When Alexandra Marchuk filed her epic lawsuit against her former firm, Faruqi & Faruqi LLP, and one of its partners, Juan E. Monteverde, she aired a lot of dirty laundry. Here’s one allegation that got a lot of attention in the corporate-law community: “[In advance of a Delaware Chancery Court hearing,] Mr. Monteverde explained that Judge [Travis] Laster was partial to good-looking female lawyers, but F&F’s female local counsel was ugly; so Mr. Monteverde wanted Ms. Marchuk to appear with him because her good looks would influence the judge in favor of F&F. Mr. Monteverde told Ms. Marchuk to wear her hair down, wear a low-cut shirt, and to try to look as alluring as possible during the hearing.”
Some wondered: did members of the Delaware Chancery Court hear about this rather embarrassing allegation? The answer would appear to be yes, based on a letter that a Faruqi lawyer recently received after moving for Juan Monteverde to be admitted pro hac vice….
Please note the UPDATE added after the jump.
Here’s an item from Friday’s edition of the Chancery Daily newsletter (sub. req.), regarding a letter that Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III sent to Peter B. Andrews, managing partner of Faruqi & Faruqi’s Delaware office:
Clarification of Omission in Certification for Admission Pro Hac Vice Sought
The Court wrote to Delaware counsel with respect to its pro hac vice motion, advising that “[I]t has come to the Court’s attention” that counsel whose admission pro hac vice was sought “is a defendant in litigation, the allegations of which may have a bearing on this Motion.” The Court requested that, before considering the pro hac motion, that counsel “explain (1) why this litigation was not disclosed; and (2) whether, in his opinion, it has any bearing on this Motion,” citing Manning v. Vellardita, C.A. No. 6812-VCG, letter op. (Del. Ch. Mar. 28, 2012) regarding the duty of candor applicable to Certification for consideration of a motion to appear pro hac vice.
David S. Hall v. Berry Petroleum Company, et al., C.A. No. 8476-VCG, letter (Del. Ch. May 23, 2013)
The counsel seeking pro hac admission is Juan Monteverde, and the litigation in question would seem to be Marchuk v. Monteverde. You can flip to the next page to view Chancellor Glasscock’s complete letter (which contains a typo in the last sentence; see if you can spot it).
How will Juan Monteverde respond? Indignantly, at least if his answer and counterclaims are any indication. He will probably argue that Marchuk’s lawsuit is full of lies and that he didn’t want to bother the court with such garbage.
Will Chancellor Glasscock be persuaded by a lawyer who’s invoking the “I couldn’t get it up” defense? It could be a hard sell — and even if Chancellor Glasscock eventually lets Monteverde in, there might be some ball-breaking first.
UPDATE (2:35 p.m.): Juan Monteverde filed an amended certification in support of his application for pro hac admission, which the court granted earlier today. Turn to the next page to see the letter from Chancellor Glasscock and the amended certification from Juan Monteverde (which discusses the Marchuk lawsuit in paragraph 8).