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The Rise And Fall (?) Of The Berle–Means Corporation, Brian R. Cheffins 2019 Seattle University School of Law

The Rise And Fall (?) Of The Berle–Means Corporation, Brian R. Cheffins

Seattle University Law Review

This Article forms part of the proceedings of the 10th Annual Berle Symposium (2018), which focused on Adolf Berle and the world he influenced. He and Gardiner Means documented in The Modern Corporation and Private Property (1932) what they said was a separation of ownership and control in major American business enterprises. Berle and Means became sufficiently closely associated with the separation of ownership and control pattern for the large American public firm to be christened subsequently the “Berle–Means corporation.” This Article focuses on the “rise” of the Berle–Means corporation, considering in so doing why ownership became divorced ...


Berle And Corporation Finance: Everything Old Is New Again, Frank Partnoy 2019 Seattle University School of Law

Berle And Corporation Finance: Everything Old Is New Again, Frank Partnoy

Seattle University Law Review

In this essay, I want to illustrate how Adolf A. Berle Jr.’s Studies in the Law of Corporation Finance1 was prescient about the kinds of financial innovation that are central to today’s markets. For scholars who are not familiar with this publication, Corporation Finance is a compilation of edited versions of several of Berle’s articles, along with some new material, most of which is focused on 1920s corporate practice. My primary goal here is simply to shine a light on this work and to memorialize for scholars the key passages that echo many of today’s challenges ...


Merrick Dodd And The Great Depression: A Few Historical Corrections, Charles R. T. O'Kelley 2019 Seattle University School of Law

Merrick Dodd And The Great Depression: A Few Historical Corrections, Charles R. T. O'Kelley

Seattle University Law Review

Merrick Dodd is remembered primarily for his role as coprotagonist, with Adolf Berle, in the famous Berle–Dodd debate. Dodd’s contribution to that debate—For Whom are Corporate Managers Trustees?—has generally been interpreted as the inspiration for modern stakeholder theory. Berle’s contribution has generally been viewed as the foundation on which shareholder primacy rests. Both of these views have been clarified by the nuanced work of Bratton and Wachter. Oddly, while scholars have devoted a great deal of attention to Berle’s actual life story, there is almost no scholarship that sheds light on Merrick Dodd, the ...


Berle And Means’S The Modern Corporation And Private Property: The Military Roots Of A Stakeholder Model Of Corporate Governance, Andrew Smith, Kevin D. Tennent, Jason Russell 2019 Seattle University School of Law

Berle And Means’S The Modern Corporation And Private Property: The Military Roots Of A Stakeholder Model Of Corporate Governance, Andrew Smith, Kevin D. Tennent, Jason Russell

Seattle University Law Review

The Modern Corporation and Private Property by Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means (1932) remains one of the most cited works in management studies. Our paper shows that Berle and Means espoused a stakeholder theory of corporate governance that challenged the then-hegemonic idea that the sole purpose of a corporation is to create value for the shareholders. We argue that Berle and Means’s support for stakeholder theory can be associated with their earlier service in the U.S. military, an organization which then inculcated an ethos of public service in its members. Our paper, which is based on archival research ...


Corporate Lessons For Public Governance: The Origins And Activities Of The National Budget Committee, 1919–1923, Jesse Tarbert 2019 Seattle University School of Law

Corporate Lessons For Public Governance: The Origins And Activities Of The National Budget Committee, 1919–1923, Jesse Tarbert

Seattle University Law Review

There is a peculiar disconnect between the way specialists view the 1920s and the way the decade is understood by non-specialists and the general public. Casual observers tend to view the 1920s as a conservative or reactionary interlude between the watershed reform periods of the Progressive Era and New Deal. Although many scholars have abandoned the traditional view of the 1920s, their work has not yet penetrated the generalizations of non-specialists. Even readers familiar with specialist accounts portraying the New Era as the age of “corporate liberalism” or the “Associative State” tend to view these concepts as just another way ...


The Modern Corporation And Private Property Revisited: Gardiner Means And The Administered Price, William W. Bratton 2019 Seattle University School of Law

The Modern Corporation And Private Property Revisited: Gardiner Means And The Administered Price, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

This essay casts additional light on The Modern Corporation’s corporatist precincts, shifting attention to the book’s junior coauthor, Gardiner C. Means. Means is accurately remembered as the generator of Book I’s statistical showings—the description of deepening corporate concentration and widening separation of ownership and control. He is otherwise more notable for his absence than his presence in today’s discussions of The Modern Corporation. This essay fills this gap, describing the junior coauthor’s central concern—a theory of administered prices set out in a Ph.D. dissertation Means submitted to the Harvard economics department after ...


