Boone, Beachley seeking full judgeships

March 01, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

Washington County's two newest circuit court appointees are seeking election to full 15-year terms on the bench.

W. Kennedy Boone III and Donald E. Beachley filed in Annapolis as a slate, pledging support to each other and sharing a committee composed of co-chairmen William J. Reuter and Michael E. Brashears, and treasurer Jerry B. Bullington.

Boone, 55, was appointed to the new fourth Washington County Circuit Court judgeship April 18, 1997, by Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening and sworn in a month later.

At that ceremony, Boone promised he would render quality and timely justice and that he would commit no action to bring dishonor to the bench.


Ten months later, Boone said there have been no real surprises except for how hard judges work.

"The most pleasant surprise has been the quality work performed by the support staff and the Washington County Sheriff's Department," Boone said.

As far as the view from the bench, Boone said he believes he can make a difference in people's lives if he can get to them while they're young enough.

Boone had been a partner with Wachs, Boone & Schubel since 1973. His 29-year career as a lawyer included stints in the Maryland Attorney General's office and the Washington County State's Attorney's office.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Boone earned his law degree from the University of Baltimore Law School in 1967.

Beachley was sworn in Dec. 29, another Glendening appointee who was named in November to fill the post of retired Darrow Glaser.

"I was amazed at the number of jury trials we have had," Beachley said. He also remarked on the spirit of cooperation between the four judges - cooperation that has helped move cases efficiently through their courtrooms.

Beachley, 40, a Myersville, Md., native, graduated from Hood College at age 20 and earned his law degree at the University of Maryland Law School at age 23.

A Hagerstown attorney since 1980, Beachley was a partner in the firm Miller, Oliver, Beachley and Stone.

He also has been a U.S. magistrate/judge for almost four years.

With Beachley's investiture, Washington County is up to full strength at four judges.

Both see family law matters as the overwhelming work of the courts in the future. And already, those are the cases that furrow their brows.

"The hardest cases for me are the termination of parental rights, contested custody matters and Department of Social Services cases," Boone said.

Beachley agreed that deciding custody of children is tough.

Another factor both Boone and Beachley see is the prevalence of drug and alcohol problems in most every case that comes to court.

The deadline for filing to run for a nonpartisan judgeship is July 6. Both Boone and Beachley and any other candidates will be cross-designated on ballots for both primaries.

"We will be having joint fund-raisers with all monies funneled into our committee," Boone said.

Circuit court judges make $96,500 a year.

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