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Delaware Trial Practice Blog
Join Leslie and other Wilmington-based Fox Rothschild litigators as they navigate through Delaware’s Superior Court, Court of Common Pleas and Family Court, providing analysis on matters, identifying new cases and developments, detailing the implications of court decisions and offering step-by-step commentary of the trial process.
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Delaware Chancery Law Blog
The Delaware Court of Chancery is widely considered the preeminent forum for resolving disputes involving the internal affairs of the multitude of Delaware corporations and other business entities through which a vast amount of the world's commercial affairs is conducted. Join Leslie as she helps guide you through the complex landscape of legal issues and analysis arising before this Court.
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Recent Blog Posts

  • Social Media And Protective Orders – Lessons From Pennsylvania A prior post on this blog explored the use of social media to in custody cases.  As the  recent post by Mark Ashton, a Partner in our Exton office, points out social media to can have an even greater significance in the context of a protection from abuse order.  His post, entitled “Posts on Social Media, Go to Jail – How a Facebook Post Violated a Court Order” discusses a recent Pennsylvania action in which a contempt order issued for violation of... More
  • Alimony And Cohabitation – Timing Matters For many people facing the possibility of paying alimony after separation and/or divorce, the thought that their ex may cohabit makes them positively giddy. There is an expectation that cohabitation will prevent any future obligation to pay alimony. This expectation may be based on the language of Section 1512(g) of Title 13, which provides: Unless the parties agree otherwise in writing, the obligation to pay future alimony is terminated upon the death of either party or the remarriage or cohabitation of the party receiving alimony. As used in... More
  • Family Court Begins Publishing Opinions Online! The Family Court of the State of Delaware recently announced that it will make opinions available on the Delaware Judiciary website.  The September 15th announcement of this significant policy change states: As of today, written decisions from the Family Court of the State of Delaware will be available on the Delaware Judiciary’s website. The first opinion was published today and can be found on the opinions page at  The publishing of decisions on the Delaware Judiciary’s website will bring greater awareness... More
  • Governor Jack Markell Announces Nominations To The Family Court Bench Governor Jack Markell has announced the nomination of James G. McGiffin, Jr., Gretchen C. Gilchrist and Theresa A. Sedivec to the Family Court bench.  James McGiffin, Jr. has been nominated to serve as an Associate Judge in Kent County.  He has been nominated to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William J. Walls, Jr.  Gretchen C. Gilchrist has been nominated to serve as a commissioner in the Kent County Family Court.  Theresa A. Sedivec has been nominated... More
  • Prohibition Of Gender Bias In Custody Cases I often hear parents express a belief or a fear that the law is biased in custody cases.  Most often I hear concerns that the Delaware Code presumes that mothers are better parents.  Perhaps this fear comes from talking with parents in other states where this may occur. For example, a recent article in Southeast Missourian noted that prior to an amendment in that state’s law the standard custody arrangement in Missouri typically allowed for a mother to have primary... More
  • Supreme Court Amends Rules 10.2, 13, 14, 15, 26, 26.1, Official Form K and Internal Operating Procedure XVIII(7)(j) The Supreme Court recently announced amendments to Rules 10.2, 13, 14, 15, 26, 26.1, Official Form K and Internal Operating Procedure XVIII(7)(j).  The amendments alter the formatting and filing requirements for briefs.  For example, the amendment to Rule 13(a)(i) deletes the requirement that parties place two spaces between sentences.  By way of further example, Rule 14(d) has been amended to limit briefs by word count rather than by the number of pages.  The Court’s Internal Operating Procedures have been amended to refer to... More
  • Incompetence And Divorce The American Bar Journal recently published an article about an interesting Kentucky divorce action. The article, entitled “Can mentally incompetent man obtain a divorce? Kentucky Supreme Court to decide,” highlights the case of Elmer Riehle. Mr. Riehle, who has been adjudicated to be disabled and incompetent, is asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to overturn a 1943 decision which held that Kentucky law does not authorize a mentally incompetent person to divorce. In 1996, the Delaware Family Court was faced with a... More
