Maryland Court of Special Appeals Vacancy

Twenty-nine people have applied to fill the at-large vacancy on the Court of Special Appeals left by Judge James A. Kenney’s mandatory retirement. (Parenthetically, most judges continue to sit on the bench after they retire, so can we just drop the mandatory retirement nonsense? The antiquated notion of mandatory retirement at 70 does not fly in 2007.)

There are an impressive number of quality applicants for the vacancy. They are:

Claudia Adeline Barber, a family lawyer in Laurel
Judge Donald E. Beachley (Washington County)
Bruce Bender, a trial lawyer in Montgomery County
Judge Stuart R. Berger (Baltimore City) [update: now on the court]
Judge Victor K. Butanis (Harford County)
Judge William O. Carr, (Harford County)
Judge Steven G. Chappelle (Charles County)
Jack Condliffe, a domestic and personal injury lawyer in Baltimore County
Marianne Elizabeth Dise, a lawyer with the Attorney General’s office
Maury Steven Epner, a criminal lawyer in Montgomery County
Karen Louise Federman Henry, a Montgomery County State’s Attorney
Kathryn Grill Graeff, a lawyer with the Attorney General’s office
Robert John Greenleaf, a former state’s attorney for Caroline County
Judge Michele Denise Hotten (Prince George’s County) [update: now on the court]
Ronald H. Jarashow, an Annapolis attorney and former judge
James Arthur Johnson, from the defense firm Semmes, Bowen & Semmes in Baltimore
Judge Diane O. Leasure (Howard County)
Judge Albert J, Matricciani Jr. (Baltimore City) [update: now on the court]
Jo Ann Patricia Myles, a Prince George’s County lawyer
Francis A. Pommett III, a Baltimore lawyer
Judge Julie Stevenson Solt (Frederick County)
Linda Theresa Spradlin-Dahn, an appellate litigator in Annapolis
Walter Ira Weinschenk, Montgomery County lawyer
Irwin E. Weiss, a personal injury lawyer in Baltimore
Edward Gregory Wells, a former Calvert County state’s attorney
Gloria Selena Wilson Shelton, counsel for Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF)
Judge Alexander Wright Jr., a former Baltimore County Circuit Court judge
Robert Anthony Zarnoch, lawyer with the Attorney General’s office
Phillip R. Zuber, an insurance defense lawyer in Prince George’s County

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  • Las Vegas Lawyer

    Does anyone know the time frame of the vacancy? I haven’t been following this as closely as I should.

  • Vincent Ferretti

    Mandatory retirement does force judges from active duty. A retired judge can sit but only if designated by the Court of Appeals and if there is a need(i.e., lack of a full bench or vacations.)

  • Tony

    Well, I didn’t apply. And I see you didn’t either, Ron. It’s an at-large seat which obviously draws wide interest.

    Las Vegas lawyer, you can find the information on the Md judicial application process here:

    it appears that the application close date was Oct 9.

  • Ron Miller

    Judge Ferretti:

    I really do not know much about the process and I did not know permission was required from the Court of Appeals.

    My Dad is 70 and he goes to work every single day and is as productive as he ever was, probably more so. I do not think that it makes sense to take experienced and willing judges off the bench because they have reached an arbitrary age with the health and longevity of our population being what it is today. I think the result is that age is less probative gauge for productivity. I’m sure there are some 60 year-old judges that are washed up and some 85 year-old judges that are just as strong as they ever were. Accordingly, I think the call should be made on the merits.

    Thanks for your comment, Judge Ferretti.

  • Ron Miller

    Tony, I think my ADHD might bar me from consideration!

    Certainly, the at-large seat draws a lot more interest. It is amazing how diverse the candidates are geographically.

    I think there are a lot of impressive candidates that are not present or former judges. But I think there are a lot of impressive judges on the list as well so I suspect a impressive judge trumps an impressive lawyer.

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