The Asterisking Begins

The Court of Appeals has issued two opinions since June 27. Each has an asterisk in the list of judges: “Harrell, J., participated in the hearing of the case, in the conference in regard to its decision and in the adoption of the opinion but he retired from the Court prior to the filing of the opinion.”

Yes, Maryland’s movie-quoting appellate judge hit the mandatory retirement age of 70 ten days ago. (Steve Lash’s nice-but-paywalled piece is here.) We should have more on Judge Harrell’s retirement on these pages shortly.

The same lengthy asterisk notation should appear in about 28 opinions between now and the end of the Court’s term on August 31. After that, there will be a more pedestrian notation – “Retired, Specially Assigned” – next to Judge Harrell’s name whenever he sits on the Court of Appeals or on the Court of Special Appeals.

Judge Harrell likely will be sitting regularly on the Court of Appeals at least through the September 26 to October 6 sitting. The notice of vacancy was posted July 2, with applications due on July 20 and the committee meeting on August 7. After the committee forwards names, Governor Hogan will interview the finalists and choose Judge Harrell’s successor. In the meantime, we can be assured of plenty more movie quotes in the Maryland Reporter.

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