Delaware’s governor nominated Chancellor Leo E. Strine Jr. as the next chief justice of the state’s supreme court, in a widely expected promotion for one of corporate law’s biggest personalities….
Mr. Strine is about the closest thing to a celebrity in the buttoned-up world of corporate law. His courtroom demeanor—sometimes charming, sometimes caustic, often unpredictable— has earned him both fans and detractors.
He once called fashion designer Tory Burch’s divorce a “drunken WASP fest,” only to be told she is Jewish. He compared a phone call between El Paso Corp. Chief Executive Doug Foshee and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chief Lloyd Blankfein, a transcript of which was aired in litigation over El Paso’s 2012 buyout, to Lionel Richie’s 1984 love ballad “Hello.”
His rulings are peppered with pop-culture references, ranging from “Jersey Shore” reality star Snooki to Takeru Kobayashi, the Japanese hot dog-eating champion. He also has name-checked Paris Hilton, Elvis Costello, Fritos (he’s a fan) and Topsider shoes (not so much).
Mr. Strine has a tendency to opine on legal issues not technically before him, a habit that has earned him unusual public rebukes from the state’s supreme court.