Justia Delaware Court of Chancery Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Arbitration & Mediation

by
Plaintiff and Defendant entered into a license agreement for the development of boron-based small-molecule drug candidates for the treatment of acne. As part of the agreement, the parties agreed to arbitrate certain disputes. The parties also agreed that each had the right to initiate judicial proceedings to enforce their rights through equitable relief. A dispute arose under the agreement, and Defendant initiated arbitration regarding it. Approximately two weeks later, Plaintiff filed a complaint seeking to enjoin Defendant from proceeding with arbitration and seeking specific performance of the agreement. Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the grounds that the parties agreed to resolve the claims at issue in arbitration. The Court of Chancery denied Defendant's motion to dismiss, holding that Plaintiff's claims were not subject to mandatory arbitration under the parties' license agreement. View "Medicis Pharm. Corp. v. Anacor Pharms., Inc." on Justia Law

by
Employee was employed by the State's Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families (Department). After Employee was injured during the course and scope of his employment, the Department concluded that Employee did not make a sufficient return to work and terminated him. Employee's termination was subject to arbitration under the collective bargaining agreement between the Department and Council 81, the exclusive bargaining agent for certain Department employees. The arbitrator upheld Employee's termination, finding just cause for Employee's dismissal. Council 81, acting on behalf of Employee, challenged the arbitrator's decision. The Court of Chancery granted summary judgment for the State, holding that Council 81 failed to offer a recognized basis for setting aside the contractually bargained for arbitrator's decision. View "Council 81, AFL-CIO v. State" on Justia Law

by
In this derivative action, the parties sought judicial approval of a settlement. Defendants agreed to pay the Fund, on whose behalf the derivative claims were brought, and agreed not to pursue claims for indemnification against the Fund. Certain limited partners in the Fund, including the named plaintiffs, objected to the settlement consideration as inadequate. The court held that the settlement consideration fell within a range of fairness, albeit at the low end. Because the consideration fell within the range of fairness, the court will approve the settlement unless the objectors make the equivalent of a topping bid. View "Forsythe, et al. v. ESC Fund Management Co. (U.S.), Inc., et al." on Justia Law

by
This action came before the court following the insolvency and proposed rehabilitation of a Delaware insurance company. At issue was whether the arbitration clause in the reinsurance agreements between the insolvent insurance company and the reinsurer were enforceable against the receiver under Delaware law. If so, the question became whether this court should, in its discretion, require the parties to honor their agreement to arbitrate in light of the ongoing rehabilitation of the insurer. The court held that Delaware law permitted enforcement of the arbitration clause of the reinsurance agreements against the receiver and that the parties should be required to arbitrate their competing claims to the disputed cash. In addition, the court ordered a partial stay of the proceedings pending resolution of the arbitration. View "In the Matter of The Rehabilitation of Manhattan Re-Ins. Co." on Justia Law

by
This action arose from a transaction involving the sale of equity in a Texas-based dental practice management company to a Chicago-based private equity firm. At issue was whether the purchasers' ability to raise the forum selection clause issue in Texas provided them with an adequate remedy at law, undermining the basis for equity jurisdiction, and if not, whether the terms of the forum selection clause were broad enough to reach the Texas claims. The court held that the forum selection clause did not provide purchasers an adequate remedy at law, and therefore, the court had subject matter jurisdiction over their claims. The court also held that the forum selection clause here, which applied to any claims arising under or relating to the transaction, was sufficiently broad in scope that the purchasers were likely to succeed in showing that it provided exclusive jurisdiction in Delaware over the claims brought by the sellers in Texas. Accordingly, the court granted purchasers' motion for preliminary injunction. View "ASDC Holdings, et al. v. The Richard J. Malouf 2008 All Smiles Trust, et al." on Justia Law

by
This action arose from a final arbitration award made in favor of defendant where plaintiff sought to vacate the award. At issue was whether the Arbitration Award should be filed under seal. Also at issue was whether the arbitrator concealed material information about past adversarial relationships with plaintiff-related entities amounting to evident partiality requiring the court to vacate the Arbitration Award. The court held that the existence of a confidentiality order did not necessarily require, without regard for whether it applied to the Arbitration Award or not, the sealing of the award. Rather, Court of Chancery Rule 5(g) controlled the treatment of that award and mandated that plaintiff show good cause as to why the Arbitration Award should be sealed. The court also held that because plaintiff was entitled to limited discovery into the arbitrator's alleged adversarial relationship with it, the court denied defendant's motion for a protective order and held in abeyance the entry of a scheduling order on motions for summary judgment. View "Chartis Specialty Ins. Co. v. LaSalle Bank, et al." on Justia Law

by
Defendant moved to dismiss this action under Court of Chancery Rule 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(3). Plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment regarding the validity of, and specific performance of, a putative settlement agreement, which, if enforced, would end its arbitration of a dispute with defendant that arose out of a commercial contract, the Professional Services and Procurement Agreement (PSPA). The court held that, to the extent that defendant argued that plaintiff's claims should be dismissed on grounds of forum non conveniens, defendant's motion was denied. The court also held that the action was dismissed without prejudice pending resolution of the arbitration process. View "Preferred Sands of Genoa, LLC v. Outotec (USA) Inc." on Justia Law