On the Record

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Hogan mulls 2 judges, 7 lawyers for Court of Special Appeals seat

ANNAPOLIS – Gov. Larry Hogan will consider two judges and seven attorneys 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.

The two judges and three of the attorneys were already finalists to fill the vacancy because the Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission had submitted their names to Gov. Larry Hogan to fill an earlier vacancy on the Court of Special Appeals. Hogan bypassed them last year in appointing E. Gregory Wells to succeed retired Judge Deborah S. Eyler.

The five automatic finalists for the latest vacancy 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 nominating commission this week sent the names of four additional attorneys to Hogan’s desk. They are Kurt James Fischer, of Venable LLP in Baltimore; J. Bradford McCullough, of Lerch, Early & Brewer Chtd. in Bethesda; T. Sky Woodward, of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Washington; and Terrence M.R. Zic, of Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP in Rockville.

Hogan is not bound to pick the next Court of Special Appeals judge from the nominating commission’s submitted list, though it is gubernatorial custom.

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