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Governor Markell Calls Special Session of Delaware State Senate for December 5th

Date Posted: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
Categories:  Office of Governor Markell

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In addition to previously announced judicial nominations, Markell to nominate two lawyers to serve as Family Court Commissioners and one Superior Court Commissioner for reappointment

WILMINGTON – Governor Jack Markell announced Tuesday that he will call the Delaware State Senate into a special session to consider various judicial nominations on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.  This special session of the State Senate will be the first meeting of either chamber of the 147th General Assembly.    

The Governor is calling the special session so that the Senate may consider nominations for various judicial vacancies.  As previously announced, Governor Markell will be nominating Judge Eric M. Davis, currently of the Court of Common Pleas, and Chief Deputy Attorney General Charles E. Butler to fill two vacancies on the Superior Court.  He will nominate Deputy Attorney General Paula T. Ryan, who currently serves as the Chief Prosecutor for Sussex County, to fill the vacancy on Family Court.  He will also nominate Vice Chancellor John Noble for reappointment to an additional twelve-year term as a Vice Chancellor of the Court of Chancery. 

Markell also announced Tuesday three additional nominations for consideration by the Senate at the special session.  Markell will nominate Dawn M. Williams of the Office of the Public Defender and James J. Maxwell of the Department of Justice to fill two vacancies as Family Court Commissioners.  Markell also will nominate the Honorable Lynne Parker for reappointment as a Commissioner of the Superior Court. 

“Jim Maxwell and Dawn Williams have decades of experience in Family Court and reputations for hard work and problem solving,” said Governor Markell.  “If confirmed, I know they will be great additions to the Court.” 

Maxwell is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Widener Law School.  He has served as a Deputy Attorney General since 1990.  During his career with the Department of Justice, Maxwell spent ten years representing the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families.  Since 2008, Maxwell has prosecuted child abuse and neglect cases, child protection registry cases, and termination of parental rights cases in Family Court.  

Williams is also a graduate of the University of Delaware and Widener Law School.  After graduation, Williams spent a year working as a judicial law clerk on the United States Court of Federal Claims before returning to Delaware to join the Department of Justice as a prosecutor in Family Court.  She joined the Office of the Public Defender in 1999.  Since 2009, Williams has been the statewide supervisor of the Family Court unit within the Office of the Public Defender.  In that capacity, she represents the interests of the Office of the Public Defender in Family Court in all three counties and in various committees related to criminal and juvenile justice, such as the Juvenile Justice Collaborative and the Supreme Court Mental Health Task Force.

In addition to Maxwell and Williams, Governor Markell will nominate the Honorable Lynne M. Parker for reappointment as a Superior Court Commissioner.  Commissioner Parker has served on the Superior Court in New Castle County since July of 2008. 

The two vacancies among Family Court Commissioners were caused this summer by the retirement of the Honorable Frederic H. Kenney and the expiration of the term of the Honorable Bernard V. Pepukayi.

To summarize, the following seven nominations will be made during Special Session:

  • The Hon. John Noble for reappointment as Vice Chancellor of the Court of Chancery;
  • The Hon. Eric M. Davis to fill a vacancy as a Judge of the Superior Court – New Castle County;
  • Charles E. Butler to fill a vacancy as a Judge of the Superior Court – New Castle County;
  • Paula T. Ryan to fill a vacancy as a Judge of the Family Court – Sussex County;
  • The Hon. Lynne M. Parker for reappointment as a Superior Court Commissioner – New Castle County;
  • James J. Maxwell to fill a vacancy as a Family Court Commissioner – New Castle County; and
  • Dawn M. Williams to fill a vacancy as a Family Court Commissioner – New Castle County.
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