Governor Announces Two Judicial Nominations

Robert H. Surles nominated for appointment and Judge Charles W. Welch III nominated for reappointment to Court of Common Pleas

WILMINGTON – Governor Jack Markell today announced his nominations of two dedicated public servants for judicial positions on the Court of Common Pleas.

Markell announced he will nominate Robert H. Surles of Wilmington for appointment and Judge Charles W. Welch III of Dover for reappointment to the Court.  Both are Republicans.  Mr. Surles will be nominated to fill the vacancy created by the expiration of the term of Judge Joseph F. Flickinger, III, who did not seek reappointment.

“Judge Welch and Rob Surles are dedicated public servants and distinguished members of the Bar,” said Markell. “Judge Welch has been a member the Court of Common Pleas for the last 12 years, and he has served that court and the citizens of our state ably in that capacity.  Rob Surles has been an outstanding lawyer at the Department of Justice for more than two decades, and has served his country with distinction as a member of the Delaware Army National Guard.  If confirmed, I believe they will both serve our judiciary and our state well.”

A 22-year veteran of the Delaware Department of Justice, Mr. Surles currently serves as a Senior Trial Attorney in the New Castle County Trial Unit.  In that capacity he prosecutes homicides, arsons and firearms cases.  Among other duties, he previously served as Unit Head for the Department of Justice’s Felony Screening and Drug Units for more than 12 years and as a line prosecutor for almost 10 years.

Mr. Surles is also a Major in the Delaware Army National Guard, where he serves as Military Judge.  In that capacity, he acts as the judicial officer in court-martial proceedings and the presiding judge in administrative hearings.  An Iraqi War Veteran, Mr. Surles served with the 42nd Infantry Division of the New York National Guard in Tikrit, Iraq in 2005.  He is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Duquesne University School of Law.

“It is a tremendous honor to be nominated by the Governor,” said Surles. “As someone who has argued cases in our state’s courts for more than two decades, I believe that Delaware has the finest judiciary in the nation.  If I am confirmed by the Senate, I promise to work my hardest to continue this tradition of excellence.”

Judge Welch has served as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas since 2000.  From 1996-2000, he was an attorney at Brown, Shiels & Chasanov, where he litigated contract and personal injury claims.  From 1994 to 1996, he was a partner at Blade, Jones & Welch.  In addition, from 1994 to 2000, Judge Welch served as State Representative for the 29th District in the Delaware House of Representatives.

Judge Welch is a graduate of William Penn High School, the University of Delaware and Villanova University School of Law.

“I have been privileged to serve on the Court of Common Pleas for the last 12 years, and I am honored that Gov. Markell has nominated me to serve for a second term,” said Judge Welch.  “If I am confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to continuing my service to the citizens of our state as a member of Delaware’s world-class judiciary.”