Delaware Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom
Web Editor - Published: April 8, 2010
“This is a historic moment,” noted Dean Linda L. Ammons as she offered a short welcome before the Delaware Supreme Court heard oral arguments in three cases in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom on Widener Law’s Delaware Campus on Wednesday, April 7th. Calling the Delaware Supreme Court “one of the top Supreme Courts in the United States,” Dean Ammons added, “We are so fortunate to have them here today.”

At 10:00 am, Justices Carolyn Berger, Jack B. Jacobs, and Henry duPont Ridgely heard arguments in the case of Clariant v. Harford Mutual. Attorney Kevin J.Conners of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin represented Clariant and its insurer, American Home Insurance. Connors suggested that a settlement reached over the underlying action involving Clariant employee Rocky Stayton - who was injured on a property leased to Clariant by Mill Pond – barred Mill Pond and Harford from making subsequent claims. Attorney Mary Sherlock, a 1983 Widener Law alumna, argued on behalf of Harford Mutual that the settlement required Clariant to continue to pay for and provide a legal defense for Mill Pond.

The second case, heard at 11:00 am, McCall, et al. v. Anderson, et al., involved an objectors appeal to the Court of Chancery’s final approval of a settlement covering several actions that had been filed to challenge PNC Financial Services acquisition of National City Corp. Justices Carolyn Berger, Randy J. Holland, and Jack B. Jacobs heard the case. Attorney Rick S. Miller, who represented McCall, is a 1995 graduate of Widener Law. The parties objecting to the Court of Chancery’s decision argued that National City Corp. was undervalued in the sale, but Justice Holland questioned that, suggesting that the record indicated that it was improbable that any entity would have emerged to exceed PNC’s offer for National City Corp.

Finally, at 12:00 a.m., Chief Justice Myron T. Steele and Justices Carolyn Berger and Jack B. Jacobs heard arguments in the case of Lingo v. Lingo. Attorney Dan V. Folt of Duane Morris LLP represented appellant Archie Lingo. Folt argued that Archie’s sister Dinah Lingo, who was found to have converted assets from a family trust for a personal use, should not be able to inherit those same assets under estate law. Dinah’s attorney, Richard A. Zappa of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP argued that Archie and Dinah’s mother Eleanor had ample time before her death to disinherit Dinah had she been so inclined and suggested that preventing Dinah from inheriting that money would be akin to altering Eleanor’s will.

Dean Ammons thanked the Supreme Court and their staff members for making the event possible. She also thanked current Justices Randy J. Holland and Jack B. Jacobs and former Justice Joseph T. Walsh, who was in the audience, for their work as adjunct faculty members.