Washington Co. judge seeking seat on appeals court bench

September 07, 2011|By DON AINES |
  • Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley
Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley

HAGERSTOWN — Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley is among 20 applicants seeking to fill a vacancy on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state’s second highest court.

Beachley, 54, said Tuesday he has applied to the Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission, which will interview the applicants on Oct. 25-26. Those found qualified and nominated by the commission will be forwarded to Gov. Martin O’Malley for consideration, he said.

There is no deadline for O’Malley to make the appointment, Beachley said.

The vacancy was created by the elevation of Special Appeals Court Judge Ellen L. Hollander to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, he said.

It is the second time Beachley has applied for a position on the 13-member Court of Special Appeals, he said. The nominating commission found he was qualified and nominated him in 2007, but he was not selected by O’Malley, he said.

The vacancy is an at-large seat on the 13-member bench, Beachley said. There are six at-large judges and one judge for each of the state’s seven appellate judicial circuits, according to the Maryland Judiciary website.

“I have always enjoyed legal research and writing,” which describes much of the duties of an appellate judge, Beachley said. His interest goes back to when he served as an intern to an appellate judge when he was a law student, he said.

With his children grown, Beachley said the travel to Annapolis when the court is in session would be less of a burden on his family.

“There is no appellate judge from Western Maryland on the court,” Beachley said.

Appointing someone from this part of the state would provide “geographical diversity” to the court, he said.

Born in Frederick, Md., Beachley was appointed to the Circuit Court, 4th Judicial Circuit, in 1997 by former Gov. Parris Glendening. Prior to that he served as a U.S. magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland from 1994 to 1997.

A 1980 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, Beachley has been a member of the board of directors of the Judicial Institute of Maryland since 2007. He is also a past chairman and current member of the Western Maryland Children’s Center Advisory Board.

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