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Thread: Getting "parking lot carry" without becoming a target

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...I don't know if I'd say that corprations are agents of the government, strictly, but they certainly exist as a privileged government-created status. If the government is (or should be) bound by the Constitution, how could it create an entity (a corporation) which is not so bound?...
    [1] Corporations were not and are not created by government, any more than sole proprietorships or partnerships were or are. The corporate form goes back hundreds of years. Corporations existed before the United States existed and were recognized in Common Law.

    [2] A corporation is formed by private parties coming together and filing certain documents with an agency of a State government. State and federal laws define formalities that must be adhered to for private parties to form a corporation, including documents that must be filed, the form and content of those document and fees that must be paid. But it is the private parties that form corporations.

    [3] It's also incorrect to charge corporations with existing "...as a privileged government-created status." The liability of the shareholders of a corporation is limited to the amount of their respective investments, but the corporation as an entity is fully liable for its acts. If you had some stock in Toyota right now, which you could, even indirectly through a mutual fund or a pension fund or a 401k, would you think it right for your personal assets to be subject to claims of Toyota's creditors arising out of its current mess.

    [4] And far from corporations being privileged, they are subject to considerable regulation. State and federal law define how they are governed, the content of their by-laws, the rights of shareholder, requirements for meetings of shareholder, requirements for meeting of boards of directors, obligations of directors, obligations of officers, etc. There are a plethora of further regulations if the corporation wants to sell shares of stock.

    [5] There are all kinds of corporations. Sure there are huge corporations whose stock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. But Fred, Harry and Bob might have incorporated that downtown pizza joint that supports them and their families. Your family doctor may be organized as a professional corporation. And the bunch of guys I teach shooting with are, as of a couple of years ago, a non-profit corporation.

    [6] At the end of the day, corporations are owned by individuals -- people like you and me and our friends and neighbors. That's the case whether it's a small corporation operating a local business and whose stock is owned by a few of the folks you might go to church with; or it's an international, publicly traded corporation whose stock is owned by a great many people, including a fellow you go to church with and who is relying in part on his investment in that corporation to help support him and his family when he retires.

  2. #77
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    Uh, Wayne, I think it may be a little tongue in cheek.

  3. #78
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    Quote:
    It's a good thing that guns are not allowed in schools, places of worship, and many shopping centers because otherwise a lot of people could have gotten hurt.

    IA Farmboy Why do you allow this Quote to be below each of your listings!! This Quote is completely False! Virtually every mass killing in a school, church or workplace could have be stopped by armed person!! This has proved true time and time again! Please stop spreading this Liberal Hogwash! Sorry for being so strong on this, but spreading these falsehoods is what got us into this anti-gun situation in this Nation. Good luck with the new Iowa Gun Law. I hope it works. Wayne
    Wayne, it's hyperbole. Step back and think it through.

  4. #79
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    fiddletown: State and federal laws define formalities that must be adhered to for private parties to form a corporation, including documents that must be filed, the form and content of those document and fees that must be paid. But it is the private parties that form corporations.

    That is the very definition of a government-created status in my mind, that it sets the criteria that private parties must meet to gain the status. The historic record may show that the U.S. government didn't think up the idea, that they merely borrowed it from the European governments which existed prior, but I think for the purposes of our discussion that's a distinction without a difference. The fact remains that individuals cannot form a corporation by their own action, without government involvement. Absent government approval, what they could form is an association, and I think we agree that is different from a corporation.

    It's also incorrect to charge corporations with existing "...as a privileged government-created status." The liability of the shareholders of a corporation is limited to the amount of their respective investments, but the corporation as an entity is fully liable for its acts. If you had some stock in Toyota right now, which you could, even indirectly through a mutual fund or a pension fund or a 401k, would you think it right for your personal assets to be subject to claims of Toyota's creditors arising out of its current mess.

    It might be more accurate to say, "The corporation is fully liable for the acts of the individuals directing it, but those individuals are not fully liable for the acts." Avoidance of liability (in the sense of protecting assets) is one privilege that corporate shareholders enjoy that is not available in the same form to individuals acting and speaking only for themselves. I think it's a mistake to think of corporations as persons, because a corporation cannot be arrested, handcuffed, loaded into a cop car and jailed. When was the last time a corporation was tried and convicted of a felony, and sentenced to prison? Those things happen to individuals - what concerns the corporation is civil law.

    In the context of this thread, the individuals directing a corporation are denying the right of member IA farmboy to defend himself with the best means possible. If he is injured or dies as a result of criminal attack, they hope to avoid liability for that denial by presenting it as a corporate policy. Who bears responsibility and liability for his (hypothetical) death? The corporation, which will be treated differently in court than an individual who did the same thing (or who could not have done the same thing).

