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Maryland Conference of Circuit Judges Names New Leaders

Baltimore City Circuit Administrative Judge Marcella A. Holland, the new chair of the Maryland Conference of Circuit Judges
Text Box: Baltimore City Circuit Judge Marcella A. Holland
(ANNAPOLIS, Md. – April 5, 2011) One of the most influential judicial advisory boards to the state’s highest court and chief judge has elected Baltimore City Circuit Judge Marcella A. Holland as its new chair and Queen Anne’s County Circuit Judge Thomas G. Ross as vice-chair.

The Maryland Conference of Circuit Judges serves as a policy advisory body to Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, who oversees the 289 Circuit and District Court judges that comprise the Maryland Judiciary. The conference works collaboratively and in consultation with the chief judge in developing policies affecting the administration of the Circuit Courts. Its 16 members include the circuit administrative judge from each of the eight judicial circuits and one circuit judge elected from each judicial circuit.

Judge Holland is the first African-American woman to head the conference. She had been vice-chair of the conference since December 2008. Judge Holland and Judge Ross were both elected at a conference meeting in November 2010, and began their two-year terms effective Dec. 4, 2010.

Judge Holland succeeds Howard County Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure, who had served as chair of the conference since 2008. Judge Leasure, who has been a judge in Howard County since November 1995, and has been administrative judge for the 5th Judicial Circuit (Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Howard counties) and Howard County administrative judge since January 2002, will continue to serve on the conference.

“I was most fortunate to serve as Judge Leasure’s vice-chair for the past two years,” Judge Holland said. “She and her predecessors have laid a solid foundation upon which we can continue to build on improvements in the administration of and access to justice. Our goal is to continue to tackle and resolve issues such as the impact on our courts from the foreclosure crisis, use of higher technology to support or work and educate the public about the court system, and planning for the future court, one which will become increasingly electronic. With Judge Ross' assistance, I am confident we can continue the bold and innovative leadership to which the judges of this state have become accustomed.”

Judge Holland, who became an associate judge in 1997, has served as the administrative judge for the 8th Judicial Circuit (Baltimore City) since 2003. She was the first African-American woman administrative judge in Maryland. A native of Howard County, she previously worked as an assistant state’s attorney and is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law.

Judge Ross has been administrative judge for the 2nd Judicial Circuit (Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties) since April 2009. He was appointed to the bench and named administrative judge for Queen Anne’s County in January 2004. Before his appointment, Judge Ross was in private practice and was a partner in the law firm of Ross and Powell from 1982 to 2003. After graduating from Florida State University, Judge Ross studied at the University of Baltimore School of Law and received his law degree in 1978.

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