Judge Coonin received his B.A. Degree in Political Science from the University of Delaware in 1971. Following receipt of his Juris Doctor Degree with Honor from the John Marshall Law School of Chicago, Illinois in 1974, he returned to Delaware and was admitted to practice law in January of 1975, beginning a 24 year career as a litigator in the law firm that later was to become known as Berkowitz, Schagrin, Coonin and Cooper, P. A.
Following his appointment by Governor Ruth Ann Minner and confirmation by the Delaware State Senate, he became a Judge of the Family Court of the State of Delaware on June 15, 2001. He was reappointed to a second 12 year term by Gov. Jack Markel in 2013. Judge Coonin currently serves as the Administrative Judge for the “Criminal, Delinquency and Children and Families at Risk Unit” of the Family Court in New Castle County, where he presides over matters involving juvenile felonies, adult domestic violence, civil custody matters involving allegations of child dependency, neglect and abuse, termination of parental rights, adoptions, custody, property division and alimony matters ancillary to divorce proceedings. He is a member of the teams that created both the Family Court Adjudicated Juvenile Drug Court Program and the Family Court Juvenile Mental Health Court.
Judge Coonin has participated in many national conferences and continuing judicial education programs including the 2003 National Institute on Domestic Violence in Sante Fe, New Mexico, the 2004 National Child Welfare data conference in Washington, D.C., the September 2005 National Judicial Child Welfare Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota in addition to n annual meetings of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. In 2002, he participated in 50 hours of training leading up to his becoming certified in Judicial Mediation by the National Judicial College and the American Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. He is an Adjunct Professor at Widener University School of Law where he teaches Juvenile Justice.
Judge Coonin is a past chairman of the Delaware State Bar Association Committee on the Administration of Justice. He currently serves as a member of the Judicial Council of the Family Court Court of the State of Delaware. He has served on the Child Protection Accountability Commission subcommittee on mental and behavioral services for children in foster care, House of Representatives legislative subcommittees on revisions to the Delaware Code relating to involuntary commitment of both adults and juveniles and two terms as a member of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Delaware. He currently serves as President of the Melson-Arsht Family Law American Inn of Court and is a member of the National Council of Juvenile Family Court Judges.