Delaware Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments at Widener Law
Web Editor - Published: April 21, 2011
“It’s a pleasure for the court to be hearing arguments here at Widener Law School,” said Justice Randy J. Holland before he and fellow Justices Jack B. Jacobs and Henry duPont Ridgely heard oral arguments in the first of three cases in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom on Wednesday, April 20th.

Widener Law Dean Linda L. Ammons called the Delaware Supreme Court “the best court in the land,” as she offered a short welcome to the audience of students, faculty, and staff before the court’s session began. She also thanked Court Administrator Stephen D. Taylor for making the event possible and thanked Justices Holland and Jacobs for their service to the school as adjunct professors and Justice Ridgely for speaking at the Delaware campus graduation ceremony last May.

The first case, Dr. Santosh Reddy v. PMA Insurance, involved the appeal of an action for contribution in a matter of medical negligence. Arguing on behalf of the appellant, Gilbert F. Shelsby, Jr. argued that the Superior Court for Sussex County had incorrectly found against his client and that the more stringent statute of limitations in the medical negligence statute should be applied rather than the more forgiving statue of limitations provided by the general contribution statute.

In the second case, Anderson v. State, Assistant Public Defender and Widener Law alumnus Santino Ceccotti ’07 argued on the behalf of appellant Valerie I. Anderson, who was appealing a Superior Court for New Castle County decision that revoked her driver’s license after finding that she was a habitual driving offender. Deputy Attorney General Paul Wallace argued on behalf of the state. The argument considered whether the Attorney General’s office is obligated to proceed in a specific manner in all habitual offender license revocations or had prosecutorial discretion.

In the final case, Philpot v. State, Assistant Public Defender Bernard J. O’Donnell argued on behalf of Matthew Philpot that evidence of emails used to convict Philpot of fourth-degree rape and witness tampering in the Superior Court for Sussex County were unfairly prejudicial and that the charges for witness tampering should have been tried separately. Deputy Attorney General Abby L. Adams, a 1997 Widener Law alumna argued on behalf of the state that the actions were rightly joined and that the Superior Court did not abuse its discretion.

Widener Law thanks the Supreme Court Justices and their staff for providing students with a wonderful opportunity to see the Delaware Supreme Court in action.