    And far from corporations being privileged, they are subject to considerable regulation. State and federal law define how they are governed, the content of their by-laws, the rights of shareholder, requirements for meetings of shareholder, requirements for meeting of boards of directors, obligations of directors, obligations of officers, etc. There are a plethora of further regulations if the corporation wants to sell shares of stock.

    This being the case, why in the world would any group of individuals want to incorporate if there was no privilege involved?

    Parker

    p.s. Yeah Wayne, farmboy gets kinda sarcastic sometimes. I've been known to get a little sarcastic myself, in the face of blinding stupidity. He's okay when you get to know him, though, and he's no anti-gunner.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...That is the very definition of a government-created status in my mind, that it sets the criteria that private parties must meet to gain the status. The historic record may show that the U.S. government didn't think up the idea,...
    Actually, the point is that the corporate form of organization was not, itself, created by government. The corporate form was created by individuals associating together in a particular way to accomplish certain purposes. The form of association was recognized by courts and by governments. And then governments did what they love to do -- they found ways to regulate it.

    Note also that corporations aren't unique to the United States. Virtually every nation under their laws (with the possible exception of communist countries) recognizes and allows for individuals forming corporation of one type or another.

    And government approval of some sort is necessary to engage in business in general. One usually needs a business license. To engage in some businesses (the manufacture of guns, for instance), an individual even doing business as a sole proprietor needs government approval, at least if he wants to be legal. And other forms of business organization are also subject to various regulation by government.

    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...Absent government approval, what they could form is an association, and I think we agree that is different from a corporation...
    First, a corporation is, in effect, a kind of association. Second, association are also subject to regulation under law. Third, many clubs are actually organize as corporations.

    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...It might be more accurate to say, "The corporation is fully liable for the acts of the individuals directing it, but those individuals are not fully liable for the acts." Avoidance of liability (in the sense of protecting assets) is one privilege that corporate shareholders enjoy that is not available in the same form to individuals acting and speaking only for themselves. I think it's a mistake to think of corporations as persons, because a corporation cannot be arrested, handcuffed, loaded into a cop car and jailed. When was the last time a corporation was tried and convicted of a felony, and sentenced to prison? Those things happen to individuals - what concerns the corporation is civil law....
    [1] Of course a corporation can't go to jail. But it can be, and sometimes is, convicted of criminal acts and fined.

    [2] And officers or directors of a corporation can go to jail for criminal acts they cause the corporation to commit. How about the various officers of Enron who went to jail after that debacle?

    [3] As to corporations being treated as artificial persons, talk to the legislature and to the courts.

    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    In the context of this thread, the individuals directing a corporation are denying the right of member IA farmboy to defend himself with the best means possible....
    Nope, in the context of this thread an employer, however organized, as a corporation, sole proprietorship or partnership, is doing so. And to the extent the employer has any liability, it has that liability however it is organized.

    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...why in the world would any group of individuals want to incorporate if there was no privilege involved?...
    There are a variety of ways to organize a business. Each offers an array of advantages and disadvantages with regard to taxes, financing, securing investors, day-to-day operations, cost and difficulty of formation and start-up, etc. Making a choice can be difficult. And some businesses start out in one form and change later as the nature of the business and its needs change. But a full discussion of these matters is off topic.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...The historic record may show that the U.S. government didn't think up the idea, that they merely borrowed it from the European governments which existed prior,...
    Another point that might help better understand corporations.

    One doesn't form a corporation under federal law. There are no provisions under federal law for the formation of a corporation. Federal regulation of corporations (as distinct from the federal regulation of business in general) tends to focus on the regulation of the sale of securities to the general public.

    Each State has its own corporation laws, and there is considerable variation. If I want to form a corporation, I may incorporate in any State I choose. How I make my choice has a lot to do with which State's laws best suit the ways in which I want to operate my corporation.

    So even though I and most of my associates live in California, we might decide that it makes the best business sense to domicile (form) our corporation in Delaware. And since one of us lives in New Mexico, and he will be doing most of the day-to-day work, the principal place of business of our corporation could be Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  7. #82
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    Federal regulation of corporations (as distinct from the federal regulation of business in general) tends to focus on the regulation of the sale of securities to the general public.

    Uh, and taxes? Is the federal government concerned at all with income, and whether that income is corporate or individual?

