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First Amendment

Ruling banning secret arbitrations in Del. Chancery Court won’t be overturned by SCOTUS

Posted Mar 25, 2014 6:05 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The nation's top court has refused to hear an unusual appeal by the Delaware Court of Chancery of a federal appellate court's ruling that secret corporate arbitration hearings involving the state judiciary are unconstitutional.

The Monday denial of the highly regarded state court's petition for U.S. Supreme Court review leaves in place a decision by the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals holding that the arbitration program violated the First Amendment because it involved secret court hearings, the News Journal reports.

Partner Andrew Pincus of Mayer Brown served as counsel for the state and the Court of Chancery in the appeal. In a Monday written statement provided to the media through the governor's office, he said he was disappointed by the failure to win review of the 3rd Circuit decision by the nation's top court but suggested his client may look for an alternative means of implementing a corporate arbitration program.

"We believe that our nation and Delaware have lost an important opportunity to provide cost-effective options to resolve business-to-business disputes to remain competitive with other countries around the world," Pincus said. "Although it is premature to determine whether any particular statutory amendment or other change is an appropriate response to the outcome of the court proceedings, Delaware will continue to look for ways to achieve the objectives of the program that was the subject of the litigation."

See also:

ABAJournal.com: "Are secret arbitration panels illegal? Del. Chancery asks SCOTUS to nix 3rd Circuit ruling"

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