Leo E. Strine Jr.
|Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court|
February 28, 2014 – October 30, 2019
|Preceded by||Myron T. Steele|
|Succeeded by||Collins J. Seitz Jr.|
|Born||1964 (age 56–57)|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Education||University of Delaware (BA)|
University of Pennsylvania (JD)
Life and career
Born in Baltimore, Strine grew up in Hockessin, Delaware. He graduated from A.I. DuPont High School in 1982. Strine then graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1988 with his Juris Doctor, after having received his Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from the University of Delaware in 1985.
Strine clerked for Judge Walter K. Stapleton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and for Chief Judge John F. Gerry of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. He was a corporate litigator at the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and then Counsel to Governor Thomas R. Carper.
Strine has taught at several academic institutions including UCLA School of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Vanderbilt University Law School, and Harvard Law School, and lectured at many more. He became Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery on November 9, 1998, and became Chancellor of that court on June 22, 2011. During the 2006–2007 academic year, he served as a special judicial consultant to the American Bar Association's Committee on Corporate Laws. Strine was confirmed as Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court on January 29, 2014.
In October 2018, Strine wrote for the majority when it found that the business judgment rule protected a controlling shareholder even though it did not offer minority shareholder protections until after its initial squeeze-out bid.
In July 2019, Strine announced his retirement from the bench, to be carried out at the end of September or October or upon the confirmation of his successor. Strine retired from active service on October 30, 2019.
In April 2020, the New York-based law firm, Wachtel Lipton announced that former Chief Justice Strine would be joining its firm, to advise Wachtell’s clients on mergers, litigation and other matters.
The Supreme Court of Delaware admonished Strine in 2012 for an opinion he wrote while serving on the Delaware Court of Chancery. The opinion included discussion of legal issues about limited liability companies unrelated to the case at hand. He also made comments about the litigants' fashion, referred to the case as a "drunken WASP fest," and asked them to disclose their religion.
In a 2010 case, Ingres Corp. v. CA Inc., during a breach of contract case, both sides, Ingres Corp and CA Inc, both agreed that Strine erred. Vice Chancellor Strine made a comment that he, "forgot this oral statement and delved only into the voluminous record. As indicated above, this record was confusing and I came away from it with the wrong impression. …I overlooked this deposition testimony and instead focused upon the written documents in the record when drafting the Post-Trial Opinion. In short, I blew it.” Yet, he maintained that his "original factual finding to the contrary was inaccurate," and after admitting how his error impacted his previous determination, he decided the error does not materially change the outcome of the case.
- Marcus, David. "Leo Strine's Marvelous Adventures". Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. The Deal. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- "Leo E. Strine, Jr". Harvard Law School. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- Hals, Tom (29 January 2014). "Leo Strine confirmed as chief justice of Delaware's Supreme Court". Reuters. Reuters. Archived from the original on September 2, 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- Note, Recent Case: MFW Conditions Are in Place “Before Any Substantive Economic Negotiations” in Controlling Shareholder Transactions, 132 Harv. L. Rev. 2386 (2019).
- Flood v. Synutra International, Inc., 195 A.3d 754 (Del. 2018)(en banc).
- Feeley, Jef (8 July 2019). "Leo Strine Retiring as Delaware Supreme Court's Chief Judge". Bloomberg.
- Hoffman, Liz (27 April 2020). "Leo Strine, Delaware's Colorful Corporate-Law Czar, Joins New York Firm". Wall Street Journal. New Corp.
- "Governor Markell Nominates Leo E. Strine Jr. for Chief Justice of Delaware Supreme Court". news.delaware.gov. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- Strine, Jr., Leo (26 January 2010). "Vice Chancellor" (PDF). Delawarelitigation.com (4300-VCS).
- Iyer, Seema (14 July 2020). "INSIGHT: The State of Incorporation's Shady State of Affairs". news.bloomberglaw.com. Bloomberg Law.