WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Following a series of recent filings in the Delaware Court of Chancery, new facts were released publicly that Jennifer Voss, a partner in Skadden Arps’ Wilmington office, was purported to act on behalf of the Delaware Judiciary when she attempted to silence the advocacy group, Citizens for Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD). CPBD, a grassroots organization founded by TransPerfect employees, advocates for transparency, accountability and diversity in the Delaware Judiciary has been subject to threats and hate mail from some of Delaware's elite law firms.
During a heated exchange of attorney correspondence, Voss is alleged to have publicly posted privileged settlement communications between attorneys representing TransPerfect and Skadden Arps in violation of ethical canons. The substance of the emails revealed that Voss sought to silence the CPBD movement by disallowing any public discourse that casts a negative light on Custodian Robert Pincus, Skadden Arps, the Chancery Court system, and the State of Delaware.
Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey, “Our organization is made up of more than 5,000 Delawareans working to increase accountability, transparency, and diversity not just in the state’s judiciary, but the entire government. The First Amendment clearly protects our right to call out injustice where we see it. It’s unfortunate that Skadden would try to dictate the actions of our members without actually talking to us directly. But what we want to see happen should come as no surprise to anyone, as we have relentlessly advocated for our platform for increased judicial transparency, accountability, and diversity for the better part of a year. To demonstrate our commitment to stay in Delaware for the long haul, we will be spending over $500,000 this year to highlight the failures of transparency and diversity in Delaware’s courts and advocating for reforms to fix the broken status quo, and we’re planning to declare a political action committee dedicated to electing candidates at every level of the state government who support our cause.
“If Voss and Skadden would like to engage in a meaningful conversation about how to end corporate corruption and cronyism, and the overwhelming lack of diversity in the Delaware Chancery Court, we’ll meet them anytime and anywhere – we’re in this fight for the long haul.”
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware fight for commonsense and modern-day reforms to the archaic Chancery Court system, and for more diverse representation in courts, and government and in law. It supports the following legislative initiatives:
- Establishing an independent Office of Inspector General with a degree of jurisdiction over the Chancery Court, which would ensure a rigorous and regular review process for auditing the Chancery Court’s decisions.
- Ensuring that Delaware’s courts reflect the ‘broad diversity’ of Delaware’s citizenry.
- Introducing transparency to the judicial nomination process by making public the members of the judicial nominating commission and the names of the candidates they put forward to the Governor.
- Building awareness of the lack of diversity in Delaware’s legal industry and advocating for a diverse pipeline to Delaware’s elite law firms.
- Ensuring that appointed Members of Courts can’t serve on the Court of Judiciary, which has the power of judicial review.
- Ensuring that if a Justice of the Chancery Court appoints a custodian or a receiver to any Firm, Corporation or Officer of the Court for whom they were previously employed or shared business interests with, this conflict must be disclosed and consented to by both parties.
- Requiring that any custodian or receiver appointed by the Delaware Chancery Court itemize and make public a complete list of costs incurred because of acting in that capacity.
- Allowing a camera in the Chancery Court to ensure that a public record exists of the Court’s actions, allowing citizens and good government groups to audit the Court’s actions and deliberations to make sure they honor justice and transparency.
- Requiring ‘wheel spin’ in the Chancery Court so that Chancery Court Chancellors cannot select cases based on their own self-interest.
- Requiring financial disclosure by Delaware’s judges so the public can see the income they receive outside their judicial salaries, including investments, business and charitable affiliations and gifts.
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 5,000 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.