shareholders agreement

When shareholders enter into a written agreement governing the terms for a buyout of their stock, to what extent must courts hold a hearing to determine if the agreement provides an “adequate” alternative to dissolution? In this week’s New York Business Divorce, a Manhattan appeals court considers this important question in the context of an epic, 12-year litigation over the value of shares of stock in a Bronx funeral home.
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This 8th annual edition of Summer Shorts presents brief commentary on three decisions of interest in business divorce cases, including an appraisal contest involving a law firm partnership interest; a dispute whether a shareholder agreement was merely a profit-sharing agreement; and a challenge to federal court jurisdiction over a statutory dissolution claim.
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An unusual set of facts, involving the termination of a shareholder’s employment following his criminal conviction, set the stage for last week’s appellate ruling requiring the redemption of his shares notwithstanding the company’s noncompliance with certain time limitations governing the exercise of its purchase option. Get the full story in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
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Tenant-shareholders in co-op apartments occasionally fall into the same kinds of internal disputes over corporate governance experienced by shareholders in any other kind of closely held corporation. This week’s New York Business Divorce highlights a recently decided battle for board seats among co-owners of a small Manhattan co-op, in which the outcome turned on the court’s construction of arguably out-of-sync provisions in the by-laws and shareholders’ agreement.
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For a variety of reasons, many closely-held corporations in New York and elsewhere choose to incorporate in Delaware. A Delaware Chancery Court decision last week, in Blaustein v. Lord Baltimore Capital Corp., serves as a good reminder of the perils of Delaware incorporation to minority shareholders. Learn more in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
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The attorney who prepares a shareholders’ agreement without documenting exactly whom the attorney does and doesn’t represent, and without appropriate disclosure of conflicts when representing multiple shareholders with divergent interests, is asking for trouble, at least, that’s the lesson to be drawn from a recent decision by Justice Carolyn Demarest in Schlissel v. Subramanian, featured in this week’s New York Business Divorce.

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