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Constitutional Law

Del. Chancery Court Violated Law with ‘Secret’ Business Arbitration Program, Fed’l Suit Says

Posted Oct 25, 2011 5:55 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A new corporate arbitration program hosted by what many consider the nation's top business court violates the U.S. Constitution by holding "secret" judicial proceedings, contends a lawsuit that was filed today in federal court in Wilmington, Del., by the Delaware Coalition for Open Government Inc.

Naming all five justices of the state's chancery court as defendants, along with the state and chancery court, the suit contends the arbitration program is so similar to traditional courtroom litigation that it is unconstitutional not to have it take place on the record, according to Bloomberg and the Wilmington News Journal.

"Although the statute and rules call the procedure 'arbitration,' it is really litigation under another name," attorney David L. Finger wrote in a filing on the coalition's behalf.

Chancery court administrator Kenneth Lagowski said the cutting-edge alternative dispute resolution program is intended to offer a less expensive alternative to a full trial.

Reuters also has a story.

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