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November 25, 2020

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Is Your Club A Legal Entity?

Nine years ago, I wrote about various provisions of the California Corporations Code concerning unincorporated associations.  See Thinking About Joining A Club? You May Want To Consider These Corporations Code Provisions First.  Yesterday, a California Court of Appeal provided a succinct history and summary of unincorporated associations under California law, finding that they possess many characteristics of other legal entities and may:

  • sue or be sued,
  • own and transfer an interest in real or personal property,
  • take property under a will,
  • register a trademark,
  • seek an injunction against a public nuisance or unfair competition, or
  • engage in commerce.

Vosburg v. County of Fresno, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 852.  The case itself involved the question of whether an unincorporated association could qualify for an award of attorneys' fees as a successful party.  The case itself largely concerned the question of whether the association participation in the litigation was more akin to an amicus curiae or a de facto intervener.  The Court of Appeal decided it was the latter.

© 2010-2020 Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP National Law Review, Volume X, Number 254



About this Author

Keith Paul Bishop, Corporate Transactions Lawyer, finance securities attorney, Allen Matkins Law Firm

Keith Bishop works with privately held and publicly traded companies on federal and state corporate and securities transactions, compliance, and governance matters. He is highly-regarded for his in-depth knowledge of the distinctive corporate and regulatory requirements faced by corporations in the state of California.

While many law firms have a great deal of expertise in federal or Delaware corporate law, Keith’s specific focus on California corporate and securities law is uncommon. A former California state regulator of securities and financial institutions, Keith has decades of...