William & Mary Business Law Review


Grace Myers


Emergency bylaws are an underutilized tool for corporate governance whose importance has been highlighted by COVID-19. Emergency bylaws can be included within corporations’ bylaws and only operate during an “emergency” as defined by state statutes. These provisions usually give boards more agency to act during an emergency through mechanisms such as looser quorum and notice requirements. These provisions will be increasingly important during future pandemics, wars, and global warming. However, few corporations have these bylaws, and the current hodgepodge of state statutes hinders their adoption. The current state of emergency bylaws regulation and implementation raises some questions about shareholder rights and disclosure requirements. States should look to the newly updated Delaware Corporate Code provisions for a better model of regulation, and corporations should adopt provisions tailored to their needs.