Confidentiality in the Court of Chancery

There are two separate pending matters that relate to confidentiality in the Court of Chancery and what details of litigation pending in the court may be properly withheld from the public.

One is an appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court of a case involving a contract dispute that the Al Jazeera network has with AT & T, and the issue on appeal is how much of the pleadings filed with the court can be redacted and withheld from the public pursuant to Court of Chancery Rule 5.1. One of the several Chancery decisions in the case was previously highlighted on these pages. At least in part, the parties both would prefer some parts of the dispute to be withheld from the public, but the parties cannot make that final determination on their own pursuant to Rule 5.1. The issues involved in the appeal are helpfully reviewed in an article by Frank Reynolds of Thomson Reuters.

The second matter relates to the efforts of the Court of Chancery to ask the United States Supreme Court to allow them to maintain a confidential arbitration system for major business disputes that are submitted by consent of both parties. The Court of Chancery is a defendant in a suit challenging their ability to maintain those proceedings in private. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found that system unconstitutional. The Court of Chancery has filed a petition to ask the SCOTUS to hear their argument for maintaining a confidential arbitration system. Many highlights of that litigation have been posted on these pages, e.g., here and here. Frank Reynolds of Thomson Reuters provides a useful overview of the Court of Chancery’s efforts to have their arguments heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. The usefulness of Frank’s article is not hampered by his quotes from yours truly.