Inspecting Corporate 'Books and Records' in a Digital World: The Role of Electronically Stored Information

18 Pages Posted: 22 May 2012

See all articles by Francis X. Pileggi

Francis X. Pileggi

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Kevin F. Brady

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Jill Agro

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

This article examines Section 220 of Delaware General Corporation Law ("DGCL") which generally provides limited rights to shareholders seeking "books and records" of a corporation. The article presents an argument that encourages Delaware's Legislature and courts to address the archaic nature of the phrase "books and records" by modernizing and making more meaningful the statute and case law which do not reflect the current world of electronically stored information ("ESI") and the fact that nearly all information in today's digital world is created and maintained exclusively in electronic form and is not reduced to "hard copy." While certain judicial decisions have reflected a reluctance to consider ESI in this context, no Delaware court has directly and authoritatively addressed the issue of whether ESI must be produced in connection with a proper Section 220 demand. This article provides persuasive reasoning why the Delaware Legislature and the Delaware courts should require the production of appropriate ESI in response to a proper Section 220 demand in order for Section 220 to maintain any practical usefulness.

Keywords: Delaware, Journal, Corporate, Law, electronically stored information, ESI, digital, books, records, Section, 220

Suggested Citation

Pileggi, Francis X. and Brady, Kevin F. and Agro, Jill, Inspecting Corporate 'Books and Records' in a Digital World: The Role of Electronically Stored Information (2012). Delaware Journal of Corporate Law (DJCL), Vol. 37, No. 1, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2064244

Francis X. Pileggi (Contact Author)

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC ( email )

222 Delaware Ave.
7th Floor,
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States

Kevin F. Brady

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC ( email )

300 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States

Jill Agro

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC ( email )

300 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States

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