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Hogan appoints new Somerset County judge… again

Attorneys who seek this view in a courtroom must be as diligent in their written work as they are in their in-court advocacy because nominating commissions pay as much attention to briefs as they do to courtroom oratory, according to T. Christine Pham. The Baltimore lawyer is moderating a panel at the MSBA annual meeting featuring judges giving advice to lawyers who dream of sitting on the bench. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

(Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

For the second time this year, Gov. Larry Hogan has appointed a replacement for Somerset County Circuit Judge Daniel M. Long.

Somerset County State’s Attorney Daniel W. Powell was appointed to the bench Wednesday after the position had to be re-advertised because the first appointee, District Judge Paula A. Price, declined the position in January. Long, who retired in November and was the only circuit court judge in the county, has remained on the bench as a senior judge since his retirement.

Powell had applied to fill the vacancy last year but Price was the sole applicant whose name was sent to the governor by the district’s judicial nominating commission, contrary to the standard practice of sending at least three names.

In May, the commission sent Hogan three names, all past applicants: Powell; assistant public defender Jennifer Turnbull; and her husband, Ajene Turnbull, an assistant state’s attorney in Wicomico County.

“After conducting a thorough vetting process, I am confident that Mr. Powell is the most qualified candidate to fill this vacancy,” Hogan said in a prepared statement. “His wealth of legal knowledge has prepared him to serve with distinction and to be a strong advocate for justice for the people of Somerset County.”

Powell has served as state’s attorney for Somerset County since 2011 and has been a prosecutor for most of his career.

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