Governor O'Malley Announces Appointment of Michele D. Hotten to Court of Special Appeals; Announces Appointments of Eight Trial Court Judges
ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 23, 2010) – Governor O’Malley announced today the appointment of the Honorable Michele D. Hotten to the Court of Special Appeals. The Governor also announced the appointment of eight trial court judges to serve across the State in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Montgomery County. The appointees will fill vacancies created by other judges’ retirements, as well as vacancies created by the elevation of judges to higher courts.
“It is an honor to appoint highly accomplished and dedicated individuals to serve our citizens in the State’s appellate and trial courts,” said Governor O’Malley. “The appointees will bring to the bench a broad range of legal expertise, a true commitment to public service, and a dedication to upholding the laws of the State.”
In order to select judges to serve on Maryland’s appellate and trial courts, Governor O’Malley conducted numerous interviews with candidates recommended to him by the Judicial Nominating Commissions. All of the appointees were recommended to him by the Commissions.
Governor O’Malley has appointed the Honorable Michele D. Hotten to the Court of Special Appeals for the Fourth Appellate Circuit (Prince George’s County). Judge Hotten will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable James P. Salmon. Judge Hotten brings to the appellate court extensive experience as a trial judge, as well as a diverse legal background in both private practice and government service. For 15 years, she has been an Associate Judge on the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, where she serves as the Civil Coordinating Judge. Prior to joining the Circuit Court, she served for one year as an Associate Judge for the District Court for Prince George’s County.
Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Hotten worked in private practice, representing individuals, companies, and local government in a variety of matters, including insurance cases, medical malpractice lawsuits, criminal trials, and administrative law issues. Among other positions in public service, Judge Hotten has served as Special Counsel to the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission. In addition, Judge Hotten served as a prosecutor for several years in the State’s Attorney’s Office for Prince George’s County.
Judge Hotten is a past president of the Prince George’s County Bar Association, and a past president of the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association. In 2008, she received the Daily Record’s Leadership in Law award. Judge Hotten graduated from the Howard University School of Law.
In Baltimore City, Governor O’Malley has appointed Master Yolanda A. Tanner to fill a vacancy on the Circuit Court created by the retirement of the Honorable Kaye A. Allison. Additionally, Governor O’Malley has appointed Shannon E. Avery and the Honorable Karen Friedman to fill vacancies on the Baltimore City District Court. Ms. Avery will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Keith E. Mathews, and Judge Friedman will fill a vacancy created the elevation of the Honorable Videtta A. Brown to the Circuit Court.
Ms. Tanner is currently a Master in the Baltimore City Circuit Court Division for Juvenile Causes. In this capacity, she presides over hearings in the Juvenile Court and chairs the “One Family, One Master” initiative. She also has responsibility for coordinating the TPR Mediation program and serves as a member of the Task Force on the Needs of Girls. Before being appointed a master, Master Tanner represented the Baltimore City Department of Social Services for ten years. Master Tanner also worked at the Legal Aid Bureau, representing children in child abuse and neglect cases in the Baltimore City Juvenile Court. Master Tanner has served as a board member of the Baltimore Urban Regional Partnership. She received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.
Ms. Avery currently serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Planning, Policy, Regulations and Statistics for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS). Before joining DPSCS, Ms. Avery practiced law in the area of criminal appeals. From 1992 to 1999, she represented indigent criminal defendants for the Appellate Division of the Office of the Public Defender. From 1999 to 2007, she worked for the Criminal Appeals Division of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General. Ms. Avery is an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Additionally, she is a member of the LGBT Bar Association, where she aided in the formation of a judicial selections committee. Ms. Avery graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Judge Friedman currently serves as an Associate Judge on the Orphans’ Court for Baltimore City, where she was instrumental in instituting a mediation program. Prior to her appointment to the Orphans’ Court, Judge Friedman was in private practice, concentrating in the areas of family law and collections. Judge Friedman is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. In 2010, she was inducted into the Daily Record’s Circle of Excellence, which honors three-time winners of Maryland’s Top 100 Women designation for professional, civic, and mentoring accomplishments. Chief Judge Robert M. Bell selected Judge Friedman to chair the Conference of Orphans’ Court Judges from 2006 to 2008. Judge Friedman graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law.
In Baltimore County, Governor O’Malley has appointed Marsha L. Russell, Leo Ryan, Jr., and Steven D. Wyman to serve on the District Court. Ms. Russell will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Darryl G. Fletcher. Mr. Ryan will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Edward P. Murphy, and Mr. Wyman will fill a vacancy created by the elevation of the Honorable Jan M. Alexander to the Circuit Court.
Ms. Russell has been a prosecutor in the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office since 1993. From 1993 to 1995, she worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the District Court Division. From 1995 to 1997, she prosecuted burglary, robbery, and murder cases for the Circuit Court Division. From 1997 to 2005, she prosecuted domestic violence cases. In 2005, she was promoted to be Senior Trial Counsel in charge of the Identity Theft Division. In this capacity, she both prosecutes identity theft cases and works to educate the community on how to prevent identity theft. Ms. Russell received her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Mr. Ryan has been the Deputy State’s Attorney for Baltimore County since 2007. Prior to serving in this capacity, Mr. Ryan worked for many years in private practice, and for several years as a prosecutor. He began his legal career working as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore County. From 1989 until 2007, he worked in private practice, concentrating in the areas of worker’s compensation, personal injury law, and criminal law. Mr. Ryan is a member of the Baltimore County Bar Association. He graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Mr. Wyman is an experienced trial attorney and a former prosecutor. He began his legal career with the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City. Since the mid 1980s, Mr. Wyman has worked for a small law firm in Baltimore County, defending clients in criminal cases and counseling small businesses in corporate law matters. Mr. Wyman is a member of the Peer Review Committee of the Attorney Grievance Commission. He is an active member of the Baltimore County Bar Association, and a former president and vice president of the Trial Table Law Club. Mr. Wyman graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
In Howard County, Governor O’Malley appointed Ricardo D. Zwaig to the District Court. Mr. Zwaig will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Alice P. Clark. Mr. Zwaig currently is a partner at the law firm of Zwaig and Zwaig, P.A., which specializes in criminal, business, and immigration law. Before entering private practice, Mr. Zwaig devoted 19 years of his career to public service in both State and federal public defenders’ offices. He also served as an Assistant Branch Chief with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Mr. Zwaig has served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Bar Association, and on the Judicial Selections Committee of the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association. Mr. Zwaig graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law.
In Montgomery County, Governor O’Malley appointed Audrey A. Creighton to the District Court. Ms. Creighton will fill a vacancy created by the elevation of the Honorable Cheryl A. McCally to the Circuit Court. Ms. Creighton has been an Assistant Public Defender for the State of Maryland since 1990. She represents indigent criminal defendants before Montgomery County courts. Prior to working for the Office of the Public Defender, Ms. Creighton was an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General. She also worked in civil litigation for the law firm of Rabineau & Peregoff. Ms. Creighton is a past president of the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association. She is an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law. Ms. Creighton graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
More information on the Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commissions established by Governor O’Malley can be found at http://www.gov.state.md.us/executiveorders/01.01.2008.04eo.pdf.