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Hogan names Fader, Eaves to Maryland high court

Judge Matthew Fader

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday named Judges Matthew J. Fader and Angela M. Eaves to fill two coming vacancies on the state’s top court.

Fader, currently chief judge of the intermediate Maryland Court of Special Appeals, would succeed Judge Joseph M. Getty on the Court of Appeals. Eaves, a Harford County Circuit Court judge, would succeed Judge Robert N. McDonald.

Getty, who serves as the high court’s chief judge, reaches the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age of 70 on April 14, while McDonald reaches 70 on Feb. 23.

Hogan’s selection of Fader and Eaves is subject to Senate confirmation.

“The opportunity to serve the people of Maryland is a great privilege,” Fader said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “I am honored and humbled by Governor Hogan’s appointment.”

Eaves could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Angela Eaves

Hogan has not yet named Getty’s replacement as chief judge of the high court, though speculation is rampant in the legal community that Fader will get the nod.

The governor on Thursday also elevated Court of Special Appeals Judge E. Gregory Wells to be chief judge of that court, replacing Fader. Wells’ elevation is not subject to Senate confirmation.

“I am deeply honored that Governor Hogan has appointed me the next chief judge of the Court of Special Appeals,” Wells said in a statement.

“Chief Judge Fader has done an excellent job leading our court for the past few years and I intend to continue his good work,” Wells added. “I congratulate Chief Judge Fader on his well-deserved elevation to the Court of Appeals. And most importantly, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the court as we strive to fairly and efficiently serve the citizens of Maryland.”

In addition, Hogan named Montgomery County Circuit Judge Anne K. Albright to the Court of Special Appeals to fill the seat left vacant by Fader’s departure. Albright’s selection is also subject to Senate confirmation.

“I am honored by this appointment and the chance to continue to serve the people of Maryland,” Albright said in a statement.

Hogan, in a statement announcing his selections, said that “I am proud to appoint each of these distinguished and highly qualified individuals. It is a top priority to ensure the composition of our courts reflect the great diversity of our state – these historic appointments deliver on that commitment.”

With Eaves appointment, four of the Court of Appeals seven members will be women, three of whom are Black.

Fader, 48, has served as chief judge of the Court of Special Appeals since November 2018 and as a judge on the intermediate court since November 2017. Fader joined the bench after serving seven years in the Maryland attorney general’s office, including as chief of litigation.

The 1998 Yale Law School graduate began his legal career as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of eastern Virginia. Fader also served at the law firm K&L Gates LLP for eight years before joining the attorney general’s office.

Eaves, 62, has served on the Harford County Circuit Court since 2007 and as its administrative judge since 2015. She was a Maryland District Court judge in Harford County from 2000 to 2007.

The 1986 University of Texas Law School graduate began her legal career as a prosecutor in the Dallas city attorney’s office for three years before joining the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau as a staff attorney in 1990. Eaves served as an assistant Maryland attorney general from 1993 until her appointment to the district court.

Wells, 60, has served on the Court of Special Appeals since April 2019. He also served on the Maryland District Court in Calvert County from 2008 to 2012 and on the Calvert County Circuit Court from 2012 until his appointment to the appeals court.

The 1986 University of Virginia School of Law graduate began his career in private practice before joining the Calvert County state’s attorney’s office in 1989. He subsequently served as a master in domestic relations and juvenile causes at Calvert County Circuit Court and as an assistant Maryland attorney general in the criminal appeals division.

Albright, 60, has served on the Montgomery County Circuit Court since January 2012.

The 1987 Georgetown University Law Center graduate began her legal career as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Norman P. Ramsey in Maryland before stints in private practice and as a public defender in Montgomery County and later in Washington state. She served as a partner at the law firm Albright & Rhodes LLC from 1996 until her appointment to the circuit court.