16 Nominated to Court of Special Appeals

By Chris Mincher

It’s been quite a busy week on the judicial-appointments front: On Tuesday, Gov. Hogan elevated The Hon. Michele Denise Hotten to the Court of Appeals, and, today, nominations for the at-large Court of Special Appeals opening were announced. Although the deep pool of 27 applicants has been somewhat pared down, the governor is still faced with the difficult task of selecting only one of the 16 impressively credentialed finalists, half of which are sitting circuit-court judges. Of those, three on the Prince George’s County bench (Judge Alves, Judge Geter, and Judge Serrette) would, if it didn’t work out for the at-large bid, be eligible to vie for Judge Hotten’s vacancy.

Nine of the candidates for Judge Zarnoch’s seat were automatically advanced because they had been previously recommended for the Court by the Judicial Appellate Nominating Commission. Below, check out the entire accomplished and talented group — which happens to also include two members of the Blog’s editorial staff, Karen Federman Henry and Brad McCullough, to whom we extend our organizational congratulations. (Neither contributed to this post.)

* renewal of prior nomination

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5 responses to “16 Nominated to Court of Special Appeals”

  1. fxston says :

    Oh my. On the off chance nomination of Judge Wells isn’t someone’s idea of a poor joke, I think the Court can do better than a judge willing to dispense with fundamental rules of criminal procedure to include, among others, attorney waiver. Most can agree that a defendant responding “I don’t intend to” on the question of securing counsel – put to defendant two months before trial at a preliminary appearance on an arrest by summons – oughtn’t result in a judge deeming the exchange an express waiver of counsel.

    A defendant should not be expected to know what constitutes waiver, what an inquiry should consist of, and/or what is duty and what is a matter of a judge’s supposed or actual exercise of sound discretion. The (different) trial judge apparently disagreed, accepting a “(attorney) waived” notation on pretrial checklist as A-ok, despite absence of any evidence that required inquiry was addressed.

    Sadly, this type of persistent nonsense isn’t so rare as one might think in Calvert County and elsewhere. Such a nomination is reconfirmation that the bar is not set very high.

    ‘lest anyone look for reasons to rationalize away as no big deal (in and of itself scary) and presume that the cases in which the astonishing occurs must be of little or no consequence, the one in mind involved charges carrying penalties of up to 8.5 years imprisonment and/or thousands in fines.

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