Moreover, how could this article and the knowledge of corporate waste doctrine be of benefit to me in the future? If I were in the position of a shareholder in a corporation -- all I would have to do to become a shareholder is buy shares in any given company -- and executives in the corporation were given grossly over-the-top salaries, I would organize other shareholders and together we stakeholders would retain a competent attorney and plan to use the corporate waste doctrine.
Is there a precedent for bringing corporate waste to the point of litigation? There are a number of cases that have failed. But in the first big case, in which the Supreme Court recognized the corporate waste doctrine was in 1933 (Rogers v. Hill). Shareholders rebelled against the American Tobacco Company for paying what they believed to be excessive compensation; the High Court held that corporate waste occurs "…if a bonus payment has no relation to the value of services for which it is given" but the hard part for plaintiffs is proving corporate waste (Caywood, 117).
Conclusion: Before launching litigation as a shareholder holding stocks in a corporation, this article has shown me that in order to make a case for corporate waste, every previous case that has been brought by shareholders against boards of directors -- contesting absurdly high compensation -- must be carefully reviewed. What mistakes were made? What can be learned? Did the litigants make erroneous assumptions? What is the most recent ruling by courts at any level of the judiciary? How many shareholders can I get to back up my assertions, when a top executive walks away with a $22 million bonus, and we shareholders actually took a loss in this fiscal year? These are things I learned from this article and that I can apply in the future, because I do plan to become a shareholder in a successful corporation.