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First State mourns death of Family Court judge

Delaware Public Media

Delaware Family Court Judge Alan N. Cooper has died at age 63. He is survived by his wife Nancy and their two children.

The New Jersey native was appointed to the family court in 2005 by then Governor, Ruth Ann Minner.

Judge Cooper practiced law in Wilmington  from 1985 as a founding partner at law firm of Berkowitz, Schagrin & Cooper, P.A.

While in private practice he volunteered for the Office of the Child Advocate,  Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, and the Victim’s Advocacy Program, and was the recipient of Delaware Volunteer Legal Services Outstanding Pro Bono Service award in 2002.

“Judge Cooper served for the past ten years as a dedicated judicial officer and public servant. He was willing to serve in the difficult and often thankless role of domestic violence liaison judge because he realized the necessity and importance of the work," said Gov. Jack Markell in a statement. "Judge Cooper’s dedication to the mission of the Family Court and passion for public service was reflected in all of his advocacy on behalf of Delaware’s families, both during his time on the bench and in his previous tenure in private practice, as well as in his dedication to his own family. He will be greatly missed.”

"He served the citizens of Delaware with distinction," said  Family Court Chief Judge Michael Newell.  "His intellect, compassion, and concern for the parties who appeared before him were reflected in his many well written decisions.  He also led Family Court’s initiatives with respect to issues of domestic violence.  His leadership resulted in many changes as to how Family Court processed and resolved petitions for Protection from Abuse. His leadership, hard work, good humor, and positive personality will be missed by the Family Court and the citizens of Delaware.” 

"Judge Cooper was a special person.   He approached each day of his difficult job as a Family Court judge with enthusiasm and passion and a gratitude for being able to make a difference.   Alan gave up one of the best practices in Delaware to become a judge because of his deep concern for families, and especially vulnerable children," said Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo Strine, Jr. in a statement. "His intelligence, patience, and skill as a judge greatly enhanced the reputation of our Family Court.  We will all miss him immensely.”