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Delaware Docket Newsletter

Delaware Judiciary Recognized

Chief Justice Steele

Chief Justice Steele speaking at the National & Iberoamerican Conference on Corporate Law in Buenos Aires.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron T. Steele, Court of Chancery Chancellor Leo E. Strine, Jr. and Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons, Jr. were among the esteemed group of panelists at the 2013 Mergers and Acquisitions Roundtable held in New York City in May 2013. The panel included leaders from law firms, investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, academia and government.

Chief Justice Steele additionally participated as a panel member at several recent conferences, including the American Bar Association (ABA) Minority Counsel Program and the ABA Annual Meeting, where he spoke on topics such as Key Issues in Negotiating Preferred Stock Investments and Exits and International Mergers and Acquisitions. He also provided the keynote address at the Uniform Law Commission’s Annual Meeting and the Society of Corporate Secretaries where he spoke on the topic of Developments in Delaware Corporate Law, and gave a presentation on Multi-Jurisdiction Complex Litigation to the American College of Business Courts Judges. Chief Justice Steele also recently completed a series of international speaking engagements. In July, he joined Governor Jack Markell in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he gave a presentation on corporate law to Israeli officials and business leaders. He also attended the National & Iberoamerican Conference on Corporate Law in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he was a panelist and presented on the topic of Fiduciary Duties.

Justice Randy J. Holland of the Delaware Supreme Court was recently the featured speaker at programs in three Australian cities. He gave a keynote address in Canberra to the national meeting of the Australian Law Council’s Business Law Section, presenting a comparative analysis of fiduciary duties of corporate directors under Delaware and Australian law. Justice Holland also gave a lecture in Melbourne at a program sponsored by the Melbourne Law School and the Monash Law School, where he spoke about the Delaware business judgment rule and the important role of independent corporate directors. Justice Holland’s final appearance in Australia was at the Sydney Law School. He made a panel presentation with Chief Justice Bathurst and Justice McColl of the New South Wales Supreme Court, during which they compared how similar factual cases would be decided differently under the corporate laws of Delaware and Australia.

Justice Jack B. Jacobs

Justice Jack B. Jacobs of the Delaware Supreme Court was the honored guest at the Seventh Joint Conference of Ono Academic College and Columbia University which was held on June 25-26, 2013 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Justice Jacobs joined panelists in discussions about the Regulation and the Supervision of Controlling Shareholders in Public Companies. Justice Jacobs discussed current corporate law issues and provided an historical overview of the development of Delaware corporate law and the role of Delaware courts in establishing Delaware’s status as a world leader in the area of corporate law. Justice Jacobs’ comments were the subject of an article in Globes, an Israeli business newspaper.

Superior Court President Judge James T. Vaughn, Jr. has been appointed chair of the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Group established by Governor Markell’s Executive Order 40 on June 7, 2013. The Group will implement the recommendations of the Justice Reinvestment Task Force which were enacted into law in 2012. Its goals are to establish and review agency reporting; monitor and measure effectiveness and costs; identify any needed statutory changes; and reallocate savings. Savings are to be reinvested in programs, supervision, and support to increase public safety and reduce recidivism. Other committee members include Court of Common Pleas Chief Judge Alex J. Smalls and Justice of the Peace Court Chief Magistrate Alan G. Davis, as well as members of the Governor’s administration, the State Senate, and the State House of Representatives.

Judge Rocanelli

Judge Rocanelli receiving the oath of office. Pictured from left to right, Theresa Rocanelli, her mother; Simone Rocanelli Veale, her daughter; Elena Rocanelli Veale, her daughter; Governor Jack Markell; Judge Rocanelli; Todd Veale, her husband; Superior Court Judge Mary M. Johnston, administering the oath; Louis Rocanelli, her father; and Olivia Rocanelli Veale, her daughter.

The Superior Court of the State of Delaware welcomes the Honorable Andrea L. Rocanelli who was appointed to the Superior Court on June 5, 2013. Judge Rocanelli served as a Court of Common Pleas judge since April 21, 2009. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Boston College. After several years of private practice in Boston, she practiced law in Delaware with the firm of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP., and served as Chief Counsel of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the Delaware Supreme Court. Judge Rocanelli was recently recognized with the Judicial Partnership Award by the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, which is awarded to a leader who advances the causes of individuals challenged with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders.

Family Court Chief Judge Chandlee Johnson Kuhn presented as a plenary panelist at the Advancement Project’s We Can Do Better: Collaborating to Reform School Discipline and Accountability conference. The conference focused on sharing and identifying collaborative ways to reduce suspensions and arrests of students to achieve safe, quality schools. As a member of the Judicial Leadership Group of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice Safety, Opportunity & Success: Standards of Care for Non-Delinquent Youth Project, Chief Judge Kuhn is working to develop national practice standards that will help divert status offending youth from the juvenile justice system and create community-based programming for the youth. Chief Judge Kuhn also participated in the International Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Leadership in Juvenile Justice National Summit. The team to which Chief Judge Kuhn is assigned is making recommendations for a policy manual for state and local police agencies working with youth with trauma histories and behavioral health conditions.

Chief Judge Kuhn and State Court Administrator Patricia Griffin are serving in advisory capacities to the Council of State Governments’ Consensus Project: Supporting Schools to Improve Students' Engagement and Juvenile Justice Outcomes. The Project is exploring the impact of school-based discipline on juvenile justice and the courts, and has convened experts in the fields of school safety, behavioral health, education, juvenile justice, social services, law enforcement and child welfare. Chief Judge Kuhn serves on the Law Enforcement Advisory Group, and Pat Griffin serves as the Conference of State Court Administrators' representative on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. The final report of the Project, which will be disseminated to local and federal lawmakers, is scheduled to be released in December 2013.

Judge Rennie

Judge Rennie signing his oath of office with Supreme Court Justice Randy J. Holland, who administered the oath.

The Court of Common Pleas sat in special session in the New Castle County Courthouse for the investiture of the Honorable Sheldon K. Rennie on July 19, 2013 as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Judge Rennie received his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law where he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor. Prior to his appointment, Judge Rennie was a partner in the Wilmington office of Fox Rothschild LLP and focused on commercial litigation.

On July 26, 2013, the Court of Common Pleas sat in special session in the Sussex County Courthouse for the investiture of the Honorable Abby L. Adams as a Commissioner of the Court of Common Pleas. Commissioner Adams was a deputy in the criminal appeals section of the Delaware Department of Justice for almost six years. From 1998-2006, she served as an attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.

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