A Development in Alternative Dispute Resolution

On March 24, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in Strine v Delaware Coalition for Open Government, Inc., 2014 US Lexis 1984, and let stand a ruling from the Third Circuit (733 F3d 510). The Third Circuit ruling was a 2-1 decision.

The question before the Third Circuit was whether the public has a right of access under the First Amendment to Delaware’ s state-sponsored arbitration program. Chancellor Strine, then the presiding judge of Delaware Chancery Court and now chief judge of the Delaware Supreme Court, and the judges of the Delaware Chancery Court, who oversee the arbitration process, appealed from a judgment in favor of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government. The Third Circuit found that Delaware’s arbitration program was subject to the same rules governing civil trials and thus must be open to the public. The appellants argued that the First Amendment does not mandate a right of public access to state-sponsored arbitration proceedings.

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