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Leo E. Strine Jr. L'88

Michael L. Wachter Distinguished Fellow in Law and Policy

Leo Strine Jr.

On February 28, 2014, Leo E. Strine, Jr., became the 8th Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. Before becoming the Chief Justice, Chief Justice Strine had served on the Delaware Court of Chancery as Chancellor since June 22, 2011, and as a Vice Chancellor since November 9, 1998. 

While serving on the Court of Chancery, Chief Justice Strine wrote numerous opinions, particularly in the area of corporation law. Among the opinions Chief Justice Strine has authored are: Boilermakers Local 154 Ret. Fund v. Chevron Corp., --- A.3d ---, 2013 WL 3191981 (Del. Ch. 2013); In re MFW S’holder Litig., 67 A.3d 496 (Del. Ch. 2013); In re Synthes, Inc. S’holder Litig., 50 A.3d 1022 (Del Ch. 2012); Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. v. Vulcan Materials Co., 56 A.3d 1072 (Del. Ch. 2012); In re El Paso Corp. S’holder Litig., 41 A.3d 432 (Del. Ch. 2012); In re Southern Peru Copper Corp. S’holder Litig., 52 A.3d 761 (Del. Ch. 2011); In re Dollar Thrifty S’holder Litig., 14 A.3d 573 (Del. Ch. 2010); Yucaipa American Alliance Fund II, L.P. v. Riggio, 1 A.3d 310 (Del. Ch. 2010); In Re American Intern. Group, Inc., Del. Ch., 965 A.2d 763 (2009); Alliance Data v. Blackstone Capital, 963 A.2d 746 (Del. Ch. 2009); In re American Int’l Group, Inc. Derivative Litig., 976 A.2d 872 (Del. Ch. 2009); In re Netsmart Technologies, Inc. S’holder Litig., 924 A.2d 171 (Del. Ch. 2007); Desimone v. Barrows, 924 A.2d 908 (Del. Ch. 2007); In re Lear Corp. S’holder Litig., 926 A.2d 94 (Del. Ch. 2007); In re Topps Co. S’holder Litig., 924 A.2d 951 (Del. Ch. 2007); Trenwick America Litig. Trust v. Ernst & Young, L.L.P., 906 A.2d 168 (Del. Ch. 2006); In re Cox Communications Inc., 879 A.2d 604 (Del. Ch. 2005); In re Toys “R” Us, Inc. S’holder Litig., 877 A.2d 975 (Del. Ch. 2005); Hollinger Int’l, Inc. v. Black, 844 A.2d 1022 (Del. Ch. 2004); Production Resources Group, L.L.C. v. NCT Group, Inc., 863 A.2d 772 (Del. Ch. 2004); In re Pure Resources, Inc., S’holder Litig., 808 A.2d 421 (Del. Ch. 2002); IBP, Inc. v. Tyson Foods Inc., 789 A.2d 14 (Del. Ch. 2001); In re Pennaco Energy, Inc. S’holder Litig., Del. Ch., 787 A.2d 691 (Del. Ch 2001); Chesapeake Corp. v. Shore, 771 A.2d 293 (Del. Ch. 2000); In re Gaylord Container Corp. S’holder Litig., 753 A.2d 462 (Del. Ch. 2000); Ace, Ltd. v. Capital Re Corp., 747 A.2d 95 (Del. Ch. 1999).

In addition, Chief Justice Strine speaks frequently on the subject of corporation law, at diverse forums such as the New York University Center for Law and Business; the University of Pennsylvania’s Corporate Law Conference; the Tulane Corporate Law Institute; Director’s Colleges at Stanford Law School, Duke University, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business; and the San Diego Securities Law Institute sponsored by Northwestern University School of Law. He has also authored many articles on business law topics in publications including The Business Lawyer, University of Chicago Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Delaware Journal of Corporation Law, Duke Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, University of Southern California Law Review, Stanford Law Review and University of Toronto Law Journal.  On several occasions, Chief Justice Strine’s articles have been selected as among the Best Corporate and Securities Articles of the year, based on the choices of academic teachers.

