As reported previously here, one of the Vice Chancellors on the Delaware Chancery Court is not seeking reappointment after his term expires in July 2009. The process for his replacement involves the appointment by the Governor with the consent of the Delaware Senate. See Article IV of the Delaware Constitution. Other publications have recently speculated about a "short list" of potential replacements to fill the vacancy. See, e.g., here.
I try to maintain this blog "in the nature of a reporter of cases" for corporate and commercial decisions from Delaware’s Chancery and Supreme Court, as compared to a gossip column, however anyone who follows the Delaware Chancery Court must keep abreast of who might become the newest member of Delaware’s equity bench.
Among those I understand to be leading contenders for the position is Delaware Superior Court Judge Mary M. Johnston. Her official court background summary is here. Earlier in her career, she was a corporate litigation partner at the Wilmington firm of Morris James LLP. She now handles complex civil litigation in the Superior Court, which is the trial court of general jurisdiction in Delaware. My sources indicate that she authored more opinions last year than any other judge on her court. In addition to her superior qualifications, Her Honor would bring a measure of diversity to a court whose sole former female member left over a decade ago for a position on the Delaware Supreme Court.
Other contenders I have heard to be "in the running for the position" include J. Travis Laster, of Abrams and Laster, a well-respected corporate litigator and a seasoned Chancery Court practitioner who started his own firm several years ago with another former partner at Richards, Layton & Finger in Wilmington. Richard Forsten, a partner at Buchanan Ingersoll has been mentioned for this position (as well as in the past for an opening on the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.) According to some reports, other possible contenders include Joel Friedlander, a partner and corporate litigator at Bouchard Margules & Friedlander P.A. in Wilmington. Another potential contender is Bruce Silverstein, a partner at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP in Wilmington and chair of his firm’s corporate litigation department.
If any loyal readers are aware of other candidates who should be included above, or additional relevant background information that should be included about those mentioned, please let me know.
UPDATE: The Delaware Law Weekly has an article in its online edition circulated today that refers to this post here.