Montgomery-Reeves Sworn In As Justice Of The Delaware Supreme Court

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The Honorable Tamika R. Montgomery-Reeves was publicly sworn in for her first term as a Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court at 2 p.m. on Jan. 3, 2020, in the auditorium at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington. 

Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr. welcomed the audience to the investiture, followed by an invocation by Rev. Dr. Christopher A. Bullock, Pastor of Caanan Baptist Church, and the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Jackson Reeves, Jordan and Riley Reeves, and Rylie Montgomery, the son and nieces of Justice Montgomery-Reeves. 

Gov. John Carney offered remarks, followed by readings delivered by Nyla Crayton, Micah Marshal, and Allena Montgomery, nieces of Justice Montgomery-Reeves. Chief Justice Seitz administered the Oath of Office as the Justice’s husband Jeffrey A. Reeves, and her sons Jackson and Tyson, held the Bible. The oath was observed by her parents, Bettye Cribbs and Dewery and Caroline Montgomery; and her parents-in-law, LaDell Reeves and Alan and Lisa Reeves. Jeffrey A. Reeves then assisted the Justice in putting on her judicial robe. 

Justice Montgomery-Reeves replaces the Honorable Collins J. Seitz, Jr., who was elevated to the position of Chief Justice in November. 

Following the Oath of Office, Chief Justice Seitz offered remarks on behalf of the Court, followed by remarks from former Chancellor William B. Chandler III and Family Court Judge Arlene Minus Coppadge. 

The ceremony concluded with remarks from Justice Montgomery-Reeves and a benediction by Pastor Toney Montgomery, uncle of Justice Montgomery-Reeves. 

Before her appointment to Delaware’s highest court, Justice Montgomery-Reeves was Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery from November 2015 to November 2019. 

Before becoming Vice Chancellor, 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. Justice Montgomery-Reeves also 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. She has also 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 and served as a law clerk for Chancellor William B. Chandler III of the Delaware Court of Chancery. 

Justice Montgomery-Reeves, who is the first African American to serve on the Delaware Supreme Court, chose Howard High School of Technology for her investiture ceremony because of the historical relevance to civil rights history in Delaware. Howard High School was founded in 1867 as the first secondary school for Black students in the state. In 1953, the school was at the center of the Belton v. Gebhart case, one of two cases from Delaware that became part of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 that ended racial segregation in public schools. The school was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2005 and it counts among its alumni feminist writer Alice Dunbar-Nelson, attorney Louis L. Redding, artist Edward L. Loper, Sr. and jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown.

Source: State of Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts

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