Chief Justice Strine holds long-standing adjunct teaching positions at the Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt and UCLA Schools of Law, where he has and continues to teach diverse classes in corporate law addressing, among other topics, mergers and acquisitions, the role of independent directors, valuation, and corporate law theories. Chief Justice Strine also serves as a Senior Fellow of the Harvard Program on Corporate Governance, as well as the Austin Wakeman Scott Lecturer in Law at the Harvard Law School. Since 2006 to the present, Chief Justice Strine has served as the special judicial consultant to the ABA’s Committee on Corporate Laws.

Immediately before becoming a member of the Court of Chancery, Chief Justice Strine was Counsel to Governor Thomas R. Carper of the State of Delaware. In that capacity, Chief Justice Strine was responsible for providing legal counsel to the Governor and in 1994 assumed responsibility for overall policy coordination. In those capacities, Chief Justice Strine played leading roles in, among other things, developing the legal strategy for litigating the New Castle County desegregation case unitary status motion, crafting the $200 million Delaware v. New York settlement, and drafting the welfare reform plan “A Better Chance.” He also drafted and spearheaded the Governor’s effort to secure passage of the State’s standards-based educational accountability, charter school and public school choice legislation.

Before becoming Counsel to Governor Carper in January 1993, Chief Justice Strine was a corporate litigator at the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Prior to that, Chief Justice Strine was law clerk to Judge Walter K. Stapleton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Chief Judge John F. Gerry of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.  Chief Justice Strine graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1988, and was selected as a member of the Order of the Coif. In 1985, he received his Bachelor’s Degree summa cum laude from the University of Delaware and was selected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While at the University of Delaware, Chief Justice Strine was awarded a Harry S. Truman Scholarship. He was also named to the Panel of Distinguished Seniors of the College of Arts and Science, and selected as the outstanding graduate in political science. In December 2000, Governor Carper awarded Chief Justice Strine the Order of the First State. On October 11, 2002, President David Roselle of the University of Delaware presented Chief Justice Strine with the University’s Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement. From 2005 to the present, Chief Justice Strine has been named as one of the nation’s top lawyers and judges by Law Dragon magazine. Also, in 2006, he was selected as a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Chief Justice Strine resides in Hockessin, Delaware, with his wife Carrie, who is an occupational therapist at the DuPont Hospital for Children, as well as two sons, James and Benjamin.

Articles and Book Chapters

Development on a Cracked Foundation: How the Incomplete Nature of New Deal Labor Reform Presaged Its Ultimate Decline, 57 HARV. J. ON LEGIS. 67 (2020).

Citizens United As Bad Corporate Law, 2019 WIS. L. REV. 451 (with Jonathan R. Macey).

Perfectly Frank: A Reflection on Quality Lawyering in Honor of R. Franklin Balotti, 72 BUS. LAW. 607 (2017).

Who Bleeds When the Wolves Bite? A Flesh-and-Blood Perspective on Hedge Fund Activism and Our Strange Corporate Governance System, 126 YALE L. J. 1870 (2017).

Corporate Power Ratchet: The Courts' Role in Eroding "We the People's" Ability to Constrain Our Corporate Creations, 51 HARV. C.R.-C.L. L. REV 423 (2016).

Securing Our Nation’s Economic Future: A Sensible, Nonpartisan Agenda to Increase Long-Term Investment and Job Creation in the United States, 71 BUS. LAW. 1081 (2016).

Criminal Justice and (a) Catholic Conscience, 56 SANTA CLARA L. REV. 631 (2016).

Originalist or Original: The Difficulties of Reconciling Citizens United with Corporate Law History, 91 NOTRE DAME L. REV 877 (2016) (with Nicholas Walter).

The Dangers of Denial: The Need for a Clear-Eyed Understanding of the Power and Accountability Structure Established by the Delaware General Corporation Law, 50 WAKE FOREST L. REV 761 (2015).

A Job is Not a Hobby: The Judicial Revival of Corporate Paternalism and its Problematic Implications, 41 J. CORP. L. 71 (2015).

