The Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission on Tuesday sent Gov. Martin O’Malley the names of four candidates for the Court of Appeals vacancy created when Judge Joseph F. Murphy Jr. retired from Maryland’s top court Sept. 30. The nominees are:
* Baltimore County Circuit Judge Kathleen Gallogly Cox, who has served on the bench in Towson since 1999. Cox, 56, has been the judge in charge of the juvenile court in Baltimore County since 2001. She was a partner at Venable, Baetjer & Howard LLP for 10 years before joining the bench.
* U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Paul W. Grimm of the U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He has been a magistrate judge since February 1997 and chief magistrate since May 2006. Grimm, 59, was in private practice at in Baltimore for 13 years before joining the bench.
* Robert N. McDonald, chief counsel for the Maryland Attorney General’s Opinions, Advice & Legislation Division. McDonald, 59, has held several jobs with the office since he came on board in 1989, including general counsel for the Transportation Department, chief of the antitrust division, and Maryland securities commissioner.
The nominating panel has also submitted McDonald’s name for a vacancy on the intermediate Court of Special Appeals.
* Court of Special Appeals Judge Alexander Wright Jr., who has served on that court since February 2008. Wright, who turns 62 on Saturday, is a former Baltimore County Circuit and District Court judge.
O’Malley is expected to pick one of the four nominees to succeed Murphy, 67, who stepped down from the bench to join his daughter, Erin Murphy, at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White LLC in Baltimore.