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Malone v. Malone
Louisiana Court of Appeal
77 So. 3d 1040 (2011)
Winnsboro Equipment, Inc. (WEI) was a family-owned corporation that operated a tractor dealership. Ken Malone (plaintiff) owned 849.5 shares of WEI and worked in sales for the business. Ken’s brother Greg Malone (defendant) also owned 849.5 shares and managed the business. Their mother, Doris, owned the sole remaining share. Prior to undergoing surgery, Doris executed a document that purported to donate her one share equally to both Ken and Greg so that they would both own exactly half of WEI with 850 shares each. The act of donation was signed by Doris, Ken, Greg, and two witnesses, but it was not notarized. Eventually, Ken and Greg realized that there was a problem with the validity of Doris’s donation and disagreed about how to proceed with the corporation. Ken wanted to sell the business, but Greg did not. Greg and Ken both maneuvered to wrest control of the corporation from the other brother. After Greg obtained a proxy from Doris allowing him to vote her share, Greg was able to oust Ken as an officer. Ken filed several actions against Greg and WEI, including seeking a judgment that would declare that the brothers were each 50 percent owners of the corporation based upon Doris’s transfer of her share, and that Greg’s actions in voting Doris’s share as her proxy were therefore invalid. Ken’s various actions were consolidated, with the primary issue resting on whether Doris’s donation of her one share to Ken and Greg equally had been valid. The trial court found that the donation had failed to meet the statutory requirements for a donation of incorporeal movables and was therefore invalid. Ken appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)
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