On Thursday, August 24, Governor Larry Hogan revealed his picks for the Baltimore and Kent County Circuit Courts.Governor Larry Hogan has announced two new Judicial appointments, Dana Middleton and Harris Murphy. The two are now judges for the Baltimore City Court and Circuit Court for Kent County. The announcement came after an intensive review of nominees selected by judicial commissions. Hogan said that the two new judges “are both uniquely prepared to serve their respective communities.” Dana Middleton (Baltimore City Court) is the assistant attorney general in the Organized Crime Unit in the Criminal Division of the Office of the Attorney General. Middleton has also worked as a clerk in the Prince Georges County Circuit Court under Judge Sheila R. Tillerson. With a bachelor’s degree from Morgan State and a J.D. from George Washington University, she has a wealth of experience. In fact, in 2013, Middleton coordinated Governor Martin O’ Malley’s task force which investigated rampant corruption in Baltimore City’s Detention Center. Middleton's work resume also includes a tenure with Williams Worthy LLC of Upper Marlboro, where she served as a litigation associate.
Harris Murphy is currently in the elected position of Kent County’s state’s attorney. He served as a public defender in county and state courts, in addition to a law clerk in Kent County and Baltimore County’s Circuit Courts. A graduate of Washington College and the University of Baltimore School of Law, Murphy had his own general law practice office for two years. Murphy is also President of the Kent County Bar Association, a position he has held since 2015 when he was elected by his colleagues. Now, the Maryland State Senate must sign off on the appointees. When judges retire from their positions in Maryland, the Governor appoints new judges who are approved by the state Senate. In the next general election, appointed judges must stand for election on a ballot to be approved by voters for a 15-year term. As of 2015, Maryland Circuit Court Judges earn $154,433 yearly. Maryland Circuit Court Judges must retire by the age of 70 as Paul M. Bowman was required to do this past July and left the appointment open for Harris Murphy and the other nominees. What do you think of the two new judges? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.