The woman who prosecuted some of the biggest court cases in recent memory in Sussex County is now one of the county's newest judges.
Paula Ryan was sworn in to begin a 12-year term as a Family Court judge during a ceremony Friday afternoon inside the Sussex County Courthouse in Georgetown. Ryan was most recently the Chief Prosecutor in the Attorney General's Sussex County office, where she'd worked for the last 16 years. She was the lead prosecutor in both the Derrick Powell murder trial and the Earl Bradley child sex abuse trial.
Judges from all of Delaware's courts, from the Justice of the Peace courts all the way up to Supreme Court Justice Randy Holland, attended the ceremony. Governor Jack Markell, Attorney General Beau Biden, Holland and her brother all spoke about how she's grown as a lawyer and a prosecutor, and of the great work they feel she'll do as a judge. Holland said when he saw her application to be a clerk for him, he was impressed when he saw that she attended Georgetown Law School, but was even more impressed to see that she wrote for the university's Journal of Legal Ethics, which is considered to be the most prestigious legal ethics journal in the country. As a gift, Holland presented Ryan with a signed copy of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's book.
Ryan was confirmed unanimously to be a Family Court judge by the state Senate on December 5. Peggy Marshall has been selected by Attorney General Biden to take over as the lead prosecutor in Sussex County.
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