The White House announced Dec. 21 that Maryellen Noreika and Colm F. Connolly, who were recommended by Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons for judgeships on the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, will be nominated for the bench.

Noreika and Connolly, of Wilmington, will be nominated for the two judicial vacancies created when Judge Sue L. Robinson — now retired — and Judge Gregory M. Sleet took 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 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.”

“I’m pleased that the White House consulted with Sen. Carper and me and accepted our recommendations for the U.S. District Court bench. I am also grateful for our Judicial Nominating Committee’s hard work in evaluating several excellent candidates.” said Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Colm Connolly and Maryellen Noreika are seasoned attorneys, with impressive trial skills, deep experience in federal practice and profound respect for the law. I am confident that they will both be capable jurists, and I look forward to their confirmation hearings.”

Noreika practiced law in Delaware for nearly 24 years at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell 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. Noreika was 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 Bachelor of Science in biology from Lehigh University, a Master of Science in biology from Columbia University and a Juris Doctor from University of Pittsburgh.

Connolly has been a partner with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Wilmington, where he is a member of the litigation and intellectual property groups. He was a U.S. attorney from 2001 to 2009, during which he established the Delaware Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council comprising 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. He has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Science in political philosophy from the London School of Economics and a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law.