Wilmington, Delaware- On June 1, 2021, Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights, III appointed Peter B. Ladig, co-chair of the Litigation Department at Bayard, P.A. as Discovery and Case Management Facilitator in the Viacom and CBS stockholder actions challenging the combination of the two companies. In these actions, stockholders of Viacom and CBS each allege that Shari Redstone was the controlling stockholder of both companies, and she used her control to cause the companies to merge on terms unfair to each. Since denial of motions to dismiss in both actions in December 2020 and January 2021, the parties have engaged in discovery and attempted to coordinate the discovery process between the two actions. Recently, the plaintiffs in each action and certain of the defendants in both actions filed motions for entry of a scheduling order and case coordination order. The order entered by Vice Chancellor Slights gives Pete broad authority to “assist the parties in reaching agreements regarding case management issues and the scope, scheduling and logistics of discovery, including the production of electronically stored information. Pete also has the authority to mediate disagreements regarding discovery, including the assertion of privilege, and, at the request of the Court, may act as a Special Discovery Master to make recommendations regarding discovery disputes under Court of Chancery Rule 144. This is the fourth time the Court of Chancery has appointed Pete to serve in a quasi-judicial role to address discovery and other disputes in complex public company stockholder litigation.
Pete represents stockholders and directors in corporate litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery in a wide range of matters, including advancement of legal fees and expenses, reviews of elections of directors, requests to inspect books and records, and claims for breaches of fiduciary duties. He also represents corporations and other entities in commercial disputes involving breach of contract claims and claims arising under the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware. He has served on the Rules Committee of the Court of Chancery since 2011 and as one of the principal drafters of Rule 5.1, which prescribes procedures related to public access and confidentiality of documents filed with the Chancery Court. Pete also uses his litigation experience to advise special committees of boards of directors in analyzing conflict transactions or investigating alleged wrongdoing, and he has represented several of each type of committee.
Pete has been recognized for his work in corporate and commercial litigation by publications including Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Delaware Super Lawyers®, Best Lawyers®, Delaware Today magazine, and Benchmark Litigation.
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Bayard, P.A. is a commercial law firm that also provides personal legal services. The firm combines the experience in complex legal transactions and litigation found in larger firms with the accessibility and personal attention typical of smaller firms. The firm’s mission is to understand its clients’ business or personal legal challenges without the inefficiencies associated with multiple layers of professionals. Bayard is committed to its clients’ success through innovative approaches to their most demanding business and legal challenges.