| WILMINGTON, Del., June 9
WILMINGTON, Del., June 9 The only woman to serve
on Delaware's Supreme Court, Carolyn Berger, announced her plans
to retire from the key corporate venue on Sept. 1, according to
an email from the justice.
Berger's announced departure comes after Governor Jack
Markell said on Friday he was appointing Karen Valihura as his
nominee to become the second woman on the five-member court.
Valihura, if confirmed by Delaware's Senate, will replace
Jack Jacobs, who will be leaving later this month.
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.
The Delaware Supreme Court has ruled in the past year that
Activision Blizzard Inc could proceed with its $8.2 billion deal
with Vivendi SA and that Apollo Tyre Ltd did not have to close
its $2.5 billion bid for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
Berger has been on the Supreme Court since 1994 and her term
was to end in 2018. Prior to the Supreme Court she served on the
Court of Chancery from 1984 to 1994.
Former Chief Justice Myron Steele retired last year, which
set in motion a series of major changes in Delaware's courts.
Leo Strine, chief judge of the nationally prominent Court
of Chancery, the first stop for corporate disputes, was elevated
to replace Steele. Andre Bouchard left his private practice in
Delaware to replace Strine.
The two remaining Supreme Court justices from the Steele
era, Randy Holland and Henry duPont Ridgely, have both been on
Delaware courts long enough to qualify for full retirement
benefits. As a result, there has been speculation in the
Delaware legal community that they may decide to retire before
their terms end in 2023, for Holland, and 2016 for Ridgely.
(Reporting by Tom Hals; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)