  • Supreme Court Holds That A Motion For Clarification Did Not Toll The Appeal Period Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 6(a)(i) an appeal in a civil case must be filed within 30 days after the entry upon the docket of the final judgment, order or decree from which the appeal is taken.  The timely filing of an appeal is a critical jurisdictional requirement.  The appeal period may be tolled in limited circumstances, such as a timely filed motion for reargument.  The case of Woods v. Woods, Del. Supr. 606, 2015 (Aug. 19, 2015) tested whether... More
  • Is Divorce Seasonal? A recent article in Medical News Today highlights a study by University of Washington Associate sociology Prof. Julie Brines and doctoral candidate Brian Serafini that found patterns in the timing of filing for divorce. Specifically, the study found “biannual patterns of filings for divorce – that divorce is seasonal during the periods following winter and summer vacations.” In exploring the reason for the patterns the article notes, Prof. Brines mentions that troubled couples may see the holidays as a time to... More
  • Court Issues Sanctions In The Case Of In Re Shawe & Elting LLC The Court of Chancery recently issued its latest decision in the contentious case captioned In re Shawe & Elting LLC.  This decision addresses Elizabeth Elting’s motion seeking the imposition of sanctions against Philip Shawe.  After conducting a hearing on the request, the Court found, clear evidence adduced at the sanctions hearing establishes that Shawe acted in bad faith and vexatiously during the course of the litigation in three respects: (1) by intentionally seeking to destroy information on his laptop computer after the... More
  • The Definition Of Marital Property Has Been Expanded A prior post examined House Bill 271 regarding the definition of “marital property.”  Marital property was generally defined as “all property acquired by either party subsequent to the marriage.”  House Bill 271, which has now been signed into law, expands the definition of marital property to include “jointly-titled real property acquired by the parties prior to their marriage, unless excluded by valid agreement of the parties.” With this expanded definition real estate that was acquired before the parties were married, perhaps even long before, could be... More
  • Delaware Supreme Court Denies Request For Writ Of Mandamus, Prohibition, Or Certiorari A matter recently decided by the Delaware Supreme Court addressed a petition seeking the issuance of a writ of mandamus, prohibition, or certiorari.  Matter of Philip R. Shawe, No. 673, 2015 (Jan. 22, 2016).  The petition, filed by Philip R. Shawe (“Shawe”), sought a writ that would direct the Court of Chancery to vacate an order which compelled Shawe to return certain privileged documents.  It was Shawe’s contention that the order issued by the Court of Chancery violated his First... More
  • Delaware Supreme Court Adopts Rules To Govern Arbitrations Conducted Pursuant To The Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act By Order dated June 17, 2015, and in accordance with Section 5804(a) of the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act, the Delaware Supreme Court adopted Rules to govern arbitrations conducted pursuant to that Act.  The Rules, which may be viewed here, become effective on June 22, 2015. _____________ Leslie Spoltore is a Partner with the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP.  Leslie practices in Fox Rothschild’s Wilmington, Delaware office.  You can reach Leslie at (302) 622-4203, or [email protected]... More
  • Implementation of the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act The Delaware Supreme Court and the Court of Chancery have each amended their Rules to implement the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act.  The announcement of these amendments provides, Amendments to the Delaware Supreme Court Rules and the Court of Chancery Rules Related to the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act To implement aspects of the recently-enacted Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act, 10 Del. C. § 5801 et seq. (“DRAA”), the Delaware Supreme Court and the Court of Chancery have amended their rules. These amendments are... More
  • Supreme Court Addresses Motion To Dismiss On May 6, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court heard oral argument on two cases that presented the same question: “In an action for damages against corporate fiduciaries, where the plaintiff challenges an interested transaction that is presumptively subject to entire fairness review, must the plaintiff plead a non-exculpated claim against the disinterested, independent directors to survive a motion to dismiss by those directors?”  The Court responded in the affirmative stating, “A plaintiff seeking only monetary damages must plead non-exculpated claims against... More