In this Essay, we revisit the Salomon case and its related litigation not only from a legal standpoint but also from a broader moral perspective. 4 In the second Part, we offer a detailed context for and account of the Salomon litigation. The third Part focuses on the historical roots of the corporation and the judicial arguments in Salomon. In the fourth Part, we explore the moral and legal consequences of the Salomon decision. Throughout the Essay, our ambition will be not only to give the Salomon case a more contextual and richer spin but also to tackle the relationship between legal principles and moral obligations in the commercial world. Taking our cue from Ambrose Bierce, we explore whether the corporation is merely “[a]n ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility,” or whether it can be appreciated as something in which individual responsibility and profit-making can be combined.
Allan C. Hutchinson and Ian Langlois, Salomon Redux: The Moralities of Business, 35 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 1109 (2012).