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For Immediate Release

Worcester County Circuit Court Welcomes Chief Judge

(SNOW HILL, Md. – June 30, 2014) Worcester County Circuit Court judges and court professionals met with Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera when she toured the court on Friday, June 27.

“Chief Judge Barbera visited every part of our court and met with everyone,” said County Administrative Judge Thomas Clay Groton III. “It was a great way for everyone who works here to put a face and a personality with the name. Chief Judge Barbera was genuinely interested in learning about the day-to-day operations. She did not just meet people; she talked with everyone, listened intently, and asked very good questions.”

During her tour of the four courtrooms, Chief Judge Barbera met with Judge Groton, Judge Richard R. Bloxom, Judge Brian D. Shockley, Master Margaret “Peggy” Kent, and Court Administrator Richard Outten. She then toured the criminal area, Register of Wills’ offices, land records, and civil areas. Clerk of Court Stephen V. Hales introduced her to staff members.

“A visit from the state’s highest judge is an honor, but it is also a validation of all our efforts to serve the public,” Hales said. “I was thrilled for the people who work so hard every day to get the recognition they deserve and to get a chance to know they are part of a statewide effort.”

“We sometimes feel that we are thought of as the far-flung southeast corner of the state. But this was not a perfunctory, quick meet-and-greet kind of event,” Judge Groton said. “The chief judge spent more than two hours here, learning about us and how we operate. It was invaluable.”

“I learned a lot today about Worcester County Circuit Court, both about its operations and the people who work there,” Chief Judge Barbera said. “I was pleased to be able to thank Judge Groton in person for his excellent leadership of the court, and I had the honor of meeting extremely dedicated professionals who serve the people of Maryland every day.”

Visiting the State’s Circuit and District Courts has been a priority for Chief Judge Barbera since she was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley last July to head the Maryland Judiciary.

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