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Delaware Chancery Court Judge Joseph Slights III set to retire

(CSU) According to a court statement on Thursday, Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights III, who was presiding over two cases filed by Tesla Inc. shareholders against CEO Elon Musk, will retire six years early, ending his 12-year term.

Slights’ retirement was announced by Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick in a letter to counsel in a legal fees coverage action against the farming lender and real estate corporation AG Resource Holdings LLC, informing them that the case will be moved to Slights’ successor.

McCormick could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Slights’ representatives and Delaware Gov. John Carney’s office did not immediately reply to requests for comment on the judge’s departure and prospective replacement.

The governor of Delaware usually appoints judges from a pool of replacements recommended by the state’s judicial nomination committee. The governor’s appointee is eventually confirmed by the state Senate.

After departing Delaware legal firm Morris James, Slights was sworn into his present position in March 2016. According to his Chancery Court profile, he was previously a judge on Delaware’s Superior Court and a litigator with firms Sidney Balick and Richards, Layton & Finger.

According to court papers, at least four of Slights‘ cases had been moved to different judges as of Thursday.

In a Wednesday filing, McCormick informed attorneys involved in a shareholder lawsuit contesting Tesla CEO Musk’s pay package that she would be taking over the matter immediately.

Slights are currently leading another Tesla shareholder lawsuit accusing Musk of pressuring the electric vehicle business to buy solar panel maker SolarCity in a $2.6 billion deal that is fraught with conflicts of interest.

It’s unclear how Slights’ retirement will impact the case, which is still awaiting a post-trial decision.

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