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Breaking News in the TransPerfect Case: St. Francis-Gate
As you've been reading, I've been writing about what I see as obvious cronyism between Chancellor Bouchard and attorney Kevin Shannon of Potter Anderson here in the TransPerfect case in Delaware. The biased nature of Bouchard's decisions through out the case are real and unquestionable.
It's not easy to dig up new information and I don't exactly have the tools at my disposal that an investigative journalist a major media outlet has, but I have just learned about the most insidious tie I've learned of to date between Chancellor Bouchard and Shannon (the lead attorney for co-CEO Liz Elting of TransPerfect) that, of course, was never disclosed before trial. I call it "St. Francis-Gate."
Records have already shown Chancellor Bouchard, while in private practice, not only worked with Kevin Shannon on several matters over the years beyond the infamous Disney case. But perhaps most shockingly to me, Bouchard, when he was a senior officer on the Board of Directors at St. Francis Hospital, hand-picked Kevin Shannon for the prestigious Board seat vacancy that he left, when Bouchard had to give up his seat to become a judge. Let me tell you , this is breaking news, and it stinks.
It is no coincidence that Kevin Shannon, who has been bestowed windfall after windfall by Bouchard from the Chancellor's chair, was moved up to take Bouchard's prestigious St. Francis board seat vacancy.
The law is clear: Delaware's Judicial Code of conduct requires that a judge is to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to the litigating parties including what could amount to the appearance of impropriety so that any of the parties can exercise their right to move for the judge's recusal. This statute was designed to protect not only the litigants but the integrity of the judicial system in Delaware.
Want more proof? Relationship Science is an independent site that tracks people with common business and social interests. Part of their slogan is: "We bring science to the art of business relationships." Check out the science of Kevin Shannon.
Relationship Science only connects Shannon to just 34 other people and, among his closest 34 personal connections, you guessed it, Chancellor Andre Bouchard: Let me take a small victory lap for uncovering St. Francis-Gate and the Bouchard-Shannon Board Seat, seemingly payola connection. I have been building reliable information sources in Delaware for over 50 years, and I want to thank them for providing me with vital leads to run down. I knew there was something wrong here, and the more I dig, the more it becomes painfully obvious that Bouchard's agenda does not appear to be justice.
Clearly Bouchard and Shannon have a long history of close connections together and in my learned and informed opinion, if we were in any other State but Delaware, this Chancellor never would have stayed on this case. The blatant disregard for ethics and corruption in Chancery is beyond belief, as I see it! Although now living in Palm Beach, I will always be a concerned Delaware citizen at heart. I am indeed concerned about the reputation of the Delaware Court System.
This Chancellor, also as I see it, unethically did not disclose his friendship or former business connections with Shannon. He even made a public appearance with, and co-paneled together with Shannon, on a New Orleans legal boondoggle, during the decision stages of the litigation in the TransPerfect case last Spring.
Justice Leo Strine
So Leo Strine picks Bouchard to fill his Chancellor vacancy, in turn Bouchard picks Shannon to fill his St. Francis Board seat vacancy. According to various sources, Bouchard was socializing with both Shannon and Judge Leo Strine (who affirmed Bouchard and ran out Shawe's attorney team clock at oral argument) at the Tulane legal boondoggle last year. By the way, I hear Kevin Shannon is not appearing on the Tulane panel for the first time in recent history, so this too could be tacit admission of his misdeeds last year?
Bouchard never disclosed his relationship, hoping an investigative writer like me would not find it. Well I've been sniffing and I'm smelling smoke here.
Then, predictably he proceeded to rule against Philip Shawe, although zero witnesses testified against him, in the most draconian rulings ever made in U.S. history. According to my sources, Bouchard did not allow email evidence on the company's public server of a plot to manufacture deadlock by Elting and her attorneys, to be presented in Court.
As seen below the Code of Judicial conduct is clear.
DELAWARE JUDGES' CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT 2008 CANON
" 1. A judge should uphold the integrity, independence and impartiality of the judiciary. RULE 1.1 Compliance with the Law. A judge should respect and comply with the law, including this Code of Judicial Conduct.
Comment: Deference to the judgments and rulings of courts depends upon public confidence in the integrity and independence of judges. The integrity and independence of judges depends in turn upon their acting without fear or favor. Although judges should be independent, they should comply with the law, as well as the provisions of this Code. Public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary is maintained by the adherence of each judge to this responsibility. Conversely, violation of this Code diminishes public confidence in the judiciary and thereby does injury to the system of government under Rule l
RULE 1.2 Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary.
(A) A judge should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.
Comment: Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by irresponsible or improper conduct by judges. A judge must avoid all impropriety and appearance of impropriety. A judge must expect to be the subject of constant public scrutiny. A judge must therefore accept restrictions that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen, and should do so freely and willingly. The prohibition against behaving with impropriety or the appearance of impropriety applies to both the professional and personal conduct of a judge. Because it is not practicable to list all improper acts, the proscription is necessarily cast in general terms that extend to conduct by judges that is harmful, although not specifically mentioned in the Code. Actual improprieties under this standard include violations of law, court rules or other specific provisions of this Code.
The test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds, with knowledge of all the relevant circumstances, that a reasonable inquiry would disclose, a perception that the judge's ability to carry out judicial responsibilities with integrity, impartiality and competence is impaired. In conducting such activities, the judge should act in a manner consistent with this Code.
(B) An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining and enforcing high standards of conduct, and should personally observe those standards, so that the integrity, independence and impartiality of the judiciary may be preserved."
It's time for the legislature to appoint a special commission to investigate this whole situation. It is clear to me that this case was poisoned for the Shawes before they even walked in the courtroom. This explains why Kramer Levin, Elitng's primary counsel in New York chose as their Delaware counsel, Kevin Shannon since they had all served as co-counsel in the Disney case, one of the biggest cases in the history of Delaware and of course Bouchard was co-counsel as well.
Delaware's reputation was called into question this week by an article that came out on March 20 in The Wall Street Journal. The article, "Dole and Other Companies Sour on Delaware as Corporate Haven," notes that Delaware's business-friendly reputation is no longer justified. The last thing Delaware needs now is the Chief Chancellor being allowed to engage in unchecked judicial action which in my opinion can easily be construed as corruption. The judicial branch is the least democratic of all of our government, and a recent poll showed 70% of Delawareans disagree that the Court should have the power to force the sale of a profitable company.
I again call upon the legislature to act.
Please note new e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org