Applications Open for Two Judicial Vacancies in the County

Applications Open for Two Judicial Vacancies in the County

Retirements at Court of Special Appeals and Montgomery County Circuit Court create vacancies

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The Montgomery County Circuit Courthouse.

By Danielle E. Gaines

At least two Montgomery County attorneys are needed to fill judicial vacancies.

The upcoming retirement of Court of Special Appeals Judge Patrick Woodward on Nov. 28 creates a vacancy for a Montgomery County-specific seat on that panel. And the pending retirement of Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Michael D. Mason on Dec. 6, 2018 creates a vacancy in that court.

The Court of Special Appeals, Maryland’s intermediate appellate court, also has an at-large opening with the retirement of Judge Deborah S. Eyler on Sept. 1.

Woodward, a Bethesda native, was appointed to the Court of Special Appeals in 2005 and was named chief judge of the court on May 6, 2017. He was on the bench in Montgomery County’s Circuit and District courts before that.

Mason has served on the Circuit Court bench since March 18, 1994. He was one of the original judges assigned to Maryland’s Business and Technology Case Management Program for complex litigation and became a leader in the management of such cases, providing guidance to other judges and lawyers, according to a 2018 profile of him in The Daily Record. Previously, he’d served as an assistant state’s attorney in Montgomery County.

Nominating commissions for the open judgeships will submit a list of nominees to Gov. Larry Hogan, who will appoint the positions, subject to confirmation by the Maryland Senate.

Applicants for Woodward’s position must come from Montgomery County; applications are accepted statewide for the at-large position.

Applications for the Court of Special Appeals are due to the Maryland Judiciary next Wednesday. Nominees are expected to be named in October.

The application period for the circuit court judgeship closes Sept. 4, with nominees also expected to be named in October.

Judges must be at least 30 years old, members of the bar and U.S. citizens having resided in Maryland for at least five years.

The salary for a circuit court judge is $159,433. The salary for a judge on the Court of Special Appeals is $168,633.

After being appointed by the governor, a Circuit Court judge must stand for election for a 15-year term in the next general election that’s at least one year after the date of the vacancy.

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