Delaware Chancery Court’s Andre Bouchard Uses Delaware Bar Association to do an End Run Around Ethics Rules
Just when you think you’d seen it all! The Chancellor won’t answer allegations against him, because he legally can’t at this point — but, in my view, seemingly uses “The Delaware Bar Association” to talk for him at a press conference, citing Ethics Rules.
What baloney, in my educated opinion! If Ethics Rules truly prevent him from answering the charges against him, they would certainly prevent him from using his friends at the Delaware Bar Association to make statements as an open proxy for him? Regardless, we all have our 1st amendment rights and the right to openly express our opinions.
I watched the press conference video (I appreciated the Bar’s permission to attend, however, I was unable to) and while Bar Association’s President, Bill Brady talked about the Citizen’s group being a “fraud,” there are many concerned Delaware citizens wanting transparency and modernization in Delaware’s Chancery Court. He did not address those concerns. He said the Citizen’s ‘call for diversity” was “disingenuous” but said nothing to address what many consider to be a very real problem in the Delaware court system.
If I had been there, I would have asked some questions that bother me and many of my readers:
1) What about that Delaware Supreme Court Justice Karen Valihura gave a strong, logical, dissenting opinion, calling Bouchard’s rulings “Too far too fast” and comparing the decision to forcibly sell Shawe’s private property stock to a “Takings” (“Takings” Clause of the 5th Amendment) illegal under the U.S. Constitution and Delaware Law?
2) What about the various conflicts of interest with Bouchard and the people he employed — former business partners, and friends. What about public appearances with the Plaintiff, Elizabeth Elting’s attorney, Kevin Shannon, during the decision making phase of this litigation in New Orleans at a Boondoggle event?
3) What about the unitemized billings, all approved by Bouchard, coming from former business partner Robert Pincus in his capacity as the appointed Custodian? Yet the company is not allowed to see the bills??
The rubs here are the appearances of impropriety that the people of Delaware deserve to have addressed. The Bar Association has exercised its 1st Amendment rights, and so have “Citizens for Pro Business Delaware”.
Regardless, if this wasn’t enough drama, Bouchard, apparently can make his statement not only through the Delaware Bar Association on his behalf, but through using his power in the Court Room. The latest is Bouchard is using tax-payer resources to have a “Contempt” Hearing against TransPerfect on October 10th. Why? I say I believe that it’s to get his Skadden Arps buddies paid more and more from TransPerfect.
Crazy times folks! What’s your view? Please read the WDEL article below by Mike Phillips.
Your feedback is always welcome.
JUDSON Bennet, Coastal Network
Fallout from TransPerfect legal case continues
Published Oct 2, 2019 at 10:59 am | Updated Oct 2, 2019 at 11:54 am
Members of the Delaware State Bar Association, including current and former members of the judiciary, attend news conference in support of Chancellor Andre Bouchard.
Members of the Delaware State Bar Association (DSBA) are showing support for the state’s Chancery Court and, in particular, Chancellor Andre Bouchard.
Bouchard has been the target of an ad campaign by the organization Citizens for a Pro Business Delaware which has questioned the Delaware courts’ transparency and diversity.
The DSBA held a news conference on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, to fire back.
“We’re trying to set the record straight so that people will have confidence in our courts,” said DSBA President Bill Brady.
Brady said the group behind the ad is nothing more than a front for TransPerfect CEO Philip Shawe.
“He has an almost unlimited amount of resources at his disposal and he has used that to fund a false and misleading smear campaign against the Court and Chancellor.”
Bouchard oversaw the TransPerfect case which led to the company’s sale, but through which Shawe ended up owning the company outright.
“We believe that all that’s left is Mr. Shawe’s dissatisfaction with the Chancellor’s decision and with the Chancellor himself,” said Brady.
Citizens for a Pro Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey said it’s the DSBA that has failed to respond to his group’s criticism about the courts.
Coffey said their concerns include not using a random selection process for judges on cases known as wheel spin; no audio or video recording in the Chancery Court; and, the itemizing of invoices by court custodians.
“If Delaware doesn’t get ahead of some of this stuff, they will lose out on very important revenue that pays for their cops, their teachers, their firefighters, their roads.”
Bouchard has been mentioned as a candidate to replace retiring state Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo Strine.
Coffey said Bouchard is not what the courts need.
“Another very, very, very, wealthy, rich white guy to be Chief Justice at a time where Delaware has made strides on transparency, we just don’t think he’s the right person for the job,” said Coffey.
“The groups’ recent call for diversity on the court is disingenuous,” said Brady, “and a last gasp effort to legitimize its agenda and methods.”
Strine announced earlier this year he was going to retire from the bench after his successor was named and confirmed.