Delaware Chancery Court Judge Joseph Slights III set to retire

The exterior of the Sussex County Court of Chancery in Georgetown, Delaware, U.S., June 9, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • Slights' exit was disclosed in a court filing this week
  • Delaware governor nominates Chancery judge replacements

(Reuters) - Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights III, who was presiding over two lawsuits by Tesla Inc. shareholders against CEO Elon Musk, will end his 12-year term six years early by retiring, according to a Thursday court filing.

Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick disclosed Slights' retirement in a letter telling counsel in a legal fees coverage case against farming lender and real estate firm AG Resource Holdings LLC that the matter would be reassigned to Slights’ successor.

McCormick was not immediately available for comment Thursday. Representatives for Slights and the office of Delaware Gov. John Carney did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the judge’s departure and his potential successor.

Delaware's governor generally nominates court appointees from a pool of replacements suggested by the state's judicial nominating committee. The state Senate later confirms the governor’s appointee.

Slights was sworn into his current role in March 2016 after leaving Delaware law firm Morris James. He was previously a judge on Delaware’s Superior Court and a litigator for firms Sidney Balick and Richards, Layton & Finger, according to his Chancery Court profile.

At least four of Slights’ cases have been reassigned to other judges as of Thursday, according to filings.

In a Wednesday filing, McCormick told attorneys in a shareholder suit challenging Tesla CEO Musk’s compensation package that she was taking over that case, effective immediately.

Slights is currently in charge of another Tesla shareholder suit accusing Musk of pushing the electric vehicle company to acquire solar panel maker SolarCity in a conflict-riddled $2.6 billion deal.

It is unclear how Slights’ retirement will affect that case, which is awaiting a post-trial ruling.

Read more:

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Musk trial asks the $2 billion question: Who controls Tesla?

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