Alter Ego

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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."

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Combining college work with acts of bravery, not to mention part-time jobs to put food on the table, proves exhausting for Spidey's alter-ego Peter Parker - so much so his superpowers are beginning to fade and his relationship with the beautiful Mary-Jane (Kirsten Dunst) has hit an all-time low.
This documentary speaks to Victor's alter-ego, actor Richard Wilson, and three real-life Victors who are as grumpy as their TV counterpart.
His other alter-ego was Flann O'Brien, the pseudonym under which he wrote his novels - the first of which, At Swim Two Birds, was published in 1939.
Not only did he claim Jager was a ringer for Les Dawson (above right), but he drew our attention to her alter-ego, Bella Emberg (below).
She tells Graham Norton on tonight's show that it was a spur of the moment decision by one of her alter-egos: "A voice in my head told me to delete my Twitter and that's what I did.
She tells Graham tonight's show tha of the moment de of her alter-egos: head told me to d Twitter and that's "I had 11 million f "I had 11 million followers and I hope they will wait for me.
In fact, he has so many alter-egos it's a wonder that he knows who he really is - and it must be a nightmare for his real-life partner, Hollywood star Isla Fisher.
Another man with several alter-egos is Barry Humphries, aka Dame Edna Everage, the Melbourne housewife and "gigastar".