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Books & Records Requests: A 19th Century Request Becomes a 21st Century Litigation Tool

November 2017 - Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal
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by Jon Oebker

In the 1800s, if you held shares in an Ohio company, you had a right to inspect its corporate books and records. It’s not hard to imagine a shareholder making the journey by horse and buggy to downtown Cleveland to visit the corporate offices on Public Square and paging through the leather-bound corporate ledger of the company. This right of a shareholder to review the corporate books has since been codified in Ohio law and endures to this day; however, what began as a basic right to monitor an investment has evolved into a 21st century harbinger and tool of corporate litigation.

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