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Local lawyer tapped for Circuit judge

December 17, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Theresa M. Adams was appointed by the governor Tuesday as a Frederick County (Md.) Circuit judge, filling a space created by a retiring judge.

The move also creates an opening in the local State's Attorney's Office.

Just after a lunch recess during a trial Tuesday, Adams' colleagues broke the news to her.

"Oh my God! ... I have to call my parents," said Adams, 48, who was one of 11 people who applied for the position.

In response to a reporter's question about the appointment, Adams choked back tears of joy.

"It is a tremendous honor, but it is a tremendous responsibility. ... But it will be my mission to make sure that the people of Frederick County receive justice," Adams said.

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Tuesday's appointment by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. followed the retirement of Frederick County Circuit Judge Mary Ann Stepler, who stepped down Sept. 30.

A judicial nominating commission in Frederick County recommended four of the 11 candidates to Ehrlich. Ehrlich chose Adams from the final four candidates, Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell said.

Fawell said Adams will be sworn in this week.

Adams has been in her current job for a year and a half, Washington County State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr. said Tuesday.

"She's experienced. She's intelligent. She's, I think, very concerned about the matters she handles. I think she'll bring those same qualities to the bench," Long said.

Michelle Flores was the assistant state's attorney who told Adams about her appointment.

"I was so excited I could tell her that," she said.

Viki Pauler, another Washington County prosecutor who was in the courtroom Tuesday said it "couldn't have happened to a better person."

Long said he was not sure when the position being vacated by Adams will be filled.

"Sometimes it's quick. Sometimes it's slow," he said.

Adams, a Frederick, Md., native, is a 1996 graduate of University of Baltimore School of Law. She has worked for the Frederick County and Carroll County (Md.) state's attorney's offices, according to Ehrlich's office.

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