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californiacorporate&securities 7/29/2016
Which Do You Use: Decisionmaking, Decision Making, or Decision-Making?

Recently, UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge wrote about his allegiance to writing “decision making” as two words.  In support, he cites the Chicago Manual of Style.  I think that the Manual actually makes a distinction based on usage.  When the compound is used as a noun, the two words are separate (e.g., “future decision making by lenders and homeowners”

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californiacorporate&securities 7/28/2016
“Interim Final Temporary Rules”, Say What?

Visitors to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website will find a pull-down menu entitled “Regulation”.  One of the items on that menu has the oxymoronic title of “Interim Final Temporary Rules”.  How can a rule be both interim (meaning provisional or for an intervening time period) and final (meaning, coming at the end)?  The nomenclature makes no

The post “Interim Final Temporary Rules”, Say What? appeared first on CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW.

 
californiacorporate&securities 7/27/2016
CARULLCA Amendment Purporting To Eliminate Surprise May Do The Opposite

Readers will know that I’m no fan of California’s Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (aka CARULLCA).  As originally enacted, the law was rife with technical errors.  As the legislature continues to tinker with the CARULLCA, it creates even more problems for existing California LLCs.  The legislature’s recent enactment of AB 1722 (Wagner) is yet another dispiriting legislative “fix” that is likely to increase, rather than

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californiacorporate&securities 7/26/2016
Is Rescission Ever Legal?

Yesterday’s post concerned when a corporation’s rescission of the issuance of shares does not constitute a “distribution to its shareholders” as defined in Section 166 of the California Corporations Code.  I noted that one of the three conditions is that “it is reasonably likely that the holder or holders of the shares in question could

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californiacorporate&securities 7/25/2016
When A Share Rescission Is Not A Distribution

Section 166 of the California Corporations Code defines “distribution to its shareholders”.  Knowing what constitutes a distribution to shareholders is important because Chapter 5 of the General Corporation Law imposes various restrictions on such distributions.  Shareholders and directors may be liable when these restrictions are violated.  Cal. Corp. Code §§ 316 & 506.  Under Section

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californiacorporate&securities 7/22/2016
Nevada Supreme Court Refuses To “Blue Pencil” Unreasonable Non-Compete

Nevada, unlike California, applies a reasonableness test to non-compete agreements.  Although the Nevada courts haven’t identified a specific heuristic to be followed, a covenant not to compete will be found to be unreasonable when in the absence of statutory authorization or dominant social or economic justification, “it is greater than is required for protection of the person for whose

The post Nevada Supreme Court Refuses To “Blue Pencil” Unreasonable Non-Compete appeared first on CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW.

 
californiacorporate&securities 7/21/2016
In The DBO’s World, Money, Money, Money Transmitters

Many may not realize that the Money Transmitter Division of the California Department of Business Oversight licenses and regulates money transmitters.  Money transmitters include issuers of payment instruments (money orders), travelers checks and stored value.  California’s Money Transmission Act codified at Financial Code § 2000 et seq. Western Union is among the best known money transmitters (a

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californiacorporate&securities 7/20/2016
California And Delaware Corporate Law Differ In Many Respects, Including The Authority Of Committees

Both California and Delaware allow the formation of committees of the Board of Directors.  Both states also allow these committees to exercise the authority of the board, but with certain exceptions.  California, however, has far more exceptions than Delaware.  For example, California does not allow the board to delegate its authority with respect to the

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californiacorporate&securities 7/19/2016
Court Allows An Exhausted FTC To Serve Summons On The California Secretary Of State

The Federal Trade Commission is not pleased with Discountmetalbrokers, Inc.  In fact, the FTC is so unhappy with the company that it filed a complaint alleging that the company held itself out as a legitimate seller of gold and silver but would often fail to deliver product.  According to the the FTC, the company has “scammed

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californiacorporate&securities 7/18/2016
The SEC’s Sorcerer’s Stone – Changing EBITDA From A Performance Measure Into Liquidity Measure

Recently, Broc Romanek hosted another one of his excellent webcasts.  This one covered the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance’s recent issuance of several new and modified Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations regarding Non-GAAP financial measures.  The three panelists were Mark Kronforst, Chief Accountant, SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance Meredith Cross, Partner, WilmerHale LLP, and Dave Lynn, Editor, TheCorporateCounsel.net and

The post The SEC’s Sorcerer’s Stone – Changing EBITDA From A Performance Measure Into Liquidity Measure appeared first on CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW.

 
californiacorporate&securities 7/15/2016
What’s With The “U” In Guarantee (Or Should That Be Guaranty)?

Spelling and pronouncing English words can be a challenge.  I’ve often been puzzled by the word “guarantee”.  What’s the point of including the unpronounced “u”?  The word is derived from an Old French word, garantir meaning “to protect”.   In English, the letter “g” may have either a soft (e.g., as in “legend” and “gerund”) or hard (e.g.,

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californiacorporate&securities 7/14/2016
The DBO Wants Your Social Security Number, But Is It Legal?

Readers will recall that last year the California legislature created a statutory exemption for finders from the California’s registration requirement for broker-dealers (Chap. 743, Stats. 2015).  That exemption, codified at Corporations Code Section 25206.1, requires persons relying on the exemption to file a statement of information with the Department before engaging in activities described in the

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californiacorporate&securities 7/13/2016
How Much Does Your Banker Make?

