Delaware Chancery Rule Changes Aim to Modernize

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Delaware Chancery Rule Changes

Delaware’s Chancery Court, a pivotal institution in the U.S. legal system, has announced a series of rule changes aimed at modernization. Chancellor Kathaleen St. J. McCormick signed an order on Friday, outlining various amendments intended to align the Chancery Court’s rules more closely with federal civil procedure standards and enhance user-friendliness for litigants.

Key Amendments and Fee Adjustments

One of the most notable changes is the increase in the mediation fee for the first day, which will rise from $5,000 to $15,000. This adjustment is intended “to conform to market prices,” according to a court announcement. These amendments, effective June 14, are part of a multi-year project to update, modernize, and improve the court’s rules.

Chancellor McCormick expressed her gratitude for the ongoing efforts of the subcommittee chaired by Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster and attorney Blake K. Rohrbacher of Richards Layton & Finger PA. “Each subcommittee member’s participation was essential to this project and our system is better thanks to their efforts,” she said.

Delaware Chancery Rule Changes : Subcommittee Contributions

The subcommittee includes prominent legal professionals such as Corinne E. Amato of Prickett Jones & Elliott PA, Lakshmi A. Muthu of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP, David E. Ross of Ross Aronstam & Moritz LLP, Ethan H. Townsend of McDermott Will & Emery, and Jessica Zeldin of Reid Collins & Tsai LLP.

Delaware Chancery Rule Changes : Modernization Efforts

Initiated last year, the Chancery Court’s modernization project aims to bring its rules in line with the current Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The updates reflect current practice, eliminate outdated language, and introduce improvements to maintain beneficial features. Commentary accompanying each amended rule provides interpretive guidance for practitioners.

Specific Rule Changes

Among the changes, the new rules remove a fee schedule from the Chancery Court’s regulations for various procedures, including issuing summonses and subpoenas. Going forward, the Register in Chancery will assess and publish fees on the court’s website, with the ability to adjust them for good cause in specific cases.