ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the appointment of Jeffrey Michael Geller to serve on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, three judges to serve on the District Court for Baltimore City, and four judges to serve on the District Court for Prince George’s County.
“I am pleased to announce several highly-qualified appointees to the Baltimore City and Prince George’s County courts,” said Governor O’Malley. “Each of these individuals has exceptional qualifications, and brings with them a diverse array of legal expertise. We are confident that they will serve the people of our State well in their new roles.”
Over the last several months, the Governor has conducted numerous interviews with candidates recommended to him by the trial court judicial nominating commissions. All of the judges selected to serve in Maryland’s judiciary were recommended by the commissions.
In the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Governor O’Malley has appointed Jeffrey Michael Geller. Mr. Geller has been an attorney with the Towson branch of Miles and Stockbridge, P.C. since 2004. Mr. Geller represents businesses and financial institutions in a diverse range of commercial, real estate, construction and employment law disputes. Mr. Geller also represents private clients in criminal and family law matters including divorce, custody, child support and alimony disputes, as well as international and domestic child abduction cases. Earlier in his career, Mr. Geller worked as an associate with Shapiro, Sher, Guinot, & Sandler and served for four years in the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, where he gained extensive trial experience and handled a wide range of criminal cases. Mr. Geller received his law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law in 1997, after which he clerked for the Honorable Frederick D. Dorsey of the District of Columbia Superior Court.
In the District Court for Baltimore City, Governor O’Malley has appointed Rachel Elizabeth Cogen, Melissa Kaye Copeland, and Jennifer Etheridge.
Ms. Cogen has spent her distinguished legal career as a prosecutor with the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office. After working for approximately seven years as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the district and circuit courts, she was promoted to the Chief of the Firearms Violence Division. In 2007, she received an award from the Baltimore County Police Department for her work in reducing gun violence. Since 2007, she has served as the Chief of the Juvenile Division. She received her law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1997.
Ms. Copeland has served the people of Baltimore City for the past twelve years with the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. She has worked as a prosecutor with the Felony Narcotics Trial Division, Misdemeanor Trial Division, and District Court Division. Since 2005 she has been the Deputy Division Chief for the Narcotics Division. She is currently serving on a committee created to restructure the State’s Attorney’s Office to a community prosecution model. Before joining the State’s Attorney’s Office, she clerked for the Honorable Bonita J. Dancy of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. She received her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1998.
Ms. Etheridge is the Chief of Community Justice Initiatives for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, where she has worked on innovative programs to address misdemeanor nuisance crimes and prostitution. Before becoming the Chief of Community Justice Initiatives, Ms. Etheridge served in various divisions of the State’s Attorney’s Office, including the Juvenile Courts Division, the Misdemeanor Jury Trial Division, the Felony Jury Trial Division, and the Felony Narcotics Division. Earlier in her career, she worked in private practice on landlord/tenant matters and clerked for the Honorable Marvin B. Steinberg of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Ms. Etheridge received her law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1992.
In the District Court for Prince George’s County, Governor O’Malley has appointed Robin Dana Gill Bright, Master Karen Holliday Mason, Erik Howard Nyce, and Joseph Leroy Wright.
Ms. Bright is currently the Associate County Attorney for the Prince George’s County Office of Law and has served in that capacity since 2008. From 2006 to 2008, she was the General Counsel for Gill Group, Inc., a supplier and installer of food service equipment. Earlier in her legal career, she served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County, where she prosecuted violent crimes, sexual assault and child abuse cases, and narcotics cases. She also had experience in the juvenile and district court divisions during her time in the State’s Attorney’s Office. She received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1997. She also has a Master’s Degree in Administrative Management from Bowie State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. Prior to joining the legal profession, Ms. Bright worked as an accountant.
Ms. Mason is an active member of the Prince George’s County legal community. She has been a Family Division Master in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County since 2007, where she handles juvenile cases, child support enforcement, and other domestic matters. In addition, she teaches civil litigation and other paralegal courses as an adjunct professor at Prince George’s Community College. Prior to her selection as a Family Division Master, Ms. Mason served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County, where she prosecuted child abuse and homicide cases. Ms. Mason also has experience in private practice, focusing on insurance and domestic matters. She started her legal career as a clerk to the Honorable Robert H. Mason of the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County. Ms. Mason received her law degree from Catholic University, Columbus School of Law in 1992.
Mr. Nyce has been an active attorney in private practice in Prince George’s County since 1987. He has handled a diverse range of matters, such as personal injury, criminal defense, commercial litigation, bankruptcy, and family law. He has also served as a panel attorney for the Office of the Public Defender in district court cases. Over a ten-year span, he also represented the Prince George’s County Board of Supervisors of Elections, advising the members on election law and procedure and defending the Board in court against election challenges and lawsuits. He also served from 2009 to 2011 on the Board of Governors of the Maryland State Bar Association. Mr. Nyce received his law degree from Wake Forest University Law School in 1987.
Mr. Wright has served the people of Prince George’s County as a prosecutor with the State’s Attorney’s Office since 1998. As part of the Felony Trial Unit, Violent Crimes Unit, and the Assistant Chief of the District Court Division, he has tried some of the offices’ most serious cases, including first degree murders, gang cases, attempted murders, and armed carjacker cases. Since 2011, he has worked in the newly created Special Prosecutions Unit. Before joining the State’s Attorney’s Office, Mr. Wright worked in private practice, representing clients in family law, criminal law, bankruptcy, and civil matters. He began his legal career as a clerk to the Honorable Evelyn Queen of the District of Columbia Superior Court. He received his J.D. from Tulane Law School in 1995.