Governor appoints Hon. Mary Ellen Barbera as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced two historic judicial appointments to the Maryland Court of Appeals, Maryland’s highest court. The Governor named The Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera as Maryland’s first woman Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals and The Honorable Shirley M. Watts to fill the vacancy in the Sixth Appellate Judicial Circuit on the Court of Appeals, which represents Baltimore City. Together, these decisions give the Maryland Court of Appeals its first ever female majority, first female Chief Judge, and first African American female judge.
After more than 38 years of public service in the Maryland Judiciary, Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell announced in April that he would retire July 6, 2013.
Maryland judges must retire at age 70, and, as I near the predetermined end of my judicial tenure, I have been asked to provide personal reflections about my time as chief judge and chronicle some of “my” achievements. This is difficult for me – while there have indeed been strides taken and goals achieved, they are the accomplishments of many, many dedicated professionals in the third branch of government, serving the public, rather than of any one individual.
Chief Judge Robert M. Bell has led the Maryland Judiciary according to guiding principles that he outlined early in his tenure as the head of the state court system: fuller access to justice; improved case expedition and timeliness; equality, fairness and integrity in the judicial process; judicial branch independence and accountability; and restored public trust and confidence in the court system.
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