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Winter 2011
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The Defense Line: Winter 2011

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The Defense Line: A Publication From The Maryland Defense Counsel, Inc.

Judicial Selections Committee

Christina N. BillietMarisa A. Trasatti, John T. Sly &
Laurie Ann Garey

Maryland Defense Counsel (“MDC”) strongly believes that it can best help ensure Maryland has a fair and competent civil justice system by being directly involved on the front end with the process of selecting jurists for our State.

Under Maryland’s constitution, judges are appointed by the Governor and, except for circuit court judges, must be confirmed by the Senate. Since 1970, Maryland governors have adopted executive orders creating Judicial Nominating Commissions to recommend candidates for appointment.

In most instances, governors have made appointments from the list produced by the judicial nominating commissions. It is MDC’s intent to positively influence the process at every step. Therefore, MDC interviews candidates for every circuit court and appellate appointment and forwards its recommendations directly to the Judicial Nominating Commission, c/o The Administrative Office of Courts. Where appropriate, our Committee has also communicated directly with the governor’s office.

The Nominating Commission in Maryland then meets to interview all candidates and reviews the recommendations of the various specialty bar associations, including MDC. Thereafter a voting session takes place and the names of nominees are reported to the Governor. This usually occurs the same day or morning after the Commission meets.

Interviews of judicial candidates by MDC generally occur in the evening on workdays. Semmes, Bowen & Semmes has generously provided space for the interviews. The Committee has found the location to be convenient to candidates and interviewers alike.

There is no particular training required to participate in the interviews. The process has proven most rewarding for the interviewers who get to meet some of the brightest and best legal minds in our State. The Committee invites and strongly urges all MDC members to participate in the interviews. You can be added to the invitation list by emailing John T. Sly at The Committee will then ensure you are notified of the upcoming interviews. We look forward to your assistance.

MDC congratulates S. Woods "Woody" Bennett and the other Pro Bono Stars for exceptioinal commitment to pro bono service.


Maryland Defense Counsel, Inc.
1218 Broadway Rd.
Lutherville, MD 21093
Phone 410-560-3895
Fax 443-705-0217