DE Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom
Web Editor - Published: March 1, 2013
“This morning, you will hear advocacy at its best,” said Widener Law Dean Linda L. Ammons in her brief opening remarks as she welcomed the Delaware Supreme Court to Widener Law’s Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom to hear oral arguments in two cases on Wednesday, February 27th.

Wednesday’s arguments marked the seventh consecutive year that the Delaware Supreme Court has visited the law school. Following the Dean’s remarks, Justices Henry duPont Ridgely, Randy J. Holland, and Jack B. Jacobs convened the court, with Justice Holland offering very brief remarks in which he noted that the court values its relationship with Widener.

In the first case, Raymond Blake v. State of Delaware, Assistant Public Defender Nicole M. Walker, a 2000 Widener Law graduate, argued that the conviction of her client, Mr. Blake, on heroin trafficking violated the principle of double jeopardy because he had already been tried previously and acquitted of the crime of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, but found guilty of the lesser included offense of possession.

Deputy Attorney General Elizabeth R. McFarlan, a 1998 Widener Law graduate, argued on behalf of the state that because the state nolle prossed the trafficking of heroin charge before the first trial, that it was within its rights to try him on the heroin trafficking charge that had been abandoned before the first trial only because of a misunderstanding related to adding two separate weights of heroin from a medical examiner’s report.

The second case, New Cingular v. Sussex County Board of Adjustment, looked at whether the Sussex County Board of Adjustment used the incorrect standard of review when reaching its decision to reject an application for a “special use” exception by New Cingular Wireless (AT&T) to build a new cell tower designed to fill a gap in cellular coverage.

Attorney Robert V. Witsil Jr., a 1980 Widener Law alumnus, served as primary counsel for the Sussex County Board of Adjustment. Whitney W. Deeney, a 1998 Widener Law graduate, assisted fellow Saul Ewing LLP attorney Richard A. Forsten, who represented AT&T.

Widener Law thanks the Delaware Supreme Court Justices and their staff for providing students with this rewarding opportunity to enrich their legal education by witnessing the court in action.