Category Archives: Legal

Delaware Chief Justice to Shareholders: Drop Dead

We’ve argued that the notion that companies are obligated to maximize shareholder value is a theory made up by economists and eagerly adopted by corporate executives, with little to no foundation in law. We received confirmation of our thesis in the form of a Columbia Law Review article by the chief justice in Delaware, Leo Strine, arguing that shareholder activism needs to be curbed. As if CEOs are really breaking a sweat over those pesky shareholders.

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Lawsuit Against California’s Robbing Homeowners of National Mortgage Settlement Funds Has Very Good Chance of Success

Late on Friday, a coalition of African-American, Latino and Asian-American groups sued California Governor Jerry Brown, demanding that he return $350 million stolen from the state’s share of the National Mortgage Settlement to plug a budget hole.

California is far from the only state to divert money given as a penalty for homeowner abuse into the General Fund; in fact, less than half of the $2.5 billion given to states in the settlement actually went to housing (and that’s a generous rendering which counts things like North Dakota spending to increase housing stock in oil country for police officers, when that has nothing to do with compensation for abuse). In fact, consumer groups in Arizona already tried to sue to force $50 million that went to their state’s General Fund back into the hands of homeowners. But a Maricopa County judge ruled that the language of the consent order was sufficiently broad to allow the diversion of funds.

Does that mean that this California lawsuit is nothing more than a show of vanity, destined to fail? Absolutely not. In fact, by a strict reading of the case law and the documents in the case, the plaintiffs should win in a walk.

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Reuters Writes About Our Suit Against CalPERS to Obtain Private Equity Data

We were surprised and pleased when a reporter from the Reuters publication peHUB, Chris Witkowsky, contacted us a couple of days ago about the suit we had filed against CalPERS, the California Public Employees Retirement Systems, over their refusal to provide us with information they had given to three Oxford academics who had used that data as the basis for a recently-published paper.

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