The Delaware Supreme Court issued a stern rebuke yesterday to Judge Leo E. Strine, Jr. for writing an opinion that included his “ruminat[ions]” on issues far beyond the issues presented by the case. Judge Strine sits on the Delaware Chancery Court, the most influential court hearing business-related cases in the country.
The opinion at issue was about a contract dispute but contained 11 pages of discussion about limited liability companies that was tangential discussion to the actual dispute before the court. The Delaware Supreme Court told Judge Strine that he was way out of his lane.
It is quite possible that a law clerk recommended the inclusion of the 11-page digression or initiated the research to develop the roadmap for the meandering scenic route that Judge Strine took in his analysis. Although it seems as though Judge Strine is independent-minded and most likely came up with this notion of an opinion off-shoot all on his own, what about the possibility that a law clerk planted the seed? If so, maybe his or her star has risen in Judge Strine’s estimation. Perhaps a rebuke from the Delaware Supreme Court is a sort of validation to him, particularly if the speculation about a rift between Judge Strine and Chief Justice Myron Steele of the Delaware Supreme Court is true.