Maryland Judiciary Welcomes New Chief Judge

On July 3, 2013, Governor Martin O’Malley named Judge Mary Ellen Barbera as chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera

Before being named to head the state’s judicial branch, Judge Barbera served on the Court of Special Appeals as an at-large judge from 2002-2008 and, since 2008, has represented the Seventh Appellate Judicial Circuit (Montgomery County) on the Court of Appeals. She succeeded Judge Robert M. Bell, who retired in July after serving as chief judge since 1996.

“I am greatly honored by this appointment, and I eagerly embrace the challenges and responsibilities presented by my new office,” Judge Barbera said.

As chief judge, Judge Barbera presides over the Court of Appeals’ oral arguments, and assigns and writes opinions. In addition, Judge Barbera oversees a budget of $468 million and is responsible for the administration of the judiciary, with nearly 300 judges and approximately 4,000 employees who support the work of Maryland’s courts.

Judge Barbera is the 24th chief judge of the Court of Appeals and the first woman to serve as Maryland’s chief judge. The Court of Appeals was formally established by the Maryland Constitution in 1776, but its history as a Colonial court stretches back more than 350 years to the mid-17th century.