GOVERNOR O’MALLEY APPOINTS JUDGES TO COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS AND TRIAL COURTS IN BALTIMORE CITY, BALTIMORE COUNTY, AND CARROLL COUNTY
GOVERNOR O’MALLEY APPOINTS
JUDGES TO COURT OF SPECIAL
APPEALS AND TRIAL COURTS IN
BALTIMORE CITY, BALTIMORE
COUNTY, AND CARROLL COUNTY
Highly Qualified, Diverse Candidates
Selected to Serve the State
ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 28, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the appointment of Douglas R. M. Nazarian to serve on the Court of Special Appeals for the 2nd Appellate Circuit. To the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Governor O’Malley appointed Philip Senan Jackson, Judge Christopher Louis Panos, Melissa Marie Phinn, and Julie Rebecca Rubin. To the District Court for Baltimore County, Governor O’Malley appointed Michael Thurston Pate and Kimberly Michelle Thomas. Additionally, to the District Court for Carroll County, Governor O’Malley selected Brian David Green. These appointees bring a diverse array of legal experiences to their new jobs. They also represent the ethnic and gender diversity of Maryland.
Over the last several months, Governor O’Malley has conducted numerous interviews with candidates recommended to him by the appellate courts nominating commission and the trial court judicial nominating commissions. All of the judges selected to serve in Maryland’s judiciary were recommended to him by the commissions.
For the Court of Special Appeals, Governor O’Malley appointed Douglas R. M. Nazarian, who presently serves as Chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, a position he has held since 2008. “As leader of the Public Service Commission, Chairman Nazarian has demonstrated his ability to handle complex issues in a fair and thorough way,” said Governor O’Malley. “I am confident that he has the intellect and organizational skills necessary to meet the needs of the Court of Special Appeals and to render well-reasoned decisions.”
Prior to his appointment as Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Mr. Nazarian served the Commission as its general counsel. Before entering public service, Mr. Nazarian was a partner in the Litigation Practice Group of Hogan & Hartson, LLC (now known as Hogan Lovells USA LLP). He also taught for several years as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Since 2004, Mr. Nazarian has served as Dean of the CollegeBound Foundation, a program in Baltimore City public schools that is designed to assist students in their transition from high school to college to work.
Mr. Nazarian has impeccable academic credentials. He graduated cum laude from Yale College in 1988 and received his law degree from Duke University School of Law in 1991, where he also graduated with honors. Following law school, Mr. Nazarian clerked for the Honorable James B. Loken on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Mr. Nazarian currently resides in Baltimore County. He fills a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable James R. Eyler, who served on the 2nd Appellate Circuit of the Court of Special Appeals (which is comprised of Baltimore and Harford Counties) for 16 years.
In the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Governor O’Malley has appointed four individuals to serve as trial court judges.
Philip Senan Jackson has served for the past 19 years as an assistant United States attorney for the District of Maryland. At various times, he served as deputy chief of the Narcotics Division, the attorney coordinator for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and the international matters coordinator. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Jackson spent seven years as an assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore County. He graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1984 and from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1979.
Governor O’Malley elevated Judge Christopher Louis Panos to the Circuit Court after six years of service on the District Court for Baltimore City. On the District Court, Judge Panos presided over more than 56,000 cases. Prior to his appointment to the bench by Governor Robert L. Ehrlich in 2006, Judge Panos served as a special master for the Family Division of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City and worked in private practice, where he focused on family law issues. He received a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1989, a Master’s Degree from the University of Baltimore in 1984, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1980.
Melissa Marie Phinn is an experienced litigator with 20 years of trial experience. She currently is a solo practitioner specializing in criminal defense and personal injury cases. Previously, she served as an assistant public defender for Baltimore City for nine years, as an associate at the Law Office of Stanley H. Needleman, and as a law clerk to then-Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Ellen L. Hollander. She graduated from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 1992 and from Towson University in 1976.
Julie Rebecca Rubin is currently a complex business litigation attorney with the Baltimore-based firm of Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin. She has served as the firm’s vice president since 2008 and has been a principal since 2005. Ms. Rubin is a lifelong Marylander and serves on numerous local commissions and boards, including the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities and the Baltimore-based CollegeBound Foundation. She graduated from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 1998 and from Mount Holyoke College in 1995.
In the District Court for Baltimore County, Governor O’Malley has appointed Michael Thurston Pate and Kimberly Michelle Thomas.
Michael Thurston Pate has been a solo practitioner since 2006. His wide-ranging practice includes personal injury cases, criminal defense, and general civil litigation. Earlier in his career, Mr. Pate worked for several years as an assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore County and as a litigation associate with the Towson-based firm of Covahey, Boozer, Devan and Dore, P.A. He graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1991 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1986.
As a solo practitioner for the past eight years, Kimberly Michelle Thomas has accumulated a broad range of legal experience. She focuses on criminal litigation but has also represented individuals in domestic matters, probate proceedings, and juvenile delinquency matters. Since 2008, Ms. Thomas has also served on the Board of Review for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In that capacity, she handles administrative appeals and provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary. Earlier in her career, Ms. Thomas served for four years as an assistant public defender in Baltimore City. She graduated from the University of Maine School of Law in 2000 and the University of Baltimore in 1997.
In the District Court for Carroll County, Governor O’Malley appointed Brian David Green. Mr. Green is very familiar with the courts in Carroll County. For the past 23 years, he has served as an attorney there with the Office of the Public Defender. Mr. Green also has significant teaching experience. He is an Adjunct Professor for the Criminal Practice Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law, and has worked for the Shemer Bar Review since 1999. Mr. Green began his legal career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Baltimore City. He graduated from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 1987 and from Bethany College in 1980.