C. Malcolm Cochran, IV

Director

302.651.7506
302.498.7506 (fax)
cochran@rlf.com

For more than 25 years, Mike Cochran has focused his practice on the litigation and trial of complex business and other civil disputes. He is a skilled advocate who has represented a wide variety of clients, ranging from multinational and publicly traded companies to local Delaware businesses and institutions. His clients have also included state and local governments, prominent public figures, estates, individuals and many others.

Mike has substantial experience in the Delaware Court of Chancery, the Delaware Superior Court and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. He has handled special investigations in large and complex matters for publicly traded companies. He also has represented public officials and police officers in significant civil rights litigation. Mike has served on boards and state commissions and has represented the interests of the firm’s clients in the Delaware General Assembly, where he served as counsel early in his career.

Honored with several awards for his work on behalf of Delaware’s abused and neglected children, Mike is committed to pro bono work and serves as chair of the firm’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. He also heads the Litigation Department’s Commercial and Business Litigation Group.

View Full Bio >

Select Experience

  • Michael Spinks v. Estate of Ronald E. “Butch” Lewis:  Representation of the estate of internationally known boxing promoter Butch Lewis in the defense of claims brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery by former heavyweight champion Michael Spinks alleging breach of fiduciary duty and conversion.
  • Teleglobe Communications Corp. v. BCE: Representation of subsidiaries of a major international telecommunications provider in the litigation of claims brought in the Delaware District Court and Bankruptcy Court relating to parent’s decision to withdraw funding. Case involved claims in excess of $500 million.
  • Harden and City of Wilmington v. Christina School District: Representation of the City of Wilmington and individual plaintiffs in a Delaware Chancery Court case that resulted in the issuance of an injunction preventing school district from closing its elementary schools in the City of Wilmington.
View Experience >

For more than 25 years, Mike Cochran has focused his practice on the litigation and trial of complex business and other civil disputes. He is a skilled advocate who has represented a wide variety of clients, ranging from multinational and publicly traded companies to local Delaware businesses and institutions. His clients have also included state and local governments, prominent public figures, estates, individuals and many others.

Mike has substantial experience in the Delaware Court of Chancery, the Delaware Superior Court and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. He has handled special investigations in large and complex matters for publicly traded companies. He also has represented public officials and police officers in significant civil rights litigation. Mike has served on boards and state commissions and has represented the interests of the firm’s clients in the Delaware General Assembly, where he served as counsel early in his career.

Honored with several awards for his work on behalf of Delaware’s abused and neglected children, Mike is committed to pro bono work and serves as chair of the firm’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. He also heads the Litigation Department’s Commercial and Business Litigation Group.

