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Delaware Chancery Judge Slights Retiring After Six Years (1)

Jan. 13, 2022, 6:47 PMUpdated: Jan. 14, 2022, 4:14 PM

Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III is stepping down as a judge for Delaware’s Chancery Court, which hears many of the country’s biggest business disputes, after serving in the role for nearly six years, according to a court filing Thursday.

Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, who was elevated to the court’s top post in May, notified the parties to a lawsuit being overseen by Slights that she would be transferring his cases to the court’s other judges or his replacement. The filing came a day after she reassigned several other actions.

The court’s office of administration confirmed the announcement to Bloomberg Law on Thursday but declined to offer additional details about the retirement by Slights, who worked for a leading Delaware law firm and served on Delaware’s Superior Court before joining the Chancery Court in 2016.

During his tenure, Slights presided over major cases involving Fortune 500 companies including Goldman Sachs & Co., FedEx Corp., Facebook Inc., McDonald’s Corp., Viacom Inc., and many others.

Among the high-profile cases assigned to Slights until late Wednesday was a lawsuit by Tesla Inc. investors challenging the size of a compensation package worth billions to tech titan Elon Musk.

Slights is still presiding over another case against Musk, a pension fund suit seeking up to $9.4 billion over claims that he forced through an unfair merger between Tesla and another company he controlled.

No official retirement announcement has been made yet. A replacement pick for the seven-judge court has not been named.

(Adds additional reporting about Tesla cases in sixth paragraph of story originally published Jan. 13. A previous update corrected the same section of the story.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Leonard in Washington at mleonard@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com