    Parker

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    Uh, and taxes? Is the federal government concerned at all with income, and whether that income is corporate or individual?
    As I mentioned in the comment of mine you quoted, "...Federal regulation of corporations (as distinct from the federal regulation of business in general)..." emphasis added.

    All businesses, however organized, and individuals making income pay income taxes (except of course certain corporations, foundations or trusts engaged in charitable or educational activities and which have qualified for tax exemption under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code). Businesses, whether organized as corporations or in some other manner, which are engaged in certain pursuits may pay other types of taxes, like excise taxes. Businesses, whether organized as corporations or in some other manner, which have employees, pay the employer's portion of Social Security tax and Medicare tax, as well remitting FICA and state withholding.

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    So you're saying that there are no government-granted privileges for corporations as compared to individuals, that the two are equal in the eyes of the law? I don't believe that.

    Anyway, the IA constitution says:

    Personal security--searches and seizures. SEC. 8. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable seizures and searches shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons and things to be seized.

    So the state of Iowa has granted status to, approved and regulated a corporation that is violating farmboy's rights under the state constitution, which just moves the whole argument down to the state level.

    Parker

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    When did the Constitution become a means of controlling anything other than the government? Wasn't the Constitution written as a set of laws under which the government must live?

    Are we really wanting to enforce free speech of walmart workers who might be fired for telling customers to shop elsewhere? The Constitution was meant to control the government, not the local Quick Trip.

    Michael

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    Michael, my argument is that since the Constitution was meant to control the government, and the government has gotten into the business of controlling a bunch of other stuff, that the Constitution should apply to the other stuff too, for as long as the government controls it. Or put another way, part of accepting special status from the government includes accepting Constitutional limitations that apply to government, because you (or the corporation, in this case) enjoy special privilege by acting under governmental authority.

    If government can use corporate status to sidestep the limitations of the Constitution, what keeps it from incorporating itself? Then it could claim it's authority from the shell of government that is theoretically limited, but actually operate under it's corporate entity, not limited at all. Is that what we want?

    Parker

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    Parker, you quote one particular piece of the Iowa constitution. But farmboy parks in his company's parking lot, which is their private property. Absent specific "parking lot" legal language, its no different than parking in my driveway, where he is subject to the rules I impose on my private property.

    If he parks on public ground, which he stated earlier is impractical, the constitutional protections apply.
    Paul
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    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    So you're saying that there are no government-granted privileges for corporations as compared to individuals, that the two are equal in the eyes of the law?...
    Pretty much. Corporations as entities have legal rights and legal obligations generally parallel with those of individuals (in effect, as an "artificial person", a concept to which you appear to object but which is recognized in the law). The differences arise from the fact that a corporation is a form of association, and not a living human being. So --

    [1] A corporation does not naturally die. In theory it may exist forever. It may, however, "commit suicide", i. e., with appropriate consent or the shareholders (or members, if it's a non-stock corporation), the board of directors may dissolve the corporation. This requires a fairly formal legal procedure to protect the interests of dissenting shareholders (or members) and creditors. Or it may change, by merging with another corporation or by being acquired by another corporation. Whether these attributes are "privileges" may be a matter for debate. In any case, they are not granted by government, rather they flow from the nature of the corporation as a type of association with an independent existence.

    [2] Debts and other obligations of a corporation are not the debts or obligations of any shareholder, director or officer. And this is somewhat similar to how it is with people. Your brother's debts aren't yours.

    [3] But even though the debts and other obligations of a corporation are not the debts or obligations of any shareholder, director or officer, they remain the debts and other obligations of the corporation even though the shareholders, directors, officers or other management may change.

    [4] A corporation may sue, and be sued, in its own name.

    [5] In general a director or officer of a corporation may not be held financially liable by a third party for a debt or other obligation of a corporation (although there are some exceptions). Nonetheless, directors and officers owe some special obligations to the corporation, and if the corporation suffers a loss because of a breach of those obligations, the responsible director or officer could be financially liable to the corporation for the loss.

    [6] Since a corporation is not a real person, it can't go to jail. But it may still be held liable for a crime and may be fined. In certain cases, it may even be shutdown (the corporate equivalent of capital punishment). And directors or officers responsible for criminal acts by a corporation may go to jail.

    [7] And of course, a corporation can't vote or serve on a jury.

    Oh, and BTW, those documents that need to be filed with a state agency to form a corporation, as well as other period filings that must be made, really aren't for the purpose of securing government permission to exist (although they do need to be in the proper form). They are about public disclosure.

