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 www.blogger.com, 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: info@delawoffice.com.
Or add a comment. Comments by: YACCS

We encourage the exchange of responsible ideas.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Delaware Local History - A Look at Delmar

 
As a big fan of local history, I couldn't read this article in The Daily Times, and not make a brief post about it. The author, Brice Stump takes a look at the history of one of Delaware's towns in Delmar: Too big for one state.

Delmar straddles both Delaware and Maryland, and owes its existence to a desire to stretch a rail system to the Maryland border in the 1800s. I've never visited Delmar before, but now I'd like to see it. Nice story.


Aggregating Useful Information: Delaware Legal Notices

 
There are sites that aggregate content from other sites on the web, such as Google News, and provide a useful and valuable service. Others scrape content from different web sites around a certain theme or phrase, and try to rank highly in search engines while selling advertising on those pages.

Those second kind of aggregation sites are annoying, especially when you come across them while attempting to search for something. But a site that aggregates information from a wide variety of sources, and makes it easy to find useful and helpful information is a wonderful thing.

Tim Converse is the person at Yahoo who is in charge of trying to keep spam web pages from showing in search results. He describes some of the other sites that bring together information from different sites and sources in a post titled simply Aggregation.

Delaware blogger Mike Mahaffie points out one of those wonderful aggregation sites that can make things a lot easier for people in the legal profession in Delaware.

The site is Delaware Public Notices, and it collects together the legal notices that you see in the classified sections of newspapers around the State. The site is a joint effort between the newspapers of Delaware, and the Maryland - Delaware - DC Press Association (MDDC).

The types of notices shown include:

  • Name Changes,

  • Family Court proceedings, including things such as Divorce Actions, Protection from Abuse Hearings, Custody Actions,

  • Public Notices of Meetings and Regulatory Actions from Delaware Government Agencies,

  • Requests for Proposals and Invitations to Bid for Government Contracts,

  • Notices of Public Sales,

  • Merger and Acquisition Notices,

  • Applications for Liquor Licenses and other Licenses,

  • Notices of Rules to Show Cause in Delaware Courts,

  • Notices of Approval for Work Release and Supervised Custody for Delaware Inmates,

  • Abandoned Property and Escheat Notices,

  • Mechanics Liens and Garagekeeper Sales Notices,

  • Government Seizure Notices,

  • Sheriff Sales of Property Notices,

  • Administration of Estates and Appointments of Administrators from the Register of Wills, and;

  • Other publicly published notices as required by law


It's nice to have these all together in one place.

The legislature of the State of Delaware was considering altering the requirements to post such legal notices in newspapers - instead making such notices available electronically in one centralized place. They haven't made a decision yet whether to do that or not, but a site like this one makes it easier for people to learn of notices published in a wide variety of papers in the State.

I've added the site in our navigation on the left, since I figure we will be visiting the site on a regular basis.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Estate Auction of Note

 
I noticed the following item while searching through Google News for stories about Delaware legal issues in the news: Delaware Statesman's Personal Effects Slated for Estate Auction.

On October 14th, an estate sale will be held for the Estate of one of Delaware's most respected political figures, former Delaware Governor Elbert N. Carvel. I hope that some representatives from the State will be present to bid on some of the political memorabilia from the estate - so that it can be shared with the residents of Delaware.

Celia Cohen wrote a thoughtful post last year, when Governor Carvel past away, which describes his impact upon the State, including an effort to spearhead the creation of a separate Delaware Supreme Court - Gov. Elbert N. Carvel, 1910-2005. A snippet from her article:

Carvel was a fearless politician, that rare breed, and he pressed the state to go in directions it did not necessarily want to go. In the 1960s he opposed the death penalty and favored a public accommodations law, civil rights era legislation that opened public places like restaurants and hotels to all, including African-Americans. He paid for it politically and personally.


The Historic Society of Delaware has a great gallery of photos from Governor Carvel's political career - Remembering Elbert Nostrand Carvel

The main administrative State Office Building in Wilminton is named after Governor Carvel, as well as a University of Delaware Research Center in Georgetown Delaware.

