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Biran heads toward expected high court confirmation

ANNAPOLIS — Jonathan Biran appears headed for a smooth confirmation to a seat on Maryland’s top court after a five-minute appearance before the Senate Executive Nominations Committee late Monday afternoon.

“I am so grateful to Gov. (Larry) Hogan,” Biran told the committee, referring to the governor who selected him in December to succeed former Court of Appeals Judge Clayton Greene Jr., who stepped down from the seven-member court July 1. “I feel deeply honored and fortunate.”

The committee is expected to recommend Biran’s confirmation by the full Senate. Confirmation at this point would essentially be retention, as Biran took the judicial oath on Dec. 16 and sat for oral arguments in January and February.

Before joining the bench, Biran was a shareholder and white-collar defense attorney at the Baltimore law firm Baker Donelson, which he joined last winter after more than 17 years with the U.S. Department of Justice and several years in private practice. Biran served in the DOJ’s criminal division and as an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland and Connecticut.

“I just love getting back into public service,” Biran told the Senate panel, referring to his Justice Department past and expected future on Maryland’s high court.

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 former 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 joining the DOJ’s criminal division’s public integrity section.

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