January 17, 2023
187 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Judge Donna M. Schaeffer named Anne Arundel County administrative judge and Judge Brenda A. Sexton named Cecil County administrative judge
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Supreme Court of Maryland Chief Justice Matthew J. Fader has named Judge Donna M. Schaeffer as county administrative judge for the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County and Judge Brenda A. Sexton as county administrative judge for the Circuit Court for Cecil County. The designation for Judge Schaeffer is effective on April 20, 2023, upon the retirement of Anne Arundel County Administrative Judge Glenn L. Klavans. Judge Sexton’s designation is effective on April 15, 2023, when Circuit and County Administrative Judge Keith A. Baynes steps down.
“On behalf of the Maryland Judiciary, I thank Judge Klavans and Judge Baynes for their extraordinary leadership over the course of their judicial careers,” said Supreme Court of Maryland Chief Justice Matthew J. Fader. “Judges Schaeffer and Sexton are outstanding and well-respected jurists who will continue their work in fulfilling the Judiciary’s mission to provide fair, efficient, and effective justice for all. These appointments will ensure that the people of Anne Arundel and Cecil counties, and the state of Maryland, will continue to be served with honor and distinction.”
County administrative judges oversee the administration of the court, budget, and procurement functions. They also manage trial calendars to ensure the expeditious disposition of cases.
“I am honored to be selected as administrative judge, and I appreciate Chief Justice Fader’s confidence in me and my ability to lead in this new role,” said Judge Donna M. Schaeffer. “It has been a pleasure to work alongside my esteemed colleague, Judge Klavans, over the years, whose leadership will be missed and also emulated. I will strive to continue our court’s reputation for judicial excellence.”
Judge Schaeffer has served as an associate judge at the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County since January 2016, upon her appointment by Governor Larry Hogan. She has served as member of the Judicial Council’s Domestic Law Committee and is a current member of its Education Committee. Prior to serving on the bench, Judge Schaeffer was a member of the Anne Arundel County Ethics Commission.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1980, graduating cum laude, and in 1985 earned a juris doctorate, with honors, from the University of Maryland School of Law. Judge Schaeffer served as a law clerk to the late Judge James F. Couch, Jr., on the Court of Appeals of Maryland (now Supreme Court of Maryland) from 1985 to 1986 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1985.
Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Schaeffer served as a partner at Council, Baradel, Kosmerl & Nolan, P.A., from 1997 to 2016, where she began her career in private practice as an associate in 1986.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected as administrative judge, and I thank Chief Justice Fader for trusting me in an expanded role,” said Judge Brenda A. Sexton. “I look forward to continuing to work together with my distinguished judicial colleagues in Cecil County and throughout the state to serve the people of Maryland. I am very fortunate to have the leadership and guidance of the Honorable Keith A. Baynes, who served as administrative judge for nine years, as I begin my new responsibilities.”
Judge Sexton has served as an associate judge at the Circuit Court for Cecil County since January 2014, upon her appointment by then-Governor Martin O’Malley. Judge Sexton currently serves as chair of the Judicial Council’s Court Operations Committee’s Jury Use and Management Subcommittee.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and pre-law from Goucher College in 1984, a juris doctorate from Widener University School of Law in 1987 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1987. She is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and the Cecil County Bar Association and has served as treasurer of the Cecil County Bar Association since 1990.
Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Sexton served as an assistant state’s attorney for Cecil County, from 2002 to 2011, and a domestic relations master at the Circuit Court for Cecil County, from 2012 to 2013. She also served as an associate at the Law Offices of Douglas Cain, from 1988 to 1992, and at Jodlbauer, Lidums & Scibinico, from 1992 to 1997. Judge Sexton also worked as a sole practitioner in 1997 and later served as partner at Wilson & Sexton, from 1997 to 2012. In addition, she served as general counsel to the Town of North East, from 1988 to 2011, and as counsel to the Town of Elkton’s Board of Zoning Appeals, from 1988 to 2011. Judge Sexton formerly served as a member of the Adult Public Guardianship Review Board in Cecil County, from 2004 to 2011, and as a member of the Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission, 2nd Commission District, from 1999 to 2002. She was also a member of the Advisory Board of the Mental Health Core Services Agency in Cecil County in 1992. Judge Sexton was recognized with the Maryland Leadership in Law Award from The Daily Record in 2002.