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Delaware Docket Newsletter
Summer 2014

The Courts Mourn the Death of Judge Vincent A. Bifferato, Sr.

Judge Bifferato served on the Superior Court bench from 1968 until 2000. Judge Biff, as he was lovingly referred to in the courthouse, was a legal lion in Delaware. Before he returned to private practice he served as the New Castle County Resident Judge for the last eight years at court. Judge Biff enjoyed the camaraderie of the other judges and the unique and diverse backgrounds of those who appeared before him. He especially enjoyed mentoring young lawyers and those in law school. He served as an adjunct professor at Widener School of Law and began a program of free seminars for young lawyers, which later became known as the "Judge Vincent Bifferato Superior Court Trial Practice Forum." Even after he left the bench, he was always a willing and ready resource. After retiring from the Superior Court in 2000, he joined his two sons in private practice, focusing on alternative dispute resolution. In his retirement he quickly developed a passion for traveling to Italy. Before his death he had the opportunity to reconnect with his father's family nearly one-hundred years after his father immigrated to the United States.

"As recent days have demonstrated, Judge Bifferato was probably the most beloved judge of our time. Judge Biff was a constant presence on the bench for over 30 years.  He was predominantly gentle, and if there was an occasional outburst, it was temper fed by conscience and his desire that things go right and be fair.  He stuck up for individual practitioners as the free CLE seminar program he started demonstrates.  He also made us aware of how difficult it was for the small law office without in house accounting help to comply with demanding procedures and why it was that the small office was at greater risk to disciplinary action.  The son of immigrant parents who was proud of his Italian and Catholic heritage and was the loving head of his own family, which is a lawyer enclave of its own. The world won't be the same without Biff." Former Justice of the Supreme Court William T. Quillen.

"Judge Bifferato was the ultimate public servant. He recognized that the court was there to serve the public and to help solve problems, whether they involved large corporations or individuals, and that each of those deserved the same fair respect in a hearing." Former Superior Court Judge Richard Gebelein.