Widener Law welcomes students from around the country for Vale Competition
Public Relations - Published: March 13, 2014
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Widener Law is pleased to welcome students from 21 schools to the Delaware campus for our 26th-annual national moot court competition, which begins Thursday.

The much-anticipated Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court Competition will run four days, ending with a final round at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 16.

Widener welcomes students from the following schools:
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Brooklyn Law School
Capital University Law School
Florida State University College of Law
Georgetown Law Center
Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center
Marquette University Law School
Mercer University School of Law
Seton Hall University
Temple University Beasley School of Law
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
University of Cincinnati College of Law
University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law
University of North Carolina School of Law
University of New Hampshire School of Law
University of Oklahoma College of Law
University of Pennsylvania Law School
University of Wisconsin Law School
Tulane University Law School
William & Mary Law School
William Mitchell College of Law
The competition introduces participants to the cutting edge of corporate law, an experience Widener is uniquely positioned to provide as Delaware’s law school. The school draws on the resources of its Institute of Delaware Corporate and Business Law – and on the depth of the state’s distinguished corporate legal community – to provide an unparalleled experience for the law students who travel here to compete. The event is hosted by Widener Law’s Moot Court Honor Society under the direction of the society’s executive board and competition chairperson, Olivia Italiano.

The Distinguished Scholar Lecture is an integral part of the competition and the society is honored to have as this year’s speaker Simon Lorne, vice chairman and chief legal officer of Millennium Management LLC, a hedge fund management company with more than $17 billion in assets under management. He is co-director of Stanford Law School’s Directors’ College, the United States’ premiere institution for the education of independent directors of publicly held corporations, and is an adjunct professor at the New York University Law School and the NYU Stern School of Business. He is the former general counsel of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lorne will deliver the speech, “Constituency Directors and the Objects of Their Attention,” on Friday, March 14 at 4 p.m. in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom in the Main Law Building. All are welcome.

Lorne will also help judge the final round of the competition. Other members of the final round bench will include Delaware Supreme Court Justices Jack B. Jacobs and Henry duPont Ridgely and Delaware Court of Chancery Vice Chancellors J. Travis Laster and John W. Noble.

Lawrence A. Hamermesh, the Ruby R. Vale Professor of Corporate and Business Law and director of the school’s Institute of Delaware Corporate and Business Law, authored the competition problem. Like two cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court involving contraception insurance coverage mandates on employers under the Affordable Care Act, the competition problem presents questions about the ability of a corporation to invoke and promote the religious beliefs of its stockholders. Unlike the Supreme Court cases, however, which involve for-profit corporations, the Vale competition problem involves a public benefit corporation incorporated under Delaware’s new public benefit corporation statute.

The student competitors will argue an appeal from an order by the Court of Chancery preliminarily enjoining the consummation of a merger between that public benefit corporation (Praise Video, PBC), and New Hope Publishing Co. In the merger, Praise Video stockholders would receive $41 per share in cash, but Mercer Christian Publishing Co. had offered $50 per share in cash, almost 20 percent more. The board of directors of Praise Video rejected Mercer’s financially superior proposal because they concluded that a merger with New Hope better served Praise Video’s public benefit purpose of promoting Mennonite values, which is the public purpose stated in the company’s charter.

The competition is named for Ruby R. Vale, who lived in Milford, Del. and practiced law in Philadelphia. He was a well-respected corporate practitioner and a prolific writer who penned law review articles, books about legal philosophy, justice and the foundations of society. He is best remembered for his multi-volume work, “Vale's Pennsylvania Digest.” Vale died in 1961.

The law school is grateful to the Vale family and for the opportunities their generosity has made possible, including this national competition.