Rev. Al Sharpton Joins Delaware Activists in Sounding Alarm over Twitter’s New Chancery Court ‘Fixer,’ Leo Strine

WILMINGTON, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today – following news that Twitter Inc. has hired M&A heavyweight Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as it plans to take legal action against Elon Musk for moving to end his takeover of the company – civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton has released the following statement:

“As the legal battle between Twitter and Mr. Musk heats up in the Delaware Court of Chancery, I am deeply concerned – as I am sure Mr. Musk is as well – that the integrity of these legal proceedings will be tainted by the social media behemoth’s retention of Wachtell Of. Counsel, Leo Strine.

“While many Americans may not have heard of the Delaware Chancery Court, it is there that more than half of the nation’s Fortune 500 companies are presided over by an opaque, archaic judicial institution. It is there that a Court with seven justices has not one person of color on the bench, and has only had one Black justice in the entirety of its 230-year history. And it is there that those justices operate in secret, with no cameras or microphones in the courtroom, few – if any – public financial disclosures by justices, and with barely a modicum of transparency in how the Court operates.

“This is a court where the decisions affect millions of diverse workers across the country, yet it does not have a single justice of color. I have been fighting for years to make this court more equitable, aiming to repair the institutional neglect of people of color in the state of Delaware. If people do not feel represented by the courts making decisions affecting their lives, how can they possibly trust those decisions?

“It is beyond any doubt that the hiring of former Chancellor Strine is a thinly veiled attempt by Twitter to leverage his access and relationships in the halls of the Chancery Court to curry favor with his former colleagues, and I call on him to formally recuse himself from this case entirely.”

Per Bloomberg:

“Strine, who spent over 20 years working in the Delaware courts, most recently as Chief Justice of that state’s Supreme Court, helped shape the legal norms that Musk will seek to test by terminating his agreement to acquire Twitter. Strine joined Wachtell in 2020. … Delaware Chancery Court typically frowns on efforts to back out of merger agreements. It’s possible that one of Strine’s most influential decisions will determine how Musk makes his case for ditching his Twitter takeover.”

Lastly, in a case during his tenure on the Chancery Court, Strine was once rebuked by the Delaware Supreme Court for insensitive comments, a stunning and rare formal criticism that reinforced Strine’s long history of opining wildly from the bench rather than focusing on the case at hand and using his authority to protect diverse employees.

Citizens for Judicial Fairness, formerly known as Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware, has been advocating for transparency, accountability, and diversity in the Chancery Court since the unprecedented forced sale of TransPerfect Global, a profitable translation and language services company, by Chancery Court Chancellor Andre Bouchard. The sale resulted in a disastrous court-appointed custodianship by Skadden Arps’ Robert Pincus, who bilked TransPerfect for tens of millions of dollars without saying why or what for. Sharpton, CJF, and activists have been vocal about their demands for justice systems that work for diverse everyday employees rather than legal and corporate elites.

Contacts

Chris Coffey, ccoffey@tuskholdings.com

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