Hon. Brynja McDivitt Booth
Maryland Court of Appeals
The Hon. Brynja Booth, an associate judge with the Maryland Court of Appeals, has served the 1st Appellate Judicial Circuit since 2019. She practiced law for more than two decades after graduating from Washington & Lee University School of Law and became a partner at Booth, Booth, Crooper & Marriner PC. She helped six municipalities meet environmental regulations, did appellate work, wrote briefs and argued before the Court of Appeals.
During the pandemic, the judiciary’s primary influence in moving forward was one of necessity, Booth said. “We could not sit idly waiting for the pandemic to subside.”
Instead, the court adapted to the circumstances by embracing virtual oral arguments to make sure the docket continued to operate seamlessly. Booth also presided over student moot court and mock trial competitions in a virtual setting. “There was immense satisfaction in participating in these activities, which enabled students to experience these opportunities during the pandemic,” she said.
At work, Booth said she prefers a collaborative management style. “Although external public health factors resulted in less face-to-face interaction, we learned that, to be successful, we must continue to work together,” she said. This required listening to others, gathering feedback and giving employees some freedom to work in less traditional settings. “Our ‘teamwork approach’ enabled us to complete the work of the court, but also protect the public health and safety of our employees,” she said.
Of her role models, Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera has stood out recently. “She handled the pandemic with grace and leadership,” Booth said. “Through the issuance of administrative orders, she ensured that all levels of the judiciary achieved the dual objectives of continuing to administer justice and preserving the health and safety of employees and members of the public.”