New Judges in Baltimore, Montgomery and Charles Counties

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley filled four judicial vacancies yesterday in Baltimore County, Montgomery County, and Charles County with judges with strong backgrounds in criminal and domestic law.

Sherrie R. Bailey was selected to replace the Baltimore County Circuit Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Dana M. Levitz. Ms. Bailey’s background is from both sides of the aisle in criminal law. She was a prosecutor in Baltimore for 22 years before becoming an assistant public defender in the county in 2006. The finalists for this seat, along with Ms. Bailey, were District Court Judges Jan M. Alexander, Nancy N. Purpura and Philip N. Tirabassi, and lawyers S. Ann Brobst, Robert W. Lazzaro, John J. Nagle III, Paul W. Spence and Keith R. Truffer.

In Montgomery County, Cynthia Callahan will succeed retiring Judge William J. Rowan, III. Soon to be Judge Callahan was a partner at Dragga, Callahan, Hannon, Hessler & Wills in Rockville. Since 1999, her practice has been primarily in family law. Finalists for this seat were Judges Gary Everngam, Joseph Quirk, William Simmons, John Conroy Jr., Barry Hamilton, and Cheryl McCall, and lawyers Charles Cockerill and Brian Sherrerman.

Master Helen I. Harrington was selected by the Governor to the Charles County Circuit Court, replacing Judge Christopher C. Henderson who retired after 12 years on the bench. Judge Harrington’s background is in criminal (former ASA) and domestic law. The candidates for this vacancy (I never saw the finalists) were Tonia Y. Belton-Gofreed, an assistant state’s attorney in Prince George’s County’ Douglas C. Cooley, a master of juvenile causes for Charles Circuit Court, Judge Harrington (see above), Shara G. Hendler, a defense lawyer in Baltimore County and a former Charles County prosecutor; W. Louis Hennessy, a District Court judge in Charles County, William F. Renahan, a Charles County PD; Thomas R. Simpson Jr., a La Plata lawyer and a former Charles County prosecutor; and Charles County prosecutors Karen R. Piper, Jerome R. Spencer, and Kenneth A. Talley.

Mr. Tally did not get the Circuit Court post but was selected for the Charles County District Court bench, filling the seat left by the retirement of Judge Richard A. Cooper. Mr. Talley also was the teen court judge in Charles County. The Judicial Nominating Commission chose for consideration by the Governor, along with Mr. Talley, Douglas Craig Cooley, John Lund Keller, Thomas Raymond Simpson Jr., Jerome Richard Spencer, and Elizabeth Dorothy Theobalds. This list was later further narrowed to Mr. Talley and Ms. Theobalds.

Next up for Governor O’Malley: Judge John M. Glynn’s replacement in Baltimore City.