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New Maryland Judges Appointment By Governor O’Malley

Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Dec 23, 2011 in Community News

Congratulations to the new Judges appointed yesterday by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. The Honorable Robert Neal McDonald has been appointed to the Maryland Court of Appeals (he will replace the Honorable Joseph F. Murphy, Jr. who is retiring.) The Maryland Court of Appeals is Maryland's highest Appellate Court. The Honorable Stuart Ross Berger was appointed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals is Maryland's intermediate appellate court. Both the Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals are located in Annapolis Maryland.

Have you ever wanted to know how much money Maryland Judges earn? This data is public information available on the Maryland Judiciary Website .

District Court Judge: $127,252 (Chief District Court Judge $149,552)
Circuit Court Judge: $140,352
Ct. of Spec. App. Judge: $149,552 (Chief Judge Ct. Spec. App. $152,552)
Court of Appeals Judge: $162,352 (Chief Judge Ct. Appeals $181,352).

I believe that the judicial salaries for Maryland Judges are just too low and should be increased. It is important that we pay our judge's an amount that is at least within striking distance to what they could earn in private practice. Perhaps not quite as much, but it should at least be close. If the Maryland Legislature chooses not to do this, then the pool of individuals who apply to be judges will be extremely limited and this could result in a bench that is non-diverse and/or not as high quality as it should and could be. I see this as becoming a bigger problem in the future as many highly qualified Maryland lawyers have a huge amount of debt from law school loans and cannot afford to take a large decrease in salary to serve as a Judge. This is unfortunate. I personally believe that judicial salaries for Maryland Judges should be closer to $200,000 per year across the board.

That said, based on my firsthand knowledge and experience as a Maryland Trial Lawyer I can tell you that we currently have an amazing bench ("bench" is lawyer jargon for "judges"). Nearly all of the judges I have appeared before do their very best to make fair rulings consistent with Maryland law and the Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure. I certainly realize that Maryland Judges have made sacrifices in order to serve the public and serve our profession as a Judge.

I have a great deal of respect for our judges and the role they play in our civil justice system and the criminal justice system. Maryland District Court Judges have to sit through hundreds of cases involving relatively mundane happenings like speeding tickets and parking tickets and hear out each citizen's excuse or reason for getting the citation. The District Court Judges that I have observed have an incredible amount of patience and truly understand their role as being there for the citizens of Maryland to make sure that they are treated fairly by Maryland law enforcement.

For more information about the judicial system in Maryland and for access to published opinions by the Maryland Court of Appeals and Maryland Court of Special Appeals go to the Maryland Judiciary Website.

The other newly appointed Maryland Judges include the Honorable Melba Elizabeth Bowen in Harford County, MD, the Honorable David Wylie Densford in St. Mary's County, MD, the Honorable Justin James King and the Hon. Nancy Maggitti Purpura for Baltimore County Circuit Court, the Honorable Anne Korbel Albright and the Honorable Gary Eugene Bair for the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, the Honorable William Rogers Nicklas, Jr. in the Circuit Court for Frederick County, and the Honorable William Vincent Tucker for the Circuit Court for Howard County, Maryland.

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