Richard M. Leisner

After many decades of law practice, legal veteran Richard M. Leisner, a Senior Member in the Trenam law firm in Tampa, found that increasingly he has been called upon to be a sounding board and resource on proposed corporate transactions. In the following guest post, which is the second installment in a three-part series, Richie recounts a number of “open door encounters” – that is, occasions when colleagues came to his office to discuss pending matters. There are a number of important lessons from the tales described below. A version of this article previously was published in Trenam Law News & Insights, available at www.trenam.com. I would like to thank Richie for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Richie’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Corporate Governance Tales from (Virtual) Open Door Encounters – Part 2

As I have noted in prior posts, one of the follow-on effects of the recent racial justice movement has been increased scrutiny of racial diversity within corporate management, and in particular on corporate boards. The boards of several publicly traded companies have been hit with shareholder derivative lawsuits alleging that the directors breached their fiduciary duties by failing to include African-American individuals on the boards, while at the same time the companies were touting their diversity and inclusion efforts.

In addition to the recent litigation, efforts to advance board racial diversity have included legislation. Earlier this year, the California legislature passed a bill mandating the inclusion on boards of California headquartered companies of representatives of “underrepresented communities.” On September 30, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law. As discussed below, even though the law has only been in place for a few days, a lawsuit challenging the bill has already been filed.
Continue Reading California Board of Directors Diversity Bill Signed Into Law, Challenged by Lawsuit

In the following guest post, Peter A. Atkins, Marc S. Gerber, Kenton J. King, and Edward B. Micheletti of the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom law firm weigh in on the long-running stockholders versus stakeholders debate. A version of this article previously was published as a Skadden client alert. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Stockholders Versus Stakeholders — Cutting the Gordian Knot

As I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), the current coronavirus outbreak presents corporate boards with a number of challenging issues. In the following guest post, Nick Goldin, Eric Swedenburg and Brad Goldberg of the Simpson Thacher law firm review the considerations that corporate boards should take into account as their companies grapple with the challenges that the pandemic poses. The authors extend their appreciation to Sarah Eichenberger for her substantial contributions to this piece. A version of this article previously was published as a Simpson Thacher client memorandum. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Considerations for Corporate Directors As Their Companies Confront COVID-19

Like many others, I look forward to Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, and like many others, I read his annual letter closely, looking for any investment insights I can glean as well for Buffett’s now-famous homespun brand of wisdom and humor. Although Buffett latest letter to Berkshire shareholders – which was published Saturday morning – does offer readers a little under each of these headings, I think many reading Buffet’s latest letter might have come away a little disappointed, as I discuss further below. Buffett’s 2019 letter to Berkshire shareholders, published on February 22, 2020, can be found here. (Full disclosure: I own BRK.B shares, although not as many as I wish I did.)
Continue Reading A Closer Look at Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Berkshire Shareholders