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by TAMELA BAKER | December 23, 2005
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.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | May 17, 2010
WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell has filed to run for another 15-year term. McDowell has been on the bench in the county since 1993, when he was appointed. He was elected in 1994 to a 15-year term, which expired last year. Then, he was reappointed. In Maryland, a circuit court judge must stand for election in the next general election that's at least one year after an appointment, according to the state constitution. McDowell, 57, of Hagerstown, said he was sure years ago that he wanted to be a judge.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | July 31, 2011
A 23rd Judicial Circuit judge has scheduled nighttime court sessions in Berkeley County next month because he said his growing, deadline-driven docket of child abuse and neglect cases, combined with an upcoming jury trial, leave him little choice. Judge John C. Yoder notified the administrator of the state Supreme Court of Appeals and Berkeley County Council Attorney Norwood Bentley III of his intentions, but said last week the scheduled night hearings still could be postponed if the high court doesn't agree to pay for a court reporter.
NEWS
December 11, 2012
Michael D. Lorensen will be sworn in as the newest 23rd Judicial Circuit judge in a brief ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday at the Jefferson County Courthouse, the state Supreme Court announced Tuesday. Chief Circuit Judge David H. Sanders will conduct the oath of office in the second floor courtroom. Lorensen is expected to begin work that day as a judge for the circuit, which is comprised of Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, according to a news release from the high court. Lorensen, 53, will fill the vacancy that was created earlier this year when Judge Gina M. Groh was appointed U.S. district judge for the Northern District of West Virginia in March.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | February 6, 2012
23rd Judicial Circuit Judge John Yoder expects to undergo heart valve replacement surgery in the next few weeks, but vows to return to the bench and resume his campaign for the state Supreme Court. “I'm looking forward to feeling better when it's done,” said Yoder, 61, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va. Yoder said he expects to undergo open-heart surgery toward the end of the month at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C.  Retired Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. has been assigned to handle Yoder's caseload in his absence, including a  jury trial scheduled to start next week, according to Yoder.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | March 19, 2012
Judge Gina M. Groh, whose nomination to the federal bench was confirmed last week by the U.S. Senate, resigned Monday from her seat in the state 23rd Judicial Circuit. Groh, 47,  informed state Supreme Court Chief Justice Menis Ketchum in a faxed letter that her resignation was effective at noon. “I look forward to the new direction of my career, even though I will miss the friends I have made in the state court system,” Groh said in the letter, which state Supreme Court spokesperson Jennifer Bundy said was received Monday morning.
NEWS
November 17, 1997
Donald Beachley named circuit judge By BRENDAN KIRBY Staff Writer Hagerstown attorney Donald Beachley has been tapped to fill the vacancy on the Washington County Circuit Court bench, an aide to Gov. Parris N. Glendening said Monday night. The governor plans a formal announcement today, spokesman Ray Feldmann said. "He had a law career that spans nearly two decades. He was well-respected by the legal community in Washington County," Feldmann said. Beachley will replace Judge Darrow Glaser, who announced his retirement in May. Beachley beat out Washington County State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr., the only other finalist recommended to the governor by the Judicial Nominating Commission.
NEWS
November 16, 2012
Martinsburg attorney Michael D. Lorensen has been appointed by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to serve as a circuit judge in the 23rd Judicial Circuit, the governor's office announced Friday. Lorensen, 53, will fill the vacancy that was created earlier this year when Judge Gina M. Groh was appointed U.S. district judge for the Northern District of West Virginia in March. “Judge Groh's exceptional professionalism is well respected, and I believe Michael will continue her legacy at the 23rd Judicial Circuit,” Tomblin said in a news release.
NEWS
by GREGORY T. SIMMONS | December 17, 2003
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.
NEWS
By ERIN JULIUS | April 3, 2009
HAGERSTOWN -- Only one complaint was made Friday about the newest Washington County Circuit Court judge. "You couldn't even have a beer with him after work because he would be going home to be with the family," said Wiley Rutledge, a friend and former law partner of Daniel Patrick Dwyer. Dwyer took his oath and donned his judge's robe Friday afternoon before a large audience in the circuit court's largest courtroom. After taking the oath, he received an enthusiastic standing ovation.
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NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | July 18, 2013
An accused bank robber who was caught outside the home of a Washington County Circuit Court judge was scheduled to begin a two-day jury trial Thursday, but was granted a delay after being allowed to fire his attorney. Charles Benjamin McNeal, 28, told visiting Allegany Circuit Court Judge Gary Leasure that he wanted to fire attorney Bernard W. Semler II and needed another six months to hire a new lawyer and prepare for trial. “His defense for me has been ineffective and inadequate,” McNeal said of Semler during Thursday's hearing.
