Governor O’Malley added 7 new Maryland judges yesterday. Most notably, the Governor appointed Douglas R.M. Nazarian to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
This is not a name that resonates with personal injury lawyers in Maryland. Mr. Nazarian has been the chairman of the Public Service Commission since 2008. I can’t speak to his qualifications although he went to Yale and Duke and was at Hogan & Hartson for a while (a firm that rejected me after my interview with now U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts: read the third link). So the smart money says he is probably pretty bright. But, boy, he has a tough job ahead of him. I’m always amazed at how much appellate judges need to know about personal injury law and that is just a one piece of the large puzzle they need to understand in amazing detail. I would think it would a much easier transition to come from the trial court where you can build more slowly into become a jack of all trades that our appellate judges need to be.
The Governor also named to the Baltimore City Circuit Court:
- Christopher Panos (elevated from District Court)
- Philip Senan Jackson (from U.S. Attorney’s Office)
- Melissa Marie Phinn (a Baltimore personal injury and criminal lawyer)
- Julie Rebecca Rubin (commercial litigator at Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin)
There were also two judge appointed to the Baltimore County Circuit Court and a District Court judge in Carroll County.
- Michael Thurston Pate, a former prosecutor that has a general practice in Towson, to Baltimore County Circuit Court
- Kimberly Michelle Thomas, an estate lawyer in Baltimore City, to the Baltimore County Circuit Court
- Brian David Green, an assistant public defender in Carroll County, to the Carroll County District Court.
Congratulations to all of these new judges.