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Panel gives Hogan three candidates to consider for Court of Appeals

Gov. Larry Hogan will mull over an appellate judge, a trial judge and a private attorney as he considers whom to name to the Maryland high-court seat left vacant when Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. reached the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age of 70 earlier this summer.

Court of Special Appeals Judge Michele D. Hotten (File photo)

Court of Special Appeals Judge Michele D. Hotten (File photo)

The Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission has forwarded to Hogan the names of intermediate Court of Special Appeals Judge Michele D. Hotten, Prince George’s County Circuit Judge Sean D. Wallace and Michael J. Winkelman, a partner at McCarthy & Winkelman in Lanham.

The 17-member commission, after conducting its vetting process, declined Friday to submit the names of two other applicants: Prince George County Circuit Judge Krystal Quinn Alves and attorney Richard J. Douglas, a Baltimore and Washington solo practioner.

Hogan has not indicated when he will name Harrell’s successor on the Court of Appeals, which begins its 2015-2016 term on Tuesday. The high court will hear its first arguments of the session on Wednesday.

Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera said Harrell will continue to hear cases on special assignment until his successor takes the bench.

Hogan is not required to select a name from the commission’s list but such selections have been gubernatorial practice for the past 45 years.

Hotten has served on the Court of Special Appeals since August 2010 after serving on the Prince George’s County Circuit Court for nearly 15 years. The 1979 Howard University School of Law graduate served as deputy people’s zoning counsel in Prince George’s County and as a hearing examiner at the county’s board of education.

Wallace has been on the circuit court since April 2002 after serving in the Prince George’s County attorney’s office for about 14 years. He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1985.

Winkelman has been with McCarthy & Winkelman 1998. The 1997 University of Baltimore School of Law graduate began his legal career with a one year stint as a law clerk for Prince George’s County Circuit Judge Steven I. Platt.

Under the Maryland Constitution, Harrell’s successor must be an attorney or judge residing in Prince George’s County and be at least 30 years old. Harrell represented the 4th Appellate Judicial Circuit, which covers Prince George’s County.