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Editorial Advisory Board: Nance should not be sitting while fate up in the air

Two years ago, we asked: “Why is Judge Nance allowed to continue sitting on the bench?”

Finally, the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities has come to a conclusion, based in large part on the Braxton case that prompted our editorial, that Baltimore City Circuit Judge Alfred J. Nance should be removed from the bench. However, the Commission’s unanimous recommendation now must go to the Court of Appeals for review before it can be implemented. At a minimum, it will be at least two months, and likely longer, before the Court of Appeals decides Nance’s ultimate fate.  Nance should not be sitting while his fate is up in the air.

Prospective jurors, lawyers and litigants, all of whom have been the object of Nance’s demeaning behavior in the past, should not have to bear the risk of appearing before him anymore.

When we wrote two years ago, we concluded:

“Further, while Judge Nance remains on the bench, we urge (Baltimore City Administrative) Judge W. Michel Pierson, the city circuit court’s administrative judge, to monitor Judge Nance’s courtroom performance and, if necessary to protect lawyers and litigants, assign Judge Nance to duties other than presiding in court.

The time has come for Pierson to act and assign Nance to duties other than presiding in court.

Editorial Advisory Board members James K. Archibald, James B. Astrachan, Wesley D. Blakeslee, David Jaros, Ericka King, Norman Smith and Ferrier R. Stillman did not participate in this opinion.

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

James B. Astrachan, Chair

James K. Archibald

John Bainbridge Jr.

Wesley D. Blakeslee

Martha Ertman

Arthur F. Fergenson

Susan Francis

David Jaros

Ericka King

Stephen Meehan

C. William Michaels

Norman Smith

H. Mark Stichel

Ferrier R. Stillman

The Daily Record Editorial Advisory Board is composed of members of the legal profession who serve voluntarily and are independent of The Daily Record. Through their ongoing exchange of views, members of the Board attempt to develop consensus on issues of importance to the Bench, Bar and public. When their minds meet, unsigned opinions will result. When they differ, majority views and signed rebuttals will appear. Members of the community are invited to contribute letters to the editor and/or columns about opinions expressed by the Editorial Advisory Board.

Find out more about the members of the Editorial Advisory Board.