Rooftops (2012)-Video Tribute to Our Elders

Samuel L. Guy

Delaware Attorney



As an elected official, lawyer, civil rights leader, and educator, Samuel L. Guy, Esquire, Wilmington, Delaware has demonstrated visionary leadership positively impacting Delawareans to this day and on into the future. He is a change agent who has provided important leadership a critical times. Mr. Guy has created opportunities for others to succeed. He is referred to by some as "Justice DE" and "Governor" in recognition of his statewide efforts in support of justice, fairness, and equal opportunity, thus leading to the receipt of numerous awards. Attorney Guy has been called the “Environmental Councilman” for his legislative and administrative efforts to address environmental issues.

A 1988 graduate of the Widener University School of Law, he has been a member of the Delaware Bar since 1989. Because of a book he read about civil rights from the shelf of the Law Library and the Delaware Law School classroom exposure to Louis L. Redding, Esquire cases during Constitutional Law courses, as well as spending countless hours reviewing dusty case files and transcripts of Lawyer Redding cases, Attorney Guy immediately began to provide pro bono legal services to the Wilmington, Delaware Branch of the NAACP after being sworn in as a member of the Delaware bar, having been motivated by the spirit of Attorney Redding. He also served on the Wilmington NAACP Executive Committee and served as Chairman of the Legal Redress Committee and the Redistricting Committee. This NAACP unit constituted a critical group of people at the beginning of a succesful African-American political empowerment movement in Wilmington, Delaware.

He subsequently served for four years as the Chairman and President of the Delaware State Conference of the NAACP. He has also been the Chair of the NAACP Northeast Region extending from Maine to Delaware. Protection of citizens civil rights and the pursuit of justice are his longstanding goals personally and professionally.The improved climate secured through NAACP activity under Attorney Guy’s leadership set the stage for major gains on the diversity front during the 1990’s era including the selection of African-Americans to positions such as Dean of the Widener University School of Law, Delaware US Attorney, Delaware Federal District Court Judge, President of the Delaware Bar Association, partnerships in major law firms, and numerous other professional opportunities that are evident today. Attorney Guy was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Delaware State Conference of the NAACP for his efforts to promote diversity in the legal community. He understood that through the skills of a lawyer, one could bring about social change.On November 14, 1991 NAACP President Samuel L. Guy, Esquire appeared before the Delaware Human Relations Commission requesting an investigation and conciliation regarding the absence of black judges at the state and federal levels, employees in the judicial branch of the government, and citizens on juries, etc. On November 12, 1992 the Human Relations Commission issued a preliminary report. The Delaware State Bar Association was asked to “create a working group/task force to further identify and address the issues involved.” In the January 1993 edition of IN RE: the Editor and President-elect urged the creation of a “task force or special committee whose long-range goal is creating diversity in the Delaware.” Furthermore, on February 23, 1993 the Delaware Supreme Court asked presiding judges to submit a comprehensive report on bias in the court system.

On February 19, 1995 the Delaware NAACP under Attorney Guy’s leadership, hosted a celebratory program entitled “Diversity in the Legal Community“during a Black History Month Dinner. During the event the NAACP honored all of “Delaware’s Past and Present Minority Judicial Officers and Attorneys.” The program also documented the wide range of successes resulting from the 1991 complaint filed with the Human Relations Commission. The increase in diversity across the board as it relates to the judicial branch at the state and federal level were unprecedented. Widener University School of Law, because of it’s commitment to diversity, was presented with a Helping Hand award by the NAACP. The Widener School of Law campus has benefited by having access to local minority adjunct faculty such as the Honorable Gregory Sleet and the Honorable William Chapman, both of whom were direct beneficiaries of the 1991 Human Relations Commission complaint that was filed.

The impact of the leadership provided by Samuel L. Guy, Esquire is evident through the range of activities that have commenced in recognition of the stated need to address diversity in Delaware’s legal community. Examples include the Delaware Minority Job Fair, Diversity Committees in several large law firms, Delaware Minority Job Fair for 1st and 2nd year law students, DuPont Minority Job Fair, Delaware Diversity Retreat, Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section of the Delaware State Bar Association, Delaware Minority Supplemental Bar Review Course, Redding Fellows Program, Delaware Supreme Court’s Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts, Job Fair For Second & Third-Year Law Students, and the Judge Haile L. Alford Memorial Breakfast. Judge Alford’s ascendancy to the bench was the first victory among many on this front. On April 5, 1995 the Delaware Supreme Court created a Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts.

Attorney Guy served as a member of City Council in Wilmington, Delaware (At-Large) from 1997-2001. Mr. Guy served as the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Education Committee, and Census Complete Count Committee. He also served as a member of Delaware’s Wilmington Neighborhood Schools Committee.

All elected officials have a Legislative Record and his is extensive. His legislative record covers issues such as the environment, technology, open government, and civil rights.Mr. Guy established a Pardon Program and Educational Advocate Program. Through his Internet Access Program he provided leadership resulting in city employees receiving Internet Access as an employee benefit and the establishment of the computer lab in the Southbridge Neighborhood House. Wilmington firefighters were provided with the technological advancement of thermal imaging camera. The Stepper’s Gym in the PAL Center and cover recently placed over the Cool Springs Reservoir are additional tangible evidence of his legislative influence. Councilman Guy sponsored the legislation for the placement of the nationally respected African American Medal of Honor Monument in Brandywine Park, along with the creation of the Wilson K. Smith walkway honoring the vision Mr. Smith had for the creation of this monument. His ability to understand political leverage resulted in the naming of Wilmington’s riverfront park in honor of Harriet Tubman and Thomas Garrett.

