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The Corporate Contract in Changing TimesIs the Law Keeping Up?$
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Steven Davidoff Solomon and Randall Stuart Thomas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226599403

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226599540.001.0001

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Litigation Rights and the Corporate Contract

Litigation Rights and the Corporate Contract

(p.273) Chapter Twelve Litigation Rights and the Corporate Contract
The Corporate Contract in Changing Times

Verity Winship

University of Chicago Press

Are corporate charters and bylaws contracts? What is the scope or subject matter of the corporate contract? Is access to litigation part of the bundle of rights that shareholders purchase when they buy shares in a corporation? This book chapter, “Litigation Rights and the Corporate Contract,” examines how one controversial innovation has pushed courts and legislatures to address these fundamental questions about the nature and scope of the corporate contract. That innovation was the use of corporate charter provisions and bylaws to set the rules for resolving internal disputes, especially for shareholder litigation. The emergence of exclusive forum and fee-shifting bylaws pushed lawmakers to be newly explicit about the role of corporate organizational documents. The questions and initial answers have broad implications, reaching all of the ways charters and bylaws define the relationships within the corporation. The emergence of dispute resolution provisions made them express and potentially urgent.

Keywords:   bylaws, charter, exclusive forum, fee-shifting, Boilermakers, ATP, corporate contract, shareholder litigation, shareholder consent

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