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Marquette University Fast Facts
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Feb. 25, 2020
MILWAUKEE — Hon. J. Travis Laster, vice chancellor on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, will present “Corporate Responsibility: Is Delaware Doing Something New?” for Marquette University Law School’s E. Harold Hallows Lecture on Tuesday, March 3, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lubar Center at Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St.
Laster’s lecture will survey the relevant legal landscape and look ahead to how Delaware courts in the future may approach the important question of the human dimension of corporate accountability. In 2019, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the pleading-stage dismissal of a “Caremark claim,” a mechanism that can be used to hold corporations accountable for harm. The term “Caremark claim” derives from a 1996 case which holds that directors can be found in breach of their duty of loyalty by knowingly failing to oversee the corporation’s affairs, particularly if they knowingly permit the corporation to violate the law.
Despite an ample supply of corporate scandals, attempts to bring Caremark claims so far generally have failed to gain any traction. Will the 2019 decision breathe life into the doctrine?
Laster has served as a vice chancellor on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware since 2009. He also serves as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University. Before his appointment to the bench, he was in private practice and specialized in litigation involving business entities and advising on transactional matters carrying a significant risk of litigation. A graduate of Princeton University, Laster received his J.D. and master’s degree from the University of Virginia, where he served on the Virginia Law Review and received the Law School Alumni Association Award for Academic Excellence.
This annual lecture remembers E. Harold Hallows, a graduate of Marquette University, who was a practicing lawyer in Milwaukee and a faculty member at Marquette Law School from 1930 to 1958. He then served as a justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1958 to 1974 and was the court’s chief justice for the last six of those years.
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