Tag Archives | law

Crowdfunding Amicus Curiae on Gabelli v. Securities and Exchange Commission

William Michael Cunningham, of Socially Responsible Investment Research is attempting to crowdfund the filing fee for a friend of the court brief at the US Supreme Court.

The case involves defendant Mark Gabelli, who was the portfolio manager for the Gabelli Global Growth Fund (GGGF), as well as several affiliated funds, from 1997 until 2004. Defendant Bruce Alpert had been the Chief Operating Continue Reading →

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Review: Corporate Governance: Cases and Materials

This comprehensive case book sheds light on the complicated regulatory framework and the dynamic nature of laws on corporate governance in the United States. Chapters typically cover regulations promulgated by federal, state, and self-regulatory organizations. Corporate governance is examined through case law with ample discussion to provide context concerning evolving practices and normative concerns. In that regard, the authors give voice to a wide variety of perspectives, including their own. Corporate Governance: Cases and Materialsby J. Robert Brown, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law; Lisa L. Casey, Associate Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School. Continue Reading →

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United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm: Mafia Tactics on Wall Street

Someday, it will go down in history as the first trial of the modern American mafia. Of course, you won’t hear the recent financial corruption case, United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm, called anything like that. If you heard about it at all, you’re probably either in the municipal bond business or married to an antitrust lawyer. Even then, all you probably heard was that a threesome of bit players on Wall Street got convicted of obscure antitrust violations in one of the most inscrutable, jargon-packed legal snoozefests since the government’s massive case against Microsoft in the Nineties – not exactly the thrilling courtroom drama offered by the famed trials of old-school mobsters like Al Capone or Anthony “Tony Ducks” Corallo. Continue Reading →

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Review: Corporate Governance and the Global Financial Crisis

Corporate Governance and the Global Financial Crisis: International Perspectives by William Sun, Jim Stewart, and David Pollard addresses the worldwide crisis that cost Americans an estimated average of $188,000 per household. We will be paying back that debt for decades… or perhaps more accurately, our children will be paying back that debt. Yes, we’ve passed the usual spate of laws after a financial crisis and regulations are still being written, but almost nobody I talk to, except perhaps those on Wall Street, thinks we have solved the issues. This book discusses some of the weaknesses, such as executive pay, risk management, board practices, regulation capture, the failure of shareowners to obtain and/or exercise rights, etc. Perhaps more importantly, many of the contributing scholars offer possible solutions. Continue Reading →

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Review: Shareholder Democracies?

Shareholder Democracies?: Corporate Governance in Britain and Ireland before 1850 addresses a central issue. Current governance structures often allow managers to pursue their own interests. According to some, a dissemblance of democracy has led to “elitism and self-interest in the boardroom,” resulting in Continue Reading →

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Corporate Directors Forum 2012 Part 7: Laster Inspires Multi-forum Nightmare – Small Claims Shareowner Flash Mobs

These are some relatively quick notes that I’m sharing from the Corporate Directors Forum 2012, held at the University of San Diego, January 22-24, 2012. This post diverges to a flight of fancy inspired by a problem raised by judge J. Travis Laster at the Forum… a flight of fancy that borders on nightmare. In part 8 I promise to get back to reality and actually report again on the Forum. Continue Reading →

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Corporate Directors Forum 2012 – Part 1: Shareholder Hot Topics

These are some relatively quick notes that I’m sharing from the Corporate Directors Forum 2012, held on the beautiful campus of the University of San Diego, January 22-24, 2012. Since I am busy with no-action requests this proxy season (especially proxy access proposals), this post may be a cryptic… not complete sentences bt hopefully mor intelligible thN txt msgN. Continue Reading →

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Audio Friday: Federalist Society Panel on Proxy Access – Special Bonus re Bain Capital

Although corporations are creatures of state law and corporate elections are governed by state law, statements soliciting proxies for publicly traded securities are governed as to form and content by the federal securities laws, most importantly by various rules promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last year, the SEC used its authority under Dodd-Frank to promulgate Rule 14a-11 requiring public companies to include in their proxy statements director nominations proposed by Continue Reading →

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Lowell Milken Institute Law Teaching Fellowship

The Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law is now accepting applications for the Lowell Milken Institute Law Teaching Fellowship.

