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Duty of loyalty

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Brief For Amicus Curiae Professor Edward A. Zelinsky In Support Of Appellants And Reversal, Edward A. Zelinsky Jan 2024

Brief For Amicus Curiae Professor Edward A. Zelinsky In Support Of Appellants And Reversal, Edward A. Zelinsky

Amicus Briefs

DOL’s tie-breaking rule violates ERISA’s duty of loyalty under ERISA § 404(a)(1)(A). ERISA’s duty of loyalty requires ERISA-regulated trustees to invest plan resources for the “exclusive purpose of . . . providing” economic benefits to plan participants and their beneficiaries, “solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries.” The tie-breaking rule violates this stringent statutory duty of loyalty because it permits plan trustees investing plan resources to consider “collateral benefits,” i.e., the welfare of third parties or social goals. But ERISA‟s plain text does not permit this result. The words ““solely” and “exclusive purpose” in § 404(a)(1)(A) do not …


Expanding Mfw: Delaware Law Should Offer A Business Judgment Rule Safe Harbor For All Conflicted Controller Transactions, Alex Lindsey Dec 2023

Expanding Mfw: Delaware Law Should Offer A Business Judgment Rule Safe Harbor For All Conflicted Controller Transactions, Alex Lindsey

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

While courts usually defer to a board’s business decisions under the business judgment rule, courts will apply a much less deferential standard of review due to loyalty concerns if a conflicted controller is involved in a business decision such as a merger. However, in Kahn v. M & F Worldwide (“MFW”) when a squeeze out merger was challenged by a minority stockholder, the Delaware Supreme Court reviewed the transaction under the deferential business judgment rule standard because the Court found that the structure of the transaction neutralized the controller loyalty concerns. Building on this reasoning, the Court developed a checklist …


Comment On Proposed Regulation: Prudence And Loyalty In Selecting Plan Investments And Exercising Shareholder Rights, David H. Webber Dec 2021

Comment On Proposed Regulation: Prudence And Loyalty In Selecting Plan Investments And Exercising Shareholder Rights, David H. Webber

Shorter Faculty Works

In my view, while it is a significant improvement over its predecessor, the proposed rule’s persistent relegation of job creation/preservation to the status of mere “collateral benefit” is a mistake and undermines ERISA’s duty of loyalty. In reality, job creation and preservation are inextricably linked to fund financial health. Relegating that fact to a mere collateral benefit means trustees fail to consider the effect on a pension of investing in projects that eliminate the jobs of the fund’s own participants, or ignore the benefit of creating new jobs and thereby new pension contributors. This runs counter to President Biden’s executive …


The Future Harm Exception: Coercive Control As Serious Psychological Harm And The Challenge For Lawyers’ Ethics, Deanne Sowter Dec 2021

The Future Harm Exception: Coercive Control As Serious Psychological Harm And The Challenge For Lawyers’ Ethics, Deanne Sowter

Dalhousie Law Journal

Can a lawyer use the future harm exception to prevent her client from coercively controlling his former spouse? Lawyers are required to keep their clients’ secrets unless an exception applies. One of those exceptions is where there is a clear and imminent risk of serious bodily harm or death to an identifiable group or person. The exception provides that serious psychological harm constitutes serious bodily harm, but there is very little guidance as to what type of threat might meet the test. Coercive control is a type of family violence whereby an abusive spouse will use a pattern of tactics …


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 …


The Government Lawyer As Activist: A Legal Ethics Analysis, Andrew Martin May 2020

The Government Lawyer As Activist: A Legal Ethics Analysis, Andrew Martin

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Can a lawyer and government employee represent the government in her professional life while being an activist in her personal life? There is a striking and seemingly irreducible clash, at least at the intuitive level, between the two roles – between representing the government on the one hand while at the same time lobbying it or litigating against it on the other. Government lawyers are nonetheless some of the more successful activists in recent Canadian history. This article analyzes whether this duality is problematic from a legal ethics perspective. The analysis is grounded in three case studies: disability rights activist …


Delaware's New Competition, William J. Moon Jan 2020

Delaware's New Competition, William J. Moon

Faculty Scholarship

According to the standard account in American corporate law, states compete to supply corporate law to American corporations, with Delaware dominating the market. This “competition” metaphor in turn informs some of the most important policy debates in American corporate law.

