C. Malcolm Cochran, IV

Director

302.651.7506
302.498.7506 (fax)
cochran@rlf.com

For more than 25 years, Mike has counseled clients involved in complex business and other civil disputes, through litigation and trial and in less formal settings.  He has a proven track record of success in finding efficient solutions to complex problems.  He is a skilled advocate who has represented a broad range of clients in the Delaware courts, including large national and international companies, local businesses, state and local government, hospitals, newspapers, public officials, builders, estates, individuals and (on a pro bono basis) the interests of Delaware’s abused and neglected children.  

Mike has substantial trial experience in the Delaware Court of Chancery, the Delaware Superior Court and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.  He has represented clients in complex arbitration proceedings and before Delaware’s administrative agencies.  He has conducted special investigations in large and complex matters, for special board committees of publicly traded companies.  He has represented public officials and police officers in complex, civil rights litigation.  Mike has served on boards and state commissions and has represented the interests of our clients in the Delaware General Assembly, where he served as counsel early in his career.

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Select Experience

  • Teleglobe Communications Corp. v. BCE: Representation of subsidiaries of a major international telecommunications provider in the litigation of claims against parent corporation arising from the parent’s decision to withdraw funding. Case was resolved in a mediated settlement, in which parent paid $40 million in cash and withdrew claims lodged against our clients valued at approximately $500 million.
  • DeBakey Corp. v. Raytheon Service Co.: Defense of Raytheon Service Co. in claims exceeding $50 million arising from failed joint venture for the development and sale of telemedicine systems.  The case resulted in a defense verdict following two week Chancery Court trial, in which Mr. Cochran was principal trial counsel.
  • Harden and City of Wilmington v. Christina School District: Representation of the City of Wilmington and individual plaintiffs in an action that resulted in the issuance of an injunction preventing school district from closing its elementary schools in the City of Wilmington. The decision returned much of the City of Wilmington to a system of neighborhood schools for elementary and middle school students after decades of forced busing to schools far from their homes.  Mr. Cochran was co-lead trial counsel (with now Superior Court Judge John A. Parkins) in this Chancery Court case.
View Experience >

For more than 25 years, Mike has counseled clients involved in complex business and other civil disputes, through litigation and trial and in less formal settings.  He has a proven track record of success in finding efficient solutions to complex problems.  He is a skilled advocate who has represented a broad range of clients in the Delaware courts, including large national and international companies, local businesses, state and local government, hospitals, newspapers, public officials, fire companies, builders, estates, families, individuals and (on a pro bono basis) the interests of Delaware’s abused and neglected children.  

Mike has substantial trial experience in the Delaware Court of Chancery, the Delaware Superior Court and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.  He has represented clients in complex arbitration proceedings and before Delaware’s administrative agencies.  He has conducted special investigations in large and complex matters, for special board committees of publicly traded companies.  He has represented public officials and police officers in complex, civil rights litigation.  Mike has served on boards and state commissions and has represented the interests of our clients in the Delaware General Assembly, where he served as counsel early in his career.

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 by former heavyweight champion Michael Spinks alleging breach of fiduciary duty and conversion during their more than 30 year business relationship.
  • Teleglobe Communications Corp. v. BCE: Representation of subsidiaries of a major international telecommunications provider in the litigation of claims arising from the 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 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 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 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 dispute regarding alleged breach of a merger agreement. The case focused on 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.
  • Evonik Stockhausen, Inc. v. Tyco Healthcare Group: Delaware counsel for plaintiff in claims exceeding $20 million arising from alleged breach of a commercial supply agreement.
  • Chesapeake Corp. v. Shore: Representation of plaintiffs in 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 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 seller in defense of action for specific performance of an asset purchase agreement for acquisition of broadcasting properties.
  • 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, and representation of special committees formed to investigate claims of misconduct by officers and directors of other corporations.
  • 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 on behalf of 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 Delaware in litigation arising from 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 an action that resulted in the issuance of an injunction preventing school district from closing its elementary schools in the City of Wilmington. The decision largely returned the City of Wilmington to a system of neighborhood schools for elementary and middle school students after three decades of forced busing to schools far from their homes.
  • Keefe Commissary Network, LLC v. The Delaware Department of Correction:  Representation of commissary and financial services contractor in bid dispute with state department of corrections.  The 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.
  • Delaware Volunteer Firefighter's Assn. and Volunteer Hose Company of Middletown:  Representation in the Delaware General Assembly to secure passage of legislation to preclude health insurers from refusing to pay volunteer ambulance companies directly for ambulance service.
  • Volunteer Hose Company of Middletown:  Ongoing, general representation.
  • Townsend Fire Company v. VFIS:  Representation of local fire company in insurance coverage litigation arising 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 coverage action brought by tobacco companies for coverage of tobacco health-related lawsuits.