Experience

  • Michael Spinks v. Estate of Ronald E. “Butch” Lewis:  Representation of the estate of internationally known boxing promoter Butch Lewis in the defense of claims brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery by former heavyweight champion Michael Spinks alleging breach of fiduciary duty and conversion.
  • PCMS International Inc. v. 2295113 Canada, Inc.: Defense of trade secret, license and related claims in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Case involved complex computer software, contract and licensing issues.
  • Teleglobe Communications Corp. v. BCE: Representation of subsidiaries of a major international telecommunications provider in the litigation of claims brought in the Delaware District Court and Bankruptcy Court relating to parent’s decision to withdraw funding. Case involved claims in excess of $500 million. 
  • Statoil Marketing and Trading (US) Inc. v. Western Refining Yorktown, Inc.: Representation of oil refiner in claims brought in the Delaware Superior Court arising from alleged breach of oil supply contract due to event of force majeure. Case involved claims in excess of $100 million.
  • Hale v. City of Wilmington: Representation of the City of Wilmington and its police officers in a highly publicized civil rights case filed in the Delaware District Court, involving complex constitutional claims arising from the death of an individual as he was being taken into police custody.
  • Occupy Delaware v. City of Wilmington:  Representation of the City of Wilmington in the defense of civil rights claims brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery by the ACLU on behalf of Occupy Delaware, over the occupation of Peter Spencer Plaza in the City of Wilmington.
  • Frontier Oil Corp. v. Holly Oil Corp: Representation of petroleum refiner in claims brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery arising from the alleged breach of a merger agreement. Case focused on the interpretation of a material adverse change provision in the merger agreement and on the doctrine of repudiation under Delaware law.
  • DeBakey Corp. v. Raytheon Service Co.: Defense of joint venture partner in claims exceeding $50 million arising from failed venture for the development and sale of telemedicine systems. Case was tried in the Court of Chancery, resulting in a defense verdict.
  • Evonik Stockhausen, Inc. v. Tyco Healthcare Group: Delaware counsel for plaintiff in Delaware District Court case involving claims exceeding $20 million arising from alleged breach of a commercial supply agreement.
  • Chesapeake Corp. v. Shore: Representation of plaintiff in Delaware Chancery Court trial of claims arising from corporate control contest where defendants were found to have wrongfully adopted defensive measures in an effort to ward off corporate takeover.
  • Emerald Partners v. Berlin: Representation of plaintiff in Delaware Chancery Court trial of claims for breach of fiduciary duty arising from a merger, resulting in Delaware Supreme Court decisions further defining the fiduciary duties of directors under Delaware law.
  • VS&A Communications Partners L.P. v. Palmer Broadcasting Ltd. Pshp: Representation of defendant in the trial of an action brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery for specific performance of an asset purchase agreement for the acquisition of broadcast properties, resulting in defense verdict.
  • Special Board Committees: Representation of a special litigation committee formed to investigate stock option vesting and related claims arising from the failed merger of two multinational telecommunications companies; representation of other special committees formed to investigate claims of misconduct by corporate officers and directors.
  • Harriett Tubman House, Inc. v. City of Wilmington:  Representation of the City of Wilmington in the defense of civil rights claims brought by the ACLU in the Delaware Superior Court on behalf of a group home seeking to house registered sex offenders in violation of state law restrictions precluding such within 500 feet of a school. 
  • Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau v. Insurance Commissioner of the State of Delaware: Representation of the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Delaware in litigation filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery regarding the Commissioner’s implementation of Delaware’s workers’ compensation reform statutes, forcing a statewide reduction in premium rates for Delaware businesses.
  • Harden and City of Wilmington v. Christina School District: Representation of the City of Wilmington and individual plaintiffs in a Delaware Chancery Court case that resulted in the issuance of an injunction preventing school district from closing its elementary schools in the City of Wilmington.
  • Keefe Commissary Network, LLC v. The Delaware Department of Correction:  Representation of commissary and financial services contractor in bid dispute with the Delaware Department of Corrections. This Chancery Court litigation forced a re-bid of the contract at issue.
  • Christiana Care: Representation of Delaware’s largest hospital system and subsidiaries in various matters, including AAA arbitrations of disputes with health benefits providers, peer review proceedings, emergency guardianship and malpractice matters.
  • Nanticoke Hospital:  Ongoing general representation.
  • Townsend Fire Company v. VFIS:  Representation of local fire company in Delaware Superior Court case seeking insurance coverage for damages resulting from the collapse of its fire hall during blizzard of 2010.
  • PHB v. Travelers Insurance Company:  Representation of local building contractor in insurance coverage dispute resulting from concrete failures.
  • Liggett Group Inc. v. Affiliated FM Insurance Company, et al.: Representation of Reliance Insurance Company in Delaware Superior Court coverage action brought by tobacco companies for coverage of tobacco health-related lawsuits.