In the midst of the Great Depression, The New Yorker published a poem by Ogden Nash entitled “Bankers Are Just Like Anybody Else, Except Richer”.  But are bankers really wealthier than hoi polloi?  The answer may be found in the Department of Business Oversight’s annual survey of bank officer and director at state-chartered banks, national

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californiacorporate&securities 7/12/2016
Is Rule 10b-5 The “Mother Of All Litotes”?

Yesterday’s post addressed the use of litotes in California’s broker-dealer suitability rule.  Litotes can be an effective rhetorical device, but as Judge Frank H. Easterbrook observed, it is also ambiguous.  Associated Randall Bank v. Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson, Inc. 3 F.3d 208 (7th Cir. 1993) (“‘Not unlike’ can mean almost anything; although the listener may cancel

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californiacorporate&securities 7/11/2016
Suitability Of Broker-Dealer Recommendations And Litotes

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, better known as FINRA, imposes a suitability requirement on its members.  Rule 2111(a) requires, in part, that a broker-dealer or registered representative “have a reasonable basis to believe that a recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable for the customer” based on the customer’s investment

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californiacorporate&securities 7/8/2016
Class A Is Class A and Class B Is Class B And Shall Ever The Twain Meet?

In addition to directors and officers, Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 applies to every person who is “directly or indirectly the beneficial owner of more than 10 percent of any class of any equity security (other than an exempted security) which is registered pursuant to Section 12″ of the Act.  This,

The post Class A Is Class A and Class B Is Class B And Shall Ever The Twain Meet? appeared first on CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW.

 
californiacorporate&securities 7/7/2016
Is Certiorari A Possibility For SLUSA Question Not Addressed By Any Federal Circuit Court?

In Luther v. Countrywide Financial Corp., 195 Cal. App. 4th 789 (2011), the trial court ruled that state courts do not enjoy concurrent jurisdiction when a class action meeting the definition of a “covered class action” under the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (aka “SLUSA”) did not involve a “covered security”, as also

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californiacorporate&securities 7/6/2016
Liechtenstein And Article II, Section 1 Of The Constitution

I spent the Fourth of July holiday in the Fürstentum Liechtenstein, a very beautiful and surprisingly inaccessible part of Europe.  Its capital city has no airport.  The country is also largely vertical, as it is sandwiched in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland.  While enjoying a cappuccino in an outdoor cafe in Vaduz, the principality’s capital,

The post Liechtenstein And Article II, Section 1 Of The Constitution appeared first on CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW.

 
californiacorporate&securities 7/5/2016
California Legislature Mulls Anti-Short Selling Bill

In April, I wrote about a bill, SB 726 (Hueso), that would have added a new section to the Corporate Securities Law banning false statements to government officials for the purpose of manipulating the price of a company’s security by triggering an investigation.  See “Bill Aims To Put The Kibosh On Alleged Hedge Fund Stock

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californiacorporate&securities 7/1/2016
Happy Fourth Of July!

For the record, “Independence Day” is mentioned in  the following five California statutes: Civil Code § 1689.24 Civil Code § 1689.5 Civil Code § 1695.1 Civil Code § 1812.303 Health & Safety Code § 8344.5 Have a happy and safe holiday!

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californiacorporate&securities 6/30/2016
Does “Valid When Made” Apply To Evidences Of Indebtedness Qualified Under The CSL?

Many have expressed disappointment that the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in Midland Funding, LLC v. Madden.  The question presented by the petitioners in the case was as follows: Whether the National Bank Act, which preempts state usury laws regulating the interest a national bank may charge on a loan, continues to have preemptive effect after the national bank has sold

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californiacorporate&securities 6/29/2016
SEC Declines To Define “Mineral” In Resource Extraction Rule But Then Defines It Anyway

As reported by Broc Romanek yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted (again) a resource extraction rule.  Congress had ordered the SEC to adopt a rule by April 17, 2011.  After belatedly adopting a rule, the U.S. District Court vacated the rule and sent it back to the SEC.  American Petroleum Institute v. SEC, 953

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californiacorporate&securities 6/28/2016
Is Counterfeit Currency A Bank Note?

Counterfeiting was once considered to be tantamount to treason.  It is still a serious, but not capital, crime.  In fact, it is one of only four crimes specifically mentioned in the Constitution.  Notably, however, the Constitution doesn’t mention paper currency, it refers rather to the “securities and current coin of the United States”.   Perhaps

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californiacorporate&securities 6/27/2016
Are A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty And A Breach Of Governing Documents “Non Bis In Idem”?

Last week, I discussed the Court of Appeal’s consideration of whether the business judgment rule protects a director from claims based on breach of the corporation’s governing documents.  See Does The Business Judgment Rule Protect Directors Who Violate Governing Documents?  In Palm Springs Villas II Homeowners Ass’n, Inc. v. Parth, 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 485, the corporation sued

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californiacorporate&securities 6/24/2016
Does The Business Judgment Rule Protect Directors Who Violate Governing Documents?

Under the business judgment rule, a director will not be liable for a mistake in business judgment provided that certain conditions are met.  In the case of a California nonprofit mutual benefit corporation, a director who performs her duties in accordance with Corporations Code Section 7231(a) and (b) has no liability based on any failure

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Blogs 1 - 25 of 200