Governor names judge from Prince George's to Court of Appeals

Choice of Harrell hailed as `excellent' appointment

August 18, 1999|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF

Gov. Parris N. Glendening named Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr., a veteran appellate jurist from Prince George's County, to Maryland's highest court yesterday.

The 54-year-old judge replaces Judge Howard S. Chasanow, who retired Sunday, on the Court of Appeals.

Harrell has served on the Court of Special Appeals, Maryland's intermediate appellate court, since 1991.

In choosing Harrell, the governor passed over two candidates -- Court of Special Appeals Judge James P. Salmon and Prince George's County Circuit Judge Sherrie L. Krauser. The governor has known all three for many years.

"I would venture that this was probably the most difficult appointment of the governor's career," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who praised the choice of Harrell as an "excellent" appointment.

The moderate, well-regarded Harrell is viewed as a politically safe choice that bypasses the controversy that would have attended an appointment of Krauser, the wife of Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Peter Krauser.

Glendening said Harrell brings "three decades of judicial experience, legal knowledge and superb judgment" to the top state court.

Before he was appointed to the Court of Special Appeals by Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Harrell spent 18 years in private practice with O'Malley, Miles, Nylen and Gilmore, a politically well-connected Prince George's law firm, where he specialized in zoning and land-use issues.

Before that, he worked in the Prince George's County attorney's office while Glendening was a member of the County Council.

While a judge, Harrell has served as chairman of the state Judicial Disabilities Commission.

Chief Judge Robert M. Bell welcomed Harrell's appointment: "I expect him to hit the ground running. He can assume a caseload on our court with no additional training. The governor is to be congratulated for making this excellent choice."

Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, a former colleague of Harrell's who serves on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said the jurist is regarded as a "star" of the intermediate court.

"He writes thoughtful, discerning decisions without ever being condescending or tedious," Motz said.

Harrell received his bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Maryland and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Baltimore law school. He is married and has two adult sons.

Pub Date: 8/18/99

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