Delaware Supreme Court Declines Appeal on Maintaining Confidentiality of Pleadings

Al Jazeera America, LLC v. AT&T Services, Inc., Del. Supr., No. 600, 2013, appeal dismissed (May 30, 2014). The Delaware Supreme Court in this short Order dismissed a pending interlocutory appeal on the issue of what documents filed with the court may be withheld from the public based on the confidentiality provisions and conditions in Court of Chancery Rule 5.1. The decision was promptly by a reported settlement of the underlying litigation between the parties, but the dispute is not finished.

On June 5, 2014, the Court of Chancery, as a follow up to the Supreme Court’s Order, allowed for a stay of the implementation of its earlier decision requiring disclosure of the pleadings already filed, pending its ruling on an anticipated motion by Al Jazeera to expunge the record in light of the settlement that the parties expect to finalize soon.

The Court of Chancery now must decide if its prior decision to require disclosure of most of the contents of the prior filings in this contractual dispute between the parties should be implemented in light of the settlement–or if the disclosure of pleadings already filed should be required despite the recent settlement. Frank Reynolds of Thomson Reuters provides a helpful overview of the case.

The Chancery decision and related developments in this case were highlighted on these pages.