    The articles of incorporation filed to start the corporate existence (in effect, the corporation's birth certificate) and certain other documents that must be filed periodically, are public records readily available to anyone. They allow anyone who might have dealings with the corporation, or who is just curious, to find out how the corporation was formed, when, by whom, for what purposes, who the director are and how they may be contacted, who the officers are and how they may be contacted, and to whom and where to deliver legal process (like if you want to sue the corporation).

    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...I don't believe that...
    Perhaps not, but that doesn't change anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...So the state of Iowa has granted status to, approved and regulated a corporation that is violating farmboy's rights under the state constitution,...
    No, because a constitution, state or federal, regulates government and not private parties. The relationship between and employer (whether a corporation or operating in some other form) and an employer is a matter of private contract.

    The relationship between and employer (whether a corporation or operating in some other form) and employee may be regulated by governments, as long as the government is acting within the limits of its constitutional authority, by enacting statutes. The employer -- employee relationship would then be regulated by those statutes; but it would never be regulated by either the United States Constitution or the constitution of any state.

    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...my argument is that since the Constitution was meant to control the government, and the government has gotten into the business of controlling a bunch of other stuff, that the Constitution should apply to the other stuff too, for as long as the government controls it...
    That maybe your argument, but it simply isn't so.

    And the government regulates all kinds of stuff. You need a building permit from the government to build an addition to your house, and you must meet building code requirements. So must you now be regulated by the state constitution in the conduct of your everyday life?

    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...If government can use corporate status to sidestep the limitations of the Constitution, what keeps it from incorporating itself?...
    First, as has been discussed, the government does not "...use corporate status to sidestep the limitations of the Constitution..." Private parties form corporations, and constitutions do not regulate private parties.

    Second, governments do form corporations. An example is the Tennessee Valley Authority. However, a government may only form a corporation for constitutionally permitted purposes and to the extent constitutionally authorized. (The TVA was found to be constitutional in Ashwander v. TVA, 297 U.S. 288 (1936).)
    Last edited by fiddletown; March 26th, 2010 at 12:06 AM.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    So you're saying that there are no government-granted privileges for corporations as compared to individuals, that the two are equal in the eyes of the law? I don't believe that....
    Parker, maybe it would help to try coming at the question from a different direction. Why don't you believe it? What's your experience with corporations? How have you come to hold the opinions that you do about corporations?

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    PM sent.

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    First off I'll clarify that my signature is meant to be sarcastic. When I wrote it there were shootings in churches, schools, shopping centers still fresh in people's minds as they had made the national news. It should be quite obvious that disarming people in an uncontrolled environment is a very bad idea.

    I didn't mean for this thread to spend so much time on the debate over corporate personhood but since we are there I'll add a few thoughts.

    While it is true that corporations have existed for quite some time in legal history it is the government that grants a corporation the legal standing of a person, as opposed to an association of its members. Without government recognition of a corporate "person" a corporation could not be sued, but instead the individuals would be sued. This applies to other concepts as well such as property ownership, if a corporation could not hold property then it must be held by a natural person on the corporation's behalf.

    The concept of a corporation exists outside of the government but it is because a corporation is granted the standing of a person in many parts of law that makes an individual corporation a construct of the government. People might create a corporation but it is only granted the privileges and protections in law so far as the government allows. By pointing out that a corporation is a creation of the government I mean that the corporation only exists in law so long as it lives under the rules the government created for it. The government can revoke the "personhood" of a corporation under certain conditions, and may pierce that veil of corporate protections as well if and when allowed by law.

    What I mainly wanted to discuss was the means by which employees could get protections from an employer searching a vehicle parked on their lot. I know what the law is now, refusal to consent to search is grounds for dismissal, what I want to know is how one would best seek protections from getting searched. That is why this thread is under "Activism Discussion and Planning" and not under "Legal".

    While reading this discussion and doing some research I came up with a few more questions. Questions that may not have answers.

    One thing that came to mind is the ownership of a vehicle. Can I, not being the owner of a vehicle, grant permission to search? Suppose I'm driving a car owned by a friend or family member since my own was unavailable for the day. Suppose I am asked by company security for permission to search the vehicle. Can I lawfully grant that permission? Even if I do grant permission can the owner bring up criminal or civil charges?

    What of a car that is jointly owned? An employee may be in the car with a spouse. Security asks to search the car, employee says "yes" and the spouse says "no". Can the employee be fired over that? (OK, not a good question since of course the employee can be fired in a "at will" state.) Perhaps a better question is can an employee bring a suit against a company for wrongful dismissal? Can security compel a search? I doubt it. Entry into a vehicle without permission of the owner is very likely against the law.

