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Hogan names Fader to be Court of Special Appeals chief judge

Matthew J. Fader speaking at his investiture. (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

Matthew J. Fader speaking at his investiture. (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

Gov. Larry Hogan has elevated Court of Special Appeals Judge Matthew J. Fader to head Maryland’s second-highest court.

Fader, 45, will succeed Court of Special Appeals Chief Judge Patrick L. Woodward, who reaches the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age of 70 on Nov. 28.

“I am confident that Judge Fader is the most qualified candidate to step into the chief judge role on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals,” Hogan said in a statement Tuesday. “I would like to congratulate him on this designation, and I know that he will serve the people of Maryland well in this new role.”

Fader did not respond immediately late Tuesday afternoon to a telephone message seeking comment on his appointment.

Hogan appointed Fader, then Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh’s head of civil litigation, to the Court of Special Appeals last November. Fader assumed the at-large Court of Special Appeals seat then-Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser left when he hit the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age of 70 on May 5, 2017.

Fader was hired by then-Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler in 2010 after serving as a partner at the Pittsburgh-based international law firm Kirkpatrick and Lockhardt LLP, where he counseled clients on compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and handled commercial litigation in federal and state courts. He also served as trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice from 1999 to 2002.

He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as senior editor on the Yale Law Journal.

Fader’s father is retired Baltimore County Circuit Judge John F. Fader II.

The Court of Special Appeals, which was created in 1966, is Maryland’s intermediate appellate court. It considers any reviewable judgment, decree, order, or other action of the circuit and orphans’ courts.

In general, judges sitting on the Court of Special Appeals hear and decide cases in panels of three, although in some cases all 15 judges sit en banc.


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