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Circuit Court Bench Bar Committee 

       The last meeting for 2015-2016 will be held on June 1, 2016.  The first meeting for the 2016-2017 year will be held on September 7, 2016.
     The following issues were raised at the May meeting of the Committee:
     Retirement of Maria “Chip” Vogel: The committee wishes Chip a wonderful retirement and extends our gratitude for her immeasurable service to the courthouse for these many years.  Chip, live long and live happily.  We shall miss you.
     Welcome Tina Cavallaro, from the Jury Office, will be stepping into the role of Jury Commissioner upon Chip’s departure.  Tina helped the jury office team transition to the new Jury + system last year and has been immersed in all things jury since her arrival.  Before coming to us, Tina enjoyed a stellar career in the mortgage industry effectively managing a multi-million dollar pipeline of new construction residential loans.  She was afforded many opportunities to engage in public speaking and has expanded her horizons through her support of many volunteer organizations.  Congratulations Tina.
     Interpreters: Please remember to notify the Clerk’s Office if your matter has settled and if you had an interpreter scheduled.  The Court pays a significant amount of money to interpreters who arrive to interpret testimony at hearings that are no longer scheduled because the Clerk’s Office was not notified that an interpreter would no longer be needed and could not cancel the interpreter. 
     ADR: Magistrate Rosa requests counsel contact one another upon receiving the ADR notice and discuss mediation.  This communication prior to the ADR date will hopefully permit the meetings to operate more effectively within the allotted time periods.
     Court Administration: The Mental Health Court is coming to Montgomery County in both the District and Circuit Courts.
     Kid’s Spot is celebrating its one year anniversary and proudly reports serving over 1100 children.
     Drug Court graduation was held on May 18, 2016.
     Bike to work day was held on May 20, 2016 with a stop at Dawson’s Market.
     Family Law: Patricia Escobar has been appointed as the new manager of the Family Division. Patricia has been a long time employee of the Circuit Court and most recently was in the Jury Commissioner’s Office.  Congratulations Patricia!
     As a reminder, the BAMC’s Circuit Court Bench-Bar Committee will serve as a vehicle by which an attorney member of the Bar may informally and anonymously express a comment regarding a judicial member of the Circuit Court bench.  In this regard, the Bench-Bar Committee, through its chair or other designated committee or subcommittee members, whom receive a comment about a judge through a telephone call or correspondence, then will exercise its discretion to determine whether the comment is of an appropriate nature to communicate to the subject judge, in an anonymous manner.  The BAMC is fortunate to have judges and attorneys who value informal avenues of communication that enhance the opportunity to reduce conflict between attorneys and judges, and improve both the access to and the administration of justice in Montgomery County.
     Closure of Monroe Street Entrance and Construction on the Maryland Avenue Entrance: The Sheriff continues to encourage visitors to the Courthouse to utilize the Terrace Level entrance to the Courthouse (on the ground level between the Circuit Court Building and the Executive Office Building, along East Jefferson Street).  The Monroe Street Entrance to the Circuit Court will be closed through at least October, 2016.  While this closure has caused substantially more volume at the security checkpoints at the Maryland Avenue entrance, the Terrace Level entrance remains under-utilized.   New construction of the circle in front of the Maryland Avenue entrance is expected to begin shortly
     If you have any concerns to bring to the Committee’s attention, please feel free to contact any Committee member or Co-Chairs David C. Merkin at (301) 762-9200 or; Jeremy Rachlin at (301) 913-2948 or or Michael A. Taylor at (301) 251-2772,


David C. Merkin
Jeremy Rachlin
Michael A. Taylor


Committee Meetings

June 1, 2016
September 7, 2016
     Meetings will be held at 8AM on the 1st Wednesday of the month in the Circuit Court Conference Room, North Tower, Room 3240, unless otherwise noted.