About The DSBA

The Delaware State Bar Association • 405 North King Street, Suite 100 • Wilmington, DE 19801

Established: 1923

Phone: (302) 658-5279 • Fax: (302) 658-5212

Executive Director: Mark S. Vavala, Esq.

The nearly century old history of the Delaware State Bar Association is marked by evolving efforts to promote ethical conduct by lawyers, to require and offer high quality continuing legal education, to protect the public from the unauthorized practice of law, to review and make recommendations regarding Delaware’s court system and to foster the mentoring of new lawyers.  Service to the public is another hallmark of the Association. Encouraging and facilitating pro bono work, providing a lawyer referral service and offering various legal handbooks are a few examples of the Association’s efforts in public outreach.  The Association also has remained true to one of its earliest goals: “the cultivation of fraternal relationships among the lawyers of Delaware.” This goal has been achieved through a consistent effort to communicate news among members and to sponsor social events. Today, members of the Association enjoy the monthly Bar Journal, luncheons, receptions and the annual Bench and Bar Conference.

The purposes and objects of the Association include the following:  the advancement of the science of jurisprudence, securing proper statutory reforms, preserving proper standards for members of the Bar, maintenance of honor and dignity in the profession, upholding principles of legal ethics and professional responsibility, cultivation of fraternal relationship among the Bench and Bar of Delaware, perpetuation of legal history and all such other and proper purposes as befit the practice of law and the proper public perception of the profession.  In addition, it is the responsibility of the Association to speak on behalf of the courts and to preserve their honor, integrity, high standards and proper remuneration.

The treasured history of the Delaware State Bar Association has been captured by and described through interviews with pillars of the Delaware legal community. Through these interviews and tributes (links below), the integrity and honor of the Delaware bar and its members is handed down and carried on.  Assisting with the effort to capture the Bar’s history is the Richard S. Rodney Inn of Court, which has compiled a set of materials entitled “Reflections on our Predecessors:  Some Judges and Lawyers Who Helped Make the Delaware Bar and Bench What it is Today.”  This body of work includes “respected judges and lawyers speak[ing] about some ‘greats from Delaware’s legal past.'”  The Delaware State Bar Association extends its sincere gratitude to the Inn for making these materials available to the Bar Association and to the public.  


Our oral history project videos page is currently down for maintenance while we spring-clean our website. If you’d like to view any of the videos in our library please email us at WebsiteSupport@dsba.org.

Executive Committee

2017-2018 Executive Committee


Michael Houghton


David J. Ferry, Jr.

Vice President-at-Large

William Patrick Brady

Vice President, New Castle County

Michael F. McTaggart

Vice President, Kent County

Patrick C. Gallagher

Vice President, Sussex County

Mark H. Hudson

Vice President, Solo & Small Firms,
New Castle County

Samuel D. Pratcher III

Vice President, Solo & Small Firms,
Kent County

Anthony V. Panicola

Vice President, Solo & Small Firms,
Sussex County

Kathi A. Karsnitz


Kathleen M. Miller

Assistant Secretary

Ian Connor Bifferato


Michael W. Arrington

Assistant Treasurer

Kate Harmon

Immediate Past President

Miranda D. Clifton

Legislative Liaison

Thomas P. McGonigle

Assistant to the President

Alexander S. Mackler

Judicial Member

The Honorable Natalie J. Haskins


Adrian Sarah Broderick
Crystal L. Carey
Mary Frances Dugan
Charles J. Durante
Richard A. Forsten
Reneta L. Green-Street
Christofer C. Johnson
Ian R. McConnel
Luke W. Mette
Francis J. Murphy
James Darlington Taylor, Jr.


Click here to view the 2017-2018 Executive Committee meeting schedule.

Association Staff

Mark Vavala, Executive Director

Janice Myrick, Director of Bar Services and Membership
Manages various bar products and membership issues, including the Legal Directory, Sections, and membership benefits.

Rebecca Baird, Director of Communications
Handles all editorial and advertising matters regarding The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association and other Association publications.

Sorelis Duran, Director of Finance and Human Resources
Performs accounting/finance and human resources functions.

Susan Simmons, Director of Continuing Legal Education and Access to Justice Coordination
Oversees all CLE-related matters.  Provides support, guidance, training, resources and inspiration to law firms, corporate legal departments and public interest organizations seeking pro bono opportunities.

Antonio Byrd, Director of Media and Cinematography
Provides film and technology assistance to Director of Continuing Legal Education, Association staff and members, including filming and broadcasting CLE events, preparing and compiling CLE materials, and assisting Sections to use their web pages in creative ways.


Website Privacy Policy

We do not collect personal information about you unless you choose to provide that information to us or you choose a service on this Web site where gathering personal information is necessary to deliver the specific services. But use of those services is entirely voluntary.
During your visit to the Delaware State Bar Association’s (“DSBA”) Web site, our Web server automatically gathers and stores certain information about your use of the site. This information does not personally identify you, and your e-mail address is not collected in this automatic process. The information that is automatically collected and stored is:

  • Your Internet domain and Internet Protocol address.
  • The type of browser and operating system you used to access our site.
  • The date and time of your visit to our site.
  • The Web pages or services you accessed at this site.
  • The IP address of the Web site from which you came to this site.
  • The Web site to which you go when you leave this site.
  • If you downloaded a form, the form that was downloaded.

We use this information to evaluate and improve the content of our site and to make our site more useful to our visitors. We also use it to diagnose problems with our server, to keep our server running smoothly, and to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology they use. This information does not identify or track you personally.

The State Bar makes every attempt to avoid the use of “cookies,” the simple text files stored on your computer by your Web browser. Cookies may be used on our site when needed to maintain the functionality of an interactive application and is used only during the session in which you access the interactive application. Cookies created on your computer by using this Web site do not contain personal information and do not compromise your privacy or security.

The cookie feature is used only to store a randomly generated identifying temporary tag on your computer. You can refuse the cookie or delete the cookie file from your computer by using any of the widely available methods. However, if you turn off your cookie option, you may not be able to access some of the features in our interactive applications.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software is used to encrypt personal information, including credit card and address data during commerce transactions to insure your information is protected. All major browser programs display a “lock” or other visual symbol to indicate when you are on web pages that use encryption.

The DSBA’s Web site contains links to third party sites and advertisers. The State Bar is not responsible for the use of cookies, the privacy policies or the content of those sites.

DSBA Bylaws

Please click here to view the DSBA Bylaws.