This Article complicates the standard account, introducing foreign nations as emerging lawmakers that compete with American states in the increasingly globalized market for corporate law. In recent decades, entrepreneurial foreign nations in offshore islands have used permissive corporate governance rules and specialized business courts to attract publicly traded American corporations. Aided in part by a select group of private sector …


Fiduciary Principles In Bankruptcy And Insolvency, John A.E. Pottow May 2019

Fiduciary Principles In Bankruptcy And Insolvency, John A.E. Pottow

Book Chapters

This chapter examines fiduciary duties in bankruptcy and insolvency, focusing on the bankruptcy trustee’s duties, which are triggered by virtue of appointment in a case. It first provides a background on bankruptcy law in order to elucidate the doctrines and rules affecting fiduciary responsibilities in bankruptcy, citing a number of relevant provisions in the Bankruptcy Code. It then considers the fiduciary, non-fiduciary, and anti-fiduciary obligations of the trustee under the Bankruptcy Code before discussing the fiduciary duties of care and loyalty. In particular, it highlights bankruptcy-related issues raised by the duty of loyalty with respect to secured creditors, priority unsecured …


A New Corporate Statute: Adding Explicit Procedures To Maryland’S Corporate Opportunity Waiver Provision, Martha M. Effinger Jan 2019

A New Corporate Statute: Adding Explicit Procedures To Maryland’S Corporate Opportunity Waiver Provision, Martha M. Effinger

University of Baltimore Law Review

No abstract provided.


Fiduciary Principles In Bankruptcy And Insolvency, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2019

Fiduciary Principles In Bankruptcy And Insolvency, John A. E. Pottow

Book Chapters

This chapter examines fiduciary duties in bankruptcy and insolvency, focusing on the bankruptcy trustee’s duties, which are triggered by virtue of appointment in a case. It first provides a background on bankruptcy law in order to elucidate the doctrines and rules affecting fiduciary responsibilities in bankruptcy, citing a number of relevant provisions in the Bankruptcy Code. It then considers the fiduciary, non-fiduciary, and anti-fiduciary obligations of the trustee under the Bankruptcy Code before discussing the fiduciary duties of care and loyalty. In particular, it highlights bankruptcy-related issues raised by the duty of loyalty with respect to secured creditors, priority unsecured …


Vicarious Charity: Social Responsibility And Catholic Social Teaching, Paula Dalley Sep 2018

Vicarious Charity: Social Responsibility And Catholic Social Teaching, Paula Dalley

Journal of Catholic Legal Studies

(Excerpt)

This Article begins with a brief introduction to the CSR debate. Part II describes the legal role of various human actors in the corporation, and Part III describes the legal restrictions on those actors’ socially responsible, but unauthorized, decisions. Part IV describes in some detail the relevant social teaching of the Catholic Church and explains that it does not apply to corporations or other corporate actors. Part V then describes the appropriate application of Catholic social doctrine to economic actors.


The Diminishing Duty Of Loyalty, Julian Velasco Sep 2018

The Diminishing Duty Of Loyalty, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

Fiduciary duties comprise an integral part of corporate law. It is generally understood that directors owe the corporation and its shareholders two fiduciary duties: the duty of care and the duty of loyalty. Although both duties are firmly established in corporate law, they are not treated equally. It is generally understood that the duty of loyalty is enforced far more rigorously than the duty of care. The justification for this dichotomy is twofold. First, differential treatment is appropriate because of the relative urgencies of the underlying subject matter: loyalty issues pose greater risks than do care issues. Second, the deference …


