Rachel Ezzell Berry, Esquire is a Candidate for the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas
Register of Wills
As the Delaware County Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans' Court, Rachel is a county-wide, elected judicial officer who regularly rules on legal petitions and presides over hearings at the Delaware County Courthouse and Government Center. She swears in witnesses, admits and excludes evidence, evaluates witness testimony, and has written many Opinions and Orders affecting tens of millions dollars and making a difference in the lives of Delaware County residents. She is the first Delaware County Register to write an Opinion and Order after every hearing, detailing the applicable standard of law and explaining how she weighed the evidence. To date, she has never been reversed on appeal. This has been an important step forward for judicial transparency in Delaware County. Rachel hopes to bring her commitment to serving the public and promoting judicial transparency to the Court of Common Pleas.
As an elected official who has run and won, Rachel knows what it takes to run a winning campaign. Despite the fact that she was the only first-time candidate on the 2021 democratic slate, she won her race by over 11,000 votes, earning her the distinction of being the highest vote-getter of any countywide candidate on the democratic ticket.
Rachel understands that all government officials, including judges, must go above and beyond in their work. Appointed during the COVID-19 shutdown, Rachel quickly worked to modernize the Register of Wills office. In addition to her judicial duties, she opened the office's first-ever e-commerce store, migrated public records information online, designed processes to virtually probate thousands of estates, published free informational videos on YouTube, and secured American Rescue Plan Act funding to develop electronic filing (e-filing) for the Orphans' Court, which will launch in late 2023. These modernizations have made services more accessible, transparent, and convenient for residents. She is committed to not only the duties of judicial decision-making, but also making the Court more accessible to the residents it serves. Rachel's judicial and governmental experience makes her a well-qualified candidate for the Court of Common Pleas.
Rachel at the Register's Office during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Rachel assisting a constituent in Middletown Township
Rachel appreciates the value of hard work because she worked her own way up. She started college as a Pell Grant recipient (indicating extreme financial need) attending Delaware County Community College, and working evenings as a waitress and coffee barista in Media. She earned her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was Book Review Editor of the Michigan Law Review. Her legal scholarship has been cited in the Harvard Law Review and Yale Law Journal. She clerked for Chief Judge Jonker on the U.S. District Court and for Judge McKeague on the U.S. Court of Appeals, spending thousands of hours in federal courtrooms. She was asked by Judge Stephanie Klein of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas to be her first law clerk, a position she enthusiastically accepted.
She also brings a wide range of experience in legal advocacy. She worked as a Complex Commercial Litigator at Dechert LLP, one of the largest law firms in the United States, handling matters ranging from mass torts to antitrust actions to civil rights. She is experienced in all stages of litigation, from pleadings to appeals. She has also worked as Counsel to a family business headquartered in Delaware County, advising on regulatory, procedural, and legal liabiity issues.
Rachel has worked closely with judges across the political spectrum and as a litigator at one of the largest and most-respected law firms in the country
As a lawyer, Rachel has trial experience in federal and state courts as well as Pennsylvania and out-of-state courts
Rachel would bring over a decade of legal and trial experience to the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. In addition to her years of work as the Register—where she is currently presiding over the trials and deciding the cases—as a lawyer, she is experienced in both federal and state trial courts as well as both Pennsylvania and out-of-state trial courts. As a law clerk on the U.S. District Court as well as the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, Rachel focused exclusively on trials while working under the expert guidance of actual sitting judges. As a litigator at one of the most respected law firms in the United States, Rachel's main purpose was not only to appear in court, but also to prepare cases for trial by taking on lead discovery responsibilities on cases involving potentially billions of dollars in liability and writing various motions, including motions to compel, dispositive motions, and motions in limine. She has worked directly with a nationally-renowned jury consultant on strategies associated with jury selection and voir dire. Her considerable and respected work in developing expert witnesses for trial led to her being asked to co-author textbook chapters on expert witnesses for other lawyers to reference in LexisNexis's Pennsylvania Civil Pretrial and Trial Practice Guides.
Rachel was born and raised in Delaware County. She grew up in Nether Providence Township, where she attended public schools. She graduated from Strath Haven High School, where she met her husband. Her family members are longtime Delaware County residents, and her parents both attended Marple-Newtown High School.
Rachel now lives in Middletown Township with her husband and young children, who attend public schools in the Rose-Tree Media School District.
Rachel with her son on Mother's Day