Documenting the Deal: How Quality Control and Candor Can Improve Boardroom Decision-Making and Reduce the Litigation Target Zone, 70 BUS. LAW. 679 (2015).

Conservative Collision Course?: The Tension Between Conservative Corporate Law Theory and Citizens United, 100 CORNELL L. REV. 335 (2015) (with Nicholas Walter)

Regular (Judicial) Order as Equity: The Enduring Value of the Distinct Judicial Role, 87 TEMPLE L. REV. 99 (2014).

Making It Easier For Directors To “Do The Right Thing”?, 4 HARV. BUS. L. REV. 235 (2014).

Can We Do Better By Ordinary Investors? A Pragmatic Reaction To The Dueling Ideological Mythologists Of Corporate Law, 114 COLUM. L. REV. 449 (2014).

Putting Stockholders First, Not the First-Filed Complaint, 69 BUS. LAW. 1 (2013) (with Lawrence A. Hamermesh and Matthew C. Jennejohn).

Poor Pitiful or Potently Powerful Preferred?, 161 U. PA. L. REV. 2025 (2013).

Delaware Corporate Law and the Model Business Corporation Act: A Study in Symbiosis, 74 LAW AND CONTEMP. PROBS. 107 (Winter 2011) (with Jeffrey M. Gorris and Lawrence A. Hamermesh).

Loyalty’s Core Demand: The Defining Role of Good Faith in Corporation Law, 98 GEO. L. J. 629 (2009) (with Lawrence A. Hamermesh, R. Franklin Balotti & Jeffrey M. Gorris).

Human Freedom and Two Friedmen: Musings on the Implications of Globalization for the Effective Regulation of Corporate Behaviour, 58 U. TORONTO L.J. 241 (2008).

Toward Common Sense and Common Ground? Reflections on the Shared Interests of Managers and Labor in a More Rational System of Corporate Governance, 33 J. CORP. L. 1 (2007).

Toward a True Corporate Republic: A Traditionalist Response to Bebchuk's Solution for Improving Corporate America, 119 HARV. L. REV. 1759 (2006).

The New Federalism of the American Corporate Governance System: Preliminary Reflections of Two Residents of One Small State, 152 U. PA. L. REV. 953 (2003) (with William B. Chandler III).

The Professorial Bear Hug: The ESB Proposal as a Conscious Effort To Make the Delaware Courts Confront the Basic “Just Say No” Question, 55 STAN. L. REV. 863 (2002).

The Great Takeover Debate: A Meditation on Bridging the Conceptual Divide, 69 U. CHI. L. REV. 1067 (2002) (with William T. Allen & Jack B. Jacobs).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

Lifting Labor’s Voice: A Principled Path Toward Greater Worker Voice And Power Within American Corporate Governance (February 24, 2021); U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 21-09 (with Aneil Kovvali & Oluwatomi O. Williams). (forthcoming)
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Duty and Diversity (February 18, 2021), U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 21-08 (with Christopher J. Brummer) (forthcoming)
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Restoration: The Role Stakeholder Governance Must Play in Recreating a Fair and Sustainable American Economy - A Reply to Professor Rock (December 15, 2020), 76 BUS. LAW. (forthcoming Spring 2021), U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 21-03. (forthcoming 2021)
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Toward Racial Equality: The Most Important Things The Business Community Can Do (October 29, 2020). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 20-56. (forthcoming)
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Stewardship 2021: The Centrality of Institutional Investor Regulation to Restoring a Fair and Sustainable American Economy (October 23, 2020). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 20-55. (forthcoming)
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Toward Fair and Sustainable Capitalism: A Comprehensive Proposal to Help American Workers, Restore Fair Gainsharing Between Employees and Shareholders, and Increase American Competitiveness by Reorienting Our Corporate Governance System Toward Sustainable Long-Term Growth and Encouraging Investments in America’s Future (September 26, 2019). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 19-39. (forthcoming)
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Fiduciary Blind Spot: The Failure of Institutional Investors to Prevent the Illegitimate Use of Working Americans’ Savings for Corporate Political Spending (December 20, 2018). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 19-03. (forthcoming)
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