Howard County Race for Judge and Random Howard County Musings

This blog is directed primarily to other personal injury lawyers around the country. I try not to focus too much on issues that are specific to Maryland because there is not enough lawyers in Maryland to maintain a readership. Even when I’m analyzing Maryland personal injury cases, I try to make the information of use to lawyers everywhere. But my post last week on Clark Ahlers on bid to oust the sitting judges in Howard County has generated a lot of traffic, emails and some interesting comments.

I really can’t speak much to the specifics of this race because our law firm just does not spend a lot of time in Howard County. I grew up in HoCo and love the area. I could find my way to the courthouse in my sleep. But Howard County is not a mecca for personal injury trials. Most years, you are not going to see a big hocosealverdict in Howard County. There were 43 civil jury trials in Howard County in 2010 and I bet the majority of those were not accident/injury cases. Certainly, if you have a tort, my hometown is low on your list of counties west of the Bay Bridge that you want to be taking to a jury.

The strange thing about an election like this is that it is not really a question of who is going to win, it is who is going to lose. Even if Ahlers wins, one of the sitting judges up for election will survive.

So who is going to win? Does anyone have a clue? I wonder if either of these campaigns – Ahlers or the sitting judges – already have a strong sense of who is going to win because they have polling data. (If you have inside information on this, please send me an email. I’m curious now.) Otherwise, although I guess this is true in a lot of local elections, no one really has much of a clue how it is going to turn out. I’m assuming that Ahlers is running as a Republican. (Source: just a guess. The Baltimore Sun would have explained this to us if it was still alive.) So, while all three judges will make it on the ballot, the votes in the primary will give us an idea of whether we have a race of a blowout.

Updated:
  • Ronald–Much of what you say is true. I also live in Howard County. I also happen to be Ahlers campaign manager.

    This race is extremely important for many reasons, first of which who is more qualified for the job. Im my mind and I believe many others Clarke Ahlers is head and shoulders above his opponents. He has practiced law in Columbia for 25 years. He was a police office in Howard County for 14 years. He knows this county inside and out!

    His intellect and experience from trying so many very high profile cases and being in so many courtrooms across this states qualify him for this job. We need someone like him on the bench!

    But this election is about much more than that. Its about fundamental fairness and integrity. He knows what is like to represent individuals and their civil liberties. He knows what its like to stand next to someone who has been unjustly accused. Yet, he can be tough because he knows the score as an x-police officer.

    I believe he can do the job better than anyone in this race. Sometimes change is good. It certainly is in this case!!

    JIm Crawford

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