The Delaware Court of Chancery, is supposed to be an “EQUITY COURT”. Folks, equity basically means fairness. It is about doing what is right, finding compromise and equitable solutions. One way you can tell how fair and just an organization is, is how it treats its own people.
I’ve just learned about a story that is the ultimate in hypocrisy and hubris by Chancery Court Chancellor Andre Bouchard. This is the guy who appears at conferences with attorneys from ongoing trials and generally seems to scoff at being seen in public with people involved with these trials. You may recall my recent column about the boondoggling schedule I was able to come up with by Googling Kevin Shannon of Potter Anderson, Andre Bouchard and Leo Strine in and around the 5-years of shame related to the TransPerfect Global case.
Contrast that to the Court of Chancery job termination of Donna White in November 2017. Donna shared her heartbreaking story at the press conference I attended on July 10th in front of the Courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware.
Her story: Donna White is an African American woman who is articulate, educated, creative, and efficient. She was one of Chancellor Andre Bouchard’s clerks who worked in the Chancery Court faithfully and efficiently for 7 years. According to her testimony, she was fired without warning, reprimand or compassion for sending an insignificant 4-line e-mail to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg. She asked his advice on a patent she owned and developed, well after his case was over and settled. She was treated coldly and without regard by Bouchard and the “Good Old Boys Club” of old white guys in the Chancery Court, who in my opinion commit far worse infractions daily without any penalty!
Frankly, I consider this termination of Donna White’s employment by Andre Bouchard the absolute epitome of hypocrisy. Think about the appearances of impropriety and the conflicts of interest that are apparent in Bouchard’s Court. There should be no doubt about the integrity of these Courts. Unfortunately, I see them as suspect.
Bouchard, ultimately is responsible for hiring and firing and maintaining the fair and smooth operation of the court’s business by his employees. When I compare that to Donna White’s situation, the grotesque inequity and absurdity of it all is truly disconcerting. His treatment of Donna White, who has more class in her little toe than Bouchard has in his entire being, is indeed outrageous. Andre Bouchard, in my view, is not good for justice, business, nor Delaware. The law must be changed so that transparency and fairness is reinstated in Delaware’s Court of Chancery.
Donna White, for an insignificant technical violation of the “code of conduct,” has been without unemployment or medical benefits for over two years. I did some investigating on my own and have learned that this lady filed an EEOC complaint against a fellow employee for harassment. It appears that perhaps Ms. White rocked the “Good Old Boys Club” boat and her termination was possibly based on revenge and a way to cover up an embarrassing situation for the Chancellor and his cronies? From my experience this is a typical move from a tyrannical and insecure person who should not be in charge. Furthermore, Donna White has written, appealed, called, etc. without response or reasonable explanation.
Interestingly, at a fabulous party I attended at the Hotel DuPont, Donna White and her two sons sat at my table. I was very impressed with this friendly, outgoing woman, who has been terribly wronged. Her two sons were gentlemen with tremendous drive for education and economic success. At the table was Kris Jenkins of Villanova basketball fame and Brent Celek, tight end for the Super Bowl Champions, Philadelphia Eagles. The interaction between us all was memorable. Donna White is a lovely person who deserves better than what she got from Andre Bouchard.
Please click on this link to watch the Press Conference which I attended and you will see and hear Donna White speak. She starts speaking about 10 minutes into the video.
As always your comments are welcome.
Judson Bennett-Coastal Network