“All Lawyers Are Somewhat Suspect”: Adolf A. Berle And The Modern Legal Profession, Harwell Wells 2019 Seattle University School of Law

“All Lawyers Are Somewhat Suspect”: Adolf A. Berle And The Modern Legal Profession, Harwell Wells

Seattle University Law Review

Adolf A. Berle was perhaps the preeminent scholar of the modern corporation. He was also an occasional scholar of the modern legal profession. This Article surveys his writings on the legal profession from the 1930s to the 1960s, from the sharp criticisms he leveled at lawyers, particularly corporate lawyers, during the Great Depression, to his sunnier account of the lawyer’s role in the postwar era. I argue that Berle’s views were shaped both by the reformist tradition he inherited from Louis Brandeis and his writings on the corporation, which left him convinced that the fate of the legal ...


Adolf Berle During The New Deal: The Brain Truster As An Intellectual Jobber, Robert B. Thompson 2019 Seattle University School of Law

Adolf Berle During The New Deal: The Brain Truster As An Intellectual Jobber, Robert B. Thompson

Seattle University Law Review

Adolf Berle’s ideas have attained a remarkable longevity in corporate law with an influence exceeding that of any other twentieth century law professor. Participants in the now ten Berle symposia often have framed the discussion of his career as an intellectual history, usually built around the powerful transformative effect of The Modern Corporation and Private Property (MCPP). Yet this approach is insufficient to explain large parts of Berle’s professional career, including what Berle did during the twelve years of the Roosevelt Administration that immediately followed MCPP. This Article offers an alternative focus that better accounts for the career ...


Collected Lectures And Talks On Corporate Law, Legal Theory, History, Finance, And Governance, William W. Bratton 2019 Seattle University School of Law

Collected Lectures And Talks On Corporate Law, Legal Theory, History, Finance, And Governance, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

A collection of eighteen speeches and lectures, from 2003 to 2018, discussing and expanding on the writings and theories of Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means.


Untangling The Web Of Consignment Law: The Journey From The Common Law & Article 2 To Revised Article 9, Willa Gibson 2019 College of William & Mary Law School

Untangling The Web Of Consignment Law: The Journey From The Common Law & Article 2 To Revised Article 9, Willa Gibson

William & Mary Business Law Review

This Article examines and analyzes the law of consignments from the common law through Revised Article 9 with a goal towards identifying and analyzing the uncertainties and confusion that have persisted throughout the transition from the common law to the UCC. The law of consignments has abounded with uncertainty since its genesis under common law. In an attempt to clarify the persistent confusion and disarray surrounding the law, the UCC enacted section 2-326; but the statute was not a model of clarity, engendering increased uncertainty and confusion. Courts wrestled with how to interpret the provision to be consistent with the ...


The Value Of Insider Control, Benjamin Means 2019 College of William & Mary Law School

The Value Of Insider Control, Benjamin Means

William & Mary Law Review

According to conventional wisdom, insider control of businesses is detrimental to the interests of noncontrolling investors. Family-run businesses, in particular, are seen as nepotistic and inefficient. Yet, commentators have overestimated the dangers of insider control and overlooked its potential benefits for all stakeholders. Controlling owners have a personal stake that gives them reason to identify with their business and to adopt responsible business practices capable of creating lasting value. A stewardship model of insider control helps explain the continuing vitality of family businesses as well as the success of recent public offerings by Facebook, Google, and Snapchat involving low-vote or ...


Interpreting Organizational "Contracts" And The Private Ordering Of Public Company Governance, Megan Wischmeier Shaner 2019 College of William & Mary Law School

Interpreting Organizational "Contracts" And The Private Ordering Of Public Company Governance, Megan Wischmeier Shaner

William & Mary Law Review

Corporate law is undergoing an explosion of governance by private ordering. With increasing frequency and creativity, the charter and bylaws of public corporations are being used as tools for restructuring key aspects of corporate governance. The current focus of parties, courts, and scholars has been on the facial validity of these efforts. In light of courts’ willingness to uphold corporate governance contracting, legal battles will morph from validity challenges to interpretation disputes. Yet interpretation principles are a topic to which corporate scholars have devoted limited attention. With interpretation poised to take on an influential role in shaping corporate law and ...


