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Delaware Docket Newsletter
Fall 2011


Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron T. Steele was a panelist at the Global Business Law Forum in London, Sept. 21-23, 2011. The forum, sponsored by the American Bar Association Business Law Section, focused on cross-border business law issues, with an emphasis on financial reform and its effect on clients. Chief Justice Steele served on two panels about business acquisition. Lawyers from more than 20 countries attended the conference which featured subject matter experts from Europe and North America. Chief Justice Steele also gave a recent interview to "Who's Who Legal" of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association. The article focused on the Chief Justice's background, his path to the bench, his experience as Vice Chancellor of the Court of Chancery and Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, as well as his many other professional accomplishments. The interview was featured in the October 2011 issue of www.whoswholegal.com.

Supreme Court Justice Randy J. Holland's new book entitled Delaware Corporation Law: Selected Cases, was recently released in Taipei, Taiwan. The book contains edited decisions by the Delaware Supreme Court and commentary. It is being published in Chinese only for initial distribution in Taiwan and later in China. It will be used primarily by law students and was translated into Chinese by professors from Taiwan's leading law schools. In a preface to Justice Holland's book, the former Chief Justice of Taiwan, In-Jaw Lai, wrote: "To understand the United States Company Law, people must study the Delaware legal system." Justice Holland has worked with Chief Justice Lai for the last few years in developing a commercial division within Taiwan's trial courts. Several judges from Taiwan have visited Delaware's courts to learn about deciding commercial cases. The release of Justice Holland's book coincided with the delivery of his keynote address to the Taiwan Corporate Governance Association, and his meetings with former Chief Justice Lai and some of Taiwan's highest ranking judges to discuss issues relating to commercial courts and judicial ethics. Justice Holland also spoke at both of Taiwan's stock exchanges and the National Taiwan University School of Law.

Supreme Court Justice Jack B. Jacobs spoke at the Widener University School of Law commencement on May 21, 2011. The ceremony for the 37th graduating class was broadcast live online. In addition to his many judicial activities, Justice Jacobs serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law for Widener University School of Law, as well as the New York University School of Law and Columbia University School of Law. Justice Jacobs recently coauthored an article on hostile takeovers in developed and emerging markets with colleagues John Armour (Professor of Law and Finance at the University of Oxford) and Curtis J. Milhaupt (Professor of Comparative Law and Japanese Law at Columbia Law School).  The article, published in the Winter 2011 issue of the Harvard International Law Journal, is entitled The Evolution of Hostile Takeover Regimes in Developed and Emerging Markets: An Analytical Framework.  

Supreme Court Justice Henry duPont Ridgely was honored for his outstanding judicial service at the recent Judicial Education Retreat held on October 12, 2011. Chief Justice Myron T. Steele made the presentation recognizing Justice Ridgely's "uncommon devotion to duty in and outside the courtroom above the customary excellence demonstrated by his peers." Among his many accomplishments, the Chief Justice specifically noted his willingness to chair many of the important initiatives being undertaken by the Judiciary, including Delaware Supreme Court's e-Filing committee, the Delaware Supreme Court Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Health, the Delaware Criminal Justice Council's Committee on Racial and Ethnic Fairness, the Supreme Court's Legislative Team, and the Project Leadership Team of the Delaware Court's Automation Project. Also noted were Justice Ridgely's numerous leadership roles on many national-level initiatives, as well as his dedication to a vast array of local community service projects. In addition, Justice Ridgely has been reelected to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association as the Conference Delegate of The Appellate Judges Conference of the Judicial Division. The Appellate Judges Conference includes state and federal appellate judges, appellate lawyers, and staff attorneys from across the country. The House of Delegates is the policy making body of the ABA and votes on issues affecting the Association and the legal profession. It consists of 566 members from State and local bar associations, ABA affiliates and ABA entities. Justice Ridgely was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2008. His new three-year term began September 1, 2011. He will also continue to serve as an officer on the Executive Committee of the Appellate Judges Conference of the Judicial Division.

Late Supreme Court Justice Maurice A. Harnett was honored during a special session of the Supreme Court held on June 14, 2011. Justice Hartnett, who died May 11, 2009, served on the Supreme Court from 1994 to 2000 and was a Vice Chancellor on the Court of Chancery from 1976 to 1994. Justice Carolyn Berger spoke on behalf of the Court. The Honorable Anne Hartnett Reigle, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Kent County and daughter of Justice Hartnett, and Pamela S. Tikellis, Esq. also made presentations before the Court in honor of Justice Harnett.

