The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and four justices who are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Delaware State Senate.
The justices are appointed for 12-year terms and must be learned in the law and citizens of Delaware. Three of the justices must represent one of the major political parties while the other two justices must be members of the other major political party.
Justice Randy J. Holland
Chief Justice Myron T. Steele
Justice Carolyn Berger
Justice Henry duPont Ridgely
Justice Jack B. Jacobs
- Chief Justice Myron T. Steele
- Justice Randy J. Holland
- Justice Carolyn Berger
- Justice Jack B. Jacobs
- Justice Henry duPont Ridgely
The Senate confirmed Governor Ruth Ann Minner’s nomination of Justice Myron T. Steele as Chief Justice on Wednesday, May 5, 2004. Chief Justice Steele is the 7th Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. Before his appointment as Chief Justice, he served as a Supreme Court Justice from July 28, 2000 to May 5, 2004. Previously, he served as a Vice Chancellor of the Court of Chancery from 1994 to 2000, as Resident Judge of the Superior Court in Kent County from 1990 to 1994, and as a Superior Court Judge from 1988 to 1990.
Chief Justice Steele graduated from the University of Virginia (B.A., Foreign Affairs, 1967) and the University of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 1970; LL.M. 2005). He served on active duty in the U.S. Army and retired as a Colonel in the Delaware Army National Guard. He was a Deputy Attorney General, Senate (Delaware) Attorney and Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Board. Before being appointed to the bench, he was a litigation partner in Prickett, Jones & Elliott of Wilmington and Dover. He also served as outside counsel, Director and Chairman of the Central Delaware Health Care Corporation.
In addition to his judicial activities, Chief Justice Steele has been appointed to the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction by Chief Justice John Roberts. He is an advisor to the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, a member of and judicial liaison to the Negotiated Acquisitions Committee of the Business Law Section, and a member of the Judicial Section. He is also a member of the American Board of Trial Attorneys, the first member of the Delaware Judiciary selected.
As Vice Chancellor and Superior Court Judge, Chief Justice Steele presided over major corporate litigation and LLC and limited partner governance disputes. Some of the most noteworthy trials over which he presided include the Viacom/Universal Studios dispute over ownership of the USA Television Networks; Painewebber v. Centocor, an internal governance dispute in a nationally traded limited partnership; CFLP v. Cantor, et al., a dispute seeking injunctive and contractual remedies between limited partners and a general partner in a closed partnership; and the DuPont v. Admiral environmental insurance coverage litigation. Chief Justice Steele has published over 400 opinions resolving disputes among members of limited liability companies and limited partnerships, and between shareholders and management of both publicly traded and closely held corporations.
Chief Justice Steele speaks and writes frequently on issues of corporate document interpretation and corporate governance. His thesis for the LL.M. degree, Judicial Scrutiny of Fiduciary Duties in Delaware Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies, focused on the application of common law fiduciary duties within the contractual framework of alternative business organizations. It was published in the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law (32 Del. J. Corp. L. 1 (2007)). The November 2005 issue of The Business Lawyer included an article he co-authored with Sean J. Griffith entitled On Corporate Law Federalism: Threatening the Thaumatrope (61 Bus. Law. 1 (2005)). Most recently, he co-authored an article with J.W. Verret entitled Delaware’s Guidance: Ensuring Equity for the Modern Witenagemot to be published in the Fall 2007 issue of the Virginia Law & Business Review (2 Va. L. & Bus. Rev. 188 (2007)). That article formed the basis for a keynote speech to the Business Section at the 2007 ABA Annual Meeting.
In September 2007, Directorship Magazine ranked Chief Justice Steele as one of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance in the United States. In December 2007, Ethisphere Magazine ranked Chief Justice Steele second in its list of “the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics for 2007.” Lawdragon Magazine has consistently placed Chief Justice Steele among its annual Lawdragon 500 “Leading Lawyers in America” and “Top Judges in America.”
His current term as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware ends May 26, 2016.
