2 city natives appointed to serve as judges on Circuit Court

Assistant state's attorney Cox, attorney Pierson to begin within 30 days

December 18, 2003|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. named yesterday two Baltimore natives - a city prosecutor and a local attorney - to serve as judges on the Baltimore Circuit Court bench.

Sylvester B. Cox, 45, an assistant state's attorney since 1988, and W. Michel Pierson, 53, a partner in the firm Pierson & Pierson, will begin serving as judges within the next 30 days.

They have replaced William D. Quarles, who is now a federal judge, and former Administrative Judge Ellen M. Heller, who retired this year.

Cox is chief of the Firearms Investigation Violence Enforcement Unit, a division that prosecutes defendants charged with nonfatal shootings.

"I realize it is a high honor to be elevated to this position," said Cox, who grew up in Northwest Baltimore. "I've been told the task can be kind of daunting."

One of the more noted cases Cox prosecuted was that of Dontee D. Stokes, the West Baltimore barber who shot and wounded a priest he said molested him. Stokes was acquitted last year of attempted murder, but convicted of a handgun charge.

Cox graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1983. He lives with his wife, Judy, and their two daughters.

Pierson, who practices civil and criminal litigation, has been a partner in Pierson & Pierson since 1978. His father, Leon H.A. Pierson, served as Maryland U.S. attorney from 1957 to 1961.

Pierson was a 1973 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law. He lives with his wife, Lu, and they have two daughters and a son.

From 2000 to last year, he was president of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Pierson is a former member of the Blaustein Fund committee of the Associated Jewish Charities.

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