Monday, April 16, 2018

Lynn A. Stout (1957-2018): Mourning the Loss of an Amazing Colleague . . . .

I learned earlier this afternoon that Lynn Stout, author of The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations and the Public (2012), lost her battle with cancer today.  Appropriate words are hard to come by.  She was among the nation's scholarly leaders in the legal aspects of corporate governance.  Regardless of whether you agree with her on the substance, you would likely find her work enlightening and her presence powerful.  She was persistent in argument, yet generous with mentoring and other professional support.

I know we each will miss her in our own way.  She and I had a bit of an unfinished conversation last June at the National Business Law Scholars Conference about my Washington & Lee Law Review article, "Shareholder Wealth Maximization as a Function of Statutes, Decisional Law, and Organic Documents."  I am sorry we never completed that chat.

Her vast body of work is among her great legacies.  I have my Advanced Business Associations students read "A Team Production Theory of Corporate Law" (coauthored with Margaret Blair) every year.  Other articles that I have enjoyed and used in teaching or research include: "Why We Should Stop Teaching Dodge v. Ford" (although I enjoy teaching the case and interrogating it nevertheless), "The Investor Confidence Game," "The Mythical Benefits of Shareholder Control," and "On the Proper Motives of Corporate Directors (or, Why You Don't Want to Invite Homo Economicus to Join Your Board)."  Feel free to add your memories and favorite works in the comments.  

Thank you, Lynn, for all you have done for all of us.  May you rest in total peace, free of your earthly burdens.  Amen.

Joan Heminway, Law School | Permalink


Lynn had a strong and persuasive voice in the world of corporate law and governance. Her writings, especially, "A Team Production Theory of Corporate Law" (coauthored with Margaret Blair), provided the theoretical foundation for several of my articles. She will be greatly missed.

Posted by: Bernard S. Sharfman | Apr 17, 2018 5:42:59 AM

In addition to her well known Team Production article, I would assign Stout's "Derivatives and the Legal Origin of the 2008 Credit Crisis" when I used to teach a corporate governance seminar. If I ever teach that seminar again, I'll add her recent short book, The Shareholder Value Myth. I highly recommend both. Stout had an enviable ability to clearly and succinctly explain the complex in ways that were accessible to students and non-experts. What a loss.

Posted by: Mohsen Manesh | Apr 17, 2018 9:29:10 PM

I am saddened by this loss. If you want to watch Lynn in action at her witty and incisive best, Google « Lynn Stout derivatives » and look for the earliest You Tube reference. Walker Todd

Posted by: Walker Todd | Apr 21, 2018 8:33:59 PM

Post a comment