Delaware Law Office
of Larry D. Sullivan, Esquire

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The column to the right, is a news/editorial/comment column. It is a weblog, also know as a blog.

The weblog thing comes from, which offers us a convenient way to manage the posting, administratively. You don't really need to know all of that, but we have included this explanation so that you won't be confused by the term "blog".

Another important topic here is that since the column includes editorials and comments, you can be sure that we are just exercising our free speech rights as guaranteed by the Constitution and as not yet abridged by a reactionary opportunistic vocal minority.

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Saturday, October 27, 2001

MBNA steals away Delaware's Anti-Terrorism Chief. , just one week after he was given the title. Corporate credit card giant, MBNA, has been drawing upon a string of Delaware's experienced safety and security personnel over the past few years, the most recent of which was the acquisition of Sean Mulhern. Mr. Mulhern, former chief of the Wilmington Fire Department and Director of the Delaware Emergency Mangagement Agency (DEMA ), was named as Anti-Terrorism Chief by Governor Minner on October 19th and resigned to take a new post with MBNA on October 26th. His new role will be as Vice-President for safety and security.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

Firefighter Alert
This week, the spirit of those who fight fires in Delaware is being celebrated. From the red line painted down the middle of King Street in front of the Daniel Herrmann Courthouse, all the way to the floor of the Senate in Washington, D.C., Delaware fire fighters are highly visible. And they should be. These are people who run into buildings that others are fleeing for their lives from. People trained in saving lives, and preserving property and livelihoods.

You can show your support for the firefighters of Wilmington this weekend by showing up for the "the largest parade in Wilmington in 50 years," and for open houses at all city firestations, as Wilmington's Fire Department Celebrates its 80th Anniversary. The parade starts Saturday morning at 10:00 am, and goes down King Street from 16th Street to 4th Street.

While Mayor James Baker's press release does mention that volunteer firefighters from across the State will be present, he doesn't say whether Milton will send representatives. But chances are very likely that they will. (Maybe they will bring their newest ladder truck.)Milton's Volunteer Firefighters' recently celebrated their 100th year as a firefighting company, and they were cited for their spirit, their determination, and their unity by the United States' Senate yesterday. Senator Joseph Biden made a point of conveying the Senate's congratulations to the Milton Volunteer Fire Department on their 100th anniversary.

From the transcript of the Senate proceeding:

"Lynn Rogers made another comment at the 100th anniversary celebration that I would like to cite. He said, ' The fire service of Delaware is a family. We no longer grow as one department; the fire service grows together; we depend on each other more every day, with the specialized emergencies that we all face.' ''

Maybe that holds true for all of us, and is a spirit that we all should share.
- William Slawski

Delaware Facts Contest. This first Delaware Facts Contest Question will be easy. As time goes by, we may get tougher ones. This question closes for entries at Midnight on Halloween, October 31, 2001, or as soon as we get a correct answer. Watch out for the time change.

1. What is the Delaware State Bug?

Send your answer to me at

Some entries at this site are submissions from third parties. This section of my website is intended to offer commentary and debate as well as information, news and web links. We welcome your input and suggested postings, but I reserve the right to accept, modify, or refuse article submissions for any reason or no reason at all.

Over the next few months, I will be hosting a Delaware Facts Contest on this website. I intend to post Delaware Facts questions and award Delaware memorabilia prizes. This contest is not open to my employees, relatives, relatives of my employees, etc.. I will be the final judge as to the entries, which will be evaluated for both historical accuracy and the time order in which these submissions are made. Responses are to be e-mailed to me. We are not responsible for technical difficulties which interfere with either the transmission or reception of contest entries. I reserve the right to ask for shipping charges for the prizes, should the prize winners be outside of the U.S.. Good Luck!

Delaware. Small State, small accessible government. 96 miles long, and from 9 to 35 miles wide, Delaware measures next to last in the state size competition. We like it that way. Our small size enables Delawareans, and Delaware Corporations, to have a more direct and accessible government. I will frequently pass a governor, U.S. Senator or Congressman on the streets of Wilmington as I traverse the court system. How many California or New York residents have that sort of a small town government feel? And while on Delaware soil, we are never more than 48 miles from our state capitol, and never more than 24 miles from a Court of Chancery. We are spoiled by this closeness, and we aren't looking for a change.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

When is an an engagement ring really yours? Regularly we in the legal community come across cases of shattered love that turns into litigation over the possession of the engagement ring. A recent commentary outlines some of the complications and recent holdings. But the bottom line is...nobody wins.

