Governor O’Malley Appoints Judge Barbera As New Chief Judge

A July 2 Daily Record article reports on Governor Martin O’Malley’s appointment of Judge Mary Ellen Barbera as the new chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.  Judge Barbera, who will be Maryland’s first female chief judge, will replace outgoing Chief Judge Robert Bell, who faces mandatory retirement on July 6.  The article also states that Governor O’Malley elevated Judge Shirley Watts from the Court of Special Appeals to the Court of Appeals.

[Chief Judge Robert] Bell, who reaches  the mandatory retirement age of 70 on July 6, said in an interview with The  Associated Press that O’Malley informed him of his decision earlier in the day.  Bell said he believed Barbera would be a “great” chief judge after working with  her since she arrived on the bench in 2008.

“She’s also handled Judicial Institute and other matters, so we’ve seen her  administrative skills,” Bell said, referring to the entity responsible for  developing and conducting continuing judicial education programs for the  Maryland judiciary.  …

Barbera, 61, was elevated to the Court of Appeals in August 2008 after  more than six years on the Court of Special Appeals. Before that, she was legal  counsel to then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening, who appointed her to the intermediate  court in January 2002. She also served as deputy chief of the criminal affairs  division in the Office of the Maryland Attorney General from 1989 to 1998, after  serving as assistant attorney general from 1985 to 1989.

July 3 Baltimore Sun Coverage