McAuliffe to leave high court

March 18, 1993|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Staff Writer

Judge John F. McAuliffe, a member of the Maryland Court of Appeals since 1985, says he will retire in December to spend more time on the golf course and with his grandchild.

Judge McAuliffe, 60, of Germantown, called being an associate judge on the state's highest court "a tremendous challenge" and said the post was "intellectually stimulating."

But he said he needed a change of pace.

"I would like to spend weekends and evenings without having to pick up briefs and petitions for certiorari and opinions," he said.

Judge McAuliffe said he hopes to hear cases on the state's two appellate courts and circuit courts as a retired judge. He said he missed being a trial judge after serving 13 years on the Montgomery County Circuit Court.

Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy praised Judge McAuliffe's ability to analyze legal issues, and said his departure would create a void.

"He is a solid and gifted individual," Judge Murphy said. "We can't begin to measure a loss like Judge McAuliffe's. When we lose him, we lose an enormous talent."

He said Judge McAuliffe had talked about retiring for some time, but that members of the court had been able to persuade him to remain on the bench.

The Maryland Judicial Appellate Courts Nominating Commission will select between five and seven candidates to replace Judge McAuliffe. The names will be sent to Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who will make the appointment.

Albert D. Brault, chairman of the nominating commission, said he expects a replacement to be on the bench next January. The successor must live in the state's third appellate circuit, which includes Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery and Washington counties.

The state's high court has seven judges, all men. Judge McAuliffe succeeded the late Judge Rita Davis, the only woman to serve on that bench. Mr. Brault said the commission would not base its decision on gender. "The basis for our selection of nominees is merit," he said.

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