Top Lawyers Explained

When it comes to surveying local lawyers to learn who’s best, DT knows what it’s doing—and that sets us apart.

It bears repeating, because every time we do a top lawyers issue—or top doctors, or top dentists, etc.—there are questions about our methodology. Here’s a brief explanation.

In July, we mailed surveys to every member of the Delaware Bar Association (except for judges and those listed as general counsel to big corporations). That was 2,500 attorneys. The survey asked the lawyers who they considered to be the best in several areas of specialty.

Respondents had three weeks to reply. Only original copies of the survey were accepted, and only one per attorney. The lawyers provided contact information in case we needed to verify their responses. (We keep their information strictly confidential.)

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We then tally the results. Attorneys who make the list receive the most nominations from their peers. (The results can be found in this month’s Top Lawyers story, which starts on page 76.)

The method may not be perfect, but none is. The main criticisms we receive is that the survey can become a sort of popularity contest, and that attorneys who practice in large group offices can organize voting campaigns.

Both of those criticisms may be somewhat valid. But they are also true of the methodologies used by national referral groups that publicize their information as supplements in other city and regional magazines. Yet those referral groups fail to identify many of the fine professionals who practice outside New Castle County. DT does find them, because we know. What’s more, no one makes our list unless they were selected by their peers. Many other outfits ask the professionals to pay for the privilege of appearing in their publications. That’s an important distinction between us and them.

As I’ve said before, we have never written about a lawyer, physician or dentist who was not highly esteemed by his or her peers. We stand behind every one, so you can be confident in the skills of the professionals profiled in these pages.

As always, we hope you find the information to be of great use.

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The Day Book
  • It was great to catch up with DANA executive director John Baker over lunch at Deep Blue. Membership has grown under his watch, and for good reason: He’s a great leader. Every resident of the state owes him a bit of thanks. Here’s mine.
  • GWCVB’s Sarah Willoughby strikes again, luring CBS travel editor Peter Greenberg back to the First State for the second time in a few weeks. It was a pleasure to run into the Delaware History Center’s Greg Coin and Carolyn Grubb of the Hotel du Pont while taping Greenberg’s radio show at UD. If you missed it, check the podcast at You’ll learn a little extra about our fair state. I promise.
  • The crowd clearly missed my neighbor Kenny Monroe on the mike for the Howard-Tatnall football game at Baynard Stadium, but they loved seeing him on the ground. If you’ve never met the ever-affable teacher, you’ll think he’s mayor of Wilmington when you do.

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