Randy J. Holland is the youngest person to serve on the Delaware Supreme Court, having been recommended to the Governor by a bipartisan merit selection committee. Prior to his appointment and confirmation in 1986, Justice Holland was in private practice as a partner at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell. In March 2011, he was reappointed by Governor Markell and unanimously confirmed by the Senate for an unprecedented third twelve-year term.
Justice Holland graduated from Swarthmore College. He also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, cum laude, where he received the Loughlin Award for legal ethics. Justice Holland received a Master of Laws in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia Law School.
Justice Holland is the past national President of the American Inns of Court Foundation. He chaired the national Advisory Committee to the American Judicature Society’s Center for Judicial Ethics. He also chaired the American Bar Association National Joint Committee on Lawyer Regulation. Justice Holland has also served on the ABA Presidential Commission on Fair and Impartial Courts, the Appellate Judges Conference’s Executive committee, the Standing Committee on Client Protection and the Judicial Division’s Ethics and Professionalism Committee. Justice Holland is a member of the American Law Institute. He serves on the American Judicature Society’s Board of Directors.
Justice Holland has received numerous awards, including the 1992 Judge of the Year Award from the National Child Support Enforcement Association, the 2011 Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence, the 2009 James Wilson Award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, the 2003 American Judicature Society’s Herbert Harley Award and the 2007 American Inns of Court Christensen Award. In 2004, he was elected to be an Honorable Master of the Bench by Lincoln’s Inn in London. Chief Justices Rehnquist and Roberts appointed Justice Holland as the state judge member of the Federal Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.
Justice Holland has written, co-authored, or edited seven books: Delaware Corporation Law, Selected Cases (2011 Chinese (Taiwan) only); State Constitutional Law, the Modern Experience, co-author (West 2010); Middle Temple Lawyers and the American Revolution, co-author (Thomson-West 2007); Appellate Practice and Procedure, co-author (West 2005); The Delaware Constitution: A Reference Guide (Greenwood Press 2002); Delaware Supreme Court: Golden Anniversary (2001), co-editor; and The Delaware Constitution of 1897 – The First One Hundred Years, co-editor. He has also published several law review articles, primarily dealing with judicial ethics and legal history.
His current term as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware ends March 27, 2023.
Honorable Carolyn Berger became a Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware
on July 22, 1994.
Prior to her appointment on the Supreme Court, Justice Berger was a Vice
Chancellor for the Delaware Court of Chancery from 1984 to 1994. Justice
Berger received her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Rochester in 1969.
She received a Masters in Elementary Education in 1971 from Boston University
School of Education and her Juris Doctorate from Boston University School
of Law in 1976. She received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Widener University
School of Law in 1996.
to 1984, Justice Berger was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher
& Flom. She also worked as an associate at Prickett, Ward, Burt &
Sanders for a year. From 1976 to 1979, Justice Berger was a Deputy Attorney
General with the Delaware Department of Justice. Justice Berger served
as an Associate Member on the Board of Bar Examiners, as President and
Vice President of the Milton & Hattie Kutz Home, as a member of the
Community Advisory Council of the Junior League of Wilmington and on the
Board of Directors with the Jewish Federation and the Delaware Region
National Conference of Christians & Jews. She is currently a member
of the American Bar Foundation, the American Law Institute and the Rodney
Inn of Court.
term as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware ends in July 2018.
Before his appointment as a Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court in 2003, Jack B. Jacobs served as Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery since October 1985, after having practiced corporate and business litigation in Wilmington, Delaware since 1968. Justice Jacobs holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago (B.A., 1964, Phi Beta Kappa), a law degree from Harvard University (LLB., 1967), and an LLD (Hon.) from Widener University (2011).
In addition to his judicial activities, Justice Jacobs serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Law Schools of New York University, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and Widener University. Justice Jacobs is a member of the American Law Institute, where he served as an Advisor to its Restatement (Third) of Restitution, and currently, as an Advisor to its Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance. He is also a member of the Delaware and American Bar Associations (where he served on the Committee on Corporate Laws of the ABA Business Law Section), a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the Rand Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance Advisory Board.
