Bouchard Nominated to Delaware Chancery: Business of Law

Andre Bouchard was nominated as the new head of Delaware’s chancery court, the nation’s leading court for business disputes.

Governor Jack Markell yesterday nominated the 53-year-old Wilmington attorney to replace Leo Strine Jr., who was the chancery court’s chief judge for two years before he was promoted to chief justice of the state supreme court in January. The state Senate must approve the appointment.

“Andy Bouchard has demonstrated a remarkable ability to dissect complex legal issues and vigorously represent his clients,” Markell said in a statement. “He is well recognized for his professionalism and ability to think quickly on his feet.”

Delaware Chancery Court is the forum for more than half the Fortune 500 companies incorporated in Delaware. It usually holds non-jury trials, tracing its history to the Lord High Chancellor in England, and judges base their decisions in part on “equity” or fairness, rather than strict legal precedent. Chancery court appeals go directly to the state supreme court.

“I am grateful and deeply honored to be nominated by Governor Markell,” Bouchard said in a statement.

Bouchard became managing partner of Bouchard, Margules & Friedlander PA after working for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for 10 years.

For more, click here.

In the News

J&J Gets $1.2 Billion Arkansas Risperdal Verdict Thrown Out

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) persuaded the Arkansas Supreme Court to throw out a $1.2 billion award against the drugmaker over its marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, erasing the biggest state verdict involving the controversial medicine.

Arkansas’s highest court concluded yesterday that state officials relied on the wrong law to challenge the Risperdal marketing campaign and that a judge erred in setting the $1.2 billion in fines for violations of the state’s Medicaid fraud statute.

J&J’s Janssen unit was accused of making misleading claims about Risperdal’s effectiveness and downplaying its diabetes risks on warning labels. The high court said the state incorrectly tried to use a law governing health-care facilities as the basis for levying sanctions.

The penalty was the largest of the three handed down so far against New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J, the second-biggest maker of health products, in state cases alleging the company hid Risperdal’s risks and tricked Medicaid regulators into paying more than they should have for the medicine.

The case is Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. v State of Arkansas, CV 2007-15345, Arkansas Supreme Court (Little Rock).

For more, click here.

Lawrence Walsh, Prosecutor of Iran-Contra Scandal, Dies at 102

Lawrence Walsh, the former prosecutor who spent seven years investigating officials in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for their roles in the Iran-Contra scandal, died March 19 in Oklahoma City. He was 102.

Best known for the Iran-Contra probe in the 1980s, Walsh had a distinguished six-decade career in law and public service. He was a racket-busting New York prosecutor, a federal judge, a deputy U.S. attorney general under President Dwight Eisenhower, a Wall Street lawyer with Fortune 500 clients, president of the American Bar Association and a negotiator during the Vietnam War peace talks.

At almost 75, he was called out of semi-retirement to probe the Iran-Contra affair, the clandestine plot to sell arms to Iran -- in violation of an embargo -- in return for help in obtaining the release of U.S. hostages in Lebanon. The funds were then funneled to right-wing rebels in Nicaragua, which was prohibited by an act of Congress.

For more on Walsh, click here.

Law Firm Moves

Proskauer, Crowell & Moring, Miles & Stockbridge Add Lawyers

Christopher E. Ondeck is joining the Washington office Proskauer Rose LLP as a partner in its litigation department. Ondeck will serve as vice-chair of Proskauer’s antitrust group.

Miles & Stockbridge P.C. has added Raymond F. Monroe as a principal in its Washington office. Monroe specializes in government contracts.

Crowell & Moring LLP is adding Katherine I. Funk as a partner in the firm’s antitrust and health care groups in Washington. Funk was previously a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP, where she was co-chair of that firm’s North America antitrust and competition sub-group, within the litigation group.

Both Ondeck and Monroe had been partners at Crowell & Moring.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Rosen in New York at erosen14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Mary Romano, Fred Strasser

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.