In the case of Tang Capital Partners, LP v. Norton, C.A. No. 7476-VCG (Del. Ch. Aug. 31, 2012), the Court of Chancery reviewed Plaintiff’s request that the Court enter an order providing that its Memorandum Opinion of July 27, 2012 was intended to be issued pursuant to Chancery Rule 54(b), thereby constituting a partial final judgment.
The Court denied Plaintiff’s request. This case is notable in that the Court analyzed Rule 54(b) of the Court of Chancery Rules. The Court stated that Rule 54(b) allows the Court, in limited circumstances, to issue final judgments on less than all of the claims in an action such that those claims may be appealed before the resolution of the remainder of the litigation:
When more than 1 claim for relief is presented in an action . . . the Court may direct the entry of a final judgment upon 1 or more but fewer than all of the claims . . . only upon an express determination that there is not just reason for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of judgment. In the absence of such determination and direction, any order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all the claims . . . shall not terminate the action as to any of the claims . . . and the order or other form of decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims . . . .
The Court stated that Delaware practice militates against piecemeal appeals and requires the Court to exercise its discretion in granting a Rule 54(b) motion “sparingly.” The Court also stated that establishing a precedent whereby partial final judgments under Rule 54(b) could be “inferred” or “presumed” absent the explicit and specific findings required by the Rule would be contrary to Delaware policy and unduly burdensome on the Delaware Supreme Court.