Follow up on Delaware Chancery Court Issue of Allowing Over-Billing and Inequity

OPINION

Dear Friends,

I recently wrote an article about the Delaware Chancery Court allowing over $200 million to be billed in the Twitter vs Musk case, even though Elon Musk has decided to now buy the company and the lawsuit should be dropped. This brief column is my personal follow-up.

Folks, after watching carefully for several years, this formerly revered, unique court of equity — once famous and respected nationally for resolving corporate legal problems that could not be solved internally — I believe the court has evolved into a “Good Ole Boys Club” with a select few of connected lawyers who in my view rape the system.

Seventy percent of most fortune 500 companies have incorporated in Delaware, which means that this court gets to make decisions that involve millions of dollars. It appears from my observation that the value and righteousness of a legal issue in an important case is not always the deciding factor. Many of the most successful (winning lawyers in the Court of Chancery) are former business partners with the Chancellors or connected to the Chancellor or court in other ways.

Bottom line folks, who you hire, especially if the attorney was buddies with the judge, makes a difference in the outcome? It is unfortunate that the world may not now get to see this Delaware extravaganza in operation with its innumerable conflicts of interest and appearances of impropriety. Many lawyers, I know personally in Delaware, folks jokingly call the Chancery Court the Delaware Court of Inequity.

A few connected lawyers who make their living in the Chancery Court took exception to my last article, declaring absolute integrity in the Delaware Court of Chancery. I say “BS”. Folks, throughout Delaware law, it is stated that the Appearance of an Impropriety is as bad as the Impropriety itself. When a judge has lunch with one of the opposing lawyers during the decision making time of a trial, that is the appearance of impropriety. When a judge is a former business partner of one of the lawyers in a case, that is a conflict of interest. When a judge legislates from the bench in an unprecedented manner, that is improper. When a judge allows one side to milk a litigant for millions of dollars without precedent, especially when the lawyer for that side was a former business partner of the Chancellor, I call that the appearance of impropriety. I even witnessed a Chancellor allowing bills to be submitted for the time used to create the bill. Folks, the purpose of the Delaware Court of Chancery is to provide fair and equitable solutions, not to enrich the Chancellors’ special friends.

Power eventually corrupts, and folks the Chancellors in Delaware have ultimate power. The outrageous rulings in the TransPerfect case were over the top, and to me indicated a form of subtle corruption.

Now Twitter and Musk have contributed millions to connected lawyers, all capitalizing on the unique equity industry that is alive and well in Delaware and the case hardly got started. I urge legislative change and better oversight of this unique Court, so there can never be a doubt about its integrity.

As always your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Yours truly,

JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network

About Judson Bennett

Captain A. Judson Bennett was a life- long resident of Lewes, DE. He served the maritime industry for 33 years, primarily as a Delaware River Pilot, guiding large ships to the Port of Philadelphia. Captain Bennett has been an active and consistent entrepreneur over the years.

He was elected as a Lewes City Councilman for 6 years. Afterwards he ran for the Sussex County Council as a Republican, and with 20 thousand people voting, lost Delaware’s closest election by 3 votes to an 8 year incumbent. Abandoning his personal political ambitions, he became the Republican District leader, advocating conservative values. Captain Bennett became a lobbyist in the state legislature advocating among many ideas, financial literacy concepts in education. He managed several political campaigns, including one for Governor of Delaware and one for the US Senate against VP Joe Biden. He is now the owner, operator, and writer for the Coastal Network which communicates regularly with over 6000 people throughout the State of Delaware.

Captain Bennett is a graduate of St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, DE (where the movie “The Dead Poet’s Society was filmed) and also graduated “Magna Cum Laude” from the University of Delaware with a BA in Criminal Justice and an MA in Liberal Studies.

He is now a Widower, living in West Palm Beach, Florida. Captain Bennett has one son, three grandchildren, and one great grand-daughter, all who live in Richmond, Virginia.