Six apply for state high court judgeship Vacancy will come with Murphy retirement

September 11, 1996|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF

Five judges and a Baltimore civil rights lawyer have asked to be considered for the soon-to-be vacant seat on the Maryland Court of Appeals.

The list of applicants for the state's highest court includes Alan M. Wilner, chief judge of the Court of Special Appeals, and Barbara Kerr Howe, administrative judge of the Baltimore County Circuit Court. Howe was the only woman to apply for the seat.

Also applying were Court of Special Appeals Judges James R. Eyler and Joseph F. Murphy Jr. and Baltimore County Circuit Judge Lawrence R. Daniels. They were joined by C. Christopher Brown, a University of Maryland Law School professor who has taken a prominent role in voting-rights cases on the Eastern Shore.

They are seeking the seat held by Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 next month.

The applications go to a judicial nominating commission, which will send names of candidates it finds qualified to Gov. Parris N. Glendening. The governor is required to select a nominee from that list. He can designate his new appointee or a sitting Court of Appeals judge as chief judge.

The commission may send the governor a maximum of seven names, so presumably it could find all of the applicants are qualified. All hail from Murphy's 2nd Appellate Circuit, which includes Baltimore and Harford counties.

Wilner, 59, is widely regarded as a leading candidate, not only to be named to the higher court but to succeed Murphy as chief judge. He has been chief judge of the Court of Special Appeals since 1990.

Howe, 57, has sat on the Circuit Court since 1985 and has been administrative judge since 1992. She is president of the Maryland State Bar Association.

Murphy, 52, on the Court of Special Appeals since 1993, spent a decade on the Baltimore County Circuit Court.

Daniels, 48, has been a circuit judge since 1993 and sat on the Baltimore County District Court from 1989 to 1993.

Eyler, 54, joined the Court of Special Appeals in January. He had been a partner in the Baltimore firm Miles & Stockbridge.

With no experience on the bench, Brown, 54, could be considered a long shot. He is a partner in the Baltimore firm Brown, Goldstein & Levy.

Pub Date: 9/11/96

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