Dozens of Top Law Professors Call for End to Ads Attacking Bouchard, Delaware Courts

Chancellor Andre Bouchard (left) spoke at a Delaware Law Issues Update conference at the University of Delaware in December, 2015.

The following letter was signed by 19 leading law school professors and 47 corporate lawyers from Delaware and around the country regarding the recent ads critical of the Delaware judiciary and Chancellor Andre Bouchard.

The letter follows a scathing denunciation in September by Delaware State Bar Association president William Patrick Brady of “false and misleading” ads targeting the state’s world-renowned courts and designed to intimidate the Chancellor.

Related: Bar Association Slams Smear Campaign Trashing State Chancellor Bouchard

Here is the open letter:

As individuals who have decades of experience practicing or teaching Delaware corporate law, we have long recognized that the Delaware Court of Chancery is an invaluable and indispensable contributor to the national and even international renown that Delaware’s judicial system has earned. To achieve and sustain that reputation for fairness and excellence, the individuals who serve as judges on the Court of Chancery and Delaware’s other courts make extraordinary personal and financial sacrifices to engage in that public service.

It is therefore dismaying that a vindictive litigant in the Court of Chancery, unhappy with a factually supported and legally well-reasoned decision of the Court, has chosen to engage in a spiteful personal vendetta against the judge who made that decision.

That is precisely what has happened to Chancellor Andre Bouchard, who continues to be the target of baseless public attacks by a group calling itself “Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware” – whose membership and financial support, despite the group’s claimed solicitude for transparency, remain undisclosed, although it seems apparent that the moving force behind the organization is TransPerfect and its owner Philip Shawe.

In our experience, the Delaware Court of Chancery, and Chancellor Bouchard, in particular, have been models of integrity and fairness. The “Citizens” group’s effort to depict Chancellor Bouchard and the Court as “corrupt” and out of touch is grossly unfair and is an evident product of personal animus rather than the group’s professed concern for fairness and justice.

We therefore call on the “Citizens” group to cease its baseless public attacks on Chancellor Bouchard and to refrain from further disparagement so that the Court of Chancery can continue to promote the values of integrity and public service that its judicial officers have so consistently exhibited.

[contact person: Prof. Lawrence A. Hamermesh, [email protected]]

Prof. Afra Afsharipour, UC Davis School of Law
Prof. Lucian A. Bebchuk, Harvard Law School
Prof. John C. Coffee, Jr., Columbia Law School
Prof. Jill E. Fisch, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Prof. Sean J. Griffith, Fordham University School of Law
Prof. Joseph A. Grundfest, Stanford Law School
Prof. Lawrence A. Hamermesh, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Prof. Henry Hu, University of Texas School of Law
Prof. Jonathan Lipson, Temple University Beasley School of Law
Prof. Ann M. Lipton, Tulane University Law School
Prof. Robert T. Miller, University of Iowa College of Law
Prof. Frank Partnoy, University of California Berkeley Law School
Prof. Elizabeth Pollman, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Prof. Paul L. Regan, Widener University Delaware Law School
Prof. Hillary Sale, Georgetown University Law Center
Prof. Randall S. Thomas, Vanderbilt University Law School
Prof. Robert B. Thompson, Georgetown University Law Center
Prof. Urska Velikonja, Georgetown University Law Center
Prof. J.W. Verret, George Mason University School of Law

Corinne E. Amato, Prickett Jones & Elliott, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware
Michael J. Barry, Grant & Eisenhofer, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware
Andrew R. Brownstein, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York, New York
Douglas K. Chia, Soundboard Governance, Princeton, New Jersey
William H. Clark, Jr., Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nathan A. Cook, Grant & Eisenhofer P.A., Wilmington, Delaware
Karl John Ege, Perkins Coie LLP, Seattle, Washington
Jay W. Eisenhofer, Grant & Eisenhofer P.A., Wilmington, Delaware
Adam O. Emmerich, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York, New York
Andrea M. Farley, Troutman Sanders LLP, Atlanta, Georgia
Paul A. Fioravanti, Jr., Prickett Jones & Elliott, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware
Henry E. Gallagher, Jr., Connolly Gallagher LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
Ellisa Opstbaum Habbart, The Delaware Counsel Group LLC, Wilmington, Delaware
James J. Hanks, Jr., Venable LLP, Baltimore, Maryland
Richard D. Heins, Ashby & Geddes P.A., Wilmington, Delaware
Kurt M. Heyman, Heyman, Enerio, Gattuso & Hirzel, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
Keith F. Higgins, Ropes & Gray LLP, Boston, Massachusetts
Samuel T. Hirzel, Heyman, Enerio, Gattuso & Hirzel, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
James D. Honaker, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
David A. Jenkins, Smith, Katzenstein & Jenkins LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
Andrew M. Johnston, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
William D. Johnston, Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
Stanley Keller, Locke Lord LLP, Boston, Massachusetts
Igor Kirman, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York, New York
William M. Lafferty, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
John H. Lawrence, Jr., Shipman & Goodwin LLP, Hartford, Connecticut
Simon M. Lorne, Millennium Management LLC, New York, New York
Christine M. Mackintosh, Grant & Eisenhofer P.A., Wilmington, Delaware
David B.H. Martin, Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, D.C.
David C. McBride, Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
Ryan A. McLeod, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York, New York
Jim Melville, Kaplan, Strangis and Kaplan, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota
Theodore N. Mirvis, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York, New York
Robert Mundheim, Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York, New York
Norman M. Monhait, Rosenthal, Monhait & Goddess, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware
Kenneth J. Nachbar, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
Elena C. Norman, Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
Trevor S. Norwitz, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York, New York
John F. Olson, (retired partner), Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Washington, D.C.
Thomas E. Rutledge, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, Louisville, Kentucky
William D. Savitt, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York, New York
David M. Silk, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York, New York
Laurie A. Smiley, Alta Advisers Ltd., London, England
Gilchrist Sparks, III, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, Wilmington, Delaware (of counsel)
Norman Veasey, Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware
Patricia O. Vella, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
R, Daniel Witschey, Jr., Bracewell LLP, Houston, Texas


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