Corporate lawyer, former radio reporter nominated for Chancery post

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Fioravanti (Prickett, Jons photo)

Gov. John Carney on Friday announced plans to nominate Delaware attorney Paul Fioravanti, Jr. as Vice-Chancellor.

The Delaware Senate is expected to consider the governor’s nomination of Fioravanti this month.

“I am pleased to nominate Paul, whose litigation experience and judgment would serve our state well on the Court of Chancery – our country’s premier venue for corporate litigation,” said  Carney. “I look forward to the Senate considering his nomination.”

Since February 1999, Fioravanti has practiced with the Wilmington law firm Prickett, Jones & Elliott, P.A. As a partner of the firm, he focuses on corporate and commercial litigation in a variety of business matters, including mergers and acquisitions, fiduciary duty obligations, corporate governance, and LLC litigation. Previously, Fioravanti worked in broadcasting and held positions as a reporter and editor for KYW Newsradio and as a Washington, D.C. correspondent.

Born in Wilmington and a graduate of Salesianum High School, Fioravanti earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Delaware. Fioravanti earned his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

The nomination was quickly condemned by Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware.

“Earlier this morning, Justice Tamika Montgomery-Reeves was sworn in to serve on the Delaware Supreme Court, making history as the first African American to serve on the state’s highest court. It was an incredible victory for a state that is severely behind in ensuring its judiciary is truly representative of the people who live here.  

Justice Montgomery-Reeves’ swearing-in was a bold step forward to a brighter future for Delaware’s judicial system.

But the day has been darkened by Governor Carney’s nomination of Paul Fioravanti Jr.to replace Justice Montgomery-Reeves on the Delaware Chancery Court. Rather than actually creating diversity to the Delaware judiciary, Governor Carney simply transferred it from one court to another before turning around and replacing a diverse Chancery Court Justice with another member of Delaware’s elite old boys’ club.

Should he be confirmed, Mr. Fioravanti’s presence on the Chancery Court will mean that not a single member of the archaic and historically unaccountable institution will be a person of color, and just two will be women. Coming from a Delaware law firm with no black lawyers, Mr. Fioravanti’s nomination is yet another gross symptom of how mostly-white, high-powered law firms are pipelines for meaningful posts in the Delaware court system.”

The campaign by Citizens has been condemned. by Delaware State Bar Association President William Brady as a front for Philip Shawe who tangled with Chancery Court in a dispute over the sale of TransPerfect. Shawe prevailed in the case but has remained a critic of the state’s court system. 

Citizens recently announced plans for a another six-figure  PR campaign that calls for more diversity in the state’s judiciary.

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