Former NYC Mayor Giuliani’s 2 cents’ worth seems very welcome

Sam Waltz
Sam Waltz
Founding Publisher

Frankly, I’d always kind of liked 9/11 NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

His “no-BS” to-the-point style appeals. His candor and disregard for political correctness are attractive.

Vice President Joe Biden, whom I’ve known since Joe was about 35 years old, tossed a brick or two at Giuliani, but they bounced off.

“Rudy Giuliani — this man can put only three things in a sentence: a subject, a verb, and 9/11,” then-Sen. Biden famously said in the 2008 presidential debates about New York City’s 107th mayor, who served from Jan. 1, 1994, to Dec. 31, 2001.

My daughter Rachel Waltz, 36, a social worker with PTSD military veterans in the Bronx on behalf of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, reminded me of that famous line a few days ago when we talked about the ex-mayor.

I’d mentioned to her Mayor Giuliani’s interest in a case in Delaware courts involving a New York company, and the skepticism that former Supreme Court Justice Henry duPont “Hank” Ridgely voiced over what seemed to come perilously close to an effort by Mayor Giuliani to throw around his post-mayoral weight in Delaware jurisprudence.

Rachel had grown up with Hank Ridgely virtually a family member, as our families have been that close for 40 years, and she holds as much respect for Hank’s judgment as does virtually every Delaware attorney. Even she recognized the likely imprudence of the mayor’s intervention here.

Who cannot be impressed by the accomplishments of Giuliani, who turns 72 next month, given his modest, even hardscrabble, roots, and the numerous achievements en route to the New York City mayoralty — including, yes, the quality of his leadership at the most dramatic attack on America on Sept. 11, 2001, since the Dec. 7, 1941, sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that dragged America into World War II.

Actually, it’s my view that Giuliani “overdrove his headlights” in involving himself in the matter of TransPerfect that perhaps may finally be brought to a resolution April 27 in front of Chancellor Andre Bouchard in Delaware’s Court of Chancery.

It’s these kinds of difficult cases — described elsewhere in this issue — at which Delaware’s famous court of equity excels.

Aside perhaps from the colorful “WASP fest” extra-judicial commentary offered in November 2012 by Leo Strine, then Bouchard’s predecessor as head of the Court of Chancery, now the Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, Delaware courts tend to attract nothing but global praise from those outside the First State with knowledge of the country’s courts, and Delaware’s.

(Many of us in Delaware enjoyed a real chuckle when Chancellor Strine told Women’s Wear Daily that  “we’ll be all geared up and in the mood for this sort of drunken WASP fest,” in the on-going post-marital shootout at the time between fashionista Tory Burch, with her $2 billion fashion empire in tow, and her ex-husband Christopher. Strine’s hyperbolic sense of humor raised a few eyebrows across the country, and several in Delaware, but it made the point about the frustration of failed domestic partnerships that get litigated in a business court.)

And, when the opening occurred two years ago for Gov. Markell to move Strine to the Supreme Court, and install Bouchard in Chancery, the governor could have picked none better.

Full disclosure that the one time in my business career when I needed a Chancery attorney as counsel to me in a deposition in a client matter, when our litigation public affairs client was countersued in 2002, I had the prescience to turn to Bouchard as my Chancery attorney, to counsel me through that deposition.

I knew Andy, a fellow Rotarian for nearly a decade at the time, to be fair, honest, straight-forward, a 100 percent straight-shooter, and he was all that and more. Today, since I’m a non-attorney, our relationship is strictly a casual on-occasion social one.

But anyone could confidentially poll the Delaware bar and bench today and, in all likelihood, not find a single informed person with anything questionable or critical to contribute about Chancellor Bouchard. Yes, he’s that good, and he’s giving the taxpayers their money’s worth. And much more.

In the TransPerfect matter, when Chancellor Bouchard rules on April 27, Delawareans should rest assured that it will reflect the wisdom of Solomon, sans the “WASP fest” hyperbolic humor that such a dissipated domestic dispute could otherwise inspire in a “War of the Roses”-type case. 

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