February 25, 2024

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LL.M. Student to Clerk for Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice

LL.M. Student to Clerk for Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice

As Delaware Supreme Courtroom Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. was examining clerkship programs last drop, 1 resume jumped out at him as the two impressively exclusive and nonetheless acquainted in the way that, say, a scent of cologne can evoke reminiscences of men and women and sites previous.

Not like most clerkship candidates, who are likely to be J.D. college students, Leah Berger ’23 is an LL.M. candidate at the College of Virginia School of Regulation with an undergraduate legislation diploma from Oxford College. A collegiate powerlifter, she’s at first from Vermont, where Seitz’s two young children attended college and where Seitz owns a family vacation home. And her UVA Law pedigree introduced to head reminiscences of his father, who escaped the Terrific Melancholy by enrolling at UVA Legislation in 1937 and later on grew to become a outstanding jurist as well. Quickly, Berger had an job interview that sealed the offer.

The Delaware chance produced excellent sense for Berger, she explained.

“Many of my pursuits are in the company globe, and of class the Delaware courtroom is the biggest and most notable court in the condition the place most companies are incorporated, so there are a lot of fascinating situations coming via there,” Berger claimed. “I’m really intrigued in cross-border transactions and worldwide authorized get the job done, but I’m arranging to start out my occupation in the U.S., so the clerkship presents me a wonderful opportunity to get more exposure to the U.S. authorized process.”

A person of Berger’s professors, Mitu Gulati, experienced interviewed Seitz earlier this year about the evolution of contract regulation. For the duration of that conversation, Seitz pointed out that his father was a UVA Law graduate and he told Gulati to ship him promising UVA learners who would respect the opportunity to clerk in Delaware, a hotbed of corporate lawful disputes.

Gulati guided Berger toward the clerkship in Wilmington immediately after staying amazed by her get the job done in his International Financial debt Transactions training course.

The Delaware Supreme Court has fast appellate jurisdiction around the Delaware Court of Chancery, which is deemed possibly the preeminent business courtroom in the globe. Whilst the point out has just 1 million inhabitants, much more than 1.8 million enterprises are included in Delaware, together with much more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 corporations, in accordance to the Point out Division of Businesses. In 2021, 93{e538325c9cf657983df5f7d849dafd1e35f75768f2b9bd53b354eb0ae408bb3c} of U.S. original public offerings were registered in Delaware.

The 230-calendar year-old Courtroom of Chancery’s specialized small business skills is one of the things that encourages companies to incorporate in Delaware, together with the state’s favorable tax regulations and incorporation law, in accordance to Main Justice Seitz.

“The Delaware Common Company Legislation permits firms a great deal of adaptability in how they handle their affairs, and in many commercial contracts men and women pick Delaware courts and Delaware law to solve any disputes due to the fact the law is steady and the courtroom is specialized,” Seitz claimed.

The Court of Chancery has authored most modern-day U.S. company case regulation, according to the Division of Corporations’ web site, and any circumstance appeals would be reviewed by Seitz’s court.

In July, Twitter, which is included in Delaware, sued Elon Musk in the Court docket of Chancery to force him to adhere to as a result of with getting the organization. And Seitz’s court is listening to Tesla shareholders’ appeal in an unrelated go well with hard the carmaker’s acquisition of SolarCity.

Immediately after clerking at any court docket in Delaware, Seitz stated, “you’re a incredibly hot commodity to be hired wherever in the place to do company and industrial work due to the fact — even nevertheless numerous companies are not situated in Delaware — they all litigate listed here.” (Seitz also mentioned that there are Wilmington companies that seek the services of “almost exclusively UVA Regulation learners,” and at minimum 77 UVA Law graduates observe in Delaware, in accordance to alumni information.)

For his component, Seitz was excited to hire a graduate of his father’s (and cousin’s) alma mater. The elder Seitz was also a “Collins” and also a choose. Collins Seitz Sr. attended UVA Law by the kindness of a member of Delaware’s wealthy du Pont family. Fatherless and afflicted by the grinding poverty of the Melancholy era, Seitz Sr. moved to Charlottesville with all his belongings. They in good shape in just just one suitcase, Seitz explained.

Collins Seitz Sr.

Collins Seitz Sr. ’40 rose to main decide on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. Courtesy picture

Seitz Sr. graduated in 1940 and served as vice chancellor and then chancellor on the Court of Chancery. In the end he rose to main decide on the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

As a younger vice chancellor in the early 1950s, Seitz Sr. issued 3 rulings that led to the dismantling of segregation in Delaware. In a single, he enjoined the College of Delaware from thinking about race in admissions, and the trustees did not attraction. In two later circumstances, he ordered the Black plaintiffs be admitted to the all-white elementary and secondary educational facilities at issue in the case.

Appeals of Seitz’s latter two rulings were consolidated into the Brown v. Board of Schooling situation. Seitz’s orders have been the only two circumstances in the consolidated issue to be affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s final decision in Brown, which held that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional. (One more UVA alumnus — Elaine Jones ’70, UVA Law’s very first Black alumna — was so motivated by Seitz Sr.’s perform that his identify is woven into her portrait in Clay Corridor.)

In recognition of his contributions to the legal field, UVA awarded Seitz Sr. the Thomas Jefferson Basis Medal in Regulation in 1990, the best external honor the University bestows. He died in 1998.

The young Seitz mentioned he was motivated by his father’s general public service and values his dad’s viewpoint of UVA Law and its students. Right until Berger, he experienced in no way experienced a clerk from the Legislation Faculty, but he is open up to using the services of much more.

“My father liked UVA Law I have even retained his suitcase he took to UVA,” Seitz explained. “I advised [Gulati] to be on the lookout, mainly because I would appreciate to have more clerks from UVA.”