Gov. Jack Markell has nominated Andre G. Bouchard to become the next Delaware Court of Chancery chancellor. Bouchard, the managing partner of Bouchard Margules & Friedlander, was widely viewed as the front-runner for the vacancy, created when former Chancellor Leo E. Strine Jr. was promoted to state Supreme Court chief justice.
Bouchard, Siga's lawyer in their Delaware Supreme Court appeal, now becomes Chancellor of the Court where Parsons is now making his decision as a result of having the case bounced back to him. He'll have to deal with Bouchard on a daily basis. I wonder if that will temper his intemperance. Probably not, but it's a nice thought.
The Delaware General Assembly unanimously voted to confirm attorney Andre G. Bouchard as chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery. Bouchard was confirmed after a seven-minute hearing where he was asked about his private investments and how cases are distributed among the court’s judges.
Only five members of the Senate’s Executive Committee attended the hearing. However, all 21 senators unanimously voted to confirm Bouchard after the Senate reconvened later this afternoon.
Bouchard was joined by his wife, son and fellow partners at his law firm, Bouchard Margules & Friedlander.
The hearing began with Bouchard describing his background, noting that he has been a Delaware resident since 1969. He called it a "great honor" to be nominated and detailed his qualifications for the position.
"The key thing I bring to this position is 28 years of practicing before this court," he said. "I have experienced the full range of what is handled by the Court of Chancery. It is a highly important position and one I would be very happy to have."
Bouchard said he was cognizant of the court's role in the lives of everyday Delaware residents as well as the state's corporate citizens.
Sen. F. Gary Simpson, R-Milford, started the questioning by asking Bouchard about his investments in public companies. The senator asked Bouchard if owning stock in companies that could appear before him as a judge violated the Delaware Code of Judicial Conduct.
Bouchard responded that judges typically have investment portfolios and that nothing in the state's judicial ethics code prohibited him from doing so. He added that if an entity appeared before him and he was a shareholder, he would recuse himself and disclose the potential conflict to both parties.
"I would recuse entirely or make the disclosure to the parties,” he said. “Out of an exercise of caution, I am prepared to do so."
Bouchard noted that he only owned stock in about 30 or 40 public companies and invested in a few funds, so it would be a very small fraction among all of Delaware’s corporate entities. He added that very few of the companies have been involved in cases before the Chancery Court.
"There are five vice chancellors and only one or two of the companies [I invested in] have had conflicts in the Court of Chancery over the last several years," Bouchard said, adding that he could always reassign a case to another judge if he was concerned about a conflict.
Bouchard said that in recent Chancery Court litigation, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster had to disclose that his brother-in-law worked for one of the parties. Neither party had any objection to Laster overseeing the case, after he acknowledged the relationship, according to Bouchard.
Sen. Gregory F. Lavelle, R-Sharpley, asked Bouchard to explain how a chancellor divides cases among the court's vice chancellors. Bouchard responded by explaining the procedural nature of case assignments.
Lavelle followed up by pondering if a party has ever challenged a chancellor’s decision to assign a case to a vice chancellor. Bouchard said that he had never seen a challenge raised during his time practicing before the Chancery Court and was unsure if it had ever occurred.
Big bid for Siga stock at $3.15... Could it be mine? Drods? "Hoss"? No, forget Hoss...He's friggin broke.
He simply makes pretend trades to see how he would of done, had he actually had some real money to invest!