NEW YORK, May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Philip R. Shawe Scholarship Competition, sponsored by Phil Shawe, Co-CEO of TransPerfect, the world's largest privately held provider of language and technology solutions, today announced that the contest has completed its first round of qualifications and narrowed the field of over 240 entrants to top the finalists. The briefs will now go to the four-judge panel for conclusive review, scoring and determination of the front-runners who will participate in oral arguments at a mock hearing and ceremony in New York City.
The top entries include students and student teams from the following schools: Fordham Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Suffolk University School of Law, University of Florida Levin College of Law, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, University of North Dakota, University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Yale Law School.
TransPerfect Co-CEO, Phil Shawe, said, "We would like to thank each and every one of the participants, as well as their respective schools. And, of course, we'd like to give a special note of congratulations to those schools and student teams who made it to the finals out of an outstanding field of submissions."
Shawe launched the competition to award grants totaling $100,000 ($65K, $25K and $10K) to the top three law school students (or student teams) who could prepare the most compelling argument to the United States Supreme Court for reversing the decision of the TransPerfect case in the Delaware Chancery Court that seeks to force the sale of the highly profitable company against the wishes of 2 out of 3 shareholders. The decision creates a non-negotiated "windfall" for one of the three shareholders who wishes to exit/sell the business. Participants from law schools across the U.S. submitted their briefs, the submission were made (and will remain) anonymous for scoring purposes, and a panel of corporate attorneys managed by the Lateral Link Group, helped narrow the field to the top selections.
The competition was open to all second- and third-year law school students, and focused on the TransPerfect case, (In re: TransPerfect Global, Inc) in which the Delaware Chancery Court's ordered has been challenged on unconstitutional, including "due process" and "takings clause" which forbids the government from seizing private property and assigning it from one private party to the other. The students addressed the constitutional implications of the Delaware court expanding its powers under the decision, using the "deadlock" rationale to force the sale of the profitable and thriving industry leader. The finalists will now be ranked by the panel of distinguished judges and jurists with extensive experience in constitutional law and business/corporate law in the United States.
The judges who will select the winners are: Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, (Ret) Senior Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, Justice Melvin Schweitzer, (Ret) New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division, Professor Alan Dershowitz (also legal counsel to Philip and Shirley Shawe), and Joseph D. Hansen, former Director of Interns for Justice Schweitzer, New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division. This panel will be first deciding the top 3 candidates, and then awarding 1st, 2nd and 3rd place based on the briefs as well as an accompanying mock oral arguments to the distinguished panel.
Justice Schweitzer said, "With the first phase of the competition now concluded, the law professionals from Lateral Link have read and scored the briefs to narrow the field to the best of the briefs submitted. Now, we, the judges of the finalist entries anxiously await our role. Consistent with the first round of judging, we will also be receiving the contending briefs 'blind' -- with no schools or names showing -- so that our respective judgments will be solely confined to the arguments, the presentation, and the briefs. We look forward to focusing our sole attention on the written product generated by the contestants for this next phase of this exciting endeavor."
Professor Dershowitz said, "This case is about lack of due process and unconstitutional takings, and I am thrilled that these students have developed cogent arguments supporting the facts. We are excited for the results, and hope it inspires those looking at this case from a legal perspective to see the facts clearly as well."
In 2016, Delaware Chancellor Andre Bouchard decided for Elizabeth Elting, TransPerfect's co-CEO, and it was appealed in January 2017 to the Delaware Supreme Court. The appeal affirmed Chancellor Bouchard with one justice of five dissenting, based on Delaware Law. The competition was established to help stir the next generation of great legal minds to answer the complex questions raised by such an unorthodox and controversial decision. In the history of the United States, a successful company that is not under threat of default or bankruptcy and whose founders' shares bear no notice of potential required redemption (like public company stock certificates) has been forced into auction by the courts, against the wish of majority of its shareholders.
The issues surrounding this case, and Bouchard's novel application of the law, is expected to be heard in the both Federal Court first, and will be the subject of a petition to the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari if a consensual solution is not reached.
Should the Case Reach the Supreme Court, experts expect it to challenge the controversial Kelo Decision which currently defines immanent domain-type powers of government and its ability to seize private property.
Visit philshawescholarship.com or lawschoolchallenge.com
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SOURCE Philip Shawe