Justice Jacobs has participated in academic symposia and continuing legal education programs related to corporate and securities law sponsored by various law schools and Continuing Legal Education organizations. He has guest lectured at numerous American and foreign law schools. Justice Jacobs has delivered (among others) the Distinguished Jurist Lecture at the University of Pennsylvania Law School (March 2002); the Regent's Lecture in Residence at the UCLA School of Law (January 2005); the Morrison & Foerster Lecture at Stanford Law School (February 2008); the William J. Brennan Lecture at NYU School of Law (February 2009); and was the Distinguished Visiting Jurist at the Harvard Law School Corporate Governance Program (2008). He also serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Planning Committee of the Tulane Corporate Law Institute.
Justice Jacobs has also been an invited guest speaker in various conferences, including those sponsored by the Asian Corporate Governance Association (Hong Kong, October 2003); the Korea Development Institute (Seoul, Korea, November 2004); the University of Tokyo (Japan, November 2005 and June 2010); the OECD (Stockholm, Sweden, March 2006); the Ministry of Economic Affairs (Amsterdam, Netherlands, April 2006); the Australian Law Council (Sydney Australia, April 2008), and conferences in Israel co-sponsored by Columbia Law School (2008) and University of Pennsylvania Law School (2010). Justice Jacobs has also authored (and co-authored) numerous law review articles addressing various aspects of corporation law, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance.
His current term as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware ends June 4, 2015.
The Honorable Henry duPont Ridgely was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware on July 22, 2004. From 1984 until his appointment as a Justice, he served as a general jurisdiction trial judge on the Superior Court of Delaware. From 1990 until 2004, he was the President Judge of the Superior Court of Delaware.
Justice Ridgely received his B.S. in Business Administration from Syracuse University in 1971, his J.D. from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in 1973, and his LL.M. in Corporation Law from George Washington University Law School in 1974. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Widener University School of Law in 2010. Before being appointed to the bench, he was a partner in the firm of Ridgely and Ridgely in Dover, Delaware. At the time of his appointment as a Justice in 2004, Justice Ridgely was the Chair-Elect of the National Conference of State Trial Judges.
Justice Ridgely is a Member of the American Law Institute, a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Fellow of the National Conference of State Trial Judges, a Member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, a Member of the Executive Committee of the Appellate Judges Conference of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, a Member of the American Inns of Court Leadership Council, a former Trustee of the American Inns of Court, a Member of the National Advisory Council of the American Judicature Society and a former Member of the American Judicature Society’s Board of Directors. He serves as a Judicial Advisor to the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.
Justice Ridgely is the Chair of the Delaware Supreme Court's e-Filing Committee and previously served as Co-Chair of the ABA Judicial Division’s Court Technology Committee. In 2005 the Delaware Supreme Court became the first appellate court in the nation to implement electronic filing of appeals. He is the Chair of the Delaware Courts Automation Project. Justice Ridgely is the Co-Chair of the Delaware Supreme Court Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Health. In 2010, the Task Force issued a Strategic Plan for Delaware which was endorsed by the Delaware Criminal Justice Council. He also is the Co-Chair of the Delaware Criminal Justice Council’s Committee on Racial and Ethnic Fairness. In 2010, the Council was the first in the nation to adopt a Declaration of Leading Practices to Protect Civil Rights and Promote Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Criminal Justice System.
Justice Ridgely is an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University Law School and an Advisory Board Member of the Center for Law, Economics & Finance of the George Washington University. He is a Charter Member and former President of the Terry-Carey American Inn of Court, and a Charter Member of the Richard K. Herrmann Technology Inn of Court. He was presented the American Bar Association's and National Center for State Courts' Award for Outstanding Service in Adopting and Implementing Standards Relating to Juror Use and Management in 1993. In 2000 the American Board of Trial Advocates - Delaware Chapter presented him its Award for Judicial Professionalism and Civility. In 1997 and in 2011 he received the Chief Justice of Delaware’s Award for Outstanding Judicial Service.
His current term as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware ends July 22, 2016.