In January 2012, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued Guidelines to Help Lawyers Practicing in the Court of Chancery, which were discussed and summarized here. In these Guidelines, the Court confirmed that there is no such concept of “local counsel”, and that Delaware counsel are responsible to the Court for the case and its presentation even if out of state (“forwarding counsel”) is involved in the case.
The recent case of James v. National Financial LLC, C.A. No. 8931-VCL (Del. Ch. Dec. 5, 2014) provides a reminder of the importance of Delaware counsel in any Chancery case, and emphasizes the need for Delaware counsel to be involved in the discovery process even if forwarding counsel has primary contact with the client. At the very minimum, the Court expects Delaware counsel to discuss with forwarding counsel the expectations of the Court of Chancery.
This case is a good read to determine the Court’s expectations of counsel in connection with the discovery process. The Court reiterated the fact that “candor and fair-dealing” are necessary and fundamental principles in the litigation process.