Delaware Law Office
of Larry D. Sullivan, Esquire

A Weblog?
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.

opinions, everybody's got one...
If you would like your opinion published here, forward it for consideration and editorial review to:
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We encourage the exchange of responsible ideas.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

essential personnel?

Along with the record amounts of snow that Delaware received last weekend came a declaration of a state of emergency from Delaware's Governor Ruth Ann Minner. All drivers were to stay off Delaware's roadways unless they were "essential personnel." All others were potentially subject to fines, and possible imprisonment. There was a lot of head scratching in the State as people tried to decide whether or not they were essential personnel.

patent battle in Delaware

A trial in Delaware District Court next week sees a 74 year-old inventor taking on some large corporations. The case is over a patent that he claims is the basis for the secure sockets layer standard that a very large number of sites use to protect data sent back and forth between commercial web sites, and their customers.
The legal challenge was filed two years ago against Verisign Inc., RSA Security Inc. and four other companies by Leon Stambler, a retired electronics engineer who lives in Pompano Beach, Fla. He contends software they use to let Internet commerce companies verify customers' identities and secure communications with customers violates his patents.
Should be an interesting battle.

washington's diaries

George Washington, first president of the United States, has possibly become more part of America's mythology than history. With today being his birthday, I decided to look around and see if I could find out more about the man, and pierce though his public persona. A good place to get that glimpse into what he was like appears to be his diaries. Most of the entries are very simple, being a recitation of "Where, how, or with whom, my time is Spent." A number of them are also annotated. So, for instance, the entry for September 4, 1774 reads:
4. Breakfasted at Christeen Ferry. Dined at Chester & lodged at Doctr. Shippens's in Phila. after Supping at the New Tavern.
The annotation for that entry:
Christina (Christiana) ferry crossed Christina (Christiana) River at Wilmington on the main road from New Castle to Philadelphia (LINCOLN, 83--84).

William Shippen, Jr. (1736--1808), son of Dr. William Shippen (1712--1801) and Susannah Harrison Shippen, was a Philadelphia physician and surgeon, educated at Edinburgh. In 1765 he was appointed professor of surgery and anatomy at the new medical school connected with the College of Philadelphia, and during the Revolution he was chief physician and director general of the military hospital of the Continental Army. Shippen was married to Alice Lee Shippen, sister of GW's fellow delegate, Richard Henry Lee. Lee had undoubtedly invited GW to stay at his brother-in-law's house until suitable lodgings were obtained.

The New Tavern, or City Tavern, was on the west side of Second Street, above Walnut. Designed in the style of the best London taverns, it contained several large club rooms. Daniel Smith was the proprietor at this time (SCHARF [1],1:291).
With the annotations, the diaries take on quite a bit of meaning.

looking back

The forests of America, however slighted by man, must have been a great delight to God; for they were the best he ever planted. The whole continent was a garden, and from the beginning it seemed to be favored above all the other wild parks and gardens of the globe.
-- The American Forests
by John Muir, from The Atlantic Monthly, August 1897.

Many more writings from John Muir are available on the Yosemite Web Index's John Muir Exhibit pages.

Friday, February 21, 2003

bringing wilmington to life

Wilmington, Delaware, is home to some of the largest financial institutions in the country. When Fortune 500 companies come together for their shareholders' meetings, they often choose the City's Hotel duPont as a gathering point. Revitalization efforts have brought a minor league baseball stadium to Wilmington, as well as a large number of outlet shops, and a riverfront with ambitions of echoing the success of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. But, the sidewalks of the city roll up after the business day is over. Getting some students to live in town is a tremendous move.

clemency in illinois

Amid a nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize, and the possibility of an indictment, the story of former Illinois Governor George Ryan is surprising in many ways.

one judge on another

Federal Judge Richard A. Posner reviews a biography of William O. Douglas called Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas. I'll be looking for a copy of the book.

appealing appellate web sites

If you know someone who has something to do with putting together an appellate court web site, you might want to send them a link to the article Do's and Don'ts for Appellate Court Web Sites. The author, Howard Bashman of How Appealing fame, knows a thing or two about building a better web site.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

snow unsticking tip

As I was throwing all manner of heavy objects from my garage, into the trunks of my cars this morning, to give them extra traction, I ran accross a stack of replacement roofing shingles. What a cool idea! They should work nicely as traction strips in case I get stuck on a slippery roadway.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

an epidemic of lawyers

I''ve heard of a school of fish, or a gaggle of geese, (other collective nouns here), but never an "epidemic of lawyers," as a the head of a New York legal assistance group recently referred to members of the profession. And, he's happy about it. The rate of volunteerism (NY Times, reg. req'd) for lawyers has skyrocketed in New York over the past year.

bustin loose

Well, we have dug ourselves out of the snow enough to get to work today. And now we have twice as much to do and half as much time to do it in.

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