Academic journal article Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

THE SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL ALBERT A. DESTEFANO LECTURE ON CORPORATE, SECURITIES, & FINANCIAL LAW AT THE FORDHAM CORPORATE LAW CENTER &dagger/THE ROLE OF APPELLATE DECISION-MAKING IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF DELAWARE CORPORATE LAW-A VIEW FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BENCH

Academic journal article Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

THE SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL ALBERT A. DESTEFANO LECTURE ON CORPORATE, SECURITIES, & FINANCIAL LAW AT THE FORDHAM CORPORATE LAW CENTER &dagger/THE ROLE OF APPELLATE DECISION-MAKING IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF DELAWARE CORPORATE LAW-A VIEW FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BENCH

Article excerpt

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

CAROLINE GENTILE: Good evening. I am Caroline Gentile, and I am one of the founding directors of the Fordham Corporate Law Center. Together with Dean Diller and my colleague Sean Griffith, the current Director of the Corporate Law Center,1 I am delighted to welcome you to the Seventeenth Annual Albert A. DeStefano Lecture on Corporate, Securities, and Financial Law. This lecture, like the preceding sixteen lectures, would not be possible without the generosity of the DeStefano family and Becker, Ross, Stone, DeStefano, & Klein, LLP.2

In many ways, Mr. DeStefano represents the best that Fordham Law School offers to its students, to the practicing bar, and to the community. He began his studies as a part-time student working during the day. By the time he finished his time here, he was a member of the Fordham Law Review3 and the top student in his class. While practicing corporate law with a specialty in mergers and acquisitions, he returned to the Law School as a tremendously popular adjunct professor, sharing his knowledge and expertise with hundreds of students.4 Throughout his entire life he remained active in innumerable charitable endeavors.5

We are honored to have with us here tonight his son, Paul DeStefano, a graduate of Fordham University, and his granddaughter, Katherine DeStefano, a recent graduate of our law school.

Like the proceeding lectures, tonight's lecture will be published in the Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law, which is the single most-cited specialty journal in banking and finance and among the top ten specialty journals in corporations and business associations.6

We are grateful for the work of all of our editors, particularly Shrisha Juneja, this year's Editor-in-Chief, and Giselle Sedano, this year's Symposium Editor.7

We also owe a great debt of gratitude to Vera Korzun, a member of our adjunct faculty and the Administrative Director of the Corporate Law Center,8 for marshaling all of the information and materials for this lecture. For all the preparations this evening, we are indebted to both Julian Phillippi, our Conference Manager, and to Shanelle Holley, our Conference Administrator.

As a result of all these commitments from so many people over so many years, we are tremendously fortunate to have the Honorable Karen L. Valihura with us this evening.

When announcing her nomination to the Delaware Supreme Court, Governor Markeli described Justice Valihura as "an attorney of uncommon skill, intelligence, and integrity, who has earned a welldeserved reputation for excellence in her twenty-five years of private practice."9 During her investiture ceremony, Governor Markeli stated that "she represents the best of the legal community in Delaware."10

Prior to her appointment to the Delaware Supreme Court, Justice Valihura was a partner in the Wilmington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.11 Her practice encompassed a wide range of highprofile litigation involving complex commercial and corporate issues, including mergers and acquisitions, fiduciary duties of directors, and federal and state securities fraud claims as well as e-commerce issues and unfair business practices.12

For example, she represented the NASDAQ stock market in connection with its acquisition of Instinet Group, Inc., including the related appraisal proceeding, and she was the lead counsel representing Cantor Fitzgerald in one of the longest trials in the Delaware Court of Chancery.13

Among other business organizations, Justice Valihura served on the Corporation Law Council of the Corporate Law Section of the Delaware bar and on the advisory board of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance.14

In addition to establishing the Valihura Scholarship Fund at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, from which she received her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1988,15 Justice Valihura's charitable endeavors include serving as a member of the board of directors for the Delaware Special Olympics. …

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