This is an extract of our Governance Role Of Public Shareholders document, which we sell as part of our Corporations Outlines collection written by the top tier of Georgetown University Law Center students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Corporations Outlines. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Governance Role of Public Shareholders A. Shareholder Proposals i. In General a) A shareholder proposal is a recommendation or requirement that the company and/or its board of directors take action. Rule 14a8(a). b) Shareholder proposals are regulated by the SEC under Rule 14a-8
? ALSO, since a shareholder's right to vote is a matter of state law, the extent of that right is also a matter of state law. c) Shareholders can make any proposal they want insofar as it is a proper subject for shareholder action under State Law, that is a subject of which shareholders are entitled to vote - (SEE "IX Shareholder Voting Rights" above)
? IF a shareholder proposal meets the requirements of Rule 14a8, the company must include the proposal in the Proxy Statement
? IF a shareholder proposal DOES NOT meet the requirements of Rule 14a-8, the shareholder will bear the cost of solicitation ii. State Law a) MAIN ISSUE: whether the proposal is a proper subject for shareholder action under State Law
? In Auer v. Dressel, the court found that (1) to hear charges against four directors and to remove them if the charges were proven, (2) amending the by-laws so that successor directors would be elected by class A stockholder, and (3) amending the by-laws so that an effective quorum of directors will be made up of no fewer than half of the directors in office and no fewer than one third of the whole authorized number of directors were all matters that were proper subjects for shareholder action.
? (1) Removing a director: "[T]he stockholders who are empowered to elect directors have the inherent power to remove them for cause." Auer v. Dressel - pg. 505
? (2)/(3) Amending the by-laws
? MBCA SS 10.20(b): "A corporation's shareholders may amend or repeal the corporation's bylaws."
? MBCA SS 2.06(b): "The bylaws of a corporation may contain any provision that is not inconsistent with law or the articles of incorporation."
? DGCL SS 109(a): "After a corporation has received any payment for any of its stock, the power to adopt, amend or repeal bylaws shall be in the stockholders entitled to vote . . . however, any corporation may, inits certificate of incorporation, confer the power to adopt, amend or repeal bylaws upon the directors . . . ."
? BUT EVEN IF it is a proper subject for shareholder action, this does not necessarily mean that the shareholders can call a special meeting to consider the proposal
MBCA SS 7.02(a)(2): A shareholder can call a special meeting where at least 10 percent of the shareholders entitled to vote on an issue request a special meeting
? DGCL SS 211(d): The default rule is that shareholders cannot call a special meeting. iii. Federal Law - SEC Rule 14a-8 a) MAIN ISSUE re Federal Law: Whether a shareholder proposal can properly be excluded from the company's proxy materials
? Under Rule 14a-8, in order to have a shareholder proposal included in the company's proxy materials, the shareholder must (1) be eligible and (2) follow certain procedures. Rule 14a-8.
? (1) Eligibility:
? To be eligible under the rule, the proponent must continuously have held at least 1 percent of $2,000 worth of the company voting shares for at least a year. The proponent must then continue to hold the shares and present the proposal at the meeting. Rule 14a-8(b).
? (2) Procedures:
? A proponent may submit no more than one proposal per company for a particular shareholders' meeting. Rule 14a-8(c).
? The proposal, including any accompanying supporting statement, may not exceed 500 words. Rule 14a-8(d).
? If the proposal is submitted for a regularly scheduled annual meeting, the proposal must be submitted to the company not less than 120 calendar days before the date of the company's last-year proxy statement. Rule 14a8(e)(2).
? The deadline can be found in last year's proxy statement.
? If the proposal is being submitted for a meeting other than a regulated scheduled annual meeting, the deadline is a reasonable time before the company begins to print and send its proxy materials. Rule 14a-8(e)(3).
? BUT, the company may exclude your proposal for failure to follow the eligibility or procedural requirements BUT ONLY after it has notified you of the problem, and you failed adequately to correct it. Rule 14a-8(f)(1).
? HOWEVER, a company need not provide notice of a deficiency if the deficiency cannot be remediated, such as if you fail to submit a proposal by the company's properly determined deadline. Rule 14a-8(f)(1).
? EVEN WHERE the shareholder was eligible and followed proper procedure, under Rule 14a-8(i), a company may exclude the proposal if:
? (1) Improper under state law: If the proposal is not a proper subject for action by shareholders under the laws of the
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