Diversity and Complaints About Bouchard’s Chancery Court in Delaware?
“Citizens for Pro-Business Delaware” has been posting a series of ads in the Delaware News Journal implicating law firms like Skadden Arps in what this activist group sees as unethical and suspicious behavior both locally and nationwide, especially involving what I see as its shady billing practices with TransPerfect, under the direction of Delaware’s Chancellor Andre Bouchard, who was once a partner at Skadden.
As a big skeptic about Bouchard’s integrity, having followed his decisions for over 4 years now, I am definitely for transparency and unbiased decisions in the Chancery Court. I frankly think Bouchard is a terrible representative of Delaware’s respected equity court and should be replaced now before it gets any worse. The Chancery Court is operating under a cloud of darkness as things are now. As I see it, folks, when you have a Chancellor who ignores obvious conflicts of interest and condones the appearance of impropriety, it must be fixed!
The Citizens group also harps on diversity. I don’t believe that someone should be appointed a judge or Chancellor, simply because they come from a certain background. That said, I do believe that regardless of their race or background, the most qualified candidate should be appointed, and right now the system is failing because we are only getting a select group from a very small pool of candidates.
Regardless, in my view, I am sure that Skadden Arps will eventually succumb to the pressure and find a few Ivy League, liberal African American Lawyers to fulfill the public demand for diversity, as will eventually the State of Delaware. Diversity is indeed a good thing, but personally, I believe, as do most of my friends and readers, that the best person for the job should be hired. That is my objective view and this old dog is not going to change his mind.
Please read the article below and tell me what you think. Thank you and best regards.
See the press release below:
June 08, 2020 01:36 PM Eastern Daylight Time
WILMINGTON, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware, a grassroots advocacy group, announced the latest in its series of print ads in the Delaware News Journal highlighting the conflicts of interest and failures of transparency that plague the Chancery Court and elite Delaware law firms like Skadden Arps.
The ad shines a light on Skadden Arps’ history of ethically dubious behavior both in Delaware and internationally, including their direct role in the Ukraine voter suppression scandal, the appalling lack of diversity in the firm’s Wilmington office.
The ad, in part, reads, “over the past 3 years, Skadden Arps has named 38 new partners, only 2 of whom are African-American. Of 66 attorneys in Skadden’s Wilmington office, there is just one Black partner and one Black associate.”
The ad comes on the heels of a letter penned by civil right activist Reverend Al Sharpton to Robert Saunders, the head of Skadden Arps’ Wilmington, DE office, calling for more diversity at the firm and others like it.
Skadden Arps has also been subject to criticism over the egregiously non-transparent billing practices practiced by Bob Pincus and Jennifer Voss in their role in the TransPerfect case, which has now cost the company over $14 million in unexplained fees.
Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign (CPBD) Manager Chris Coffey, “Over the past year, our members have been calling for Delaware to make progress in diversifying its court system, but to no avail. We said from the beginning we weren’t going to be afraid of calling out those we see responsible for perpetuating a rigged system the only helps a select few, and this ad campaign shows how serious we are about that.
“The inequities in Delaware’s justice system, caused by a court system run by mostly white judges is a direct result of firms like Skadden Arps denying opportunities to people of color. We can’t possibly expect the judges in our courts to accurately reflect the racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic diversity of this state if they aren’t given the opportunity to gain the relevant experience.
“Lacking diversity in our justice system is a national and systemic issue. But in a state that’s home to the country’s busiest corporate courts, where judges are handpicked to join an old boys’ club from top firms like Skadden, it’s critical we end the status quo, and Skadden needs to answer for their role in this corrupt system.”