M & A Law Prof Blog

Editor: Brian JM Quinn
Boston College Law School

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Travis Laster Confirmation Hearing

From yesterday's confirmation hearing as reported by the Sussex Countian:

   “For the past 13 years the vast majority of my practice has been before the Court of Chancery,” he said, adding that he understands not only the legal precepts that guide the court, but also the procedures and practices under which it operates.

    “What the Court of Chancery does is very different from other courts, the legal questions are of a particular nature,” he said. “There is not a lot of correspondence between other courts and the Court of Chancery.”

    The court, which has jurisdiction over cases involving businesses, contracts, trusts and other financial matters, is often cited as the leading authority on corporate law worldwide.

    In response to a question from Senate President Pro Tem Anthony J. DeLuca, D-Varlano, Laster said he would work to preserve the court’s status as a model, even when its decisions conflict with trends in the federal judiciary.

    Laster told the committee that, even in light of the bad feelings the public and politicians may have towards corporate America and its conduct before and during the recession, the Court of Chancery must hold its ground and remain fair and reasonable. 

    “A lot of people are hurting and are angry, they’ve lost a lot of money, it’s justifiable,” he said. “I think there’s a culture in Washington that says, whatever happens we have to change something.”

    While some are quick to accuse Delaware and the Court of Chancery of leaning on the side of corporate interests, Laster said the court must prove that it is and has always been fair.

    “We have to stick to what got us to a point of preeminence,” he said. “We have to make sure that we’re not labeled a pro-management state, we are a balanced state.”



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