M & A Law Prof Blog

Editor: Brian JM Quinn
Boston College Law School

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chancery Court Conference Rundown

Delawareonline has a very thorough rundown of the proceedings of the Chancery Court Conference at Columbia:

[O]n Friday, Columbia Law Professor John C. Coffee Jr. declared what he hoped was an armistice with Delaware -- on Veterans Day -- by hosting what amounted to a day-long celebration of the Delaware Court of Chancery's prestige and pre-eminence in corporation law, titled "Change and Continuity."

He said the debate about the value of Delaware's court is "dated" and largely over.


On one of the more controversial panels, professor Bernard S. Black of Northwestern School of Law said his analysis shows that Delaware's dominance might be fading. He said the state is starting to "lose cases" to federal courts and other states that have formed business courts, such as Nevada.

He conceded that the number of cases filed in Delaware's Chancery Court remains high and that some cases filed outside Delaware may be "junk," but argued "Delaware's share is not what it once was." He said 10 years ago, nearly 100 percent of certain types of cases went to Delaware and now some significant cases are going elsewhere.


But early in the conference, Gilson spoke for many presenters when he said the day was a bit unusual because he and others would be speaking on the meaning of decisions and actions by Chancery Court judges with the judges themselves in the audience.

He said it was like the scene in the movie "Annie Hall" when Woody Allen is arguing with someone about the work of Marshall McLuhan and pulls McLuhan himself from the crowd to tap the man on the shoulder and tell him he is wrong.

And at lunch, Strine got to play the role of McLuhan by telling the crowd that some of what he heard in morning sessions amounted to "fiction."

Sounds like a fun conference.



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