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District Court Bench Bar Committee

    There are several topics of interest that the Bar should be aware of.

Appointed/Elevated Judges 
     The committee is pleased to report that two Montgomery County attorneys have been appointed as new District Court judges. Additionally, one of our District Court judges has been appointed to the Circuit Court. 
     Below, you will find the biographical summaries of the two new judges for the District Court, Eric Nee and Margret Schweitzer, taken from Governor O’Malley’s press release of their appointments, as well as the biography summary of Judge Audrey Creighton who is being elevated from District Court to Circuit Court. The District Court Bench Bar Committee welcomes the new judges and also congratulates Judge Creighton on her new position.
     The investiture for Margaret Schweitzer was held on March 21, 2014.
     The investiture for Eric Knee was held on March 24, 2014.
     The investiture for Judge Audrey Creighton is scheduled for April 11, 2014.

Ongoing Matters  
     DeWolfe v. Richmond 
     The DeWolfe v. Richmond case is discussed at every meeting. At the present time, there is still no resolution as to the implementation for the representation of all individuals who are arrested. 
     Late Attorneys  
     Another chronic discussion has been attorneys who do not show up on time for court appearances. In past meetings, the court has encouraged attorneys to communicate with court room staff if they have a conflict with another appearance, so that the court will know where to find the attorney when necessary, and to know when the attorney will be available. If attorneys fail to appear as scheduled, and are not in communication, the court has determined that it will come up with a policy to handle these issues in the future. Attorneys should make it a priority to appear on time, and if unavoidably unavailable, communicate with the court so that the court will know their circumstances. 
     Preliminary Inquiry Docket  
     Also, as previously reported, it is not necessary for counsel to sit through the preliminary inquiry docket held for criminal summonses. If the attorney files his or her appearance at the beginning of the docket, they are excused to leave. The appearance can also be filed in advance and it would not be necessary to come at all.

New Docket Schedules
     As previously reported, some of the court dockets have been rearranged for more efficient disposition of cases to benefit the court and counsel. The new schedule became operational this month. A revised schedule appears on Page 30 of the April Newsletter.

Criminal Cases 
     Docket Times 
     Court rooms will be open at 8:30am prior to docket scheduled for 9am. Attorneys should take advantage of getting in early if they want to talk to the State or if they need to advise the courtroom clerk of their attendance in another courtroom.

 Civil Cases 
     Continued Trial Dates 
     Attorneys may choose a new date if a case is being continued for good cause, as long as the date is available on the court schedule, and not too far in the future. It is not possible to have a case specially set by consent. Ordinarily, a case will not be specially set unless it cannot be completed within three hours.

Other New Matters:
     School Bus Camera Violations  
    The county is enforcing violations where cameras on school buses video individuals who fail to come to a stop as required. These cases will be scheduled with the County Red Light Camera Violations docket. 

     Toll Violations 
     There also is a new docket for toll violation cases. This docket will be set in Silver Spring on Mondays with the parking meter violations.



District Court Practice Pointer
Meet The New Judges

Governor O’Malley made two appointments to the District Court for Montgomery County
     Eric John Nee has served for the past 15 years as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Montgomery County, where he is currently assigned to the Major Crimes Division.  Previously, Mr. Nee worked at the National Transportation Safety Board, both as the Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity office and an attorney advisor.  He began his career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Prince George’s County.  Mr. Nee earned a law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.
     Margaret Marie Schweitzer has spent her legal career with the State’s Attorney’s Office for Montgomery County, serving in many different capacities: as a member of the major crimes felony trial unit, as Chief of the District Court, as the liaison for Drug Court, and as the Director of Professional Development and Post-Conviction Remedies. She received her law degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Governor O’Malley elevated Judge Audrey Creighton to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County
     Judge Audrey Creighton has served on the District Court for Montgomery County since 2010.  She previously served as an Assistant Public Defender for Montgomery County, where she received numerous awards for outstanding service.  She also worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Division, an associate at Rabineau & Peregoff, and a law clerk to the Honorable Richard Gilbert of the Court of Special Appeals.  Judge Creighton has been a member of the Sixth Judicial Circuit’s Character Committee for the past six years and was a former president of the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association.  She earned a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Richard D. London


Meeting Dates

April 3, 2014

Meetings are held at 8:00 a.m. in the Judges Conference Room in the District Court Building, 191 East Jefferson St., Rockville, MD, unless otherwise noted.

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