| WILMINGTON, Del, June 6
WILMINGTON, Del, June 6 Delaware Gov. Jack
Markell nominated corporate lawyer Karen Valihura to become the
second woman to serve on the state's Supreme Court, which plays
a key role in interpreting the law that shapes Wall Street
Valihura, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and
Flom, will serve a 12-year term on the five-member court. She
will replace Jack Jacobs, who retires on June 24.
If confirmed by the Delaware Senate, Valihura, 51, will be
the third sitting Supreme Court justice to have spent time at
Skadden, which has been criticized for having too much influence
on Delaware courts. Chief Justice Leo Strine and Carolyn Berger,
the only woman to serve on the court, also worked at the firm.
A majority of U.S. companies that have publicly traded stock
incorporate in Delaware, which gives the companies access to the
state's courts and its law that governs relations between
management and shareholders.
Valihura's practice involves a range of corporate and
commercial litigation. She worked on behalf of the firm Cantor
Fitzgerald in the wake of the 2001 attack on the World Trade
Center, when more than 600 Cantor staff were killed.
Markell selected Valihura from a list of four candidates
from the Judicial Nominating Committee, according to a report in
the Wilmington News Journal.
The other candidates reportedly included Jan Jurden, a
Superior Court judge who was once seen as a front runner for a
Supreme Court seat. However, earlier this year she became
embroiled in controversy after it emerged that in 2009 she
sentenced an heir to the du Pont fortune to probation, rather
than prison, for raping his three-year-old daughter.
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by