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Operating Procedures


Case Management and Litigation


  1. Case Management and Litigation
  1. Publication of Opinions:

    Opinions may be published in the Atlantic Reporter at the discretion of the judicial author but, in exercising that discretion, it should be recognized that published opinions should be of general interest and importance to the bench and bar, including opinions that:
    1. address issues of first impression;
    2. establish, alter, or explain (for the first time) a rule of law;
    3. review the law in this or other jurisdictions (for the first time or for the first time in recent years);
    4. provide a scholarly critique of existing law;
    5. involve unique, but important, factual situations or holdings; or
    6. involve newsworthy cases.
    7. may affect a proceeding in another jurisdiction.
    Published opinions should also provide enough factual and procedural background to allow a reader unfamiliar with the case to understand the issues presented. The opinions should be as short as possible, given the nature of the case, and they should be carefully edited to eliminate repetition, grammatical, and typographical errors.
  2. Assignment Judges of Trial Courts:

    The Presiding Judge for each Court is designated as Assignment Judge of that Court with the authority to assign and designate the several judges who shall hold Court in the several counties of the State for any designated period of time or for the hearing of one or more designated causes.
  3. Administration of Litigation:

    The policies set forth in Appendix D shall guide the administration of the following: Action Docket Standards, attached as Appendix D-1; Policy on Speedy Trial Guidelines - Administration of criminal litigation, attached as Appendix D-2; Policy on Speedy Trial Guidelines - Administration in capital murder cases, attached as Appendix D-3; and Policy on Judicial Reporting on Matters Under Advisement - Cases under advisement, attached as Appendix D-4.
  4. Statistical Standard:

    The Administrative Office of the Courts, in collaboration with the Courts, shall establish statistical standards consistent with national standards or best practices.
  5. Judicial Guidelines for Self-Represented Litigants:

    Judicial Officers shall refer to Delaware's Judicial Guidelines for Civil Hearings Involving Self-Represented Litigants, attached as Appendix E, in their efforts to balance self-represented litigants' perception of procedural fairness while maintaining neutrality in the courtroom, particularly when one party is self-represented and one has an attorney. These guidelines are not intended to alter judges' obligations under the Code of Judicial Conduct or create additional standards under which judges may be disciplined.
  6. Court Interpreters:

    1. Certification Program: A Court interpreter must complete the Administrative Office of the Courts' accreditation program to be certified and included in the list of qualified Court interpreters.
    2. List of Qualified Interpreters: The Administrative Office of the Courts shall maintain a list of qualified Court interpreters for use by the Courts based upon the following criteria: certification status, criminal history background evaluation, and other background information, including feedback from Courts or others who have utilized the interpreter's services. This list shall include sign language interpreters who have registered with the Delaware Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.
    3. Requesting Interpretative Services: Courts needing the services of a language interpreter should refer to the policies and procedures of the Delaware Judiciary Language Access Plan, attached as Appendix F.
    4. Advisory Board on Court Interpreters: The Court Interpreter Program will be overseen by the Advisory Board on Court Interpreters.
    5. Policies and Procedures: Court interpreters shall adhere to the Court Interpreter Program Policy Directive and the Code of Professional Responsibility for Interpreters in the Delaware Judiciary, attached as Appendix G. Court Interpreters shall swear under oath that they will comply with the provisions set forth in the Code of Professional Responsibility for Interpreters in the Delaware Judiciary.
  7. Court-Appointed Attorneys and Ancillary Services in Family Court Civil Cases:

    Court-appointed attorneys appointed by Family Court in civil cases shall be reimbursed in accordance with the Policies and Procedures for Appointment and Payment of Counsel in Family Court Civil Cases, attached as Appendix H.

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