The Supreme Court and Court of Chancery were named to the National Association of Corporate Directors' 2011 list of the 100 most influential individuals and institutions in corporate governance. No other courts were included in the Directorship 100. The Directorship 100 is compiled yearly by the editors of the Directorship magazine based on input from a reader survey and a panel of corporate governance experts. Chief Justice Myron T. Steele, Justice Randy J. Holland, Justice Carolyn Berger, Justice Jack B. Jacobs, Justice Henry DuPont Ridgely, Chancellor Leo E. Strine, Jr., Vice Chancellor John Noble, Vice Chancellor Donald R. Parsons, Jr., Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster and Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock, III were recognized.

Chancellor Leo E. Strine, Jr. taking the oath of office.  Former Delaware State Senator Nancy Cook is holding the bible.
Chancellor Leo E. Strine, Jr. taking the oath of office. Former Delaware State Senator Nancy Cook is holding the bible.

Chancellor Leo E. Strine, Jr. was appointed as Chancellor of the Court of Chancery on June 22, 2011, having previously served as a Vice Chancellor since 1998. Chancellor Strine also has long-standing positions as the Austin Wakeman Scott Lecturer in Law at the Harvard Law School, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Program of Corporate Governance, and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt University Law Schools. He also serves as the Special Judicial Consultant to the Corporate Laws Committee of the American Bar Association.

Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock, III taking the oath of office from Betsy McGeever, Esquire.  Sister-in-law Joyce Hein holds the bible.
Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock, III taking the oath of office from Betsy McGeever, Esquire. Sister-in-law Joyce Hein holds the bible.

Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock, III was appointed as Vice Chancellor on June 29, 2011 after having served as Master in Chancery from 1999 to 2011. He previously worked as an associate at Prickett, Jones, Elliott, Kristol & Schnee in the litigation section and as a Superior Court special discovery master.

From left: Representatives John Atkins and Gerald Hocker, Chancellor Chandler and Representative Melanie George. (Picture courtesy of Nancy Hickman of the House of Representatives).

From left: Representatives John Atkins and Gerald Hocker, Chancellor Chandler and Representative Melanie George. (Picture courtesy of Nancy Hickman of the House of Representatives).

Chancellor William B. Chandler, III retired from the Bench on June 17, 2011. He served on the Court of Chancery for 22 years (including 14 years as Chancellor) and four years as a judge in the Superior Court (1985-1989). Chancellor Chandler's illustrious judicial career was recognized with tributes from the House of Representatives, Senate and Governor Markell, among others, prior to his retirement. His service to the Court was also celebrated at a luncheon with Court of Chancery staff.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Andrea L. Rocanelli recently spoke at Harvard Law School as part of the 1L Speaker Series. The visit was sponsored, in part, by the Harvard Law School's Office of Public Interest Advising which provides career services to students interested in public interest law. In addition to addressing a group of law students in a more formal setting, Judge Rocanelli (HLS ‘89) met with the Women's Law Association and a Boston-area legal services center. Judge Rocanelli spoke on court-centered access to justice, her career in public service, and Court of Common Pleas initiatives with respect to credit card debt collection actions and rehabilitative justice, including in the specialty courts and trauma-informed probation services.

Family Court Judge Aida Waserstein was selected by the Hispanic National Bar Foundation as the recipient of the 2011 Judicial Leadership Award. Judge Waserstein participated as a panelist at "The Future Latino Leaders Law Camp" in Washington D.C. on July 21, 2011 and was recognized during a luncheon held that day. Each year, the Foundation honors individuals who have made contributions to the Hispanic community, the legal profession, and education. The Foundation recognized Judge Waserstein's tireless commitment to social justice and improving the lives of Latinos, and, in particular, of Latino students.

Family Court Judge Michael K. Newell was named one of the Irish Legal 100 for 2011 by the Irish Voice newspaper and Irish America magazine. The Irish Legal 100 recognizes the most prominent lawyers of Irish descent throughout the United States. Joining Judge Newell on the 2011 Irish Legal are Bill Daley, Chief of Staff to the President of the United States, and Bill Robinson, incoming President of the American Bar Association, among others. Judge Newell was honored at the award ceremony on October 13, 2011, at the Washington D.C. home of H.E. Michael Collins, Irish Ambassador to the United States.