The Delaware Court of Chancery is considering a new procedure for new cases to be filed with the Court for the purpose of being arbitrated by a member of the Court. The draft rules are only preliminary proposals subject to change. Chancellor William Chandler, III discussed the draft rules in a presentation to members of the Delaware Bar today. Here is a copy of the current version of the draft proposed Arbitration Rules for the Delaware Court of Chancery. A few of the highlights of the embryonic concept include:
- As a prerequisite for cases seeking money damages, the amount in controversy must exceed one million dollars.
- The arbitrator will be a permanent sitting member of the Court.
- A preliminary conference will be scheduled within 10 days of the commencement of the case to address procedural and substantive aspects of the case.
- The statutory authority for the parties to consent to this procedure is 10 Del. C. Section 349.
- The arbitration hearing will generally "occur no later than 90 days following receipt of the petition". See Proposed Del. Ch. Ct. R. 97(c).
- The arbitration proceedings will be confidential.
- Discovery and motion practice are expected to be limited.
- Appeals will be directly to the Delaware Supreme Court
- Estimated fees are expected to be $12,000 for filing the petition, and $6,000 for each day of arbitration (to be shared by the parties).
Compare generally: 10 Del. C. Section 346 (regarding mediation of technology disputes) and 10 Del. C. Section 347 (mediation of business disputes).