The Court of Appeals is the highest court in the State (commonly called the Supreme Court in other states and at the federal level). It hears cases almost exclusively by way of certiorari, a process which gives the court discretion to decide which cases to hear. However, the Court of Appeals is mandated by law to hear cases involving the death penalty, legislative redistricting, removal of certain officers, and certifications of questions of law.
The Chief Judge, Mary Ellen Barbera, sits on the Court along with six other judges. All seven judges hear oral arguments on each case unless a judge removes him/herself from a case; in this event, a judge from another court, or a retired appellate judge, may be specially assigned to sit in the place of the recused judge.
Calendar of the Court of Appeals of Maryland
From September through June of each year, the practice of the Court of Appeals is to hear oral arguments in cases four days per month. In the recesses between argument days, the Judges are researching and writing opinions, evaluating petitions for certiorari, becoming familiar with the cases in the next argument session, and considering any administrative matters that arise.
One day each month, including the summer months, the Court meets in conference to vote on opinions, decide which cases the Court will hear in future months, and discuss other matters before the Court.