Judges Eaves and Fader to join Maryland high court, Judge Albright to COSA, Judge Wells new COSA chief

Today, Governor Hogan announced that he is appointing Harford County Circuit Court Judge Angela Eaves and Court of Special Appeals Chief Judge Matthew Fader for the vacancies on the Court of Appeals created by the upcoming retirements of Judge Robert McDonald and Chief Judge Joseph Getty.

As a result of Chief Judge Fader’s elevation, the Governor has announced his intention to appoint Judge Gregory Wells of the Court of Special Appeals to serve as that court’s new chief judge and Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Anne Albright to the at-large vacancy.

Judge Eaves’ appointment is particularly notable. After the original seven applicants for Judge McDonald’s seat (reserved for residents of Baltimore County and Harford County) were all white, the Governor readvertised the vacancy to “attract as broad a field of candidates as possible consistent with his commitment to diversity and outreach.” Judge Eaves was one of five additional applicants, and she will now become Maryland’s first Afro-Latina appellate judge.

Also of note, Judge Wells will become the first African-American and first openly LGBTQ Chief Judge of Maryland’s intermediate appellate court.

The press release includes the following:

Governor Larry Hogan today made nine judicial announcements, including two nominees for the Maryland Court of Appeals, one nominee for the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, and designation of a new chief judge of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The governor also made one appointment to the Washington County Circuit Court and four appointments to the Baltimore City District Court.

“I am proud to appoint each of these distinguished and highly qualified individuals,” said Governor Hogan. “It is a top priority to ensure the composition of our courts reflect the great diversity of our state—these historic appointments deliver on that commitment.”

Angela M. Eaves, of Harford County, to Serve as Judge on the Court of Appeals
Since 2007, Eaves has served on the Harford County Circuit Court. Prior to her appointment to the Circuit Court, she served for seven years as an associate judge of the District Court for Harford County. Prior to her judicial service, Eaves was an assistant attorney general with the Office of the Attorney General, where she handled cases in the Correctional Litigation Division and on behalf of the Department of Human Resources. Earlier in her career, she was a staff attorney with the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau and an assistant city attorney for the City of Dallas. She received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Public Affairs, and a J.D. from the University of Texas.Eaves is also the first Harford County resident appointed to the Court of Appeals in more than 100 years. Read her full bio.

Matthew J. Fader, of Howard County, to Serve as Judge on the Court of Appeals
Judge Fader, currently the chief judge of the Court of Special Appeals, has been appointed to the Court of Appeals to succeed Judge Joseph M. Getty upon his mandatory retirement in April 2022.
Prior to his appointment to the Court of Special Appeals, Fader held various roles at the Office of the Attorney General, including chief of civil litigation. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s office, he was a partner at K&L Gates LLP, an international law firm, where he represented clients in commercial litigation in federal and state courts. Judge Fader served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice from 1999 to 2002. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where was Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal. Read his full bio.

Anne K. Albright, of Montgomery County, to serve as Judge on the Court of Special Appeals
Currently a judge on the Montgomery County Circuit Court, Judge Albright will be formally nominated to succeed Judge Fader upon his appointment to the Court of Appeals.
Prior to her appointment to the circuit court in 2012, Albright was a partner in the law firm of Albright & Rhodes, practicing family law, criminal defense, and immigration law. She began her career as a clerk for Judge Norman Ramsey on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, and then served for six years as a public defender. Albright received an A.B. from Dartmouth College and a J.D., cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center. Read her full bio.

E. Gregory Wells, of Calvert County, to Serve as Chief Judge of the Court of Special Appeals
Currently a judge on the Court of Special Appeals, Judge Wells will be designated as the new chief judge of that court, to succeed Chief Judge Fader upon his elevation to the Court of Appeals. Wells will be the first African American to serve as chief judge of the Court of Special Appeals, and the first openly LGBTQ person to serve as chief judge of either of Maryland’s appellate courts.
Wells has served on the Court of Special Appeals since 2019. Prior to his appointment to that court, he was a judge on the Circuit Court for Calvert County, a judge on the District Court of Maryland for Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties, and a master for domestic relations and juvenile causes for Calvert County. Wells also served as an assistant attorney general in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Office of the Attorney General and was the first African American to serve as Calvert County State’s Attorney. He received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Read his full bio.

Because these nominations come during the General Assembly’s legislative session, approval by the Maryland Senate is necessary before the elevations of Judges Fader, Eaves, and Albright take effect.

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