Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Choosing a new chief judge

OK, I confess: I'm a law dork. It's hard not to get sucked into law-dorkdom when you've covered Maryland's legal community for the past couple of years.

Anyway, because of my dork status, I've been thinking a lot today about who will replace Judge Joe Murphy as chief of the Court of Special Appeals.

UB law prof Byron Warnken suggested to me yesterday that the governor would probably pick someone who has been on the court a while, but not someone who is too close to retirement. If we're talking about judges who will reach the mandatory retirement age soon, that eliminates Judges Davis, Salmon and Sharer, all of whom will turn 70 in the next three years.

On the other end of the spectrum, using a three-year cut-off would eliminate only the court's newest member, Judge Woodward, who was appointed in May 2005.

Warnken also seems to believe that Judge Adkins will likely win the retiring Judge Cathell's seat on the Court of Appeals, and that Judge Barbera is heavily favored for the Court of Appeals seat that Judge Raker will vacate in April, so he thinks they are not likely candidates for the chief judge spot.

That leaves five possibilities: judges Hollander, the two Eylers, Krauser and Meredith.

Do you agree with this list? Anyone have any guesses about whom the governor might favor? (For the record, Warnken predicts James Eyler.)

-CARYN TAMBER, Legal Affairs Writer


Julie said...

I completely agree with the list. Here is my take: First off, I think Judge James Eyler should be chosen as Chief Judge. His opinions are very well reasoned and thought out (but I am biased). Judges Deborah Eyler and Meredith are newer, so are probably less likely candidates. Judge Krauser may be a possibility. But, those are the likely candidates and I would hope that the Governor would appoint someone who already has experience on the COSA.

Anonymous said...

My money is on Judge Krauser

Anonymous said...

Looks like Judge Krauser won. Check out this small tidbit which is out in St. Mary's County, MD related to Judge Peter B. Krauser, new Chief Judge of the MD Court of Special Appeals:

Judge Karen H. Abrams Orders Illegal Transaction: St. Mary's County, MD

Apparently, Judge Krauser affirmed the absurd and illegal decision made by his friend and colleague Judge James A Kenney III. Krauser chose politics and personal friendships over undisputed facts and the law. I have a feeling the MD CSA is going to become more of a political playground for Krauser in the coming years. He probably misses all of the politics.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I need to make a correction here: I meant to say "Judge Krauser affirmed the absurd and illegal decision made by his friend and colleague Judge James A Kenney III's wife, Judge Karen H. Abrams", not Judge Kenney himself.

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Here is an article in the St. Mary's Enterprise Newspaper regarding the website

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