Delaware State Courts
   home | feedback 
Delaware State Courts.  The Official Website of the Delaware Judiciary
Delaware State Courts
  Civil Preferences
  President Judge Jurden
  Resident Judge Graves
  Resident Judge Cooch
  Judge Silverman
  Judge Carpenter
  Judge Bradley
  Judge Scott
  Judge Young
  Judge Brady
  Judge Parkins
  Judge Clark
November 19, 2015
President Judge Jan R. Jurden
Civil Case Management Preferences

  For Attorneys & Legal Staff Only:
Marge Swain, Administrative Specialist . Chambers . 302.255.0654
  Rita Marocco, Judicial Civil Case Manager . Prothonotary's Office . 302.255.0785
  Carla Jones, Law Clerk . Chambers . 302.255.0647
  Rebecca Trexler, Law Clerk . Chambers . 302.255.0685
Chambers Fax: 302.255.2274 *
Prothonotary Fax: 302.255.2598 *
* Please advise the Administrative Specialist or Civil Case Manager by phone or email that a FAX transmission has been or is about to be sent to chambers or the prothonotary.

Click panel to open

Only counsel, not legal staff, may write directly to President Judge Jurden. All correspondence must be signed by an attorney in the law firm of the attorney of record.

Any letter to the Court requesting Court action of some kind (in instances where a motion is otherwise not appropriate) must state the position of all parties or otherwise represent that opposing counsel or self-represented party could not be reached.

Email should not be used with President Judge Jurden except when (a) President Judge Jurden has approved same or (b) exigent circumstances exist. However, this does not preclude administrative-type emails, particularly to staff.

Administrative emails are not docketed. Administrative emails should only be sent to President Judge Jurden if not appropriate to send to staff.

Substantive emails are docketed and must always include the civil action number.

Comments or questions from lawyers, paralegals and other legal staff about President Judge Jurden's preferences are welcome.

Initial Stages

RELATED CASES: Counsel should always identify any 'related' Superior Court cases on the
Case Information Statement filed with the complaint or with the answer so that the new case is assigned to the same judge. If counsel belatedly realizes that the Case Information Statement(s) omitted reference to another pending case and that the subsequent civil case was assigned to a different judge, please promptly notify the Judicial Case Manager for the judge assigned to the subsequently filed case.

INITIAL SCHEDULING CONFERENCES: After responsive pleading(s) are filed and/or default judgment(s) entered, President Judge Jurden's the Court will either arrange a scheduling conference or issue a trial scheduling order, depending on the complexity of the case.

Another attorney in the law firm of counsel for a party (other than the attorney(s) who signed the complaint or the responsive pleading) may attend the scheduling conference provided (1) that attorney has a basic understanding of the case, (2) the case is not particularly complex, and (3) the attorney knows the trial attorney's trial availability. If counsel other than a signatory of the complaint or the responsive pleading plans to attend, counsel should notify chambers at least the day before the Scheduling Conference by phone to President Judge Jurden's Administrative Specialist. If appropriate, counsel should confer about potential mediators before the Scheduling Conference. A directory of court-trained mediators is available on the Court's Web site. Counsel attending the scheduling conference should have authority to agree to a specific mediator, if at all possible.

After receiving a scheduling conference date and time, if all counsel believe that the case is likely to settle soon, counsel for plaintiff(s), speaking for all parties, may write the Court requesting the scheduling conference's postponement. Unless ordered otherwise, the conference will be indefinitely postponed. Counsel for plaintiff(s) must then submit a status report within sixty days of the date of the postponed conference.

If any attorney believes that a Scheduling Order should have been issued, but one has not been issued, counsel should contact the Judicial Case Manager to inquire about the delay. Reminder: a scheduling conference is scheduled only after all defendants or third-party defendants have (1) filed responsive pleadings or (2) had default judgments entered against them.

If President Judge Jurden is unexpectedly unavailable for the scheduling conference, the Administrative Specialist may conduct that conference.

At least one attorney per party admitted pro hac vice must participate in the scheduling conference, either by phone or in person.

If mediation resolves the case, counsel for plaintiff(s) should promptly so notify the Civil Case Manager and the Administrative Specialist by email or letter

TRIAL SCHEDULING ORDERS: President Judge Jurden uses her standard Trial Scheduling Order (TSO) for most civil cases. The TSO sets forth firm deadlines. Failure to meet deadlines, without good cause, may result in the Court's refusal to allow extensions. TSO amendments must be made by (1) appropriate motion or (2) joint stipulation, and ordered by the Court. If a party seeks to extend discovery or expert deadlines, without affecting remaining scheduled dates, the motion or stipulation should so state.

CCLD CASE MANAGEMENT ORDERS: President Judge Jurden uses her standard CCLD CMO for most CCLD cases. The CMO sets forth firm deadlines. Failure to meet deadlines, without good cause, may result in the Court's refusal to allow extensions. CMO amendments must be made by (1) appropriate motion or (2) joint stipulation, and ordered by the Court. If a party seeks to extend discovery or expert deadlines, without affecting remaining scheduled dates, the motion or stipulation should so state.

If all counsel think a case has a good chance of settling, and with agreement of all counsel, the Court may 'doublebook' counsel for trial as long as all counsel understands the potential necessity to reschedule the latter case. Note: President Judge Jurden believes she has never had to reschedule a 'doublebooked' case for this reason.

