January 2, 2015

In its ruling on James v. National Financial LLC, Delaware’s prestigious Court of Chancery recently reiterated the obligations to the Court of both Delaware and out-of-state counsels’ obligations to the Court (Delaware counsels’ in particular, but also out-of-state counsels’) in imposing monetary and other sanctions for discovery misconduct.

Vice Chancellor Laster’s opinion in James cited principles governing the role of Delaware counsel established and amplified in prior Delaware cases. Foremost, the Vice Chancellor underscored that Delaware neither recognizes nor permits a “purely” local counsel role even when out-of-state counsel “take[s] a lead role in the case.” Delaware counsel “always remains responsible to the Court for the case and its presentation.”

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