Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - August 2, 2010

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Kleffman v. Vonage Holdings Corp. (2010) 49 Cal.4th 334.  This is a case dealing with whether commercial e-mail advertisements which have multiple sender addresses, making them harder for a junk mail filter to block, constitutes an unlawful commercial e-mail advertisement within the meaning of Business and Professions Code §17529.5.  The court held that the answer to the question was “no.”  The statute could not be construed so as to make unlawful the use of multiple domain names in the sending of commercial advertising.  While the Legislature could prohibit such conduct, the statute as drafted did not make it unlawful to use a domain name that did not clearly identify either the sender or the advertiser on whose behalf the advertisement was sent.

Wolf v. CDS Devco (2010) 185 Cal.App.4th 903.  A director of a corporation sought an inspection right under Corporations Code §1602.  Normally directors have an absolute right to inspect all of the corporation’s records under that section.  In this case, the plaintiff had been a director, but was no longer a director of the corporation.  He contended he had been requesting such documents for a period of nearly a year before he was advised that he would not be nominated for reelection to the board and that he was thereafter not reelected, and that his non-reelection should be construed as a removal which ought not to affect his inspection rights or deprive him of standing to pursue the claim as a director.  The defendant argued that neither the statute nor case law permitted an individual who was no longer a director to assert the inspection rights which an incumbent director has under Corporations Code §1602 and §1603.  The trial court dismissed the action, and the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the trial court finding that there was no ongoing entitlement to inspect corporate records by a former director.  When the plaintiff lost his seat on the board, he also lost his standing to assert these director inspection rights.

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