more difficult to change our management by removing and replacing trustees and it may delay or prevent a change in control that is in the best interests of our shareholders.
We may change our operational policies, investment guidelines and our investment and growth strategies without shareholder consent, which may subject us to different and more significant risks in the future, which could materially and adversely affect us.
Our board of trustees determines our operational policies, investment guidelines and our investment and growth strategies. Our board of trustees may make changes to, or approve transactions that deviate from, those policies, guidelines and strategies without a vote of, or notice to, our shareholders. This could result in us conducting operational matters, making investments or pursuing different investment or growth strategies than those contemplated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Under any of these circumstances, we may expose ourselves to different and more significant risks in the future, which could materially and adversely affect us.
Our rights and the rights of our shareholders to take action against our trustees and officers are limited, which could limit our shareholders' recourse in the event of actions not in our shareholders' best interests.
Under Maryland law, generally, a trustee is required to perform his or her duties in good faith, in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in our best interest and with the care that an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances. Under Maryland law, trustees are presumed to have acted with this standard of care. In addition, our declaration of trust limits the liability of our trustees and officers to us and our shareholders for monetary damages, except for liability resulting from the:
actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services; or
active and deliberate dishonesty by the trustee or officer that was established by a final judgment as being material to the cause of action adjudicated.
Our declaration of trust and bylaws obligate us, to the fullest extent permitted by Maryland law in effect from time to time, to indemnify and to pay or reimburse reasonable expenses in advance of the final disposition of a proceeding to any present or former trustee or officer who is made or threatened to be made a party to the proceeding by reason of his or her service to us in that capacity. In addition, we may be obligated to advance the defense costs incurred by our trustees and officers. As a result, we and our shareholders may have more limited rights against our trustees and officers than might otherwise exist absent the current provisions in our declaration of trust and bylaws or that might exist with other companies.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results.
In connection with operating as a public company, we are required to provide reliable financial statements and reports to our shareholders. To monitor the accuracy and reliability of our financial reporting, we have established an internal audit function that oversees our internal controls. In addition, we have developed policies and procedures with respect to company-wide business processes and cycles in order to implement an effective system of internal control over financial reporting. We have established, or caused our third-party management companies to establish, controls and procedures designed to ensure that hotel revenues and expenses are properly recorded at our hotels. While we have undertaken substantial work to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, we cannot be certain that we will be successful in maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and we may determine in the future that our existing internal controls need improvement. If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control, we could be materially harmed or we could fail to meet our reporting obligations. In addition, the existence of a material weakness or significant deficiency in our internal controls could result in errors to our financial statements that could require a restatement, cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations, result in increased costs to remediate any deficiencies, attract regulatory scrutiny or lawsuits and cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, any of which could lead to a substantial decline in the market price of our common shares.