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Delaware Docket Newsletter
Summer 2008


Law Clerks
The Chief Justice outside of the Wilmington Club with 48 of his clerks.

On May 30th at the Wilmington Club, a Surprise “Knucklehead” Dinner Party was given in honor of Chief Justice Steele’s 20 years on the Bench. In those 20 years, he has mentored 68 (and counting) clerks (full time law clerks, Widener Wolcotts, Widener Externs, and summer interns) who he fondly refers to as his “Knuckleheads.” The majority of his Knuckleheads are practicing law in Delaware and surrounding states, as well as California and Washington, D.C. The surprise began with a ruse of having the Chief Justice get together after work with his law clerks from last year, who "just happened to be in town." While he was enjoying “catching up” with those law clerks, a large group was gathering in the adjoining room. The Chief Justice was not only pleasantly surprised, but actually speechless, to find that the very loud gathering next door was for him! All total, 48 clerks and Roylene Marvel, his Judicial Assistant of 30 years, were in attendance. After the "wonderful dinner" prepared by the Wilmington Club, Charlie Reed, who clerked for the Chief Justice in 2001-02 and currently practices law in Washington D.C., gave a toast to his “second” dad. The Chief Justice offered a short and sentimental thank you, and Michael McDermott (2003-04) presented the Chief Justice with a “Chief Knucklehead” bobblehead.

Law Clerks
The Chief Justice's law clerks from last year and this year from left to right: Allyson Britton James, Lauren Hoelzer, Pauletta Brown and John Eakins

Some of the former law clerks attending included the Chief Justice's clerks when he was a judge in Superior Court: John Klusman (Tybout, Redfearn & Pell) and Margaret Truluck (AAA Mid-Atlantic), both of whom clerked for him in 1988-89; Adam Singer (Cooch and Taylor) and Joan Schneikart (Department of Labor), in 1989-90; Tom Gerard (Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin) and Patricia Bartley Schwartz (Office of Disciplinary Counsel), in 1990-91; and Chris McLean (Bank of America, Charlottesville, VA), in 1991-92. The planning committee included Roylene Marvel, Rebecca Batson Kidner (who clerked for him in 1992-93), Christine Schiltz (Parkowski, Guerke & Swayze) (1993-94) and Elizabeth Olsen (Homeland Security) (1992-93). Roylene said she enjoyed planning this event because it gave her an opportunity to touch base with all the clerks, but "the most enjoyable part was that evening - watching the Knuckleheads enjoying the company of each other."

Law Clerks
Standing from left to right: Margaret Truluck, Joan Schneikart, John Klusman, Christine Schlitz, Adam Singer, Tom Gerard and Rebecca Batson.
Seated from left to right: Patricia Bartle Schwartz, the Chief Justice and Elizabeth Olson.