FALL 2000 ISSUE

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Law School Hosts U.S. and European Court Justices

University of Pennsylvania President Judith Rodin and Dean Michael A. Fitts welcomed members of the United States Supreme Court and Members of the Court of Justice of the European Communities at a reception held at the Penn Club in New York on April 15, 2000.

The event, co-hosted with Benjamin Cardozo Law School, offered an intimate setting for the justices to mingle with Law School faculty, alumni, and honored guests of both the Law School and the University. Associate Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Stephen Breyer joined with their European counterparts representing Ireland, France, Scotland, Spain, Finland, and Denmark in a convivial celebration before the work of a symposium for which they had gathered was undertaken.

Chairman of the Law Board of Overseers Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. L'60 and Overseers John K. Castle, Howard Gittis W'55, L'58, Paul S. Levy L'72, Henry R. Silverman L'64, and Glen A. Tobias W'63, L'66 comprised the host committee for the event. Welcoming remarks were delivered by Dr. Rodin and graciously received by Judge David A.O. Edward of Scotland, who praised the bonds that join the European and American courts of justice during a time of emerging democracies and constitutional reform throughout the world.

The Court of Chancery as Teacher of Corporate Law
ILE's 12th Annual Distinguished Jurist Lecture
by Martin A. Asher

As the Institute for Law and Economics 12th Annual Distinguished Jurist Lecture, William B. Chandler III, Chancellor of the Delaware Chancery Court, spoke of the give-and-take relationship that the Court of Chancery has with both the Delaware Supreme Court and the corporate world. According to Chandler, the "conversations" that take place among these entities make the Chancery Court both a teacher and a student of corporate laws.

Describing Professor Edward B. Rock's article "Saints and Sinners: How Does Delaware Corporate Law Work?" as "the most elegant and most scholarly" analysis of the Court of Chancery as teacher of corporate law, Chandler went on to develop two "different, yet consistent" perspectives from which to understand the Court's work. He described interactions of the Court of Chancery with both the Delaware Supreme Court and the corporate world as "conversational seminars" and "dialogues" that, taken together, are unusual in the American judicial system. The result of these dialogues has been the development of discrete areas of the law "from simple rules to an increasingly richer and deeper understanding" of a variety of issues affecting corporate practices.

Chandler concluded his remarks by stressing that he sits on a Court subject to the forces of nature in which every action generates a reaction. He described the decisions of the Court of Chancery as "actions that are continuously met by reactions from both the [Delaware] Supreme Court and from the leaders of the business world. But it is only through this clash of forces, the jostling of teacher and student, that we achieve a natural equilibrium, a balance in the law."