Shareholder Oppression Special Edition

“Souls are boring. Boo, souls.”We won't have HBO's Succession to write about for a while, but they left us - no spoilers - with a few last lessons/observations/morals. As the final episode of Season 3 wound down we couldn't help but think - we are a law firm after all - of how the shareholders of Waystar would have felt this season.It was a season of wild swings in the company's value - it happens, of course, with all businesses at one point or a...

Real Cases

It Had EverythingOur own Kirby Hopkins was recently named one of Houston's top Commercial Litigation Attorneys by Houstonia Magazine as voted by members of the Houston Bar - which makes the honor especially pleasing.'Commercial Litigation’ is not always easy to quickly, concisely define. It’s at once specific (Commercial) and general (Litigation). Neither begins to get across what Kirby and we do as a firm.Luckily, one of the cases that contribut...

Business Law

Grocery Store MusicOver the last year Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks, The Killers, Joni Mitchell, Shikira, Bob Dylan, Disturbed, Barry Manilow, The Weekend, and fifty-four other musicians sold all or the bulk of their music catalogs to the Sony and Warner music companies of the world. For hundreds of millions.If you hear any of these artists in a grocery store you can be sure Sony et al are getting paid top dollar for every play.Most grocery sto...

Communication is Everything

If you went to law school in the early ‘90s and took Wills, Trusts & Estates you may have run across this story in the casebook - well, the shell of the story, a little research fleshed it out. It is probably still the best punchline ever found in a casebook.It goes like this:There was an eccentric old man who lived in the middle of nowhere. He lived on a rundown old farm, hoarder-like. No heat, no air conditioning, he walked into town for gr...

Business Planning

A Small Town and a Forced SaleA business planning story from a colleague in New England:It’s a typical New England river town – once a thriving center of manufacturing, now it’s just a tired downtown, magnificent but abandoned brick mill buildings scattered on the riverbanks, and the rundown Victorian homes of the owners and execs. Even the river has seen better days.It started its long trek downhill during the late 1920s. The advent of air-condi...

Business Planning

A Lesson From BillionsIf you follow Showtime's Billions you can’t miss the fact that every character (except Tuk) turns on a dime when their plans don’t work out (or are stomped into the ground).Is that possible in the real business world? If so, how do they do it?It is. How they do it has been alluded to from the first episode of the first season on. It’s been mentioned by name a few times this season: 'selling your position.'It’s about basic ps...

Being Prepared

Planning for Things that May Never HappenMarch Madness has begun with conference tournaments around the country. The NCAA seedings will be announced Sunday night.In a couple of weeks we’ll know if Gonzaga can finally win the ‘big one.’One thing about March Madness, teams that prepare for situations that may never arise do a lot better than the teams that don’t – no matter what the seedings. The classic example of that was the National Championshi...

General Counsels

Super Pumped!You have your pick Silicon-Valley-Startup-Charismatic-Entrepreneur-Rise-and-Crash shows across streaming platforms. And more are on the way.These shows can be hypnotic – a riveting 'underdog triumphs' success story for four episodes, a spectacular immolation over the next four. There are, obviously, lawyers all over the place. Good, bad, indifferent, understanding, belligerent, cold blooded, totally invested, competent, and not so co...

Shareholder Rights

"I am my Board of Directors!"Series about dysfunctional - if not straight up fraudulent - startups are everywhere from Showtime to streaming services and podcasts everywhere.They're the kind of shows that get viewers doing Google searches halfway through episodes to see if what they're watching is true. It's safe to say they all get the gist of the stories right while doing what they need to do to keep the plots moving and building some tension.T...

Wills, Trusts, Estates

"It Ain't Over 'Til . . ."Here's a common Wills, Trust, Estates question: "How long does probate stay open?" The lawyerish answer is: "as long as it takes, but we know how to move it along and will be staying on top of it ..." Charles Dickens' answer is Bleak House’s Jarndyce v Jarndyce, a probate case that lasted ‘generations.’ Which, at 1,036 pages (the Penguin Edition) is almost as long as it takes to read it.The Estate of Henry Danger is some...