Delaware Court of Chancery Creating a Buzz

By Paul Sponaugle Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The News Journal has a great article about the open seat on the Court of Chancery. Read an excerpt below.

When it comes to gossip in the corporate legal community, the Delaware Court of Chancery has made for interesting water-cooler conversation lately.

Lawyers and legal professors across the country are buzzing about who will fill the seat that will be vacated next month by highly respected Vice Chancellor Stephen P. Lamb. The vice chancellor let it be known about a year ago that he would not serve another term. Lamb's current 12-year term expires on July 28.

"As soon as there's any inkling that someone is going to retire from the Court of Chancery, it sets off an enormous wave of speculation," said Lawrence Hamermesh, director of the Widener Institute of Corporate Law at Widener University. "I've gotten questions going back two years about Vice Chancellor Lamb."

What wasn't surprising to corporate law watchers, however, was the nomination last week of Chancellor William B. Chandler III to a second term as the court's chief judge. Chandler's term is set to expire at midnight on June 30. Gov. Jack Markell sent a letter to the Delaware Senate on Wednesday saying he would nominate Chandler as chancellor on July 1, according to Joe Rogalsky, spokesman for Markell. The Delaware Senate is expected to vote to confirm the nomination on July 1, Rogalsky said.

Chancery Court vacancies have long created buzz in the business world because the court is one of the main reasons big business prefers to incorporate in the state, legal experts said. More than half of the companies on the New York Stock Exchange and about 63 percent of Fortune 500 companies have filed their certificates of incorporation in the state.

Corporate lawyers like to bring matters before Chancery Court judges because they spend the majority of their time handling complex corporate and commercial matters, corporate academics said. In addition to the sophisticated and knowledgeable jurists, businesses like the predictability and consistency of the non-jury court.

Read the full post by Maureen Milford here:

http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20090621/BUSINESS/906210322/1003/In+legal+circles++all+eyes+on+Court+of+Chancery

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