Delaware Supreme Court to hear oral arguments at Widener Law
Public Relations - Published: April 6, 2009
SupremesPromoWidener University School of Law is pleased to announce the Delaware Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the Wilmington campus on Wednesday, April 8. The Court will convene in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom to hear two cases beginning at 10 a.m.

The Court will sit en banc for both cases. Briefs on the cases are available at the circulation desk in the law library, for students who want to read about the arguments in advance. The cases are:

10 a.m. Bromstad-Deturk v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. This case involves uninsured motorist coverage under three insurance policies. It presents a question on whether Delaware law precludes “stacking” of the three separate policies. Each side will get 25 minutes to make its argument and arguments should conclude shortly before 11 a.m.

Attorney Beverly L. Bove, who represents Bromstad-Deturk, is a 1979 Widener Law alumna.

11 a.m. James Cooke v. State of Delaware. Cooke is appealing his March 2007 Superior Court conviction and death sentence for the rape and strangulation of University of Delaware sophomore Lindsey Bonistall, who was found dead in her burning apartment near the university campus in May 2005. Cooke’s appeal raises several issues, including a challenge to his trial counsel’s decision to pursue a verdict of guilty but mentally ill. Each side will get 45 minutes to make its argument, so this case is expected to finish around 12:30 p.m.

Attorneys Joseph A. Gabay and Jennifer Kate Aaronson, who represent Cooke, are Widener Law alumni. Gabay graduated in 1982 and Aaronson was a member of the class of 1995.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Delaware Supreme Court back to campus, as their presence here enriches the legal education experience for our students,” Law Dean Linda L. Ammons said. “I am grateful to the Supreme Court for giving us this access to their proceedings. It is a valuable teaching tool.”

The oral arguments are open to the public and will follow the same protocol the Court uses when it sits in its own courtroom in Dover. Protocol also requires everyone who attends the hearings to submit to a security check before entering the Vale Courtroom. Capitol Police will be on campus the day of oral arguments to provide security for the Court, as the officers normally do when the Court sits in Dover. No one may enter or exit the courtroom after an oral argument has started, although entry and exit between oral arguments are permitted. Anyone who creates a disturbance must leave the courtroom and may not return, and the Court prohibits outward displays of emotion by people in the gallery.

Food, drink, BlackBerry devices and all other electronic devices including cellular phones and pagers will not be allowed in the courtroom.