Delaware Supreme Court Justice Holland To Retire In March

Justice Holland advised Governor Carney and his colleagues that he will retire at the end of March, 2017. He is the youngest person to serve on the Delaware Supreme Court, having been recommended to the Governor by a bipartisan merit selection committee. Prior to his appointment and confirmation in 1986, Justice Holland was in private practice as a partner at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell. In 2009, he became the longest serving justice in the history of Delaware. In March 2011, he was reappointed by Governor Markell and unanimously confirmed by the Senate for an unprecedented third twelve-year term.


Justice Holland graduated from Swarthmore College. He also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, cum laude, where he received the Loughlin Award for legal ethics. Justice Holland received a Master of Laws in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia Law School. He was awarded honorary Doctor of Law degrees by the Delaware Law School and Swarthmore College.

Throughout his thirty year tenure on the bench, Justice Holland has written more than 700 reported opinions and several thousand case dispositive orders. Justice Holland is recognized as an expert on state constitutional law. He has published two books on the Delaware Constitution: he is co-editor of the Delaware Constitution of 1897, The First One Hundred Years and author of The Delaware Constitution: A Reference Guide. Justice Holland has taught state constitutional law as an adjunct professor for many years. In 2009, he co-authored a law school casebook on that subject from the perspective of all fifty states entitled State Constitutional Law, The Modern Experience. With Justice Holland’s encouragement, the Conference of Chief Justices passed a unanimous resolution recommending that all law schools offer courses on state constitutions.

Justice Holland is the past national President of the American Inns of Court Foundation. 2 He co-chairs the advisory committee to the National Center for State Court’s Center for Judicial Ethics. Justice Holland is a member of the American Law Institute. He served on the American Judicature Society’s Board of Directors, and the ABA Appellate Judges Conference’s Executive Committee. He chaired the American Bar Association National Joint Committee on Lawyer Regulation. Justice Holland has also served on the ABA Presidential Commission on Fair and Impartial Courts, the Standing Committee on Client Protection and the Judicial Division’s Ethics and Professionalism Committee.

Justice Holland has received numerous awards, including the 2014 American Inns of Court Powell Award for Professionalism and Ethics, 2012 First State Distinguished Service Award, the 2011 Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence, the 2009 James Wilson Award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, the 2007 American Inns of Court Christensen Award, the 2003 American Judicature Society’s Herbert Harley Award, and the 1992 Judge of the Year Award from the National Child Support Enforcement Association. In 2004, he was elected to be an Honorable Master of the Bench by Lincoln’s Inn in London. Chief Justices Rehnquist and Roberts appointed Justice Holland as the state judge member of the Federal Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.

Justice Holland has written, co-authored, or edited nine books: Magna Carta: Muse & Mentor (2014), Delaware’s Destiny Determined By Lewes (2013); Delaware Corporation Law, Selected Cases (2011 Chinese (Taiwan) only); State Constitutional Law, the Modern Experience, co-author (West 2010); Middle Temple Lawyers and the American Revolution, co-author (Thomson-West 2007); Appellate Practice and Procedure, co-author (West 2005); The Delaware Constitution: A Reference Guide (Greenwood Press 2002) (Oxford University Press 2017); Delaware Supreme Court: Golden Anniversary (2001), co-editor; and The Delaware Constitution of 1897 – The First One Hundred Years, co-editor. He has also published several 3 law review articles, primarily dealing with judicial ethics and legal history.

Source: Delaware Supreme Court

Image Credits: Delaware Supreme Court