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NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | April 3, 2013
A circuit judge said Wednesday he needed more information before sentencing a woman who pleaded no contest in September 2012 to child neglect resulting in the death of her 2-month-old son, Jaxon. Twenty-third Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III said he heard some things in Wednesday's sentencing hearing for Jessica Skupnick, 24, that prompted him to recess the proceeding until April 9 so the court could obtain the unspecified information. Wednesday's hearing lasted more than two hours and included testimony by Skupnick, who faces a maximum of three to 15 years in prison, and her paternal grandmother.
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | December 14, 2012
Monday morning Michael D. Lorensen will step up to the bench to the call of “All Rise” for the first time. Lorensen, 53, of Martinsburg, W.Va., the Eastern Panhandle's newest circuit court judge, was sworn in Friday by 23rd Judicial Circuit Chief Judge David H. Sanders in Sanders' Jefferson County courtroom. The circuit covers Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties. A public investiture ceremony will be held for Lorensen Jan. 10 in the Berkeley County Judicial Center before 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes.
NEWS
December 12, 2012
Michael D. Lorensen will be sworn in as the newest 23rd Judicial Circuit judge in a brief ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday at the Jefferson County Courthouse, the state Supreme Court announced Tuesday. Chief Circuit Judge David H. Sanders will conduct the oath of office in the second floor courtroom. Lorensen is expected to begin work that day as a judge for the circuit, which is comprised of Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, according to a news release from the high court. Lorensen, 53, will fill the vacancy that was created earlier this year when Judge Gina M. Groh was appointed U.S. district judge for the Northern District of West Virginia in March.
NEWS
November 16, 2012
Martinsburg attorney Michael D. Lorensen has been appointed by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to serve as a circuit judge in the 23rd Judicial Circuit, the governor's office announced Friday. Lorensen, 53, will fill the vacancy that was created earlier this year when Judge Gina M. Groh was appointed U.S. district judge for the Northern District of West Virginia in March. “Judge Groh's exceptional professionalism is well respected, and I believe Michael will continue her legacy at the 23rd Judicial Circuit,” Tomblin said in a news release.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | April 11, 2012
Some Berkeley County sheriff's deputies were wrongfully promoted since 2009 at the expense of other deputies who were denied advancement, a circuit judge has ruled. Two sets of rules that were used by the Berkeley County Deputy Sheriffs' Civil Service Commission for making such promotions violated state law, 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes ruled in a 32-page final order filed last month. Five promotions made since 2009 will now have to be revisited by the civil service commission, which was ordered by Wilkes to recalculate deputies' scores based on the results of competitive examination, performance evaluations and years of service with the sheriff's office.  The judge wrote that “extra points for education, previous law enforcement experience and oral interviews are not part of the 'complete and all-inclusive system ... for promotion ... of deputies'” in state code and are prohibited.
NEWS
March 21, 2012
Twenty-third Judicial Circuit Judge John C. Yoder, who returned to the bench Wednesday after undergoing heart surgery last month, will preside over Judge Gina M. Groh's docket, according to an administrative order put in effect Wednesday. Groh resigned Monday at noon after her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia was confirmed last week by the Senate. A White House official said Tuesday morning that President Obama subsequently appointed Groh to the federal bench.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | March 19, 2012
Judge Gina M. Groh, whose nomination to the federal bench was confirmed last week by the U.S. Senate, resigned Monday from her seat in the state 23rd Judicial Circuit. Groh, 47,  informed state Supreme Court Chief Justice Menis Ketchum in a faxed letter that her resignation was effective at noon. “I look forward to the new direction of my career, even though I will miss the friends I have made in the state court system,” Groh said in the letter, which state Supreme Court spokesperson Jennifer Bundy said was received Monday morning.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | February 6, 2012
23rd Judicial Circuit Judge John Yoder expects to undergo heart valve replacement surgery in the next few weeks, but vows to return to the bench and resume his campaign for the state Supreme Court. “I'm looking forward to feeling better when it's done,” said Yoder, 61, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va. Yoder said he expects to undergo open-heart surgery toward the end of the month at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C.  Retired Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. has been assigned to handle Yoder's caseload in his absence, including a  jury trial scheduled to start next week, according to Yoder.
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