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Law notes: July 5, 2022




New leaders at RLF, Interim dean at law school, new Sussex Family Court building, Baird Mandalas gains Baltimore practice, Pashman opens office, Dingerdissen joins Morris James

Richards, Layton & Finger  elected Lisa Schmidt as president and Paul Heath as executive vice president of the firm. Jeffrey Moyer has been appointed to serve as the firm’s senior vice president.  Schmidt,  Heath, and  Moyer assumed their new roles on July 1, and will each serve a three-year term.


Schmidt focuses her practice on advising and representing Delaware corporations, their directors, and other constituencies in complex corporate litigation. Schmitt has successfully litigated numerous corporate control, corporate governance, appraisal, and contractual disputes in the Delaware courts. Lisa also advises corporations, their directors, and special committees on corporate governance and fiduciary duties. She is co-chair of the Federal Securities Institute, and she serves on the Leadership Advisory Council of the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.


Heath practices in the areas of bankruptcy, insolvency, and creditor’s rights, focusing on the representation of debtors, secured creditors, purchasers, committees, and other parties in chapter 11 cases. He has served as lead counsel in several large chapter 11 cases and as co-counsel in numerous significant chapter 11 matters. Paul serves as vice chair of Richards Layton’s Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Department as well as the firm’s new executive vice president.

Moyer focuses his practice on commercial and intellectual property litigation. He has represented some of the world’s leading technology companies in intellectual property and licensing disputes in Delaware’s state and federal courts. In addition to serving as the firm’s senior vice president, Jeff is vice chair of Richards Layton’s Litigation Department.

New $115 million family court building coming to Sussex

Ground was broken in  Georgetown on the site of what will be the new $115 million Sussex County Family Court building at the corner of Race and Market Streets. The building will be across from the Sussex County Courthouse. 

The new 107,800 square-foot courthouse replaces a 30,000 square-foot building on the Circle in Georgetown that was built in 1988. Studies dating back decades showed the existing facility was unsafe by modern court standards and caused issues for litigants and court staff. 

Several years ago, a fatal shooting in the lobby of the New Castle Courthouse led to stepped-up security and greater awareness of risks arising from court proceedings.

The Delaware Judiciary made it a priority to keep the courthouse in downtown Georgetown as part of its ongoing commitment to keep city and town centers in Delaware thriving, a release stated.

The new facility will have more courtrooms – eight as opposed to the current six – and those courtrooms will be more than twice the size of the existing courtrooms (1,400 to 1,800 square feet in the new building versus an average of 600 square feet in the existing courthouse). These additional courtrooms will allow Family Court to better handle the volume of cases in Sussex County, which has nearly doubled since the existing Family Court Courthouse opened in 1988. The new building will also have additional space for the Department of Justice, Office of Defense Services, Office of the Child Advocate, and other court system partners and a 300-car parking garage. 

Tevebaugh Associates is the architect with Wohlsen Construction, construction manager.

The construction is expected to begin in the fall and be completed in late 2024. 

Pashman opens Delaware office


Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, P.C. announced the addition of Joseph C. Barsalona II as a partner in the firm’s Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors’ Rights practice group.

 Barsalona’s arrival to Pashman Stein also establishes the firm’s presence in Delaware, further expanding the firm’s Northeast footprint.

Barsalona focuses his practice on in-court and out-of-court restructurings, distressed asset sales, and bankruptcy litigation. 

Barsalona has spent his career in Delaware, gaining significant experience with various state court insolvency proceedings and related trial and appellate litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery, including assignments for the benefit of creditors, receiverships and dissolution.

Before joining Pashman Stein, Barcelona worked for two Delaware-based firms (Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP and Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A.)

Barsalona earned his J.D. from Ohio State University and his B.A from Middlebury College. He is admitted to practice in Delaware, New York, and New Jersey.

Interim Delaware Law School dean named


Widener University  announced Associate Dean Alicia Kelly will serve as interim dean of Delaware Law School. The temporary appointment begins July 1.

Kelly will fill the vacancy created by the departure of Dean Rodney A. Smolla, while the university searches for a permanent successor. She is currently associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law, and has previously served as associate dean for faculty development and strategic initiatives. Kelly also serves as a co-director of the school’s Family Health Law & Policy Institute, which is dedicated to public education and service. 

Kelly has served on the steering committee for Delaware ERA Now, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing women’s status through education and anti-discrimination advocacy. She also co-directs Wills For Heroes, a volunteer organization that trains legal professionals and provides estate planning documents at no cost for police, firefighters and other first responders in Delaware. 

A member of the Delaware Law faculty since 2001, Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree from Temple University, and her juris doctor and LL.M. in legal education from Temple’s James E. Beasley School of Law, where she was the Abraham L. Freedman Fellow.

Delaware law firm adds Baltimore practice

Delaware law firm Baird Mandalas Brockstedt, announced it will now operate under the name Baird Mandalas Brockstedt Federico & Cardea (BMBFC) as a result of a Baltimore expansion that will add six attorneys and grow the firm’s medical malpractice, mass torts, and class action practice.

The firm will expand to include named partners Philip C. Federico and James D. Cardea, who for the last three decades have achieved some of the largest and most consequential medical malpractice verdicts and settlements in Maryland, in addition to prosecuting mass tort cases ranging from environmental contamination, sexual abuse, and the representation of government entities involving the opioid and vaping epidemics, a release stated.

Federico’s partnership with the firm dates back to 2009, when they served on a team that obtained a $123 million settlement for sexual abuse victims of Delaware pediatrician Earl Bradley. Federico and Brockstedt teamed up again in 2017 on a landmark environmental case against chicken processing giant Mountaire that was resolved in 2021 for $205 million. 

James Cardea will now lead BMBFC’s medical malpractice team. Also joining Federico and Cardea at BMBFC are partners Brent Ceryes, A. Wray Fitch, IV, Tara Clary, and associate Matthew P. Legg.

With this expansion, BMBFC will now have Delaware offices in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown, and a Maryland office in Baltimore. 

Dingerdissen joins Morris James

Mike Dingerdissen  joined the Tax, Estates and Business Practice at Morris James, Wilmington. 

Mike most recently served as Vice President and Senior Trust Officer at The Goldman Sachs Trust Company, where he focused on managing and administering trusts, estates, and other fiduciary accounts for Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management clients. 


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