From the 2008 News Archive
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Mary Ellen Barbera 84 Named to Maryland Court of Appeals

On Aug. 7, Governor Martin O'Malley announced the appointment of the Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera, a 1984 graduate of the School of Law, to represent the Seventh Appellate Judicial Circuit (Montgomery County) on the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the State's highest court. Since 2002, Judge Barbera has served as an Associate Judge on the Court of Special Appeals, the State's intermediate appellate court. As a judge on the Court of Special Appeals, she has heard arguments in cases held at the law school and served as a judge in the final round of last year's annual Moot Court Competition.

"I am proud to appoint Judge Barbera to the Court of Appeals," said Governor O'Malley. "Throughout her career -- first as an attorney for the State, and later as an appellate judge -- she has shown impeccable judgment, integrity, intelligence, and compassion. Her breadth of experience and strength of character will benefit the Court of Appeals and the citizens of Maryland."

Judge Barbera has been a public servant and a leader throughout her career. In the early 1980s, she taught elementary school for the Baltimore City Public School System while attending the School of Law at night. From 1985 to 1989, she worked for the Criminal Appeals Division of the Office of the Attorney General, where she represented the State of Maryland in at least 250 criminal appeals. From 1998 to 2002, she served as legal counsel to Governor Parris N. Glendening.

With Judge Barbera's appointment, all of the judges on Maryland's highest court are graduates of the University of Maryland School of Law, with the exception of Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, JD, who attended Harvard Law School.

"Although Chief Judge Bell didn't attend Maryland, we've been claiming him as an honorary graduate for years. He serves on the law school's Board of Visitors and has established the tradition of speaking to our incoming first-year students at their orientation," said Dean Karen H. Rothenberg, JD, MPA. "It's no coincidence that the robes worn by the judges on the Court of Appeals are Maryland red and not Harvard crimson."

The two judges Gov. Martin O'Malley named to the Court of Special Appeals on Aug. 7 also are Maryland law graduates. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Albert Matricciani, Jr. is a 1973 graduate and adjunct faculty member at the law school. Kathryn Grill Graef, who is chief of the Criminal Appeals Division of the Maryland attorney general's office, is a 1986 graduate.

"We are tremendously proud of these graduates," Rothenberg said. "They exemplify the law school's mission of preparing students who become leaders in law, public service, and society."

Jacob A. France Professor of Judicial William Reynolds has a special bond with Judge Barbera and Judge Matricciani, having taught them both. Reynolds said he does not expect Barbera to upset the balance on the high court. Barbera, "like Judge Raker [retiring Court of Special Appeals Judge Irma Raker], is a lawyer's judge and decides cases in the way they are presented," said Reynolds. He called Matricciani "an excellent appointment." Matricciani "has earned much respect among the bar" for his ability to competently oversee complex litigation as director of the circuit court's specialized business and technology docket, Reynolds said.


Posted by James Smith on Aug. 11

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved