2021 | Courts

Process underway for filling three Montgomery County judge seats

Vacancies created as judges reach mandatory retirement age

share this

Maryland is filling vacancies for three Montgomery County judgeships — one for District Court, one for Circuit Court and one appellate seat.

The appellate seat is for the Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera is retiring on Sept 10, when she turns 70, Maryland’s mandatory retirement age for judges.

Because Barbera lives in Montgomery County, which is the Seventh Appellate Judicial Circuit, the seat must be filled by another Montgomery County resident. The new judge does not automatically become chief judge, too.

Six people applied for the judicial seat by the June 24 deadline:

  • Judge Anne Korbel Albright, Circuit Court
  • Judge Sharon Veronica Burrell, Circuit Court
  • Judge Jeannie Eun Kyung Cho, Circuit Court
  • Judge Steven Bennett Gould, Court of Special Appeals
  • James Bradford McCullough
  • Judge Terrence Mark Ranko Zic, Court of Special Appeals

A Judicial Nominating Commission is scheduled to meet on Aug. 2 to review the applicants and recommend finalists to Gov. Larry Hogan, who will make the appointment.

Barbera has been on the Maryland Court of Appeals since 2008 and has been chief judge since 2013.

The Montgomery County Circuit Court vacancy is for a seat held by Gary E. Bair, who retired on Nov. 2, 2020, after eight years on the bench, also because of the mandatory retirement age. Bair is Barbera’s husband.

Five people applied for the Circuit Court seat by the May 27 deadline:

  • Judge Carlos Frederico Acosta, District Court
  • Theresa Michelle Chernosky
  • Gwenlynn Whittle D’Souza
  • Rachel Theora McGuckian
  • Ayo Mario Stevens

A Judicial Nominating Commission met on June 30. It sent its list of finalists for the seat to the governor’s office, but the list has not been made public yet, according to Bradley Tanner, a public information officer for the Maryland Judiciary, which oversees the state court system.

A Montgomery County District Court seat also is open, due to the Jan. 13 retirement of Patricia L. Mitchell, also for hitting retirement age.

The Judicial Nomination Commission met on June 30 and recommended as finalists for Hogan:

  • David Keith Felsen
  • Michael Ormond Glynn III
  • Patrick Jeffrey Mays
  • Rosalyn Tang
  • Carlotta Ann Woodward

The rest of the applicants were:

  • Patrick Mitri Connelly
  • William David Day
  • Gwenlynn Whittle D’Souza
  • Brian Reed Frank
  • Jessica Marie Hall
  • John Thomas Henderson
  • Mary Christine Herdman

After being nominated by the governor, a circuit judge must stand for election for a 15-year-term in the next general election occurring one year after nomination to the court.

An appellate judge, who serves a 10-year term, also must stand for an election to retain the seat after appointment.

District court judges serve 10-year terms. They don’t stand for election, but must be confirmed by the state Senate.