Attorney Guy took the steps required to ensure candidates unable to pay the fee to run for public office were provided fee waivers. He provided the State of Delaware court system with access to the City of Wilmington television station in order to show the public Landlord Tenant Law, Justice of the Peace Court Litigation, and Domestic Violence Videotapes and other informative programming. He produced a leased access television show called Justice DE to educate the public about important legal issues.

Attorney Guy successfully represented the Leased Access Producers Association, on a pro bono basis in order to secure their continued right to produce live programming on cable television in Delaware in accordance with the current franchise agreement. In November of 2008 they had learned of an impending shut down of their television shows effective January 2009 designed to interfere with the community's 1st Amendment rights and communication needs. As as elected official in the late 90's he had previously provided leadership that prevented elimination of live local programming after being asked for assistance by the Leased Access Producers Association.

Mr. Guy’s community service experiences are varied. He has organized diversity training for the Delaware’s law enforcement community on several occasions. He has been involved in the community through his membership in professional, civic, social and political organizations.

Mr. Guy has taught mathematics in the public schools of Delaware. He holds standard educational certificates qualifying him as a Superintendent, Principal, School Leader I, Physical Science Teacher and Mathematics Teacher. Mr. Guy was recognized by the State of Delaware on February 12, 2008 at the Excellence in Instructional Technology Awards Banquet sponsored by the Delaware Center for Educational Technology along with one educator from each of Delaware’s school districts for excellence in the use of instructional technology. Mr. Guy has voluntarily contributed his time to the school community by serving in various capacities over the years such as Chair/Member of the Instructional Leadership Council (Site Council), Member of the Liaison Committee, Union Representative, and sponsoring a Chess Club.All of Mr. Guy's students were required to read Brown v. Board of Education in order to understand how the interdisciplinary concept of equality stretches beyond mathematics.

Attorney Guy is a Redistricting expert. He has provided presentations designed to educate community members about Redistricting. He has been a Redistricting Consultant for the Governor’s Council on Hispanic Affairs, represented members of the Delaware General Assembly in Redistricting litigation, and drawn redistricting plans that have been submitted to the Delaware General Assembly, Wilmington City Council, New Castle County Council, Brandywine School District and Christina School Districts. As a result of his contributions black candidates, who reside outside of Wilmington, have been elected to seats in Delaware’s House of Representative. One member is from Kent County and the other is from New Castle County. Attorney Guy provided legal representation for two Delaware State Representatives during the State of Delaware Constitutional crisis related to redistricting litigation in the Court of Chancery and Superior Court.

As a lifelong learner who believes in the power of education, Attorney Guy holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the Delaware Law School of Widener University; a Masters Degree In Public Administration from the University Of Delaware specializing in State and Local Government as well as Fiscal and Resource Management; a Masters Degree In Business Administration from the University Of Rochester in Finance/Marketing/Applied Economics; and a Bachelors of Science from Delaware State University in Mathematics and Chemistry. He was a Midshipman at the United State Navel Academy. He has recently completed graduate studies at the University of Delaware receiving a Masters of Instruction in Educational Technology and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership.

He has received awards and recognition from organizations such as the Delaware Martin Luther King Foundation, Inc., Delaware NAACP, Wilmington Branch NAACP, Milford/Slaughter Neck Branch of the NAACP, African American Medal of Honor Monument, Inc., New Castle County, City of Wilmington, the Delaware Center for Instructional Technology for Excellence In Instructional Technology, and the Christina School District Board of Education Honor Roll.

A few notable presentations and publications include:
• Bouncing Ball WebQuest, DE Center for Educational Technology, Excellence in Instructional Technology Showcase (2008)
• Relationships: Segregation (De & Re) & Integration, “States Rights,” “Local Control,” & “Neighborhood Schools”, DE Case Study-Education and the Law (2008)
• Delaware Administrative Procedures Act vs. Delaware Administrative State: Historical Analysis of Legislative and Judicial Oversight-MPA Analytical Paper (2002)
• Redistricting Plan Presentations (Community Public Hearing, Let My People Know Coalition, State of Delaware House & Senate, New Castle County Council, Wilmington City Council, Christina School District, Brandywine School District); (1991-1992; 2001-2002).

Samuel L. Guy has provided important public service as Chairman of the 4th Councilmanic District Democratic Committee, as a Member of the Wilmington Neighborhood Schools Committee, as a Law Clerk for the Delaware Bank Commissioner, and as a Legal Assistant to the County Executive of New Castle County.

His history of issue involvement extends to and beyond the following range of issues:
Redistricting, education, labor & employee relations, environmental justice, hazardous waste sites, voting rights, history, parks, civil rights, justice & fairness, history, internet access and technology, public safety, economic development, governmental revenues & expenditures, police profiling, historic preservation, criminal justice system, planning, diversity, and equal employment opportunity.

Attorney Guy’s history of community involvement has included affiliation with Ezion Fair Baptist Church, Democratic Party, Eastlawn Area Human Services, Prince Hall Affiliated Mason, NAACP, Wilmington City Council, Eastside Citizens, Inc., Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Southbridge Civic Association, Delaware State Bar Association, Price Run Child Center, PAL Center, and the Southbridge Neighborhood House.