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INNS OF COURT ASSIST PROFESSIONAL GROWTH OF MEMBERS OF THE BENCH AND BAR

      Members of the Terry-Carey Inn of Court, including approximately 25 Delaware judges,attorneys, and family members traveled to England in October to attend the historic first meeting of the London American Inn of Court and to learn more about the English system of

law which is the foundation of our legal system. The London American Inn of Court was chartered as the 400th American Inn of Court in April 2006 and held its initial meeting on October 10, 2006. A dinner meeting was held at the Old Hall of Lincoln’s Inn at which Justice Randy J. Holland of the Delaware Supreme Court presented a program with an English colleague about the boundary disputes between the Penn and Baltimore families which affected Delaware’s borders. The group also had the opportunity to attend daily educational sessions pertaining to English law and the international importance of London as a financial and legal center, to attend court in the Royal Courts of Justice, to visit Parliament, to observe a Law Lord proceeding (equivalent to a U.S. Supreme Court proceeding), and to meet and discuss legal subjects with Law Lords. Another major highlight was a trip to Canterbury where they visited the law courts, had a reception with English judges, barristers, and solicitors, and participated in a traditional Justice Service at Canterbury Cathedral to mark the opening terms of the Kent Courts. The High Sheriff hosted a lunch, and the group had the opportunity to tour the Cathedral and to visit a law school.

     Judge Richard F. Stokes, president of the Terry-Carey Inn, expressed his gratitude to Chief Justice Myron T. Steele and Justice Randy J. Holland for “giving us a once in a lifetime legal experience.”

     The trip was part of the educational program of the Terry-Carey Inn of Court, which is one of five American Inns of Court in Delaware. The other Delaware Inns of Court are: the Delaware Bankruptcy American Inn of Court, the Delaware Pro Bono American Inn of Court, the Melson-Arsht American Inn of Court (which specializes in Family law), and the Richard S. Rodney American Inn of Court.

     The Inns are designed to enhance the skills, professionalism and ethics of judges and attorneys and have adopted a modified version of the traditional English model of legal apprenticeship, to help lawyers become more effective advocates and counselors. Inns meet approximately once a month to hold programs and discussions designed to augment members’ skills and ethical awareness. The membership of each Inn consists of several categories based upon experience: Masters of the Bench – judges, experienced lawyers, and law professors; Barristers – lawyers with some experience who do not meet the minimum requirement for Master; Associates – lawyers who do not meet the minimum requirement for Barristers; and Pupils – third-year law students. Memberships are also divided into “pupilage” teams with each team consisting of members with different degrees of legal experience. Each “pupilage” team conducts one program for the Inn each year. Less experienced members are assigned to work with more experienced members who act as mentors, thus providing further opportunities for professional growth.

Photo of the Terry-Carey Inn of court
Delaware Judges from the Terry-Carey Inn of Court, photographed with their counterparts in Canterbury, England, at the ceremony to mark the opening terms of the Kent Courts, England.
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