Recent Publications

  • "The 2014 Amendments to the Expert Discovery Provisions of Superior Court Civil Rule 26:  A Practitioner’s Read,” Delaware State Bar Association, February 2015
  • "Delaware's Business Courts: The Complementary Nature of the Court of Chancery and the Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division," Delaware State Bar Association, May 2014  View >
  • "But the Examination Still Proceeds: A Primer On Surviving the Difficult Deposition," ABA Section of Litigation 2012 Section Annual Conference, April 18, 2012
  • "The Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division," BNA's U.S. Law Week, October 4, 2011
  • "Court of Chancery Issues New Guidelines for the Preservation of Electronically Stored Information," ABA Commercial and Business Litigation
  • "The Delaware Corner: A New Forum for Complex Commercial Disputes," ABA Commercial and Business Litigation
  • "The Delaware Corner: Poison Pills and a New Judge," ABA Commercial and Business Litigation

Panels and Presentations

  • "Deposition Do's and Don'ts," Delaware State Bar Association, 20th Annual Rubenstein-Walsh Seminar, Wilmington, Delaware, February 6, 2015
  • “Delaware: The “Go-to” Forum for Global Business,” SCG Legal, Washington, D.C., September 7, 2014
  • “Delaware’s Business Courts: Recent Developments and Best Practices,” ABA Section of Litigation and Delaware State Bar Association, Wilmington, Delaware, May 16, 2014
  • “Deposition Practice in Complex Cases:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” ABA Section of Litigation, Section Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., April 18, 2012
  • “Lessons from Tragedy: Legal, Professional and Ethical Issues Raised by Bradley and Beyond,” Widener University School of Law, Wilmington, Delaware, November 4, 2011
  • “Leadership Fights and Multi-Jurisdictional Gamesmanship in Deal Litigation,” ABA Commercial and Business Litigation Committee, June 2, 2011  View >
  • “Children & Families First Honors Director Mike Cochran,” Wilmington, Delaware, November 15, 2010
  • “The Ethical Dimensions of Deposition Practice,” Delaware State Bar Association, 13th Annual Rubenstein-Walsh Seminar, Wilmington, Delaware, January 2008
  • “Taking and Defending Effective Depositions in Delaware,” Lorman, Wilmington, Delaware, September 2007, 2008

Awards

  • Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association President’s Award, 2014
  • ABA Section of Litigation, Outstanding Subcommittee Chair, 2013-14
  • Delaware Service to Children Award, 2012, Office of the Child Advocate for the State of Delaware
  • J. Thompson Brown Award For Outstanding Contributions to Family Life In Delaware, 2010

Leadership

  • Member, Delaware Superior Court Committee on Complex Civil Litigation
  • Vice Chair, American Bar Association Litigation Section, Commercial and Business Litigation Committee
    • Co-Chair, Delaware Corporate and Programs Subcommittees
  • Member, American Bar Association, Litigation and Business Law Sections 
  • Member, Delaware State Bar Association, Corporate Law and Litigation Sections 
  • Member, Delaware State Bar Association, Nominating Committee (2010-2012) 
  • Chair, Delaware Child Protection Accountability Commission 
  • Member, Delaware Child Death, Near Death, Still Birth Commission 
  • Member, Governor’s Steering Committee on the Protection of Children 
  • Co-Chair, Joint Committee on the Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse (2011-2013)
  • Co-Chair, 147th Delaware General Assembly Task Force on the Funding of Ambulance and EMS Service in Delaware (2013-2014)
  • New Castle County Co-Chair, Combined Campaign For Justice (2014)
  • Director, Delaware Bar Foundation

Education

  • J.D., Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 1985
  • B.A., University of Delaware, 1982

Admitted to Practice

  • Delaware
  • United States District Court, District of Delaware
  • United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Pro Bono Activities

  • Chair, Richards, Layton & Finger’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee 
  • Represents children in proceedings in the Delaware courts through Delaware’s Office of Child Advocate 
  • Chair, Delaware’s Child Protection Accountability Commission

