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Long appointed Circuit judge

Washington County District Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. becomes the county's fifth Circuit judge.

Washington County District Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. becomes the county's fifth Circuit judge.

December 23, 2005|by TAMELA BAKER

tammyb@herald-mail.com

District Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. has been named to a new Circuit Court judgeship for Washington County.

Gov. Robert Ehrlich announced Long's appointment Thursday morning in Annapolis. Long, 57, was one of three finalists for the position, approved by the General Assembly earlier this year.

The new position raises to five the number of Circuit judges in Washington County.

The other finalists were Circuit Court Domestic Relations Master Daniel Patrick Dwyer and private attorney Scott Lee Schubel.

Long's appointment runs through the 2006 general election in November. He will have to seek election to the position next year to keep it.

A 1973 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, Long was named state's attorney for Washington County in 1982 to fill the unexpired term of John Salvatore, who successfully ran for county commissioner that year. Long then was elected to the post five times before being appointed a District Court judge in 2004.

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Long said his final interview for the position was Monday. Ehrlich called him Wednesday morning to tell him he had been appointed.

"It's a good Christmas present," Long said. "I'm just truly honored by his faith in me."

Being a Circuit judge has been a longtime dream, Long said.

Just when he will move from District Court to Circuit Court was not known, Long said. Construction on the additional office is ongoing, and right now, "I'm not sure there's any place to put another judge," he said.

Transition for District Court still has to be worked out as well.

"I don't know yet when we make the switch," Long said.

Two potential contenders for the District judge post Long will be vacating are Dwyer and Schubel.

Dwyer said Thursday he is interested in the District Court job. Schubel said he is considering applying for it as well.

"I very well may ... I haven't decided yet," he said.

Both had high praise for Long.

"Judge Long is certainly qualified," Dwyer said. "I consider him a friend and a mentor. I worked for him for seven years. It's a good appointment."

"He's a superb lawyer, a superb judge and a decent person," Schubel added. "If you've gotta lose to somebody, who better to lose to?"

Long was one of four Circuit Court judges appointed statewide this week. The others were in Montgomery County, Talbot County and Baltimore.

Washington County Circuit Court and the Circuit Courts in Garrett and Allegany counties make up Maryland's Fourth Judicial Circuit.

Chief Judge Frederick C. Wright III wrote to State Court Administrator Frank Broccolina seeking a fifth Washington County judge in 2004, saying that because of an increased caseload, the need for another judge had become "acute." According to the Administrative Office of the Courts, Washington County's caseload has justified another Circuit judge since 1994.

LESA - Headshot is slugged "Long" in the News folder.

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