This fellowship is a full-time, year-round, one or two academic-year position (approximately July 2012 through June 2013 or June 2014).  The position involves law teaching, legal and policy research and writing, preparing to Continue Reading →

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CII Contract with Equilar a Positive Step But More Needed to Address Pay Issue

Equilar, the leading provider of executive compensation benchmarking and research solutions, announced the release of its Pay-For-Performance Analytics suite yesterday, along with the fact that the Council of Institutional Investors (CII), whose members hold $3 trillion in assets, has signed on as the first client. According to the press release:

By combining an innovative market-based algorithm to identify peer companies with a realizable pay methodology using long Continue Reading →

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Review: Economic Governance Matters

Does Economic Governance Matter?: Governance Institutions and Outcomes edited by Mehmet Ugur and David Sunderland. The answer is an unqualified yes! More questionable is if citizens can shape governance to be more efficient to society as a whole.

It does not require immense imagination to see that technically-feasible economic outcomes may remain socially-unfeasible if the existing definition of property rights is not credible due to the existence of a highly intrusive or excessively weak Continue Reading →

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FCPA Liability

Two recent developments bring the potential for individual criminal liability under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) back into the spotlight. These developments underscore the extensive reach of the FCPA, which can extend criminal liability to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alike and to circumstances where an individual does not have actual Continue Reading →

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SEC Appeals Citigroup Decision

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Director of the Division of Enforcement, Robert Khuzami, today made the following statement on the Citigroup case:

Last month, a federal district court declined to approve a consent judgment because, in its view, the underlying allegations were ‘unsupported by any proven or acknowledged facts.’ As a result, the court rejected a $285 Continue Reading →

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Review: The Organizational Ombudsman: Origins, Roles, and Operations–A Legal Guide

Charles L. Howard

I heard Charles L. Howard discuss working on ombuds issues and his book The Organizational Ombudsman during panel presentations at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors and at Stanford University. With all the advantages such offices offer to corporations I was wondering why more corporations haven’t set up programs.

At the recent NACD Directorship 100 program I asked that question during a panel focused on whistle-blowing and other mechanisms to report and resolve ethical issues. None of the panelists had any experience with organizational ombudsman at the companies they represented. Looking to the audience of several hundred, they too Continue Reading →

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HKEx: New Listing Rules

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (“Exchange”) recently published its Consultation Conclusions on Review of the Corporate Governance Code (“Code”) and associated Listing Rules. The Code and Listing Rules amendments aim to promote the development of a higher level of corporate governance among listed issuers and bring Hong Kong in line with international best practices.  They will come into Continue Reading →

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"Large Number" of Proxy Access Bylaws Predicted: Battle Lines Drawn for American Dream & Ownership Society

According to a recent November 15 newsletter from Latham & Watkins LLP, most companies will adopt a “wait and see” approach for now.  However…

If and when a company receives a shareholder proposal recommending board adoption of a proxy access bylaw, the board may respond (and seek to exclude the proposal from the ballot) by (i) adopting a proxy access bylaw (and claiming the Rule 14a-8 exclusion for substantial Continue Reading →

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Boards of the Future: A Conversation With Richard W. Leblanc

Professor Richard W. Leblanc recently posted an article to his blog titled The Boardroom of the Future: Changes that will reshape corporate governance that merits wide exposure. Leblanc is a tenured, award-winning teacher and researcher, consultant, lawyer and specialist on boards of directors… a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ award. His research expertise is in corporate governance, specifically in the effectiveness of boards of directors.

At first read, I loved the post… but then got thinking the devil is in the details. My questions and comments are in italics. Professor Leblanc is a provocateur, setting us thinking and perhaps taking necessary action now. A day later, here is an updated version with Leblanc’s responses below my questions and comments.

Democratization of governance

Your shareholders will nominate and elect your directors by electronic voting Continue Reading →

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