Verret Interview with Delaware Chief Justice in WSJ
An interview of Delaware Supreme Court Justice Myron T. Steele by Professor J.W. Verret appeared in The Wall Street Journal's online edition in its "Stories From Around the Web" feature in the Law section. Verret's interview was originally published in The Conglomerate Blog.
Chief Justice Steele, who received his BA, JD, and LLM from the University of Virginia, was confirmed as the seventh Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court in May 2004. His career on the bench spans twenty years, beginning with his appointment at 43 to the Delaware Superior Court as an associate judge. He presides over major corporate litigation and LLC and limited partnership governance disputes and was appointed to the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction by United States Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.
In 2007, Directorship Magazine ranked Chief Justice Steele as one of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance in the United States, while Ethisphere Magazine ranked Chief Justice Steele second in its list of “the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics for 2007.” Lawdragon Magazine has consistently placed Chief Justice Steele among its annual Lawdragon 500 “Leading Lawyers in America” and “Top Judges in America.”
"Verret: What would you say is so unique about Delaware's approach to corporate law?
Chief Justice Steele: There are three things I would highlight. First, our specialized Court of Chancery. This is a collegial Court of five experienced lawyers who engage in efficient fact finding and issue opinions promptly. I should add that our 5-member Supreme Court is made up 3 former Vice Chancellors. Our non-jury equity jurisdiction ensures that the complex and highly technical questions of finance and governance that are at the heart of the disputes are ably resolved. Second, the General Assembly engages in a deliberative and open process to consider changes to the Corporate Code. Our Committee on Corporate Laws issues recommendations to the General Assembly after an open comment process that includes, and is informed by, comments from all interested parties, from the Business Roundtable to the Council of Institutional Investors. Finally, the complementary aspects of common law and equitable principles have a uniquely symbiotic relationship in our law. The incremental growth of common law and equitable principles offer a foundation for predictability and consistency in our law. The DGCL is informed by a principle of enablement, and is supplemented by the flexibility of judges to craft remedies afforded by equity jurisdiction."