Judge Paul A. Smith, the District Court judge appointed last week to the Baltimore Circuit Court, was sworn in to his new position yesterday -- two weeks before his formal swearing-in.
However, Judge Smith, whose strong showing in last month's primary election led to his appointment, did not take a seat on the Circuit Court bench.
That will not happen until Oct. 24, the day after the Circuit Court holds a ceremonial swearing-in for him.
Until then, Judge Smith will continue his duties on the city's District Court, according to Joseph H. H. Kaplan, administrative judge of the Circuit Court.
Judge Smith could not be reached for comment last night.
"He's got things to clean up, and we can't just have him walk out of the District Court one day and start on the Circuit Court the next," Judge Kaplan said.
Yesterday's swearing-in also clears the way for Judge Smith to remove his name from the ballot being printed for November's general election.
Judge Smith placed second in the Democratic primary. The vacancy created on the ballot is expected to be filled by Judge John C. Themelis, who placed fourth in the Democratic primary.
"There was some legal concern there and I think the technical swearing in . . . vs. the ceremonial swearing-in on the 23rd was to resolve that legal concern," Judge Kaplan said.
Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy, head of the state's Court of Appeals, allowed Judge Smith to remain on the District Court until Oct. 24, according to Judge Kaplan. Judge Smith accepted his appointment last Friday from Gov. William Donald Schaefer.