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Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr in 2007. (File)

Harrell, recently retired judge, becomes a neutral

Now-retired Court of Appeals Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. saw it coming as he approached the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age of 70.

Just days before his 70th birthday in June, Harrell said he might preside over arbitrations and mediations after the Maryland Constitution forced him to step down from Maryland’s top court. After all, “isn’t that what retired judges do?” he said as he was nearing the footsteps of Irma S. Raker, formerly of the Court of Appeals, and William D. Missouri, who presided at the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, just to name two jurists-turned-neutrals.

Harrell has recently joined the roster of arbitrators and mediators at The Platt Group Inc., founded by former Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Steven I. Platt. According to the firm’s website, Harrell has a billing rate of $500 per hour.

Though joining the ranks of neutrals, Harrell said he will remain available for special assignment to Maryland’s appellate courts and pinch sit for recused active judges. As a result, Harrell said he will limit the scope of his alternative dispute resolution practice so as not to conflict  — or give the appearance of conflict — with his continuing duties as a judge.

“Judge Harrell will be available (schedule permitting) for private assignments as an arbitrator, neutral case evaluator, public policy facilitator, and administrator of class actions or complex litigation settlements,” the website states. “As further limitations on his ADR private practice, the areas of law to which Judge Harrell will limit acceptance of assignments are: real estate; state and local government matters; business disputes; complex science matters; land use; administrative law; public education; and judicial/lawyer ethics.”