Delaware Court of Chancery: Defining the Role of “Delaware Counsel”

In a decision issued yesterday, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster offered an insightful view on the role of “Delaware counsel”:

“It is of course true that Delaware counsel and forwarding counsel necessarily allocate responsibility for work, and that in some cases, the allocation may be heavily weighted towards forwarding counsel. It is also true that forwarding counsel may have primary responsibility for a matter from the client’s perspective . . . . This is perfectly understandable, efficient, and appropriate. But it does not alter the Delaware lawyer’s fundamental responsibility for the Delaware proceeding.

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If a Delaware lawyer signs a pleading, submits a brief, or signs a discovery request or response, it is the Delaware lawyer that takes the positions set forth therein.”

State Line Ventures LLC v. RBS Citizens N.A., C.A. No. 4705-VCL (Del. Ct. Ch. Dec. 2, 2009) (Laster, V.C.).

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