Startup Law Initiative: Governance



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Credit Details
Credit Hours:
Specialty Area:
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Original Air Date:
June 17, 2024
Accredited In:

You may be able to self apply for credits in states not listed. BHBA provides CLE accreditation as described above. 

About the Program

This session covers the core aspects of governance critical for startups, addressing board composition, fiduciary duties, approval processes for key acts, and litigation considerations. Attendees will learn about structuring effective board compositions, understanding fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and avoidance of misconduct, and navigating the approval of major contracts, option plans, and equity grants. The program will also explore strategies for filling board vacancies, managing internal and external litigation, and ensuring compliance with regulatory obligations and reporting requirements. Designed to equip attorneys with essential governance knowledge to advise their clients, this seminar will cover the following topics:

– What is governance?
– What does it mean for a startup?
– Board composition – How many, who could be/should be?
– Fiduciary Duties – care + loyalty + no bad acts
Approving Key Acts –
– Major contracts
– Option plan
– Other equity grants
– Filling vacancies
– Litigation – internal (shareholder dispute) v external (corporate misconduct, securities violation, product/service liability)
– Board observers
– Meetings – regular, special, annual
– Board
– Shareholders
– Cumulative voting
– Reporting to investors – transparency and information rights
– Contractual reporting obligations
– Inspection rights
– Cap table – who gets to see this?
– Corporate Transparency Act
– Insurance: D&O, E&O, EPL, GL, cyber
– Regulatory compliance

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Meet the Speakers
3 (12)
Mark T. Hiraide


Partner Advisor to Entrepreneurs, Startups, and Publicly Traded Companies Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

Mark T. Hiraide works in the highly specialized and complex area of the law having to do with business finance and raising capital. He represents entrepreneurs, startups, publicly traded companies, directors and officers, broker-dealers, investment bankers, investment advisers and accountants in civil litigation relating to securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and investment management. He counsels public exchange-listed and private companies and their boards of directors, including special committees and senior management, on issues including corporate governance, discharge of fiduciary duties, internal investigations and Securities and Exchange Commission compliance. He represents companies in transactions including securities private placements and public offerings. And he defends parties in civil litigation, government regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings, and represents defrauded investors.

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Headshot - 2024-06-07T115856.736 (1)
Stephanie Granato


Owner Counsel for Growing Companies, Entrepreneurs, and Investors Granato Law Office

Stephanie Granato is a corporate attorney and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience advising growing companies, entrepreneurs and investors.  She has represented a broad range of private and public corporate clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. 

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LaVonne Lawson


Counsel Leech, Tishman, Fuscaldo & Lampl

LaVonne D. Lawson is Counsel with Leech Tishman and a member of the firm’s Tax Group as well as the Estates & Trusts Practice Group. LaVonne counsels small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as large businesses and established companies, in state, federal, and international tax matters. She focuses her practice on tax reporting and compliance, tax controversy and litigation, and estate planning.

LaVonne previously served as a Senior Attorney with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office of Chief Counsel, where she counseled revenue agents and revenue officers, represented the IRS in the U.S. Tax Court, and advised Department of Justice Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys in tax cases outside of the Tax Court.

LaVonne regularly counsels clients on numerous statutes and regulations regarding substantive and procedural tax issues. She has significant experience representing clients in a variety of federal and California state tax controversy and litigation matters.

LaVonne also has experience advising clients on international tax reporting and compliance, and assists businesses and individuals in compliance matters involving offshore assets and account reporting.

Prior to joining Leech Tishman, LaVonne was owner of the Law Office of LaVonne Lawson, where she represented businesses and individuals in federal and California state tax matters.

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