate law has embraced private ordering -- tailoring a firm’s corporate governance to meet its individual needs. Firms are increasingly adopting firm-specific governance through dual-class voting structures, forum selection provisions and tailored limitations on the duty of loyalty. Courts have accepted these provisions as consistent with the contractual theory of the firm, and statutes, in many cases, explicitly endorse their use. Commentators too support private ordering for its capacity to facilitate innovation and enhance efficiency.

Private ordering typically occurs through firm-specific charter and bylaw provisions. VC-funded startups, however, frequently use an alternative tool – shareholder agreements. These agreements, which have …