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Two new judges confirmed to Fourth Circuit

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Even though South Carolina and Maryland each have three seats on the Fourth Circuit, you’ll be more likely to draw at least one South Carolina judge than a Maryland-based judge for your three-judge panel.

The U.S. Senate yesterday confirmed Julius “Jay” Richardson and U.S. District Judge Marvin Quattlebaum as U.S. Circuit Judges for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which hears federal appeals from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Both new judges are based in South Carolina. Judge Quattlebaum will need to wait a few weeks to take his seat, because Judge William Traxler, whom he is replacing, does not take senior status until August 31. Judge Richardson replaces Judge Dennis Shedd, who took senior status in January. Information on the new judges’ backgrounds is in this prior post.

As friend-of-the-blog Kevin Elliker pointed out in a Twitter exchange, the Fourth Circuit appears to have its most-ever number of judges in the pool: 15 active judges, plus three senior judges still serving on panels. Although Congress expanded the Fourth Circuit from 12 judges to 15 judges in 1990, a Virginia seat (held by Chief Judge Roger Gregory) was not filled until 2000. Judge James Wynn‘s North Carolina seat was vacant from 1994 to 2010 (not a misprint). Judge Pamela Harris‘ seat here in Maryland was vacant from 2000, when Judge Murnaghan died, until 2009, when Judge Andre Davis was appointed. And, compared to other circuits, unusually few senior judges have kept hearing cases.

Now we’ll have three, all from South Carolina: Judges Shedd and Traxler, plus Judge Clyde Hamilton, who took senior status in 1999. It appears that Judge Hamilton is still on panels in cases submitted on brief, but that he has not been on oral argument panels since 2015.

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Two Fourth Circuit Nominations in One Day

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Jane, get me off this crazy thing… called legal news. It’s not even 2:30 p.m., and already the Southern District of New York has appointed a special master to review documents seized from Michael Cohen, and Bill Cosby was convicted on retrial.

It’s actually below-the-fold legal news that that the White House today announced the Administration’s thirteenth wave of judicial nominees, which includes two nominees to the Fourth Circuit. Both would presumably maintain their chambers in South Carolina. Still, if they’re confirmed, you could check in at 8:30 a.m. in Richmond some morning to discover that either or both is on your panel. Read More…

Assistant AG Matthew Fader appointed to Court of Special Appeals

From this morning’s press release:

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of Matthew J. Fader to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The governor made the appointment after reviewing nominees from the judicial nominating commission.

“I am confident that Mr. Fader is the most qualified candidate to fill the vacancy on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals,” said Governor Hogan. “I would like to congratulate him on this appointment, and I know that he will serve the people of Maryland well in this new role.”

Matthew J. Fader has served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Office of the Attorney General since June 2010 and is currently the Chief of Civil Litigation for the State of Maryland. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s office, Mr. Fader was a partner at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhardt, LLP, an international law firm, where he represented clients in commercial litigation in federal and state courts, as well as arbitrations. He also counseled clients with respect to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Mr. Fader served as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice from 1999-2002. Mr. Fader received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, and received his J.D. from Yale Law School where he served as Senior Editor on the Yale Law Journal.

14 Nominated for Court of Special Appeals: June 2017

By Brandon Moore

Governor Hogan will be picking from 14 candidates to fill the at-large seat on the Court of Special Appeals vacated by the recent retirement of Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser. The nominations were announced last week and were chosen from an impressive list of lawyers and judges who applied in April. Eight of the candidates were automatically advanced because they had been previously recommended for the Court by the Judicial Appellate Nominating Commission. Five of the nominees are sitting circuit court judges.

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Governor Appoints Next Chief Judge of Court of Special Appeals

The Office of Governor Larry Hogan today issued the following press release:

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of Judge Patrick L. Woodward as Chief Judge to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. Judge Woodward has served as a judge on the Court since 2005. The appointment is effective May 6, 2017.

“I am confident that Judge Woodward is the most qualified individual to fill the chief judge vacancy on the Court of Special Appeals,” said Governor Hogan. “Judge Woodward has an exceptional and extensive judicial background, and has exhibited integrity and a strong commitment to justice. I offer him my sincere congratulations and best wishes.”

“I am truly honored by the trust and confidence that the Governor has placed in me,” said Judge Woodward. “I will do everything in my power to discharge my new duties faithfully, diligently, and competently.”

Judge Patrick L. Woodward is currently a judge for the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland where he has served since 2005, when he was appointed by Governor Robert Ehrlich. Prior to his appointment, Judge Woodward served as a judge for both the Circuit and District Courts of Montgomery County. Before serving as a judge, he was a sole practitioner and principal for Jackson & Campbell, P.C. Judge Woodward received his Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law.

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27 Apply for Court of Special Appeals: April 2017

By Brandon Moore

Twenty-seven applicants applied for an at-large seat on the Court of Special Appeals, according to the list made public on Thursday. The seat will become vacant upon the mandatory retirement of Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser, who turns 70 years young on May 5. Eight of the applicants are being considered automatically because the Judicial Appellate Nominating Commission had previously recommended them for the Court.

See the full list of applicants below.

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Governor appoints Getty to Court of Appeals, Geter and Beachley to Court of Special Appeals

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Governor Larry Hogan today announced three appointments to the Maryland appellate courts. The governor’s Chief Legislative Officer, Joseph Getty, will fill the vacant high court seat reserved for residents of the third appellate district (Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, and Washington counties). Getty is 64 years old. Unless the mandatory retirement age is increased from 70, the seat will become vacant in another six years. Don’t expect the sort of fireworks from the last time a governor appointed his CLO to the Court of Appeals. Read More…

Five Nominated to Maryland Court of Appeals

By Chris Mincher

A little more than a month after nine applied for Judge Battaglia’s seat on the Court of Appeals, the pool has been whittled to five nominations. Unsurprisingly, the only sitting Court of Special Appeals judge, the Hon. Kathryn Grill Graeff, got a golden ticket, as did the Hon. Donald E. Beachley of the Washington County Circuit Court, a former magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Two private practitioners are in the mix as well: Thomas Edward Lynch, III, a principal at Miles & Stockbridge, and Andrew David Levy, a partner at Brown Goldstein Levy and co-author of Appellate Practice for the Maryland Lawyer.

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Three nominated to Prince George’s County seat on COSA

By Chris Mincher

There’s been a lot of activity this week in the process of filling Maryland’s appellate vacancies — first, nine applications were received for the soon-to-be-open Court of Appeals spot, and, yesterday, the Judicial Nominating Commission sent three names to the governor to be considered for the Court of Special Appeals seat reserved for Prince George’s County. Five had initially applied, after which Erika Louise Pierson, an administrative law judge with the District of Columbia, withdrew. Of the remaining four, the Commission has recommended the Hon. Cathy Hollenberg Serrette and the Hon. Melanie Marva Shaw Geter, both of the county circuit court, as well as Phillip Robert Zuber of Sasscer Clagett & Bucher.

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Nine apply for Maryland Court of Appeals

By Chris Mincher

Now that Judge Battaglia is preparing for her impending departure, change is occurring rapidly at the Court of Appeals. With Judge Hotten being appointed in December, Judge Watts joining the Court in 2013, and Judge McDonald donning the red robe in 2012, within a month’s time, a majority of the Court’s members will have been there for less than five years. Having gotten in applications before Thursday’s deadline, nine individuals are seeking to be next through the revolving door.

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