Carol Smith elevated to city Circuit bench BALTIMORE CITY

August 25, 1993|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff Writer

Carol E. Smith, a Baltimore District Court judge since 1985, was appointed yesterday to a newly created seat on the city's Circuit Court bench.

The 47-year-old judge, who had been a candidate for two previous vacant Circuit Court judgeships, called her promotion "the next logical step for me professionally.

"I like being a trial judge," she said during an interview last night in her Roland Park home. "I'm comfortable being a trial judge.

"I like the crossroads of a million lives, the excitement. I think my reputation is that I am fair, that I am somebody who cares as much about the integrity and reliability of the process as I do about the outcome of any case."

She said that among the changes to which she looks forward upon her move to the Circuit Court is the chance to preside over jury trials.

She said she will meet later this week with Joseph H. H. Kaplan, the city Circuit Court's administrative judge, to find out when she is to report to her new job.

A graduate of Mercy High School, Judge Smith received a bachelor's degree from the College of Notre Dame in 1970 and a law degree from Catholic University in 1975.

She was a lawyer with the Legal Aid Bureau from 1975 to 1980, rising to be chief attorney for the bureau's Mental Health Law Project and Housing Law Center.

At Legal Aid, she worked with two of her competitors for the Circuit Court judgeship, Susan K. Gauvey, now a partner at Venable Baetjer & Howard, and Albert J. Matricciani Jr., now a partner at Whiteford Taylor & Preston.

From 1980 until her appointment to the District Court bench, she was in private practice with Mr. Matricciani.

During those years, she also served as a special counsel to the city's Housing Authority, drawing on experience in landlord-tenant and foreclosure cases gained during her tenure at Legal Aid.

For the past two years, she has been the administrative judge for the Eastside District Court operation, overseeing seven trial courts and the clerk's office there.

Legislation adding a 26th judge to Baltimore's Circuit Court was approved by the General Assembly during its most recent session.

Judge Smith had been among seven finalists vying for the $89,000-a-year job.

The other finalists were:

* Bonita J. Dancy, a circuit master.

* John M. Glynn, state people's counsel.

* William Quarles, a partner at the Washington law firm of Venable Baetjer Howard & Civiletti who was nominated last year for a federal judgeship.

* Gary I. Strausberg, a partner at Janet & Strausberg.

* Mr. Matricciani.

* Ms. Gauvey.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer's appointment of Judge Smith is subject to Senate confirmation.

If confirmed, she would be required to run for election to a 15-year term in 1994.

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