APPEALS FROM ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COURTS: If there is an unusual delay in the preparation of the record, counsel for appellant(s) should write to the Court to advise of the problem. President Judge Jurden may take appropriate action to accelerate this process pursuant to Superior Court Appellate Administrative Order, March 21, 1995.

Oral argument is usually held in administrative appeals only if requested. The Court may convene a teleconference with counsel after the case's assignment to discuss its possible resolution.

Motions & Briefing

FORMATTING: Contrary to Superior Court Civil Rule 107(b) all briefs and motions should have one-inch margins and be written in 14 pt. Times New Roman font and double-spaced. Exhibits to briefs, courtesy copies of motions, or letters must be individually tabbed. No briefs, exhibits, or appendices may be clipped or fastened with paper clips, binder clips, or metal three-ring fasteners, but must be stapled or bound. Case citations shall use Westlaw format for unreported decisions where possible; the Superior Court does not presently have ready capability to utilize Lexis. Exhibits and unreported cases not cited in Westlaw should be physically attached to the briefs and motions unless impractical because of their volume, in which case a separate compendium will be appropriate. When responding to a motion, avoid using terms and phrases typically used in answers to complaints (Admitted, Denied as Stated, etc.) in numbered paragraphs corresponding to the numbered paragraphs in the motion.

ROUTINE MOTIONS: Routine Motions are defined in Paragraph IV.B.3.a. of the NCC Plan
. President Judge Jurden hears routine motions every Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. She may decide to hear a routine motion at a different time, and will so advise counsel. Any attorney should contact President Judge Jurden if that attorney believes the complexity or length of the argument suggests that another date and trial would be more feasible.

Routine Motions must be filed 10 days prior (excluding weekends and holidays) to the noticed date. Responses are due the Thursday prior to presentation. A courtesy copy of both the motion and response must be filed in chambers. If no response is timely filed, the Court may deem the motion unopposed and grant the motion in advance.

A motion to continue a trial date shall be scheduled as a routine motion.

If counsel does not oppose a routine motion, non-opposing counsel should so notify the Court by letter. If possible, an unopposed motion should represent that non-opposition in the motion itself (if such non-opposition is known to the movant) in which event no further notification is necessary.

If an Order is entered before the hearing, the Court will promptly notify the attorney for the movant.

DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS: Counsel should obtain possible dates and times for oral argument through the Administrative Specialist. If a party then does not file a dispositive motion within 4 days after obtaining the possible times for oral argument, the scheduled time may be canceled. Contrary to the NCC Plan, after reviewing an issue-dispositive motion, President Judge Jurden will usually order briefing and order a reply brief. The original motion, response, and reply should be e-filed with 1 courtesy copies promptly delivered to chambers. The motion response and reply shall not exceed 6 pages (unless permission has previously been granted to exceed the page limit) and shall include a notice page indicating the time for argument. If no response is timely filed, the Court may deem the motion unopposed and grant the motion. Contrary to the NCC Plan at IV.A.2.c., an appendix may exceed 25 pages as necessary.

Proposed Orders & Stipulations


A Proposed Order must be uploaded separately from any other documents, and filed in editable Word or Word Perfect format!

If a proposed order is not filed with its responsive motion, a Certificate of Service or a letter with 'CC' at the bottom is required to be filed with it.

There must be a line for the presiding judicial officer to sign.

The document title must state with particularity what the proposed order addresses.

The filing must be linked to the documents to which the proposed order refers or applies.


All Delaware counsel/self-represented litigants must sign a stipulation.

If the Stipulation is fully effectuated but does not need the judge's signature to be implemented, the document type should be 'Stipulation' – this document type does not put the document into judicial review.

Pretrial/Evidentiary Matters

PRETRIAL STIPULATIONS: Counsel is expected to utilize Superior Court Civil Form 46 for Pretrial Stipulations
. All legal or evidentiary issues worthy of pretrial identification and focus should be identified in the stipulation with brief citation(s) of legal authorities relied upon. Legal issues raised in the pretrial stipulation will be resolved at the pretrial conference if possible.

PRETRIAL CONFERENCES: Proposed jury instructions must be filed before the Pretrial Conference.

Trial counsel, including pro hac vice counsel, must attend the Pretrial Conference. For good cause, such as distance and/or the nature of the case, pro hac vice counsel may be permitted, upon written request, to participate by phone.

Pretrial Conferences are reported.


BASIC PRECEPTS: Delaware counsel is expected to attend trial.

As trial issues arise, counsel should confer with opposing counsel before bringing the issue to the Court's attention to avoid unnecessary surprise to any other party and to seek resolution of the issue without need of court involvement.

Trial days customarily begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 5:00 p.m., with an hour for lunch (in addition to other shorter recesses). President Judge Jurden will usually meet with counsel in chambers at 9:30 a.m. on the first day of trial.

Counsel desiring a courtroom with specific technology support should contact the Bailiffs' Office (302) 655.0586 or (302) 255.0587 several days before the trial.

Counsel intending to use demonstrative evidence during opening statements should confer with opposing counsel several days before the trial and seek to resolve any issues regarding such evidence.

Court submissions that are likely to be revised by the Court, i.e., proposed jury instructions and voir dire questions, should be submitted in Word.