Governor Markell Announces Judicial Nomination for Court of Chancery

Date Posted: Monday, February 8th, 2016
Categories:  News Office of Governor Markell

Wilmington, DE – Governor Markell today announced that he is nominating Joseph R. Slights, III, a former judge on the Delaware Superior Court, to become a Vice Chancellor on the Delaware Court of Chancery.  If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Slights will fill the vacancy that is resulting from the retirement of the Honorable John W. Noble later this month. 

Judge Slights was appointed to Superior Court in 2000 by then Governor Tom Carper.  During his twelve-year term, Judge Slights presided over hundreds of criminal and civil litigation matters, and was an integral part in the creation of the Superior Court’s Complex Commercial Litigation Division.  In 2008, then-Chief Justice Steele awarded Judge Slights with a Chief Justice’s Citation – one of only two such citations that Chief Justice Steele awarded during his term.  In 2012, the Delaware State Bar Association awarded Judge Slights the Daniel L. Herrmann Award for Professionalism.

“The State of Delaware lost a great asset when Judge Slights retired from the Superior Court, and I am very pleased that we will have the opportunity to bring him back into the fold” said Governor Markell.  “Joe is an immensely talented individual, with a strong knowledge of the law and a passion for public service.  If confirmed by the Senate, I am confident that his experience, work ethic and judicial temperament will go a long way to ensure that the Delaware Court of Chancery continues its well-deserved reputation as one of the greatest courts in the nation.”

Judge Slights was born in Dover, Delaware, where he graduated from Dover High School in 1981.  He received an Associate’s degree from Wesley College in 1983, a Bachelor of Science degree from James Madison University in 1985, and graduated from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1988.  During law school Judge Slights spent a summer clerking at Schmittinger & Rodriguez, P.A. in Dover, Delaware.  After his graduation and admission to the Delaware bar, Judge Slights was a corporate and then a general trial litigator in Wilmington, where he worked for Richards, Layton & Finger P.A., The Law Offices of Sidney Balick P.A., and Morris, James, Hitchens & Williams LLP.  He was a commercial litigator and a partner at Morris, James, Hitchens & Williams LLP immediately prior to his appointment to the Delaware Superior Court.

Following his retirement from Superior Court, Judge Slights rejoined the partnership at Morris James LLP as a member of its Business Litigation practice and chair of its Alternative Dispute Resolution practice.  Judge Slights specializes in complex commercial and corporate litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery and Superior Court, and also in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.

“My twelve years as a judge on the Superior Court were some of the best and most satisfying years of my professional life,” said Slights.  “I am grateful to Governor Markell for the opportunity to rejoin the Delaware judiciary.  If confirmed by the Senate, I very much look forward to bringing my experience and education to bear in a way that continues the long tradition of excellence fostered by the present and past Chancellors and Vice Chancellors of the Court of Chancery.”

The Senate is expected to consider this nomination when legislative session resumes in March 2016. 




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