The front page of the auctioneer's site points to the online catalog for the estate sale, which includes such things as signed letters from John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Bill Clinton, as well as finely detailed scrapbooks from the Governor covering his time in office, and other political memorabilia.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Celebrate Constitution Day with Delaware Law Office, as We Turn Five

 
It was five years ago, on September 10, 2001, that the Delaware Law Office blog started with a post about a practice in Family Court of Delaware of returning documents that were deficient in some manner, in a way which could be harmful to a case in that Court. The post asked for a reform of the system, and a careful solution that would make sure that people got their day in Court, regardless of a failure to do the paperwork correctly. A snippet from the post:

Currently there is a form utilized by non-judicial court personnel, as a cover, for their return of these documents to the filing attorney or pro-se individual. Frequently there is no specified Court Rule or statute cited, that the filing party is accused of violating. Frequently no reason is given except that the Clerk deems it so. In these cases the filing party usually already has clocked in his filing and relied upon that filing date with respect to the fulfillment of his or her legal responsibilities for the case. It may not be for a week or more later that the original filing is removed by the clerk, and sent back to the filer.

This removal of a filing from the Court's file, and thereby possibly changing the sequence of the filing of documents, can have dramatic legal consequences to the status of a case. And these actions are being taken by persons without any legal training? It is true that advising a party of a potential deficiency is a valuable tool in identifying and correcting errors before those errors travel through the lengthy path of litigation. But are we not substituting one set of errors for another, rather than resolving them when we have untrained individuals passing sentence upon legal filings that have been prepared, reviewed and signed by a member of the bar, and when these same untrained individuals unilaterally and without oversight take such action as to remove a filing from the Court?

We started with a bright promise there, only to experience an event the next day that transformed our nation in a number of ways, when the World Trade Centers came under attack. We didn't post that next day, or for many days after that. But we did resume posting, and the blog has covered a number of topics about Delaware, Delaware legal cases, federal law, privacy, security, and many other topics. We've made lots of friends around the country, and around the world through the blog, and would like to thank everyone who has read a few posts here, commented on something written, linked to the blog, visited the law office itself, and written on their own sites about something found here.

Posting has been light at the blog recently, and we hope to revitalize our efforts to keep informed of the legal issues around us on a local, state, national, and international level, ans share information about those here. We also will continue to share some of the personal issues that we face on a regular basis. Blogging has enabled us to reach out and share with others, and given us the opportunity to listen to those who want to discuss topics we've written about, and others. Thanks profusely for everyone who has been involved in the growth and development of this blog.

We also want to celebrate Constitution Day, which fell on a Saturday this year. Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell will lead the nation?s school children in reciting the Preamble to the Constitution at 2 p.m. EST. A belief in the ideas expressed within the Constitution is what gives us the ability to post our thoughts and opinions in this blog.

Delaware is often referred to as the "First State." The National Archives page on the Ratification of the Constitution shows why, with Delaware being the first state to ratify the Constitution. The page has a link to the document signed by representatives of Delaware, which ratified the Constitution.

Some other links involving Constitution Day:

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, Constitution Week, 2006
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

The First State Celebrates Constitution Day 2006
A statement by Governor Ruth Anne Minner

Delaware and the Bill of Rights
A page about the US Constitution from the University of Delaware Library

An Enduring Constitutional Democracy
The Rev. Canon Lloyd S. Casson on the Constitution and Constitutional Rights


Here's the conclusion from Rev. Casson's essay, which I think needs to be heeded:

At 2:00 P.M. on September 18, when General Powell leads the Preamble, I will thankfully remember his and my ancestors, and the many good citizens of this Democracy whose long suffering struggles, sacrifices and actions have removed much of what was wrong with the original document. I will pray from the bottom of my heart that my continued prayers and struggle to help achieve liberty, peace and justice for all here and abroad will, with God giving me strength, bear fruit and contribute to the legacy of an enduring, flourishing constitutional democracy. I pray that you will join me.

The Constitution is only a piece of paper. It's our belief, and our struggles together that make the ideas found within the constitution come to life. The Constitution doesn't guarantee us rights - rather it gives us the right to fight for, and protect those rights.

Thank you for sharing with us this Constitution Day, and the fifth anniversary of the Delaware Law Office Blog.








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