Experience

  • Michael Spinks v. Estate of Ronald E. “Butch” Lewis:  Representation of the estate of internationally known boxing promoter Butch Lewis in the defense of claims brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery by former heavyweight champion Michael Spinks alleging breach of fiduciary duty and conversion.
  • PCMS International Inc. v. 2295113 Canada, Inc.: Defense of trade secret, license and related claims in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Case involved complex computer software, contract and licensing issues.
  • Teleglobe Communications Corp. v. BCE: Representation of subsidiaries of a major international telecommunications provider in the litigation of claims brought in the Delaware District Court and Bankruptcy Court relating to parent’s decision to withdraw funding. Case involved claims in excess of $500 million. 
  • Statoil Marketing and Trading (US) Inc. v. Western Refining Yorktown, Inc.: Representation of oil refiner in claims brought in the Delaware Superior Court arising from alleged breach of oil supply contract due to event of force majeure. Case involved claims in excess of $100 million.
  • Hale v. City of Wilmington: Representation of the City of Wilmington and its police officers in a highly publicized civil rights case filed in the Delaware District Court, involving complex constitutional claims arising from the death of an individual as he was being taken into police custody.
  • Occupy Delaware v. City of Wilmington:  Representation of the City of Wilmington in the defense of civil rights claims brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery by the ACLU on behalf of Occupy Delaware, over the occupation of Peter Spencer Plaza in the City of Wilmington.
  • Frontier Oil Corp. v. Holly Oil Corp: Representation of petroleum refiner in claims brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery arising from the alleged breach of a merger agreement. Case focused on the interpretation of a material adverse change provision in the merger agreement and on the doctrine of repudiation under Delaware law.
  • DeBakey Corp. v. Raytheon Service Co.: Defense of joint venture partner in claims exceeding $50 million arising from failed venture for the development and sale of telemedicine systems. Case was tried in the Court of Chancery, resulting in a defense verdict.
  • Evonik Stockhausen, Inc. v. Tyco Healthcare Group: Delaware counsel for plaintiff in Delaware District Court case involving claims exceeding $20 million arising from alleged breach of a commercial supply agreement.
  • Chesapeake Corp. v. Shore: Representation of plaintiff in Delaware Chancery Court trial of claims arising from corporate control contest where defendants were found to have wrongfully adopted defensive measures in an effort to ward off corporate takeover.
  • Emerald Partners v. Berlin: Representation of plaintiff in Delaware Chancery Court trial of claims for breach of fiduciary duty arising from a merger, resulting in Delaware Supreme Court decisions further defining the fiduciary duties of directors under Delaware law.
  • VS&A Communications Partners L.P. v. Palmer Broadcasting Ltd. Pshp: Representation of defendant in the trial of an action brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery for specific performance of an asset purchase agreement for the acquisition of broadcast properties, resulting in defense verdict.
  • Special Board Committees: Representation of a special litigation committee formed to investigate stock option vesting and related claims arising from the failed merger of two multinational telecommunications companies; representation of other special committees formed to investigate claims of misconduct by corporate officers and directors.
  • Harriett Tubman House, Inc. v. City of Wilmington:  Representation of the City of Wilmington in the defense of civil rights claims brought by the ACLU in the Delaware Superior Court on behalf of a group home seeking to house registered sex offenders in violation of state law restrictions precluding such within 500 feet of a school. 
  • Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau v. Insurance Commissioner of the State of Delaware: Representation of the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Delaware in litigation filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery regarding the Commissioner’s implementation of Delaware’s workers’ compensation reform statutes, forcing a statewide reduction in premium rates for Delaware businesses.
  • Harden and City of Wilmington v. Christina School District: Representation of the City of Wilmington and individual plaintiffs in a Delaware Chancery Court case that resulted in the issuance of an injunction preventing school district from closing its elementary schools in the City of Wilmington.
  • Keefe Commissary Network, LLC v. The Delaware Department of Correction:  Representation of commissary and financial services contractor in bid dispute with the Delaware Department of Corrections. This Chancery Court litigation forced a re-bid of the contract at issue.
  • Christiana Care: Representation of Delaware’s largest hospital system and subsidiaries in various matters, including AAA arbitrations of disputes with health benefits providers, peer review proceedings, emergency guardianship and malpractice matters.
  • Nanticoke Hospital:  Ongoing general representation.
  • Townsend Fire Company v. VFIS:  Representation of local fire company in Delaware Superior Court case seeking insurance coverage for damages resulting from the collapse of its fire hall during blizzard of 2010.
  • PHB v. Travelers Insurance Company:  Representation of local building contractor in insurance coverage dispute resulting from concrete failures.
  • Liggett Group Inc. v. Affiliated FM Insurance Company, et al.: Representation of Reliance Insurance Company in Delaware Superior Court coverage action brought by tobacco companies for coverage of tobacco health-related lawsuits.