Why Healthcare Companies Should Be(Come) Benefit Corporations, Yaniv Heled, Liza Vertinsky, Cass Brewer 2019 Georgia State University College of Law

Why Healthcare Companies Should Be(Come) Benefit Corporations, Yaniv Heled, Liza Vertinsky, Cass Brewer

Boston College Law Review

Our healthcare system is broken. Despite spending far more on healthcare per capita than any other country, health outcomes in the United States are relatively poor. There is a pervasive disconnect within the healthcare system between private incentives to develop and provide healthcare products and services and public health needs. Mainstream proposals for how to fix the system have focused on changes in regulation, incentive schemes, consumer behavior, and competition in healthcare markets. All of these proposals share the assumption that the development and provision of healthcare products and services will remain primarily in the hands of traditional corporations and ...


Time To Act: Response To Questions Posed By The Expert Panel On Sustainable Finance On Fiduciary Obligation And Effective Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, Janis P. Sarra, Cynthia Williams 2019 Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia

Time To Act: Response To Questions Posed By The Expert Panel On Sustainable Finance On Fiduciary Obligation And Effective Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, Janis P. Sarra, Cynthia Williams

Faculty Publications

While there are numerous strategies to be deployed to move Canada to a financially sustainable future, this study addresses two critically important issues: fiduciary obligation of corporate- and pension-fiduciaries, and national action on environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) financial disclosure, including climate-related financial risk disclosure. The Canadian economy is facing significant challenges and disruptions in the transition to a lower carbon world. Absent clear and innovative steps to ensure our corporations and financial institutions act to address carbon emissions and other environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, we will be seriously prejudiced in a world that is rapidly moving ...


Navigating Sino-American Business Relationships, Ryan Stenquist 2019 Brigham Young University Marriott School

Navigating Sino-American Business Relationships, Ryan Stenquist

Marriott Student Review

Relationships between American and Chinese companies have never been more important or profitable as they are now. With linguistic, moral, governmental, and legal systems developed entirely independent of each other for thousands of years, these relationships also prove the most difficult and complex to navigate. This article explores mistakes foreigners often make while doing business in China, the current environment and culture of joint ventures with native Chinese, and how to succeed in the challenging yet rewarding economy now opening up to the world.


Law School News: Are You Experienced? 01-18-2019, Michael M. Bowden 2019 Roger Williams University School of Law

Law School News: Are You Experienced? 01-18-2019, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Exploring The Legal Issues Of Blockchain Applications, Nathan Fulmer 2019 The University of Akron

Exploring The Legal Issues Of Blockchain Applications, Nathan Fulmer

Akron Law Review

A decade ago, blockchain technology made its mainstream debut with the introduction of Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that has generated a lot of buzz in the financial sector. Blockchain’s elegantly simple way of securely and reliably recording data gives the technology the power to disrupt multiple industries. Cryptocurrencies and smart contracts are blockchain’s most common applications, but it can be implemented in a variety of ways.

This article examines blockchain’s core characteristics and mechanics as they apply to its common applications like cryptocurrency and smart contracts, as well as other transactional uses. The author presents some of the ...


Rwu Law News: The E-Newsletter Of Roger Williams University School Of Law January 2019, Roger Williams University School of Law 2019 Roger Williams University

Rwu Law News: The E-Newsletter Of Roger Williams University School Of Law January 2019, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Teaching Communication Skills In Transactional Simulations, Eric J. Gouvin, Katherine M. Koops, James E. Moliterno, Carol E. Morgan, Carol D. Newman 2019 Western New England University School of Law

Teaching Communication Skills In Transactional Simulations, Eric J. Gouvin, Katherine M. Koops, James E. Moliterno, Carol E. Morgan, Carol D. Newman

Faculty Scholarship

This Article describes the role of communication exercises in transactional law and skills education, and provides several examples of such exercises. After a discussion of fundamental differences between communication in the context of litigation and transactional law, the Article discusses exercises designed to improve written communication skills, including the use of e-mail, in the context of transactional law. It follows with a similar discussion of exercises focusing on oral communication skills, including listening, interviewing, counseling, negotiation, and presentations. The Article concludes with examples of exercises combining oral and written communication skills in the context of simulated transactions.


Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Rise Of Hedge Fund Activist Shareholders And The Duty Of Loyalty, Soo Young Hong 2019 J.D. Candidate, Fordham University School of Law, 2019

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Rise Of Hedge Fund Activist Shareholders And The Duty Of Loyalty, Soo Young Hong

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

Shareholder activism has been a growing problem in the corporate world, creating numerous dilemmas for the board of directors of companies. Activist shareholders can unsettle a company, pressuring the directors to make decisions according to the course of business the activists would prefer, and thus interfering with the traditional role of directors as the decision-makers of a company. With this new development in the business world, legal scholars have been debating if this activism needs to be controlled and, if so, what measures can be taken to reach a balance. This Note examines the traditional corporate principles such as the ...


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