OUTRAGE in Delaware's Chancery Court
Controversial TransPerfect Global case
The controversial TransPerfect Global case is still in the Delaware Court of Chancery. This outrageous situation gets more and more astounding as each ruling is adjudicated. The blatant unfairness and obvious bias in my opinion by the presiding Chief Chancellor, Andre Bouchard towards one party over the other and the financial damage this Judge has done to this viable company through his determinations is beyond remarkable.
The use of his judicial discretion under the law considering his appearances of impropriety involving cronyism, a dearth of evidence, and in effect his legislation from the bench by his rulings contrary to established Delaware law, are indeed frightening and disconcerting. I have been asked by members of my network and one reporter why I’ve taken this on. The answer is that whenever there is, in my educated opinion, an obvious and insidious case of injustice involving politics or government, which I can back up by the facts, especially in my home state of Delaware, then I’m going to write about it. I’ve become a pundit of sorts and it is an enjoyable hobby. My Coastal Network, which reaches over 6,000 people through personal e-mails and now Facebook is an informative vehicle that has been extremely effective over the years.
One of the best things about being an American is being able to use my First Amendment rights of free speech, especially since I like to write. Believe me there are those in this country who would love to take that away from us, and we have to be eternally vigilant in all matters of our constitution.
That said, I first noticed Chancellor Andre Bouchard in regard to his involvement with the Register of Wills office in Sussex County, Delaware where he used his Judicial power under the law to appoint two apparently incompetent chief deputies who couldn't properly do the job, ignoring the recommendations of the elected Register of Wills, the Honorable Cindy Green, thus thrusting this important office into chaos. His arrogance and disrespect of the elected Register of Wills by making political appointments instead of the most qualified, made me wonder then about his objectivity.
Chancellor Bouchard further led the charge in the Delaware legislature to do away with this office, putting everything involving wills under the Court of Chancery. This would have taken away the personal service in Sussex County for its citizens and ultimately costing the Sussex County residents more money. Fortunately, the legislature chose to not implement this action. Regardless, after that I started watching Bouchard’s Chancery Court cases. The TransPerfect case caught my attention. Since then, I have followed it in detail, investigated and researched those involved, gleaned expert legal opinions, spoken with employees of the company, read all the court documents, and have ascertained that something is radically wrong with the whole deal.
The two founders and stockholders, Phillip Shawe and Elizabeth Elting, are entwined in a legal battle that is rocking the corporate world. Elting wants to sell and Shawe does not. Shawe is willing settle out of court, Elting refuses to settle, using the bias of the court to hopefully glean more money in her pocket. Chancellor Bouchard’s decision to sell this viable company—clearly based without merit or proper evidence, creates huge concerns for those who are incorporated in Delaware and those who might choose to do so in the future. If Delaware loses its corporate franchise, it could lose millions of dollars, plummeting it into the red so deep, it would never recover.
Reiterating the facts, under Delaware business law, a company is not supposed to be sold unless there is evidence of irreparable harm. TransPerfect has shown a profit for the past 24 years, and now makes $500,000,000 a year — no harm here at all. Regardless, the Chancellor does have the authority to force the sale of a company when there are disagreements if there are only two stockholders. Folks, TransPerfect has *three stockholders* and Bouchard is making new law here according to my legal experts. Bouchard has a long-term friendship and business connection with Elizabeth Elting’s lawyer, Kevin Shannon; they worked on the Disney case together 20 years ago, and served on an educational panel together in New Orleans *during the decision stage of this trial.* Andre Bouchard should have recused himself immediately. *By not doing so, he has created the appearance of a serious impropriety.*
To make matters worse and making objective observers concerned about the possibility of corruption, Bouchard ordered a custodian—another one of his good friends and former colleague Robert Pincus to take over the company. He has ordered an audit of the company with huge salaries and fees to all of his friends, costing the company around $8,000,000 dollars over the last 10 months.
Any doubts who benefits from this long drawn out affair? Bouchard's cronies. It gets worse than this folks... Bouchard has denied the production of evidence indicating a plot by Elting to make Shawe look bad by having her husband Michael Burlant (TransPerfect’s lease agent) intentionally create lease problems overseas. Elting also has taken funds from the company (over $20,000,000 dollars), which are also questionable. Yet when Phillip Shawe checked out Elting’s e-mails on the company server with a professional fraud investigator on hand — shortly after finding out that she had secretly made over $150,000 in payments to her attorneys and financial advisors indicating her questionable activity, Chancellor Bouchard arbitrarily and capriciously sanctioned Shawe on the sole say so of Elting’s lawyer.
No evidence, no testimony, no proof — denying Shawe his due process. The sanctions include 1/3 of Elting’s legal fees and 100% of her fees for the hearing on sanctions created by Bouchard in the first place, where he ruled against Phillip Shawe in all ways, costing him millions of dollars.
The bottom line here is thousands of TransPerfect employees could lose their jobs and a viable company could be destroyed. Obviously Judge Bouchard does not care about that. The bias and prejudice against Phillip Shawe by this Judge is unprecedented in Delaware’s Chancery Court. Could it be that Andre Bouchard is using his Judicial power by suppressing evidence to rig a result that’s good for his buddy Kevin Shannon (Elizabeth Elting’s attorney), thus creating huge legal fees that are going into Shannon’s pocket?
The apparent and absolutely unnecessary raping of a company (which epitomizes the American dream) by the Judicial Branch of the State of Delaware through the actions of a rogue Judge creates much negative speculation which is never a good thing. These facts and appearances of impropriety make me shake my head and wonder how this can happen in Delaware’s valued and respected equity court? More to come, so please stay tuned.
With respect as always
As always your comments are welcome and subject to being forwarded.
JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network