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District Court Bench Bar Committee

     The District Court Bench Bar Committee met on January 8, 2015
There were matters discussed of interest at the Bar.

New Judges 
     The judicial vacancy has been filled by the Governor.  In fact, two new Judges have been appointed to the District Court, because Judge Karla Smith has been promoted from the District Court to the Circuit Court bench.  
     The two new District Court Judges are Zuberi Williams and Holly Reed, III.  This will be the first time that the court has had its full complement of Judges in several years.  The dates of the investitures of the new Judges were: 
     January 15  Judge Holly Reed
     January 20  Judge Zuberi Williams
     January 23  Judge Karla Smith
     January 30  Judge John Maloney
     Judge John Maloney has been appointed to the Circuit Court bench.  
     The Committee has supplied the bar association with biographies for the four Judges that have received appointments at the beginning of January for publication elsewhere in the newsletter to familiarize the bar with the new judges.  
     As a result of the additions of the new Judges, another courtroom will open for civil cases on Wednesdays in Silver Spring, so that it will be easier to reach all of the cases.  In addition, there are three Spanish interpreters available on Wednesday in Silver Spring to accommodate the parties in those cases.

Inclement Weather or Other Delays Involving Counsel  
     Due to the recent inclement weather, the court has requested that we once again notify the bar of the inclement weather policies, and the number to call in the event that an attorney is unavoidable running behind, or otherwise has a last minute issue in getting to court on time. The committee has summarized these policies and the phone numbers in the Practice Pointers’ box (on page 6) to highlight the information to the Bar.

Richard London, Co-Chair

Announcements Regarding Criminal and Traffic Cases
     T
he Court reminds the Bar that agreements made between Defense Attorneys and the State’s Attorney’s Office for the resolution of District Court cases in Circuit Court sometimes leads to the failure of attorneys and clients to appear in District Court on a scheduled trial date.  The Court is not privy to arrangements between the State’s Attorney’s Office and Defense Counsel, and only a judge can excuse either the Defense Attorney or the Defendant from appearing in court on a court date.  This situation usually comes up where there has been a felony charge dropped and a District Court trial date set.  The Bar should take special care to be sure that Circuit Court charges have been filed and resolved before the District Court trial date.  Otherwise, be there!
     The appointment of Judges Reed and Williams to the District Court has now brought the District Court to full strength.  The Court is considering changes in docketing various matters, and may resume holding violation of probation hearings on afternoon traffic dockets at 1:30 p.m.   Check this space for announcements in the coming months.

 

District Court Practice Pointer

Inclement Weather or Other Delays Involving Counsel  
     Due to the recent inclement weather, the court has requested that we once again notify the bar of the inclement weather policies and the number to call in the event that an attorney is unavoidably running behind, or otherwise has a last minute issue in getting to court on time.

Closures
     As previously reported, on days where there is bad weather that could impact court openings, a decision will be made no later than 5:30 posted on the Judiciary website, and announced to the press and other news outlets by no later than 6 am.  The District Court and Circuit Court will coordinate and make a joint announcement.

Attorney is delayed
     If court is open but an attorney for reasons of bad weather, traffic or other personal issues is running behind, the court encourages the attorney to contact the court to advise of their status so that the court will be aware of the attorney’s situation.
     The phone numbers to call to report unavoidable delay’s are as follows:
     Rockville – (301) 563-8867
     Silver Spring – (301) 563-5820
     If an attorney does not reach an individual in person on either of these lines, they have voice mail and the attorney should leave a message regarding his or her status and the message will be picked up by the court.

Co-Chairs

Reginald W. Bours
Richard D. London

 

Meeting
Dates

March 5, 2015
April 2, 2015
May 7, 2015

Meetings will be held on the 1st Thursday of the month at 8AM in the Judges Conference Room in the District Court building, 191 East Jefferson St., Rockville, MD, unless otherwise noted.