alter ego

(redirected from Alter-ego)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Alter Ego

A doctrine used by the courts to ignore the corporate status of a group of stockholders, officers, and directors of a corporation in reference to their limited liability so that they may be held personally liable for their actions when they have acted fraudulently or unjustly or when to refuse to do so would deprive an innocent victim of redress for an injury caused by them.

A corporation is considered the alter ego of its stockholders, directors, or officers when it is used merely for the transaction of their personal business for which they want Immunity from individual liability. A parent corporation is the alter ego of a subsidiary corporation if it controls and directs its activities so that it will have limited liability for its wrongful acts.

The alter ego doctrine is also known as the instrumentality rule because the corporation becomes an instrument for the personal advantage of its parent corporation, stockholders, directors, or officers. When a court applies it, the court is said to pierce the corporate veil.

Courts have not traditionally applied the alter ego doctrine to other business forms, such as partnerships and limited partnerships, because partners generally do not enjoy the same form of limited liability as corporate stockholders, officers, and directors. By comparison, however, owners of limited liability companies may structure their business in a manner similar to a corporation so that members and managers are shielded from personal liability for the debts of the Limited Liability Company (LLC). Several courts have determined that the alter ego doctrine may also apply to LLCs. For instance, in Kaycee Land & Livestock v. Flahive, 46 P.3d 323 (Wyo. 2002), the Wyoming Supreme Court held that the equitable doctrine of piercing the veil was an available remedy under the Wyoming Limited Liability Company Act.

Cross-references

Corporations; Immunity; Liability.

alter ego

n. a corporation, organization or other entity set up to provide a legal shield for the person actually controlling the operation. Proving that such an organization is a cover or alter ego for the real defendant breaks down that protection, but it can be difficult to prove complete control by an individual. In the case of corporations, proving one is an alter ego is one way of "piercing the corporate veil." In a lawsuit complaint, it might be stated (pleaded) that "the Hotshot Corporation was the alter ego of Joseph Snakeoil."

alter ego

noun alternate, counterpart, double, living image, match, other, other half, other person, other self, perfect substitute, second self, shadow, stand-in, twin
Associated concepts: agent, alter ego doctrine, corporate alter ego, piercing the corporate veil, separate corporate entity
See also: complement, counterpart
References in periodicals archive ?
Since we operate with the ultimate goal of helping the client succeed in the future while also pushing down the negative information about them, we make sure to discuss whether or not we will be using an alter-ego for the client, or if we will be posting content relative to the client.
A lot has happened since: Batman has suffered two (by my count) broken backs, his alter-ego is accused of murder, Gotham City is annulled from the United States, and there is a hot romance with Catwoman (they kiss, which is about as explicit as Batman's relationships with women get).
BELFAST JCALLING Selena in her new MTV EMA promo DOUBLE nTAKE Star's alter-ego joins in rap song
According to Seventeen magazine, Lautner, 19, who plays a werewolf in the 'Twilight' saga, explained his alter-ego is rejected by his love interest Bella Swan, portrayed by Kristen Stewart, in the latest movie 'Breaking Dawn'.
After being developed into a fully-fledged virtual alter-ego, or 'avatar', Jimmy will be able to interact with other virtual audience members, just like he would in a real gig.
But shooting wasn't hampered because there were extra crime-fighting costumes on hand for Maguire, who plays Spider-Man and his alter-ego, news photographer Peter Parker.
In The Enunciation, 1992, Duchamp contemplates his alter-ego Rrose Selavy in the window of a passing train; Picasso and Braque, 1992, features the title characters, who modestly refer to each other as Orville and Wilbur Wright, trying to launch an airplane modeled after an early Picasso collage.
The Z-Force childrens' entertainment property revolves around the fantastic adventures of normal teens who learn that they possess a secret alter-ego which transforms them into one of the 12 super-hero, costumed characters of the Chinese/Asian Zodiac, as in the Year of the Tiger, Year of the Dragon, Year of the Monkey, Year of the Horse and so on.
HE'S OUR MAN: Keith Carter as alter-ego Nige Phil Redmond is seen as a serious contender - many credit him with riding to the rescue of our Capital of Culture year.
SACHA Baron Cohen is in trouble again over his gay fashionista alter-ego Bruno.
WASHINGTON -- The Executive Board of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, on Wednesday passed a resolution strengthening its commitment to opposing Mesa Air Group's formation of Freedom Air as an alter-ego carrier.
Because Lydia craves the romance of novels, Jack woos her as an alter-ego - the penniless Ensign Beverly.