As I am "current" on my summaries of business law opinions issued by the Delaware Chancery Court and Delaware Supreme Court (the 2 courts whose key corporate and commercial opinions I primarily summarize on this blog, as soon as I can after they are published), I will very briefly summarize, during this Sunday afternoon break from my preparation for a TRO, a decision from the Delaware Superior Court and one from the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware that should be of interest to those who read this blog for business litigation cases.
In the case of In Re: Alterra Heathcare Corp., (Bankr., D. Del., Oct. 16, 2006), read opinion here , Chief Judge Walrath addressed the issue of what documents can remain under seal when filed with the court. Relying on section 107(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, she ordered documents previously filed under seal to be made public, and discussed the policy reasons, and legal authorities, that supported her decision not to keep private the terms of settlements made in connection with a plan of reorganization. By comparison, see the link here for my blog summary of a Delaware Chancery Court decision from last year addressing a similar issue in the context of a case under DGCL Section 220.( Astute readers may notice that the Chancery Court opinion linked above involved the same parties for which the Delaware Supreme Court recently issued the much-heralded opinion sounding the death knell for a separate, stand-alone duty of good faith in the context of a director’s fiduciary duty. See my blog post on Stone v. Ritter, here.)
In Hettinger v. Board of Trustees of the Delaware Technical and Community College, (Del. Super., Sept. 27, 2006), read opinion here, the Delaware Superior Court summarizes the policy rationale behind the "workplace compromise" that allows employees to make claims against employers within a confined and structured system called "workers compensation" (instead of a regular tort claim), as opposed to the Dickensian system prevalent for centuries that in most cases prevented an employee injured on the job from collecting any money from his or her employer for that injury. This case involved an employee who was injured while she was walking back to her office at the end of the day after a nearby meeting. The court discusses those instances where it is not always clear if the injury occurred "in the course of employment".