We are often asked to seek an injunction in the Delaware Court of Chancery to prevent a perceived abuse by our client’s opponent in another tribunal. Those requests are not always far-fetched. After all, the Chancery Court will sometimes enjoin a litigant from proceeding in another forum in violation of a forum selection clause. And there are other examples of such Chancery Court intervention in other proceedings, such as to prevent vexatious plaintiffs from abusing process by repeatedly filing duplicative, meritless litigation. But those judicial interventions are rare.
Recently, in LG Electronics v. Interdigital Communications, Del. Ch. C.A. 9747-VCL (August 20, 2014), the Chancery Court declined to enjoin a litigant from violating a nondisclosure agreement in an arbitration proceeding. LG Electronics alleged that its opponent in that arbitration, Interdigital Communications, was using information that they had agreed to keep confidential and sought an injunction to prevent Interdigital from using those materials. The Chancery Court dismissed LG Electronics’ complaint, however. In doing so, the court invoked the McWane doctrine, which permits a Delaware court to dismiss an action when there is a prior-filed action involving similar issues between those parties in another jurisdiction that is able to afford “prompt and complete justice.”
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