Federal court weighing arguments in Del. court secrecy case

By Amy Cherry/Allan Loudell 4:08pm, May 17, 2013
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia is weighing arguments in the case of the Delaware Chancery Court, which is seeking to revive its secret arbitration program.

Delaware Law Weekly reporter Jeff Mordock tells WDEL the issue pits transparency against sensitive business matters.

"The Delaware Coalition for Public Government charges these are public judges, paid for with our tax dollars, using buildings that are funded with our tax dollars, and they're holding private arbitrations. Is that a violation of the First Amendment's right for the public to access public trials because you have public judges conducting these? Or is that they now have separate powers that's conferred to them?" asks Mordock.

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Mordock tells WDEL about the most compelling of the arguments.

"That they use retired judges. There's very few active judges paid for with tax dollars who are conducting these arbitration hearings throughout the country. what Delaware's offering is we're offering traditional arbitration, but we're offering the expertise of our Court of Chancery chancellor and vice chancellor. You're probably not going to find five people more versed in corporate law than these judges," he says.

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Mordock says citizens going before the Delaware Chancery Court are getting the top judges in corporate law in the country.

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