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Full-Text Articles in Law

Law And Corporate Governance, Robert P. Bartlett, Eric L. Talley Aug 2019

Law And Corporate Governance, Robert P. Bartlett, Eric L. Talley

Robert Bartlett

Pragmatic and effective research on corporate governance often turns critically on appreciating the legal institutions surrounding corporate entities – yet such nuances are often unfamiliar or poorly specified to economists and other social scientists without legal training. This chapter organizes and discusses key legal concepts of corporate governance, including statutes, regulations, and jurisprudential doctrines that “govern governance” in private and public companies, with concentration on the for-profit corporation. We review the literature concerning the nature and purpose of the corporation, the objects of fiduciary obligations, the means for decision making within the firm, as well as the overlay of state …


The Fiduciary Obligations Of Public Officials, Vincent R. Johnson Aug 2019

The Fiduciary Obligations Of Public Officials, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

At various levels of government, the conduct of public officials is often regulated by ethical standards laid down by legislative enactments, such as federal or state statutes or municipal ordinances. These rules of government ethics are important landmarks in the field of law that defines the legal and ethical obligations of public officials. Such provisions can form the basis for the kinds of government ethics training that helps to minimize wrongful conduct by public servants and reduces the risk that the performance of official duties will be clouded by appearances of impropriety. Codified government ethics rules also frequently provide mechanisms …


In Whose Interests Should A Company Be Run? Fiduciary Duties Of Directors During Corporate Failure In India: Looking To The West For Answers, Gautam Sundaresh May 2019

In Whose Interests Should A Company Be Run? Fiduciary Duties Of Directors During Corporate Failure In India: Looking To The West For Answers, Gautam Sundaresh

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

This Comment looks at the debate as it has played out in the legal jurisprudence of the U.S. and the U.K. The analysis of each considers the three financial stages of a corporation’s existence that are specifically addressed in the debate today, i.e.: (i) solvency; (ii) insolvency; and (iii) the zone of insolvency. After setting out the current position, this Comment specifically addresses the various shortcomings and criticisms of the models adopted by each jurisdiction and offers observations on the status quo and the implementation of these models. On this basis, this Comment goes on to propose a model to …


Toward A Horizontal Fiduciary Duty In Corporate Law, Asaf Eckstein, Gideon Parchomovsky May 2019

Toward A Horizontal Fiduciary Duty In Corporate Law, Asaf Eckstein, Gideon Parchomovsky

All Faculty Scholarship

Fiduciary duty is arguably the single most important aspect of our corporate law system. It consists of two distinct sub-duties—a duty of care and a duty of loyalty—and it applies to all directors and corporate officers. Yet, under extant law, the duty only applies vertically, in the relationship between directors and corporate officers and the firm. At present, there exists no horizontal fiduciary duty: directors and corporate officers owe no fiduciary duty to each other. Consequently, if one of them fails her peers, they cannot seek direct legal recourse against her even when they stand to suffer significant reputational and …


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 …


Disclosure's Purpose, Hillary A. Sale Apr 2019

Disclosure's Purpose, Hillary A. Sale

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The United States securities regulatory infrastructure requires disclosure of a wide array of information both by and about covered companies. The basic purpose of the disclosures is to level the playing field – for investors, for issuers, and for the public. Although investor protection is the disclosure goal often touted, this article develops the purposes of disclosure extending beyond investors to issuers and the public. Indeed, the disclosure system is designed to level the playing field for issuers— addressing confidentiality concerns, for example. In addition, the system helps to promote confidence in the markets, which, in turn, enables growth and …


Alpha Duties: The Search For Excess Returns And Appropriate Fiduciary Duties, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox Mar 2019

Alpha Duties: The Search For Excess Returns And Appropriate Fiduciary Duties, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox

Articles

Modern finance theory and investment practice have shifted toward “passive investing.” The current consensus is that most savers should invest in mutual funds or ETFs that are (i) well-diversified, (ii) low-cost, and (iii) expose their portfolios to age-appropriate stock market risk. The law governing trustees, investment advisers, broker–dealers, 401(k) plan managers, and other investment fiduciaries has evolved to push them gently toward this consensus. But these laws still provide broad scope for fiduciaries to recommend that clients invest instead in specific assets that they believe will produce “alpha” by outperforming the market. Seeking alpha comes at a cost, however, in …


Energy Re-Investment, Hari M. Osofsky, Jacqueline Peel, Brett H. Mcdonnell, Anita Foerster Jan 2019

Energy Re-Investment, Hari M. Osofsky, Jacqueline Peel, Brett H. Mcdonnell, Anita Foerster

Journal Articles

Despite worsening climate change threats, investment in energy — in the United States and globally — is dominated by fossil fuels. This Article provides a novel analysis of two pathways in corporate and securities law that together have the potential to shift patterns of energy investment.

The first pathway targets current investments and corporate decision-making. It includes efforts to influence investors to divest from owning shares in fossil fuel companies and to influence companies to address climate change risks in their internal decision-making processes. This pathway has received increasing attention, especially in light of the Paris Agreement and the Trump …


Fiduciary Law In Financial Regulation, Howell E. Jackson, Talia B. Gillis Jan 2019

Fiduciary Law In Financial Regulation, Howell E. Jackson, Talia B. Gillis

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter explores the application of fiduciary duties to regulated financial firms and financial services. At first blush, the need for such a chapter might strike some as surprising in that fiduciary duties and systems of financial regulation can be conceptualized as governing distinctive and nonoverlapping spheres: fiduciary duties police private activity through open-ended, judicially defined standards imposed on an ex post basis, whereas financial regulations set largely mandatory, ex ante obligations for regulated entities under supervisory systems established in legislation and implemented through expert administrative agencies. Yet, as the chapter documents, fiduciary duties often do overlap with systems of …


Corporate Disobedience, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2019

Corporate Disobedience, Elizabeth Pollman

All Faculty Scholarship

Corporate law has long taken a dim view of corporate lawbreaking. Corporations can be chartered only for lawful activity. Contemporary case law characterizes intentional violations of law as a breach of the fiduciary duties of good faith and loyalty. While recognizing that rule breaking raises significant social and moral concerns, this Article suggests that corporate law and academic debate have overlooked important aspects of corporate disobedience. This Article provides an overview of corporate disobedience and illuminates the role that it has played in entrepreneurship and legal change. Corporations violate laws for a variety of reasons, including as part of efforts …


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 …


Startup Governance, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2019

Startup Governance, Elizabeth Pollman

All Faculty Scholarship

Although previously considered rare, over three hundred startups have reached valuations over a billion dollars. Thousands of smaller startups aim to follow in their paths. Despite the enormous social and economic impact of venture-backed startups, their internal governance receives scant scholarly attention. Longstanding theories of corporate ownership and governance do not capture the special features of startups. They can grow large with ownership shared by diverse participants, and they face issues that do not fit the dominant principal-agent paradigm of public corporations or the classic narrative of controlling shareholders in closely held corporations.

This Article offers an original, comprehensive framework …