Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday named white-collar defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Jonathan Biran to serve on Maryland’s top court.
If confirmed by the state Senate, Biran – a shareholder at the Baltimore law firm Baker Donelson — would succeed Judge Clayton Greene Jr., who stepped down from the Court of Appeals on July 1. The Maryland General Assembly reconvenes Jan. 8.
The governor on Monday also appointed two solo practitioners to trial court judgeships: Richard R. Trunnell will join the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court and James L. Tanavage will take a seat on the Maryland District Court in St. Mary’s County. The trial court appointments are not subject to Senate confirmation.
Biran joined Baker Donelson last winter after more than 17 years with the U.S. Department of Justice and several years in private practice. He served in the DOJ’s criminal division and as an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland and Connecticut.
As a prosecutor, Biran served as lead counsel in cases involving allegations of health care, mail, wire, bank, securities, tax and mortgage fraud, according to his biography on Baker Donelson’s website.
From 2010 to 2013, Biran led then-Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein’s appellate division.
Biran, a 1993 Stanford Law School graduate, began his legal career as a clerk for U.S. District Court Judge David F. Levi of eastern California before he joined the DOJ’s criminal division’s public integrity section.
Biran did not return telephone messages Monday seeking comment on his nomination.
Trunnell, who will succeed retired Judge Ronald A. Silkworth, has focused his Crofton practice on criminal, traffic, juvenile, domestic relations and personal injury law. He has also done estate planning and administration and performed private and court-ordered mediation, according to a biography provided by the governor’s office.
A University of Maryland School of Law graduate, Trunnell clerked for Montgomery County Circuit Judge Calvin R. Sanders from 1987 to 1988 and worked as an assistant Prince George’s County state’s attorney for six years.
Tanavage, who will occupy a newly created court seat, was an assistant St. Mary’s County state’s attorney for 18 years before opening his solo practice in California in 2011. The University of Baltimore School of Law graduate clerked for Charles County Circuit Judge Robert C. Nalley from 1990 to 1991, according to a biography from the governor’s office.