Judge Lynn Stewart Mays
Judge Lynn K. Stewart Mays, photographed in Baltimore City Circuit Court in October 2007 (The Daily Record, Maximilian Franz).

Baltimore judge takes temporary suspension by consent

Judge Lynn K. Stewart Mays was accused of 'humiliating' behavior on bench

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Lynn K. Stewart Mays has consented to a five-day suspension without pay for what judicial-conduct investigators called her “sarcastic, embarrassing, demeaning, humiliating and mocking” behavior toward a criminal defendant, his fiancée and a defense attorney in two separate cases.

Maryland’s top court handed down the agreed-upon sanction in an order Tuesday morning. It includes an additional suspension of 25 days, which will be put on hold for now and lifted if Mays’ successfully completes a two-year probationary period with the state Commission on Judicial Disabilities, the Court of Appeals’ Consent Order stated.

The five-day suspension must be completed within 30 days, the order added.

Mays’ attorney, Andrew Jay Graham, said the judge has acknowledged her behavior was inappropriate and it will not be repeated.

“Judge Mays has always worked hard as a judge,” said Graham, of Kramon & Graham P.A. in Baltimore.

“She’s always strived to be efficient and polite,” he added. “At the same time she is a human being and on two occasions she failed to live up to her own standards of civility. She is committed to an appropriate demeanor at all times in the future, no matter what stresses may come with the job.”

The high court’s order followed an “Agreement for Discipline by Consent” that Mays and Graham reached this month with Carol A. Crawford, the commission’s investigative counsel.

In the agreement, Mays admitted she had violated the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct by mocking defendant Shaun Broadnax in open court on Oct. 19, 2012, calling him “catatonic” and telling the sheriffs that “you all know he’s having a problem.” Broadnax was in court for a violation of probation hearing.

When Cole’s fiancée rose to speak on his behalf, Mays asked her “where’s the ring?” and told her to “sit down and keep your mouth shut” because “the liberty you save might be your own.”

As for the second matter — an unrelated post-conviction proceeding on Jan. 23, 2013 — Mays admitted she told defense attorney Rachel M. Kamins to stop arguing “with the court because you’re going to lose. I don’t care if I’m right, wrong, indifferent. I could be speaking Swahili, you’re going to lose. You know why? One, I’m the judge. Two, I’m the judge. Three, I’m the judge.”

Kamins, who filed a complaint about Mays with the commission, declined via email to comment on the judge’s case Tuesday. Kamins is with Offit|Kurman in Maple Lawn.

According to the commission, Mays violated provisions of the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct that require judges to behave in a “manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary”; “avoid conduct that would create in reasonable minds a perception of impropriety”; perform judicial duties “impartially and fairly [and] without bias or prejudice”; ensure the right of interested parties to be heard; and be “patient, dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers” and court staff.

Under terms of her two-year probation, Mays must meet with a mentor judge chosen by the commission.

She must also permit the commission’s investigative counsel to randomly review audio/video recordings of proceedings over which she presides.

In addition, Mays must not be “charged with conduct that results in a disposition of any complaint more severe than a dismissal or dismissal with a warning,” the agreement states.

The Court of Appeals’ Consent Order came one day after a scheduled public hearing on the charges against Mays, 51. The commission had postponed the hearing last week without explanation.

Mays, an appointee of then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening, has served on the circuit court since Jan. 22, 2002.

“She is a valuable member of the bench,” Graham said. “She is a good judge. She will be an even better judge in the future.”

Mays did not return a telephone message seeking comment.

Court of Appeals Judge Shirley M. Watts, who served with Mays on the circuit court, did not participate in the high court’s consideration of her case, In the Matter of Judge Lynn Stewart Mays, Misc. Docket (Subtitle CJD) No. 1, Sept. Term 2014.

About Steve Lash

Steve Lash covers federal and Maryland appellate courts and the General Assembly’s judiciary committees for The Daily Record. He joined the newspaper in 2008 after spending nearly 20 years covering the U.S. Supreme Court and legal affairs for several publications, including the Houston Chronicle, Cox Newspapers, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and West’s Legal News. Lash, a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law, is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court and Maryland bars.


  1. formerprobationagent

    Two occasions? They need to review how she has treated probation agents in open court over the years. It was as if she had a personal vendetta against us. She was EXTREMELY rude and condescending. With such a disagreeable attitude, she is not fit to sit on the bench. I hope they follow through with the random monitoring so she modifies her behavior, if not by choice then by force.

  2. I was a probation agent with the state for 17 years and agents hated going to her court for hearings. She was always rude and nasty. Investigate why she never signs warrants or summons in a timely matter or loses reports sent to her by parole and probation. Also, ask her why she wants to dictate to parole and probation how to do their job. This woman has control issues. She always has and always will. She needs more than a suspension, she needs removal from the bench.

  3. she should have been fired, not given a 5 day vacation—a total joke. she will not change.

  4. Judge Mays is a great Judge…one who actually cares about people and their situations….and what she said is not half has bad as what some of these other judges say!

  5. As a judge she shouldn’t speak to anyone that way especially while carrying out her duties. Other judges doing the same thing doesn’t make what she did any less wrong, rude, or ignorant. She should try setting the good example rather than following a bad one.

  6. I TOTALLY agree with you V Miles-Graves. She was just as rude and unbelievably nasty as a prosecutor and EVERYONE around her walked on egg shells knowing she was more than likely going to be judge someday. How would she feel if her sister or mother or other loved ones were before a “judge” or any officer of the court who treated them this way??? Her behavior unfortunately is not uncommon as many of the prosecutors under Jessamy’s watch have gone on to become judges some just as rude and nasty as Mays, others not so. The better went on to other jurisdictions leaving Baltimore with the likes of Stewart-Mays. Poor Baltimore… who’s policing the police or judging the judges???? They are out-of-control here.

  7. Because you… parole agents violate for no reason.

  8. I admit I was young 23 and in lack of a lot of guidance but when I showed up in court with a paid attorney proving I was in college for nursing, judge Stewart looked at me and said in open court one lady to another “oh you will never be that” like she took joy in now labeling me a felon. I was already broken but to embarrass me in open court to shame me for the positive direction I was trying to take broken me but today iam a 4.0 gpa graduate and I went back and finished college and even though my convections prevents me for doing what I LOVE HRLPING PEOPLE. I WANT JUDGE STEWART TO KNOW I DID IT ANYWAY

  9. Rolf Weinstein

    If this is what justice looks like we all are in trouble. She is very opinionated and controlling. She goes way further than the actual facts of the case and offers personal opinions that are very demeaning and condescending. Her chip on her shoulder prepares you for the games of “forgetting” to sign documents, time wasted and a good old fashioned tongue lashing if you seem like you have any questions of her superior authority. How the people WANT to be judged by someone that uses the bench to settle a score is beyond me. She should be removed from the bench for she cannot change. She is bitter.

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