The process to fill vacancies created recently on Calvert County’s circuit court bench is officially underway.
Last Thursday afternoon was the deadline for individuals to apply for the judgeships, which are open due to the retirement of Marjorie Clagett and the elevation of E. Gregory Wells to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
Notable applicants include Calvert County State’s Attorney Andrew S. Rappaport and Deputy State’s Attorney Jennifer L. Morton.
Also on the 11-person list are Calvert Orphans Court Judge Theodore “Ted” LeBlanc and Assistant County Attorney Pamela R. Lucas.
Rounding out the list are Bowie-based attorney Joseph Edward Carey, Prince Frederick-based lawyers Mark W. Carmean, Crea Axley Jacobson and Ian Alexander Pesetsky, Huntingtown-based attorney Liza S. Castles, Calvert attorney and Calvert High graduate Sierra Brooke Mitchell, and Upper Marlboro-based family law attorney Justin Joel Sasser.
“A judge plays an integral role in our judicial system, entrusted to make decisions that are important to litigants and our community,” Rappaport told The Calvert Recorder. “As the elected state’s attorney, I am honored to serve our community. I believe I can also serve Calvert County as a circuit court judge.”
Morton, whose career with the Calvert Office of the State’s Attorney began in 1998, said she hoped to “follow in the footsteps” of Clagett and Wells.
“I love the law,” Morton said, “and I love the opportunity to serve the citizens of Calvert County.”
“I love this county, and I love the people here,” said Castles. “We are now losing two excellent judges, with big shoes to fill. I have practiced just about every type of law in my 28 years as an attorney. I think the amount and variety of experience I possess, as well as my demeanor and personal experiences, would make me a fair and approachable judge.”
“For the past five years I served on the orphans court, and that has provided excellent training,” said LeBlanc, adding he has a wide range of legal experience. “In almost 25 years in Calvert County I have handled a variety of cases,” he said. “That has prepared me.”
The other seven applicants had not responded to requests for comment as this story was going to press.
A judicial nominating commission will next consider the list of applicants.
The panel is scheduled to meet Sept. 26.
According to the Maryland Courts website, the commission will “select and nominate to the governor persons found to be legally and most fully professionally qualified to fill a vacancy.”
State judicial officials encourage the public to participate in the selection process by sending written and signed comments about any applicant’s qualifications.
Written comments may be sent to The Judicial Nominating Commission, c/o The Administrative Office of the Courts, Human Resources, Maryland Judicial Center, 580 Taylor Ave., Building A, First Floor, Annapolis, MD 21401.