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Judicial Officers

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.

Supreme Court Justices

From left to right: Justice Gary F. Traynor, Justice Karen L. Valihura, Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr., Justice James T. Vaughn, Jr., Justice Tamika R. Montgomery-Reeves

View a historical list of all Delaware Supreme Court Justices.

Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr. portrait

Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr.

The Honorable Collins J. Seitz, Jr. was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware on November 8, 2019. He previously served as a Justice of the Supreme Court from April 2015 to November 2019. Prior to his appointment, Chief Justice Seitz was a founding partner of Seitz Ross Aronstam & Moritz LLP. Before founding Seitz Ross, Chief Justice Seitz was a partner of Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz LLP in Wilmington Delaware.

A member of the Delaware Bar since 1983, Chief Justice Seitz served as a board member and chair of the Board of Bar Examiners, and a board member of the Board on Professional Responsibility. Both federal and state courts often appointed Chief Justice Seitz as a Master and Trustee to oversee complex corporate, commercial and intellectual property cases. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Chief Justice Seitz received his undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and his law degree from the Villanova University School of Law.

Justice Karen Valihura portrait

Justice Karen L. Valihura

The Honorable Karen L. Valihura was sworn in for her first term as Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware on Friday, July 25, 2014. Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., administered the oath of office.

Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Valihura was a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, where she practiced law since 1989. Her practice in complex commercial and corporate issues included federal and state securities fraud claims, mergers and acquisitions, and fiduciary duties of directors. Due to her preeminence in the field, Justice Valihura has been consistently selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and The Best Lawyers in America.

Justice Valihura served on the Advisory Board of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance and served as Chair of the Delaware Supreme Court's Board on Professional Responsibility and as Chair of the Delaware Supreme Court’s Permanent Ethics Advisory Committee on Delaware Rules for Professional Conduct. Justice Valihura served for eight years on the Corporation Law Council of the Corporation Law Section of the Delaware Bar. Additionally, Justice Valihura served her community as a member of the Board of Directors for the Delaware Special Olympics for eighteen years and as a member of the Delaware Bar Foundation for eight years.

Justice Valihura received her undergraduate degree from Washington and Jefferson College in 1985, and her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She served as a law clerk to Judge Robert E. Cowen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Justice James T. Vaughn, Jr. portrait

Justice James T. Vaughn, Jr.

The Honorable James T. Vaughn, Jr. was appointed Resident Judge in Kent County of the Superior Court of Delaware on October 28, 1998; President Judge of the Superior Court on October 12, 2004; and Justice of the Supreme Court on October 29, 2014.

Justice Vaughn received his B.A. from Duke University in 1971 and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1976. Following admission to the Delaware Bar in 1976, he returned to Dover to practice general civil and criminal law in the firm of Vaughn and Vaughn. In 1988 he became a member of the firm of Schmittinger and Rodriguez in Dover.

While in private law practice, he served as an associate member of the Board on Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Delaware, president of the Kent County Bar Association, and vice-president of the Delaware State Bar Association.

Justice Vaughn is a member of the Kent County Bar Association, Terry-Carey American Inn of Court (President 2011-2013) and The Randy J. Holland Workers' Compensation American Inn of Court. He served as a judicial member of the Joint Bar/Bench Committee on Civility and as a member of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee.

Justice Vaughn is a U.S. Army veteran.

His term ends October 29, 2026.

Justice Gary F. Traynor portrait

Justice Gary F. Traynor

The Honorable Gary F. Traynor, was sworn in for his first term as Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware on July 5, 2017. Before his appointment, Justice Traynor was a practicing Delaware lawyer for 35 years.

A member of the Delaware Bar since 1982, Justice Traynor began his legal career with a small firm in Dover handling a diverse range of litigation matters. In 1990, he joined the firm of Prickett, Jones & Elliott, where he served as the firm’s Managing Director from 2005 to 2007. For his first ten years with the Prickett firm, Justice Traynor continued to focus on general litigation matters, including criminal defense, personal injury litigation, and domestic relations disputes. In 1999, he transitioned to the firm’s corporate and commercial litigation practice where he remained until leaving the firm in 2014 to join the State of Delaware Office of Defense Services where he served as an Assistant Public Defender defending major felony cases until his appointment in 2017.

Justice Traynor received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1978, and earned his law degree from Delaware Law School of Widener University in 1982.

Before joining the state’s highest court, Justice Traynor served on the Delaware Supreme Court’s Board on Professional Responsibility from 2011 to 2017, and was an appointed member of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals’ Task Force on Management of Death Penalty Litigation from 1998 to 2001. Justice Traynor is a past-President of the Terry-Carey American Inn of Court.

In addition to his legal work, Justice Traynor was a commissioner on the Delaware River and Bay Authority from 2009 to 2014. He also served as an officer in the Delaware Army National Guard from 1990 to 1991.

Justice Tamika R. Montgomery-Reeves

Justice Tamika R. Montgomery-Reeves

The Honorable Tamika R. Montgomery-Reeves was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware on December 5, 2019. Justice Montgomery-Reeves served as a Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery from November 2015 to November 2019.

Prior to her appointment, Justice Montgomery-Reeves was a partner in the Wilmington, Delaware office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, focusing on corporate governance, navigation of corporate fiduciary duties, stockholder class action litigation, derivative litigation, and complex commercial litigation. Before that, Justice Montgomery-Reeves practiced in the securities and corporate governance department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York.

Justice Montgomery-Reeves serves as a member of the Delaware Community Foundation board of directors. Justice Montgomery-Reeves has served as a member of the Mother Teresa House, Inc. board of directors and has served as a sub-committee member of the Delaware Access to Justice Commission. Justice Montgomery-Reeves received recognition for her pro bono contribution to the Prisoners’ Rights Project.

Justice Montgomery-Reeves received her undergraduate degree in 2003 from the University of Mississippi and her law degree in 2006 from the University of Georgia School of Law. Justice Montgomery-Reeves served as a law clerk for Chancellor William B. Chandler of the Delaware Court of Chancery.