    Here's a neat little trick, I create a corporation to own my car. If searched then while I, as the employee of the company, grant permission I can, as an agent of the corporation that owns the car, bring up a criminal or civil suit since I, as agent of that corporation, did not grant permission to search. Yeah, that probably wouldn't fly.

    What of a car that I drive that is owned by a corporation consisting of myself and three of my drinking buddies? I can grant (reluctant) permission of a search but my buddies bring suit since the car contained valuable papers and items that they do not want my employer (or anyone else outside of the corporation really) to see/touch/handle/etc. Would that suit hold up in court?

    There was a bill in the Iowa Senate that was passed today that covered a number of issues concerning our right to keep and bear arms. It is expected to pass when brought up for vote before the House on Monday, and the governor has stated he will sign if brought before him. The bill has been amended extensively and I am still uncertain which wording of the bill had passed. If the bill does become law then I will have to read it over to see if any workplace protections are present.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  17. #92
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    Keep it simple, farmboy... check out the bill and do what you can to make it what it should be.

    Corporate-ness of car ownership or similar angles are highly unlikely to get you what you want, which is no-hassle self-defense. The ideas you suggest probably will not dissuade your employer and will definitely increase your hassle factor.
    Paul
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  18. #93
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    farmboy, thank you for stating what I was trying to say about corporations much better than I did.

    When Fiddletown and I were PMing back and forth, he mentioned that government could form corporations of its own for Constitutionally legit purposes, and that wondered me another question. Suppose you worked for the TVA (the example he offered). Your employer is a corp, but a government corp. Would it be legal for them to infringe your RKBA?

    Parker

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    I'm out of town this weekend, so I've been otherwise occupied.

    Quote Originally Posted by IA_farmboy
    ...While it is true that corporations have existed for quite some time in legal history it is the government that grants a corporation the legal standing of a person, as opposed to an association of its members. Without government recognition of a corporate "person" a corporation could not be sued, but instead the individuals would be sued. This applies to other concepts as well such as property ownership, if a corporation could not hold property then it must be held by a natural person on the corporation's behalf....
    First, it's not that government grants "legal personhood" to corporations. This is concept that grew up in the courts flowing from the nature of a corporation as a type of association.

    And yes, the corporate veil may be pierced, and individuals sued. That happens when those operating the corporation fail to properly observe corporate formalities. In essence, if a corporation doesn't properly act as a corporation, it will cease to be recognized as one.

    Quote Originally Posted by IA_farmboy
    ...Can I, not being the owner of a vehicle, grant permission to search? Suppose I'm driving a car owned by a friend or family member since my own was unavailable for the day...
    Interesting question, and I'm not sure. There may be different answers depending on the State.

    Quote Originally Posted by IA_farmboy
    ...What of a car that is jointly owned? An employee may be in the car with a spouse. Security asks to search the car, employee says "yes" and the spouse says "no". Can the employee be fired over that?...
    Again probably a question of State law. But in most forms of joint ownership, the consent of one owner is sufficient. If the other owner disagrees, that's between the owners.

    Quote Originally Posted by IA_farmboy
    ...I create a corporation to own my car. ...What of a car that I drive that is owned by a corporation consisting of myself and three of my drinking buddies?...
    Corporations aren't natural persons and therefore can act only through agents who are natural persons. An act by an agent of a corporation, within the scope of his authority, is an act of the corporation and binds the corporation. Furthermore, a third party is entitled to rely on any agent of the corporation acting within the scope of his authority, unless the third party knows otherwise (or it would be pretty obvious, e. g., a guy from the mail room offering to sell the office building for $5.00).

    So between the third party and corporation, the corporation would be bound. If the agent exceeded his authority, it would be a matter between the corporation and the agent; and it wouldn't be the third party's problem. Thus the corporation can't easily evade responsibility for the acts of its agents or weasel out of its obligations.

    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    ...Your employer is a corp, but a government corp. Would it be legal for them to infringe your RKBA?...
    I'm not sure without a lot of research, which I'm not going to do, to what extent the Constitution applies to the activities of government corporations. But I strongly suspect that it does to a far greater extent than with private corporations. But remember that it's well settled law that government may regulate in a limited and narrow way, constitutionally protected rights. There was the sensitive area language in Heller, for example. We'll be sorting out the permissible limits of 2nd Amendment regulations for years to come.

  20. #95
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    Corporations aren't natural persons and therefore can act only through agents who are natural persons. An act by an agent of a corporation, within the scope of his authority, is an act of the corporation and binds the corporation. Furthermore, a third party is entitled to rely on any agent of the corporation acting within the scope of his authority,
    Very well said.
    Paul
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