The Diminishing Duty Of Loyalty, Julian Velasco Apr 2018

The Diminishing Duty Of Loyalty, Julian Velasco

Washington and Lee Law Review

Fiduciary duties comprise an integral part of corporate law. It is generally understood that directors owe the corporation and its shareholders two fiduciary duties: the duty of care and the duty of loyalty. Although both duties are firmly established in corporate law, they are not treated equally. It is generally understood that the duty of loyalty is enforced far more rigorously than the duty of care. The justification for this dichotomy is twofold. First, differential treatment is appropriate because of the relative urgencies of the underlying subject matter: loyalty issues pose greater risks than do care issues. Second, the deference …


The "New" Fiduciary Standards Under The Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act: More Bottom Bumping From Nccusl, Rutheford B. Campbell Jr. Oct 2017

The "New" Fiduciary Standards Under The Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act: More Bottom Bumping From Nccusl, Rutheford B. Campbell Jr.

Maine Law Review

Between 1995 and 2001, the influential National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) promulgated iterations of uniform laws pertaining to partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability companies. One or more of those acts have been widely adopted by state legislatures. Each of the three acts—the Uniform Partnership Act (1997) (hereinafter RUPA), the Uniform Limited Partnership Act (2001) (hereinafter ULPA (2001)), and the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (1996) (hereinafter ULLCA) —contains identical fiduciary duty provisions. The acts all adopt the same standards for the duty of care and the duty of loyalty, and offer parties the same limited …


Twenty-Five Years On — The Establishment And Application Of Corporate Fiduciary Duties In Prc Law, Nicholas C. Howson Oct 2017

Twenty-Five Years On — The Establishment And Application Of Corporate Fiduciary Duties In Prc Law, Nicholas C. Howson

Law & Economics Working Papers

This chapter analyzes the development of corporate fiduciary law and principles in the law of the People’s Republic of China from the early 1990s to date. The story starts with a short history of the contested advent of explicitly law-based corporate fiduciary duties into the PRC legal system after 1978, with an in depth consideration of the concurrent “legal construction” and “corporatization without privatization” programs implemented by China’s post-Mao administrations in the two decades following. In that regard, at least three development paths are described and explained — academic, regulatory and judicial/jurisprudential. Then the paper details how the substantive legal …


Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley Jun 2017

Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley

Articles

For centuries, the duty of loyalty has been the hallowed centerpiece of fiduciary obligation, widely considered one of the few “mandatory” rules of corporate law. That view, however, is no longer true. Beginning in 2000, Delaware dramatically departed from tradition by granting incorporated entities a statutory right to waive a crucial part of the duty of loyalty: the corporate opportunities doctrine. Other states have since followed Delaware’s lead, similarly permitting firms to execute “corporate opportunity waivers.” Surprisingly, more than fifteen years into this reform experiment, no study has attempted to either systematically measure the corporate response to these reforms or …


Employment As Fiduciary Relationship, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2017

Employment As Fiduciary Relationship, Matthew T. Bodie

All Faculty Scholarship

Under traditional agency law doctrine, employees are agents of their employers and owe an agent’s concomitant fiduciary duties. Employers, in turn, are merely principals and have no corresponding fiduciary duties. A new wave of thinking has unsettled this approach by concluding that only high-level employees have fiduciary responsibilities to their employers. Taking this controversy as a starting point, this Article reconceives the employment relationship as a mutual fiduciary relationship in which both employers and employees are fiduciaries of one another. Even though current law does not consider employers to be fiduciaries of their employees, employers have long had significant statutory …


The Ethical Identity Of Sexual Assault Lawyers, Elaine Craig Jan 2016

The Ethical Identity Of Sexual Assault Lawyers, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Despite progressive law reforms, sexual assault complainants continue to experience the criminal justice response to the violations that they have suffered as unsatisfactory, if not traumatic. One emerging response to this dilemma involves greater consideration of the ethical boundaries imposed on lawyers that practice sexual assault law. What is the relationship between a criminal lawyer’s ethical duties and the reforms to the law of sexual assault in Canada? How do lawyers themselves understand the ethical limits imposed on their conduct of a sexual assault case? How do lawyers that practice in this area of law comprehend their role in the …


