November 3, 2015

New Delaware Vice Chancellor: Tamika Montgomery-Reeves

According to the Chancery Daily, the Delaware Senate confirmed the nomination of Tamika Montgomery-Reeves, a partner at Wilson Sonsini, as Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery last week by a vote of 21-0. VC Montgomery-Reeves succeeds Donald Parsons whose term expires this month. As noted in this Reuters article, Tamika is the first female VC since 1994 – and the first black VC. About time to say the least.

Here’s an article from “Delaware Online”:

In what is being hailed as an historic step in promoting women lawyers to the Delaware bench, the slate of candidates for an upcoming vacancy on the state’s prestigious Chancery Court are all female. It is believed to be the first time in Delaware’s history that the commission charged with creating a short list of qualified candidates for the governor chose a lineup of exclusively women lawyers. The Judicial Nominating Commission, which screens all applicants, made its selection last week and the names have been sent to Gov. Jack Markell. He is expected to announce his nominee in mid-October.

According to sources, the candidates are Abigail M. LeGrow, who is a Master in Chancery or judicial officer who assists the court; Tamika Montgomery-Reeves, a corporate lawyer and partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Wilmington; and Elena C. Norman, a partner and corporate lawyer at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor in Wilmington. LeGrow and Montgomery-Reeves declined to comment. Norman could not be reached for comment. Unless Markell rejected the entire slate, which experts say is extremely unlikely, America’s preferred court for resolving corporate disputes will have a female judge for the first time since 1994. It will be only the second time in the court’s 223-year history that a female will serve as a Chancery judge.

“This breaks glass,” said Claire DeMatteis, general counsel with Affinity Health Plan who last year wrote a critical article on the lack of women appointed to seats on the Chancery and Supreme courts. “Let’s put this in perspective: No litigant has gone before a woman judge in Chancery Court for 21 years.” “It’s about time,” said Elizabeth Wilburn Joyce, a partner in the women-owned Pinckney, Weidinger, Urban & Joyce in Wilmington, a member of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms. “We are thrilled.”