Credit: From Maryland Courts website

Some Montgomery County attorneys are in the running for a seat on Maryland’s mid-level appellate court.

They are among nine finalists put forward this month by a commission that reviews candidates. Gov. Larry Hogan will make the final choice.

The seat is on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, an intermediate appellate court. The Court of Appeals is Maryland’s top court.

An at-large seat on the Court of Special Appeals is open because Judge Alexander Wright Jr. retired in November.

Seventeen people applied for the seat by the Dec. 16 deadline.

A Judicial Nominating Commission reviewed the applications and, this month, recommended nine finalists.


Maryland Appellate Blog reported on the list and the background of each candidate:

  • Kurt James Fischer of Venable LLP in Towson
  • James Bradford McCullough of Lerch, Early & Brewer in Bethesda
  • Tara Sky Woodward of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Washington, D.C.
  • Terrence Mark Ranko Zic of Whiteford Taylor Preston in Rockville
  • Baltimore County Circuit Judge Judith Claibourne Ensor
  • Baltimore City Circuit Judge Lawrence Paul Fletcher-Hill
  • Brian Scott Kleinbord, an assistant attorney general for Maryland and former assistant state’s attorney in Montgomery County
  • Rachel Theora McGuckian of Miles & Stockbridge in Rockville
  • Phillip Robert Zuber of Sasscer Clagett & Bucher in Upper Marlboro

There is no timetable for Hogan to select a new judge.

After the governor chooses someone, the Maryland Senate votes whether to confirm the appointment.


A judge on the Court of Special Appeals serves 10 years before standing for a “retention” election, in which voters decide whether the judge should remain on the court.