Four judges and 13 attorneys are vying for a seat on Maryland’s second-highest court that became vacant Nov. 5 when Judge Alexander Wright Jr. reached the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age of 70.
Two of the judges and three of the attorneys are already finalists to fill the vacancy because the Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission submitted their names to Gov. Larry Hogan to fill an earlier vacancy on the Court of Special Appeals. Hogan bypassed them in appointing E. Gregory Wells to succeed retired Judge Deborah S. Eyler earlier this year.
The five automatic finalists are Baltimore County Circuit Judge Judith C. Ensor; Baltimore City Circuit Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill; Assistant Montgomery County State’s Attorney Brian S. Kleinbord; attorney Rachel T. McGuckian, of Miles & Stockbridge PC in Rockville; and attorney Phillip R. Zuber, of Sasscer, Clagett and Bucher in Upper Marlboro.
The remaining two judges and 10 attorneys will be vetted by the nominating commission. From those candidates, the 17-member panel will submit additional names for Hogan’s consideration to fill the vacancy.
Hogan is not bound to pick the judge from the submitted list, though it is gubernatorial custom.
The two other judges are Krystal Quinn Alves, of Prince George’s County Circuit Court, and Erik H. Nyce, of Maryland District Court in Prince George’s County.
The 10 other attorneys are Russell P. Butler, executive director of the Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center; Kurt James Fischer, of Venable LLP in Baltimore; Rickey Nelson Jones, a Baltimore solo practitioner; Steven M. Klepper, of Kramon & Graham P.A. in Baltimore; J. Bradford McCullough, of Lerch, Early & Brewer Chtd. in Bethesda; Michael P. Redmond, of the Baltimore City Law Department; Eldridge Eugene Rice Jr., a Randallstown solo practitioner; Steven L. Tiedemann, general counsel of Powell Recovery Center in Baltimore; T. Sky Woodward, of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Washington; and Terrence M.R. Zic, of Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP in Rockville.
Each of the candidates met a 4:30 p.m. deadline on Monday to file their candidacy for the at-large seat.