Beyond Dirks: Gratuitous Tipping And Insider Trading, Donna M. Nagy Jan 2016

Beyond Dirks: Gratuitous Tipping And Insider Trading, Donna M. Nagy

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Did an investment banker who gratuitously shared material nonpublic information with his brother, with no expectation of receiving anything in return, commit securities fraud? And is the investment banker's brother-in-law jointly liable for trading securities on the basis of what he knew to be gratuitous tips? The Supreme Court is poised to answer those questions in Salman v. United States, after steering clear of insider trading law for nearly two decades. It has been even longer still since the Court last addressed securities fraud liability relating to stock trading tips-it articulated a "personal benefit" test for joint tipper-tippee liability in …


The Ethical Identity Of Sexual Assault Lawyers, Elaine Craig Jan 2016

The Ethical Identity Of Sexual Assault Lawyers, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Despite progressive law reforms, sexual assault complainants continue to experience the criminal justice response to the violations that they have suffered as unsatisfactory, if not traumatic. One emerging response to this dilemma involves greater consideration of the ethical boundaries imposed on lawyers that practice sexual assault law. What is the relationship between a criminal lawyer’s ethical duties and the reforms to the law of sexual assault in Canada? How do lawyers themselves understand the ethical limits imposed on their conduct of a sexual assault case? How do lawyers that practice in this area of law comprehend their role in the …


The Fiduciary Duty Of Care: A Perversion Of Words, William A. Gregory Jul 2015

The Fiduciary Duty Of Care: A Perversion Of Words, William A. Gregory

Akron Law Review

This article begins by defining the problem of conflation of the duty of care and the duty of loyalty. In Part I the Mothew case is discussed. The confusion between the duty of loyalty and the duty of care is clearly explained by the court. Duty of care is a negligence concept, whereas duty of loyalty is a breach of the duty of loyalty. Part II is a discussion of the Delaware corporate law cases which ignore established legal concepts and jumble together negligence and intent. Part III is a discussion of the confusing cases called “fiduciary breach.”


In Praise Of Procedure: An Economic And Behavioral Defense Of Smith V. Van Gorkom And The Business Judgment Rule, Lynn Stout Feb 2015

In Praise Of Procedure: An Economic And Behavioral Defense Of Smith V. Van Gorkom And The Business Judgment Rule, Lynn Stout

Lynn A. Stout

No abstract provided.


The Fiduciary Gap, Kelli A. Alces Jan 2015

The Fiduciary Gap, Kelli A. Alces

Scholarly Publications

No abstract provided.


The Use And Abuse Of Labor's Capital, David H. Webber Dec 2014

The Use And Abuse Of Labor's Capital, David H. Webber

Faculty Scholarship

The recent financial crisis has jeopardized the retirement savings of twenty-seven million Americans who depend on public pension funds, leading to cuts in benefits, increased employee contributions, job losses, and the rollback of legal rights like collective bargaining. This Article examines ways in which public pension funds invest against the economic interests of their own participants and beneficiaries, and the legal implications of these investments. In particular, the Article focuses on the use of public pensions to fund privatization of public employee jobs. Under the ascendant — and flawed — interpretation of the fiduciary duty of loyalty, public pension trustees …


Unanimous Shareholder Agreements, Nicolas William Juzda Nov 2014

Unanimous Shareholder Agreements, Nicolas William Juzda

PhD Dissertations

The unanimous shareholder agreement is a feature of most Canadian corporate statutes that allows the shareholders to, by creating an agreement meeting the necessary criteria, restrict the powers of the directors to manage the business and affairs of the corporation. One possible justification for this is the "nexus of contracts" theory that all corporations are notionally reducible to voluntary agreements. Three key areas of ambiguity surrounding unanimous shareholder agreements are examined in this dissertation, with specific reference to existing judgments. The requirements for their formation are reviewed, including the exact meaning and strictness of the unanimity criterion and the necessity …


