Maryland Courts

Judge Brett W. Wilson
Magistrate Karen R. Ketterman, Esq.

Judge Brett W. Wilson

County Administrative Judge
Biography from the Maryland Manual Online

Brett W. Wilson, County Administrative Judge, Dorchester County Circuit Court, 1st Judicial Circuit, since June 30, 2004. Designated Judge for Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource (ASTAR) Center Program, 2005 – present. Named ASTAR Fellow October 2006. Board of Directors, Mid-Shore Pro Bono, Inc., 2005 – present.

Member, Board of Education, Dorchester County, 1989-94. General Practitioner 1983-1998. Assistant State’s Attorney, Wicomico County, 1986-87. Senior Assistant State’s Attorney, Caroline County, 1998-2001. Standing Magistrate for Domestic Relations and Juvenile Causes, Dorchester County Circuit Court, First Judicial Circuit, 1996-2004. Faculty, Family Law Curriculum, Maryland Judicial Institute, 2002.

Salisbury State College, B.A. (history), summa cum laude, 1980. University of Maryland School of Law. J.D. 1983. Admitted to Maryland Bar, 1983.

Maryland State Bar Association, 1983-present. Dorchester County Bar Association, 1986-present (president, 1999-2001). Fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation.

Magistrate Karen R. Ketterman, Esq.

Karen Ketterman was appointed Magistrate by the Judges of the First Circuit in April 2008. Prior to her appointment, she was a solo practitioner concentrating in domestic, juvenile and child welfare matters. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Washington College in 1990 and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1993. In 2005 Magistrate Ketterman was the recipient of the Anne B. Gallagher Outstanding Service Award from the Circuit Courts of Talbot and Caroline County for outstanding and dedicated service to the children and families in the Mid-Shore community. She is a lifetime fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation.


Maryland Rules 2-541, 9-208, 11-110 and 11-111 provide for referral of certain divorce, custody, visitation, child support, juvenile delinquency, child welfare and other matters to a standing magistrate. A magistrate is not a judge, but is vested with the authority to make findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations for court orders. A magistrate is charged with the authority and responsibility to conduct hearings and make evidentiary rulings. The magistrate’s findings and recommendations are reviewed by a circuit court judge before an order is entered. A party may file exceptions alleging a specific legal error to the magistrate’s recommendation within ten days in a domestic case, or five days in a juvenile case.