The Delaware Court of Chancery recently published an updated version of Practice Guidelines. Weighing in at 38 single-spaced pages, it must be read by both Chancery litigators and those out-of-state counsel who litigate Chancery cases. The original Practice Guidelines highlighted on these pages, promulgated in 2012, were a mere 18-pages in length.
Courtesy of my assistant, we now have a redlined copy that shows the differences between the current version and the 2012 original version
A somewhat longer overview is provided in an article I co-authored with Chauna Abner that appeared in the August 18, 2021 edition of the Delaware Business Court Insider. In this short post, however, I’ll merely provide a few bullet points on the more noteworthy new provisions:
- “Protocols for Remote Hearings and Trials” is a new section that describes best practices for this important medium of trial advocacy. Although most of the Covid-related restrictions on in-person trials have been lifted, the consensus is that remote hearings and trials, especially on a paper record, will continue to be a feature of Chancery practice. See Guidelines at 5-8.
- Document collection and production are described at pages 28-31. Among the 11 sample forms provided as part of these updated Chancery Guidelines, is Exhibit 10, which is a detailed and comprehensive list of suggested protocols for the crucial aspect of discovery related to ESI identification, preservation, and production.
- “Discovery Facilitator” is a role that is becoming increasingly common in complex Chancery cases, especially those that are expedited. Although not quite synonymous with a Special Master, it may be recommended by the court, or suggested by counsel, to address and streamline nettlesome discovery issues.