Larry Ribstein's Fiduciary Duties, Kelli A. Alces Jan 2014

Larry Ribstein's Fiduciary Duties, Kelli A. Alces

Scholarly Publications

Larry Ribstein, throughout his remarkable scholarly career, developed a theory formed around his analysis that the end of fiduciary obligation is a near possibility. Understanding fiduciary obligations as a carefully defined term may indicate, however, that this fiduciary obligation can be a useful part of a wider selection of relationships than Ribstein allowed. This Article both considers Ribstein’s theory of fiduciary duty, and ultimately turns that same theory on its head by advocating the use of a narrow duty in a variety of contexts as opposed to a broad duty in a limited range of circumstances


Good Faith In Revlon-Land, Christopher M. Bruner Jan 2013

Good Faith In Revlon-Land, Christopher M. Bruner

Christopher M. Bruner

The Delaware Supreme Court has set a very high hurdle for plaintiffs challenging directors' good faith in the sale of a company. In Lyondell Chemical Company v. Ryan, the court held that unconflicted directors could be found to have breached the good faith component of their duty of loyalty in the transactional context only if they "knowingly and completely failed to undertake," and "utterly failed to attempt" to discharge their duties. In this essay I argue that the Lyondell standard effectively imports into the transactional context the exacting standard previously applied in the oversight context — a move clearly aimed …


Is The Corporate Director's Duty Of Care A 'Fiduciary' Duty? Does It Matter?, Christopher M. Bruner Jan 2013

Is The Corporate Director's Duty Of Care A 'Fiduciary' Duty? Does It Matter?, Christopher M. Bruner

Scholarly Articles

While reference to "fiduciary duties" (plural) is routinely employed in the United States as a convenient short-hand for a corporate director's duties of care and loyalty, other common-law countries generally treat loyalty as the sole "fiduciary duty." This contrast prompts some important questions about the doctrinal structure for duty of care analysis adopted in Delaware, the principal jurisdiction of incorporation for U.S. public companies. Specifically, has the evolution of Delaware's convoluted and problematic framework for evaluating disinterested board conduct been facilitated by styling care a "fiduciary" duty? If so, then how should Delaware lawmakers and judges respond moving forward?

In …


Agents Without Principals: Regulating The Duty Of Loyalty For Nonprofit Corporations Through The Intermediate Sanctions Tax Regulations, Carly B. Eisenberg, Kevin Outterson Oct 2012

Agents Without Principals: Regulating The Duty Of Loyalty For Nonprofit Corporations Through The Intermediate Sanctions Tax Regulations, Carly B. Eisenberg, Kevin Outterson

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

Delaware corporate law imposes a duty of loyalty on officers and directors as a mechanism to regulate and deter self-dealing transactions. In nonprofit corporations, however, there are generally no shareholders with direct financial incentives to monitor against self-dealing. In the absence of shareholders and other principals, Congress and the IRS have articulated duty of loyalty rules for nonprofits that reach far beyond those applied to the for-profit world--most prominently the § 4958 intermediate sanctions. This article identifies the persons who owe a duty of loyalty to a nonprofit corporation, the applicable fiduciary standards for violating the duty of loyalty, and …


Using Game Theory And Contractarianism To Reform Corporate Governance: Why Shareholders Should Seek Disincentive Schemes In Executive Compensation Plans, Elias Pete George Jun 2012

Using Game Theory And Contractarianism To Reform Corporate Governance: Why Shareholders Should Seek Disincentive Schemes In Executive Compensation Plans, Elias Pete George

Golden Gate University Law Review

Employing a model of game theory, this Article shows how current judge-made law in areas of the duty of loyalty does not adequately prevent corporate managers from violating their fiduciary duty. This Article presents a solution, advising shareholders to reform corporate governance through executive compensation contracts that would properly incentivize corporate managers to comport with their duty of loyalty. Part I examines the rise of contractarianism, the prominent legal academic view of a corporation that helps to guide judicial interpretation of corporate law pertaining to managers’ fiduciary duties. Part II examines agency costs, a subset of transaction costs, and the …