Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware to Continue Advocacy Campaign as Delaware Bar Association Rallies Around its Own Instead of Addressing Inequities in Delaware Courts
DOVER, Del., Sept. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Amid recent disapproval from the Delaware Bar Association (DSBA) on the grassroots efforts to bring transparency and accountability to the Chancery Court, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD) is reconfirming its commitment to improving the state of the Delaware’s court system through added transparency measures and increased diversity.
Two alarmingly disappointing emails from DSBA leadership, on behalf of the association, were sent statewide to all of their members attacking the grassroots advocacy work of CPBD. Rather than addressing the systemic inequities in the state court, the DSBA has continued to oppose policies that would increase transparency, accountability and diversity in the Delaware judiciary. Currently, Delaware ranks as the 17th most diverse state in the country, yet is one of 18 states that has never had an African American justice on the high court and is of only 13 since 1960 without a Supreme Court justice from any non-white group. CPBD has been advocating on behalf of Delaware citizens to bring common practices to the state court such as randomized wheel spin to case assignments, cameras in court rooms for public records, financial disclosure by Delaware judges, and other measures to maintain Delaware’s reputation as a thriving profitable business state.
“Rather than hearing Delaware residents’ concerns about transparency, accountability from judges and diverse representation, the Bar Association is circling the wagons and working to protect their own image and members,” said Chris Coffey, Campaign Manager for Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware. “It’s ironic that our campaign to break up the ‘Good Ol Boys Club’ has sparked the Bar Association to act in the exact manner that prompted our creation, and our message is now resonating throughout the state. Every complaint that comes from the bar or their members is a personal attack instead of any attempt to justify their atrocious record on diversity and their 19th century record on transparency. Why do they not have wheel spin, or itemized bills? Why does the Corporate Bar Committee get a veto on any changes to Chancery transparency law? That would be like letting lobbyists write ethics laws.”
CPBD stands with the Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section of the DSBA in their courageous pursuit of diversity and continues to be frustrated by the DSBA leadership’s seeming inability to accept that lack of diversity in the Delaware court system is a valid concern.
CPBD was created by TransPerfect employees and Delaware residents who were concerned that the Court of Chancery was stretching its powers to force the sale of a successful company. Although the employees of TransPerfect rallied together to form the group as they helplessly awaited the determination of their career fate by the Chancellor’s decision, the group has grown substantially after transitioning to a watchdog group and promoting a platform based on accountability and transparency. In just the last two weeks of talking with Delaware residents, CPBD has enlisted more than 1,400 new supporters to join the campaign and plan on releasing at least 5,000 signatures from Delaware residents seeking more diversity on the courts.
As Supreme Court Justice Valihura explained in her dissent of the appeal, there does not exist “a single case in the history of our Section 226 jurisprudence where a court has ordered a custodial sale of a company over a stockholder’s objections.” The Court of Chancery’s decision to force the sale of a successful company directly opposes its statutory authority to keep its interference to a minimum and act only when there is irreparable injury to the company.
In 2016, as the Chancery Court was deciding to force the sale, TransPerfect’s revenues were at an all-time high of $546 million, growing from $470 million in 2014. It was an unprecedented action that attempted to break up one of the most successful companies in the country. During that process, Chancellor Bouchard presided over the forced spending of $250 million from TransPerfect on lawyers, accountants, PR teams, M&A firms.
“The response of the Delaware State Bar Association has only motivated CPBD to continue the fight for transparency in the court system, because Delaware residents deserve to have their voices heard,” said Chris Coffey, Campaign Manager for Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware.
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 2,700 members including employees of the global translation services company TransPerfect, as well as concerned Delaware residents, business executives and others. They formed in April of 2016 to focus on raising awareness with Delaware residents, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the issue. While their primary goal of saving the company has been accomplished, they continue their efforts to fight for more transparency in the Delaware Chancery Court. For more information on Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware or to join the cause, visit DelawareForBusiness.org.
Contact: Chris Coffey, 917-972-7514
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SOURCE Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware