CEO Can't Testify Via Live Video, Del. Court Rules

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By Michael Greene

March 8 — A request to permit a corporate officer to testify at trial by live video streaming was denied March 8 after the Delaware Chancery Court concluded that there wasn't good cause to allow the “awkward and inadequate substitute”.

In a trade secrets lawsuit filed against a former employee, plaintiff Taghleef Industries Inc. asked for permission for its chief executive officer to testify at trial by remote video feed. The company said its CEO was unable to be present “because of his obligations in London during that time.”

In a brief two-page opinion denying the request, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III said that the “unadorned statement” that the officer has conflicting obligations wasn't sufficient to justify allowing the accommodation. Specifically, Glasscock found that it wasn't clear what the conflicting obligations were or why they took precedence over the officer making a court appearance.

“It is the nature of trial appearance that it tends to be inconvenient and interfere with the obligations and pleasures of the daily life of witnesses called to testify,” Glasscock wrote.

However, the court added that should the officer truly be unavailable, the parties may videotape his deposition, which will be reviewed at trial in chambers.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Yin Wilczek at