Recent Publications

  • "The 2014 Amendments to the Expert Discovery Provisions of Superior Court Civil Rule 26:  A Practitioner’s Read,” Delaware State Bar Association, February 2015
  • "Delaware's Business Courts: The Complementary Nature of the Court of Chancery and the Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division," Delaware State Bar Association, May 2014  View >
  • "But the Examination Still Proceeds: A Primer On Surviving the Difficult Deposition," ABA Section of Litigation 2012 Section Annual Conference, April 18, 2012
  • "The Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division," BNA's U.S. Law Week, October 4, 2011
  • "Court of Chancery Issues New Guidelines for the Preservation of Electronically Stored Information," ABA Commercial and Business Litigation
  • "The Delaware Corner: A New Forum for Complex Commercial Disputes," ABA Commercial and Business Litigation
  • "The Delaware Corner: Poison Pills and a New Judge," ABA Commercial and Business Litigation

Panels and Presentations

  • "Deposition Do's and Don'ts," Delaware State Bar Association, 20th Annual Rubenstein-Walsh Seminar, Wilmington, Delaware, February 6, 2015
  • “Delaware: The “Go-to” Forum for Global Business,” SCG Legal, Washington, D.C., September 7, 2014
  • “Delaware’s Business Courts: Recent Developments and Best Practices,” ABA Section of Litigation and Delaware State Bar Association, Wilmington, Delaware, May 16, 2014
  • “Deposition Practice in Complex Cases:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” ABA Section of Litigation, Section Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., April 18, 2012
  • “Lessons from Tragedy: Legal, Professional and Ethical Issues Raised by Bradley and Beyond,” Widener University School of Law, Wilmington, Delaware, November 4, 2011
  • “Leadership Fights and Multi-Jurisdictional Gamesmanship in Deal Litigation,” ABA Commercial and Business Litigation Committee, June 2, 2011  View >
  • “Children & Families First Honors Director Mike Cochran,” Wilmington, Delaware, November 15, 2010
  • “The Ethical Dimensions of Deposition Practice,” Delaware State Bar Association, 13th Annual Rubenstein-Walsh Seminar, Wilmington, Delaware, January 2008
  • “Taking and Defending Effective Depositions in Delaware,” Lorman, Wilmington, Delaware, September 2007, 2008

Education

  • J.D., Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 1985
  • B.A., University of Delaware, 1982

Awards

  • Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association President’s Award, 2014
  • ABA Section of Litigation, Outstanding Subcommittee Chair, 2013-14
  • Delaware Service to Children Award, 2012, Office of the Child Advocate for the State of Delaware
  • J. Thompson Brown Award For Outstanding Contributions to Family Life In Delaware, 2010

Leadership

  • Member, Delaware Superior Court Committee on Complex Civil Litigation
  • Vice Chair, American Bar Association Litigation Section, Commercial and Business Litigation Committee
    • Co-Chair, Delaware Corporate and Programs Subcommittees
  • Member, American Bar Association, Litigation and Business Law Sections 
  • Member, Delaware State Bar Association, Corporate Law and Litigation Sections 
  • Member, Delaware State Bar Association, Nominating Committee (2010-2012) 
  • Chair, Delaware Child Protection Accountability Commission 
  • Member, Delaware Child Death, Near Death, Still Birth Commission 
  • Member, Governor’s Steering Committee on the Protection of Children 
  • Co-Chair, Joint Committee on the Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse (2011-2013)
  • Co-Chair, 147th Delaware General Assembly Task Force on the Funding of Ambulance and EMS Service in Delaware (2013-2014)
  • New Castle County Co-Chair, Combined Campaign For Justice (2014)
  • Director, Delaware Bar Foundation