Governor makes Sfekas judge of District Court Glendening fills 3 city slots, positions in five counties

November 25, 1998|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Ellicott City attorney Constantine James "Kit" Sfekas, 45, was named to the Howard County District Court yesterday by Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

Glendening also appointed eight other judges yesterday in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Prince George's, St. Mary's and Frederick counties.

Sfekas, who has practiced law in Howard County since 1991, becomes Howard's fifth district judge.

"I was elated. I got in the car, drove home, and my wife and daughters and I went out and had dinner," Sfekas said last night.

Born in Baltimore and reared in the Lakeside neighborhood near Memorial Stadium, Sfekas comes from a family with strong Democratic Party ties. His cousin, state Sen. Perry Sfikas, represents East and Southeast Baltimore in the General Assembly.

Constantine Sfekas, who sought a judgeship twice previously, was chosen from a group of 11 candidates.

In October, a judicial nominating commission narrowed the list to four candidates, including Pamila Junette Brown, counsel to the state Department of General Services since 1990; Cornielia Bright Gordon, a state administrative law judge; and Michael A. Weal, an assistant state's attorney.

Sfekas founded a group of lawyers and doctors who give talks in county schools to help combat teen-age drug abuse and is a member of the Howard County Bar Association.

"Kit Sfekas is not only a highly competent and skilled attorney, but is recognized by his colleagues for his honesty, forthrightness and understanding," said Howard Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure.

Named to the Baltimore City Circuit Court was Stuart R. Berger. Appointed to the city District Court were longtime assistant state's attorney Emanuel Brown and public defender George McQuade Lipman.

Norman Stone III, 40, son of the longest-serving state senator, will fill a vacancy on the Baltimore County District Court. His father, Norman R. Stone Jr., a well-known Democrat who represents eastern Baltimore County, is an attorney and president pro tem of the Maryland Senate. The elder Stone has held his seat since 1967.

"It's usually my father who gets the attention," the judicial appointee said. "I'm new at all this."

The younger Stone, who lives in Edgemere, is a member of a small law firm in Essex. He is a graduate of Archbishop Curley High School, Loyola College and the University of Maryland School of Law. He is married and has two children.

In 1990, he served as president of the Our Lady of Hope-St. Luke's school board in Dundalk.

Stuart Berger, 39, a Guilford resident, was one of three people appointed to the city bench. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert I. H. Hammerman.

A graduate of Park School, Bucknell University and the University of Baltimore School of Law, Berger is an attorney with the firm of Saul, Ewing, Weinberg & Green and specializes in criminal law.

"It was very, very exciting. It's a dream I've had my whole life," Berger said.

He said his appointment was announced to loud cheers yesterday afternoon at a law partners' meeting at the NationsBank Building in downtown Baltimore.

"Mr. Berger is a fine appointment and will maintain the diversity in the city," said state Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman, a Baltimore Democrat, of the governor's choice.

Emanuel Brown, 45, a longtime Baltimore assistant state's attorney, was appointed to a judgeship created by the General Assembly this year.

Brown is a University of Maryland Law School graduate and is chief of the sex offense unit in the city state's attorney's office, which he joined in 1985.

A member of the Air Force Reserve since completing active duty in 1975, he holds the rank of master sergeant. He is an active member of Mount Moriah Baptist Church.

"Emanuel Brown manifests all those qualities we hope to find in our judiciary -- honesty, integrity, temperance, competence and impartiality," said city State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy.

George McQuade Lipman, 49, an Oakenshawe resident, was appointed to a judgeship created by the General Assembly this year. He is chief of the mental health division of the public defender's office and is considered an expert on mental health issues.

A 1976 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, he is an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore Law School.

"I've been on the list for a number of years and hadn't gotten the favorable call, and [yesterday] it happened," Lipman said.

"I have known George for 15 years and I know he has the temperament, compassion and legal skills that make him an excellent choice for the bench," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat.

In Prince George's County, Glendening appointed Maureen Lamasney, 47, and Herman Dawson, 44, to the District Court.

A public defender in Prince George's since 1977, Lamasney is a Catholic University Law School graduate.

Dawson, a 1980 graduate of Howard University Law School, has a private practice that includes domestic, criminal and civil litigation.

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