Judge Gregory M. Sleet

Senior Lecturing Fellow


Gregory M. Sleet is Chief United States District Judge for the District of Delaware.  He was sworn in as the first African American judge on that court on Sept. 28, 1998, following confirmation by the United States Senate.  He has served as Chief Judge since 2007.

Judge Sleet is teaching Patent Litigation at Duke Law School during the spring 2014 semester.

A native of New York City, Judge Sleet is a graduate of Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia and Rutgers University School of Law at Camden, New Jersey, where he was an Earl Warren Legal Scholar.  He received his Juris Doctorate in 1976.

Judge Sleet has had a varied professional experience in the law consisting primarily of civil and criminal litigation and corporate legal work.  From 1992-1994, he served as in-house counsel in the legal department of Hercules Incorporated.  Prior to that, he was a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Delaware and, prior to that, practiced law in Philadelphia, Pa., for fourteen years -- six of those as an assistant public defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia.

At age 43, Judge Sleet took the oath of office on Monday, June 13, 1994, to become the first African American U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware.  In January of 1995, he was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee for a two-year term.  The AGAC is a group (numbering about 17 U.S. Attorneys at that time) that meets regularly in Washington, D.C. to assist and advise the Attorney General in setting policy and strategic direction for the U.S. Department of Justice.  On August 4th of 1995, Ms. Reno further honored U.S. Attorney Sleet by naming him the Vice Chair of the Committee for the 1995-96 session.  Additionally, Judge Sleet is the 1994 Distinguished Service Award recipient of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Central Delaware Branch.  In 1998, Delaware Today magazine selected him as Delawarean of the Year.  In 2000, Judge Sleet was named one of “Fifty of the Finest” graduates in the first 50 years of Rutgers University - Camden Division.

Judge Sleet currently holds an adjunct teaching position at Widener University School of Law, where he teaches a course in patent litigation.  He previously taught patent litigation at Rutgers University School of Law at Camden.  He is a member of the Third Circuit Judicial Council.  He is also a Member of the Third Circuit Judicial Council Automation & Technology Committee, Member of the Third Circuit Judicial Council Facilities and Security Committee, Member of the Third Circuit Judicial Council Case Management Committee and Member of the Third Circuit Judicial Council Committee on Model Criminal Jury Instructions.