Recent Publications

  • "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
  • "But the Examination Still Proceeds: A Primer On Surviving the Difficult Deposition," ABA Section of Litigation 2012 Section Annual Conference, April 18, 2012
  • "Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division," Insights, 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
  • "Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division," BNA's U.S. Law Week 

Publications

  • "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 >
  • "Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division," U.S. Law Week, October 4, 2011   View >
  • "But the Examination Still Proceeds: A Primer On Surviving the Difficult Deposition," ABA Section of Litigation 2012 Section Annual Conference, April 18, 2012
  • "Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division,"Insights, 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

Presentations

  • "Delaware: The "Go-to" Forum for Global Business," September 7, 2014   View >
  • "Delaware's Business Courts: Recent Developments and Best Practices," May 16, 2014   View >
  • "ABA's Section of Litigation Annual CLE Conference," April 18, 2012   View >
  • "Lessons from Tragedy: Legal, Professional and Ethical Issues Raised by Bradley and Beyond," November 4, 2011   View >
  • "Leadership Fights and Multi-Jurisdictional Gamesmanship in Deal Litigation," June 2, 2011   View >
  • "Children & Families First Honors Director Mike Cochran," November 15, 2010   View >

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, 2010

Leadership

  • Member, Delaware Superior Court Committee on Complex Civil Litigation
  • American Bar Association, Commercial and Business Litigation Committee
    • Co-Chair, Delaware Corporate Subcommittee
  • American Bar Association, Litigation and Business Law Sections
  • Delaware State Bar Association, Corporate Law and Litigation Sections
  • Delaware State Bar Association, Nominating Committee
  • Chair, Delaware Child Protection Accountability Commission
  • Delaware Child Death, Near Death, Still Birth Commission
  • Governor's Steering Committee on the Protection of Children
  • Co-Chair, Joint Committee on the Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse
  • Co-Chair, 147th Delaware General Assembly Task Force on The Funding of Ambulance and EMS Service In Delaware
  • New Castle County Co-Chair, Combined Campaign For Justice

  • 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

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 by former heavyweight champion Michael Spinks alleging breach of fiduciary duty and conversion during their more than 30 year business relationship.
  • Teleglobe Communications Corp. v. BCE: Representation of subsidiaries of a major international telecommunications provider in the litigation of claims arising from the 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 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 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 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 dispute regarding alleged breach of a merger agreement. The case focused on 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.
  • Evonik Stockhausen, Inc. v. Tyco Healthcare Group: Delaware counsel for plaintiff in claims exceeding $20 million arising from alleged breach of a commercial supply agreement.
  • Chesapeake Corp. v. Shore: Representation of plaintiffs in 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 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 seller in defense of action for specific performance of an asset purchase agreement for acquisition of broadcasting properties.
  • 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, and representation of special committees formed to investigate claims of misconduct by officers and directors of other corporations.
  • 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 on behalf of 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 Delaware in litigation arising from 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 an action that resulted in the issuance of an injunction preventing school district from closing its elementary schools in the City of Wilmington. The decision largely returned the City of Wilmington to a system of neighborhood schools for elementary and middle school students after three decades of forced busing to schools far from their homes.
  • Keefe Commissary Network, LLC v. The Delaware Department of Correction:  Representation of commissary and financial services contractor in bid dispute with state department of corrections.  The 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.
  • Delaware Volunteer Firefighter's Assn. and Volunteer Hose Company of Middletown:  Representation in the Delaware General Assembly to secure passage of legislation to preclude health insurers from refusing to pay volunteer ambulance companies directly for ambulance service.
  • Volunteer Hose Company of Middletown:  Ongoing, general representation.
  • Townsend Fire Company v. VFIS:  Representation of local fire company in insurance coverage litigation arising 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 coverage action brought by tobacco companies for coverage of tobacco health-related lawsuits.

Recent Publications

  • "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
  • "But the Examination Still Proceeds: A Primer On Surviving the Difficult Deposition," ABA Section of Litigation 2012 Section Annual Conference, April 18, 2012
  • "Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division," Insights, 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
  • "Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division," BNA's U.S. Law Week 

Education

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

Publications

  • "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 >
  • "Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division," U.S. Law Week, October 4, 2011   View >
  • "But the Examination Still Proceeds: A Primer On Surviving the Difficult Deposition," ABA Section of Litigation 2012 Section Annual Conference, April 18, 2012
  • "Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division,"Insights, 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

Presentations

  • "Delaware: The "Go-to" Forum for Global Business," September 7, 2014   View >
  • "Delaware's Business Courts: Recent Developments and Best Practices," May 16, 2014   View >
  • "ABA's Section of Litigation Annual CLE Conference," April 18, 2012   View >
  • "Lessons from Tragedy: Legal, Professional and Ethical Issues Raised by Bradley and Beyond," November 4, 2011   View >
  • "Leadership Fights and Multi-Jurisdictional Gamesmanship in Deal Litigation," June 2, 2011   View >
  • "Children & Families First Honors Director Mike Cochran," November 15, 2010   View >

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, 2010

Leadership

  • Member, Delaware Superior Court Committee on Complex Civil Litigation
  • American Bar Association, Commercial and Business Litigation Committee
    • Co-Chair, Delaware Corporate Subcommittee
  • American Bar Association, Litigation and Business Law Sections
  • Delaware State Bar Association, Corporate Law and Litigation Sections
  • Delaware State Bar Association, Nominating Committee
  • Chair, Delaware Child Protection Accountability Commission
  • Delaware Child Death, Near Death, Still Birth Commission
  • Governor's Steering Committee on the Protection of Children
  • Co-Chair, Joint Committee on the Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse
  • Co-Chair, 147th Delaware General Assembly Task Force on The Funding of Ambulance and EMS Service In Delaware
  • New Castle County Co-Chair, Combined Campaign For Justice

  • Director, Delaware Bar Foundation