HELLER STEPS DOWN, HOLLAND
NAMED ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE FOR
BALTIMORE CITY CIRCUIT COURT
BALTIMORE (August 15, 2003) – Court
of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell today announced the appointment of
Marcella A. Holland as the administrative judge for the Baltimore City
Circuit Court effective November 8, 2003.
Judge Holland takes over administrative
responsibility for the court from Judge Ellen M. Heller, who will not seek
reappointment when her term ends on November 7th.
“I am absolutely delighted that
Judge Holland has agreed to undertake the additional responsibilities in
a leadership role that is vital to the court’s operation,” said Judge Bell.
“She has discharged her responsibility as the judge in charge of the family
division most capably, and I am fully confident that she will bring the
same leadership and organization to her role as administrative judge.”
The newly appointed administrative
judge, who is a native of Howard County and a graduate of the University
of Maryland Baltimore County, was named to the circuit bench in 1997 and
has been in charge of the family division since 2001. She graduated from
the University of Maryland School of Law in 1983 and from 1984 to 1997
was an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore.
She has been a member of the judicial
conference’s legislative committee, family law committee, and Justice Matters
editorial board. At the same time, she has been an active participant
in numerous professional and community organizations and activities.
(For complete biographical information, visit http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/mdmanual/31cc/html/msa02640.html.)
Chief Judge Bell said that Judge
Holland is taking over a circuit court that has seen numerous improvements
in recent years.
“The Baltimore City Circuit Court
and, indeed, the Maryland Judiciary have been excellently served during
Judge Heller’s tenure,” said Judge Bell. “Her dedication has been an inspiration,
her expertise most evident, and her effectiveness well-proven time and
time again. Despite the drawbacks, she took on this job and discharged
its responsibilities superbly. Judge Heller’s new court management
initiatives resulted in remarkable progress over the past four years, and
no one could have asked for more.”
Among Judge Heller’s accomplishments:
• An annual report to inform the
public, legislators and judges about the status of all dockets.
• Court-ordered mediation in certain
civil cases, which a year-long study showed has resulted in cases moving
through the system more quickly and economically.
• Strict enforcement of judiciary
rules that require cases to move forward on a timely basis or risk dismissal:
95 percent of civil cases are now resolved within the case time standards.
• Improved management of asbestos
cases and a pilot e-filing program to reduce the backlog of cases.
• Implementation of the state’s
first business and technology program (a mediation component will be added
• Creation of a differentiated case
management system (cases are assigned to different tracks based on the
seriousness of the charges and complexity of the case) and use of a computerized
statistical management report.
• Greater efficiency in handling
the criminal docket.
• Modernization of jury process
and improvement of juror facilities.
• Creation of a informative web
page that includes emergency notices and juror news.
Judge Heller will remain on the bench
as a trial judge after her term ends until a replacement is appointed.
She will serve as a resource to Judge Holland during the transition period.
Judge Holland welcomed her predecessor’s
counsel, saying that Judge Heller had made wide-ranging improvements in
the operation of the state’s busiest circuit court. “She has been very
good at identifying problems, finding solutions and then setting goals
for the court,” Judge Holland said, “and we will continue with that approach.”