The Deer Park Tavern is open again. After extensive restorations, the landmark tavern on Main Steet in Newark is open for business. Gone is "the smell" that has permeated the establishment since its dirt floor days, and back are the second floor dining areas and deck. A recently returning patron commented..."its almost too nice to let the students back in". Now all that is left is to have the raven replica return.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Tricks of the Trade
By Private Investigator Michael T. O'Rouke

Question: I am a Paralegal with an Attorney who specializes in Family Law. There are frequent requests for information regarding a spouse's whereabouts. One particular client stated her husband "disappeared" every Wednesday night. If the husband discovered a Private Detective was tailing him (yes, it does happen) it could bring complications to an already sensitive situation. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Yes, there are methods utilizing technology previously available only to the CIA, or James Bond. If the vehicle is co-owned, you can install a portable GPS (Global Positioning System) to the undercarriage of the vehicle. Every three seconds, the GPS unit will "bounce" signals from the vehicle, to the street, to a satellite, and back, recording the latitude, and longitude of the vehicle. Utilizing common mapping software, the data is downloaded to a PC, and a map is created. In addition, the time lapse of each way point is recorded to identify if the vehicle was parked at any particular position for a time period greater than three seconds. And the best part is, this unit can be leased, thereby saving investigative costs. I have also used the GPS unit to track delivery trucks, and identify both theft, and sleeping delivery drivers.

Question: I think our client is dead. How can I verify this?

Answer: Utilize the Internet. If your client died, and Social Security Death Benefits were applied for, check You can search by name, Social Security Number, and State. Social Security allows a death benefit ($350) for all who apply.

If your client was a Delaware Resident, or may have died in Delaware, contact the Division of Public Health. P.O. Box 637, Dover DE 19903, (302) 739-4721. Write a brief letter stating the Name, any identifiers you might have (address, DOB, nicknames, additional spellings, time frame of death) and fax, (302) 736-1862, or mail to the above address. Remember to include the $6.00 fee. The State has records dating back to 1956.

In addition, if the death was recent, check for a copy of the News Journal's obit.

Question: I sure could use some extra cash. Any ideas?

Answer: A part-time job might help. Like most paralegals, you must have had some experience in transcribing dictation during your career. As tedious as transcription can be, it sure pays well. Use your favorite search engine (I like to insert the word "transcribe", and pick a service. Tapes will be Fedexed to you, you complete the work, Fedex the work product back to the provider, and wait for payment.

How about found money? Try Any unclaimed monies, or property, are held here. You can search the site by name. Or contact the State of Delaware, Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 8931, Wilmington DE 19899-8931, (302) 577-8205. The staff is extremely helpful, give it a try!

Det. Michael T. O'Rourke is a Member of the National Association of Investigative Specialists, The National Association of Professional Process Servers, and Sustaining member of the Delaware Paralegal Association.

A Court Certified Special Process Server, and a Licensed Private Investigator, Michael specializes in Insurance Defense. He invites your questions to:

Loss Solutions, Inc.
824 N. Market Street, Suite 425,
P.O. Box 368,
Wilmington DE 19899-0368.
(302) 427-3600.

Or you may e-mail him at

Monday, October 22, 2001

The publishing home of a number of tabloids, where a worker contracted a fatal case of Anthrax is being tested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The American Media Inc.'s offices were granted superfund status by the EPA. This designation allows the federal government to pay for the decontamination costs of the building in Boca Raton, Florida.

Bioterrorism is forcing us to examine a number of issues in the laws today. We're examining patents, governmental purchases, and the powers of federal agencies dealing with drugs and illness in considerable detail. Some recent stories in the media cover the range of these issues:

High Cipro Prices Bring Drug Patent Issue Home

US Law Would Allow Generic Cipro in Crisis-Experts

U.S. requesting 300M smallpox vaccines

Ammo for the War on Germs

Two of the agencies that are at the heart of our well being have presences on the net were you can learn more about measures being taken to protect us from germ warfare:

The Center for Disease Control has a page on Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Food and Drug Administration covers some interesting information about bioterrorism, buying medicines online, and antibiotic resistance.

Perjury in the Courtroom, when will it end? It is an all too common occurrence for litigants to lie, while under oath, in Family Court trials. And when clear documentation is then presented to refute this lie, it is very uncommon for any consequence to befall the perjurer. Is it because everyone in the courtroom has a different job description, none of which includes prosecuting the crime of perjury? Is it because Family Court is such a pit of misery, that we just want to get this case behind us and go home?

A person is guilty of perjury in the first degree when the person swears falsely and when the false statement consists of testimony and is material to the action, proceeding or matter in which it is made. Perjury in the first degree is a class D felony.

The law sets forth this crime, and yet it is largely ignored. And in ignoring this crime, we participate in the degrading of the integrity of the system of laws, and the confidence of the populace in our courts. I for one, hereby pledge, to personally file a criminal complaint the next time I am a witness to this variety of felony. Will anyone join me?

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