Connolly, Noreika Nominated for Federal Bench

The former federal prosecutor who put Thomas Capano behind bars and a veteran civil litigator have been nominated by the White House to serve on the US District Court for the District of Delaware. 

Former US Attorney Colm F. Connolly

The White House announced this week that former US Attorney Colm F. Connolly and Wilmington attorney Maryellen Noreika are President Donald J. Trump’s picks to replace Judge Sue L. Robinson and Judge Gregory M. Sleet on the district court.  United States Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons both endorsed the selections and pledged to move their nominations swiftly through the confirmation process.  The Court has been under increasing pressure to manage a mounting caseload since Robinson’s retirement and Sleet’s decision to take senior status. 

“Delaware’s courts are renowned for their judges’ expertise. Maryellen Noreika and Colm Connolly are two highly-respected, sought-after attorneys who have displayed a vast knowledge of the law and a thorough understanding of the courts during their extensive careers working in the Delaware judicial system,” said Senator Carper. “Now that the White House has put forth their nominees, I hope we can swiftly move through the Senate confirmation process so that Delaware’s courts are running at full strength once again.”

Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will review the nominations, remarked that he and Carper had worked closely with the White House on the selections, which were vetted by a local judicial nominating committee. “Colm Connolly and Maryellen Noreika are seasoned attorneys, with impressive trial skills, deep experience in federal practice, and profound respect for the law,” said Coons. I am confident that they will both be capable jurists, and I look forward to their confirmation hearings.”

Noreika has practiced law in Delaware for nearly 24 years at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, in Wilmington, where she is a partner and represents plaintiffs, defendants, individuals, and companies large and small. She began her career litigating corporate and commercial disputes, and later focused on intellectual property matters and complex litigation in federal courts. Ms. Noreika has been appointed to multiple advisory committees assisting the court and has served as a mentor for young attorneys in a federal judges training program. She has a B.S. in Biology from Lehigh University, an M.S. in Biology from Colombia University and a J.D. from University of Pittsburgh. 

A widely respected prosecutor and corporate litigator, Mr. Connolly has been a partner with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, in Wilmington where he is a member of the litigation and intellectual property groups. He was a United States Attorney from 2001 to 2009, during which he established the Delaware Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council consisting of 25 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to coordinate training and the collection and dissemination of intelligence information. Connolly was previously a partner at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, LLP. He has a B.A. in Liberal Studies from the University of Notre Dame, an M.S. in Political Philosophy from the London School of Economics and a J.D. from Duke University School of Law.

This is Connolly’s second nomination for the federal judiciary.  His nomination by President George W. Bush was not acted on by the Senate before Barack Obama’s election in 2008.

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