Maryland Courts Logo
Press Release homepage
Maryland Judiciary
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
2011-D Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
For Immediate Release

Angelita Plemmer Williams
Terri Bolling
(410) 260-1488

Media Advisory
Chief Judge Robert M. Bell Announces Retirement
Gala and Symposium to be Held in his Honor

(ANNAPOLIS, Md. – April 17, 2013) After more than 38 years of public service in the Maryland Judiciary, Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell announced he will retire July 6, his 70th birthday. Under Maryland law, state judges must retire at age 70.

Judge Bell sent his letter of resignation to Gov. Martin O’Malley earlier this month.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to have been permitted to serve the State and its citizens,” Judge Bell wrote. “To them, and to my judicial colleagues, without whose assistance and cooperation nothing of worth could have been accomplished, I offer my sincere thanks and deepest appreciation for the opportunity.”

Judge Bell has served at all four levels of Maryland’s courts. He began his career with the Judiciary in January 1975, when he was appointed judge for the District Court for Baltimore City. He was elevated to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City in 1980 and, in 1984, he was appointed to the Court of Special Appeals, Maryland’s intermediate appellate court. In 1991, Judge Bell joined Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, and five years later, in 1996, then-Governor Parris Glendening named him chief judge. With this appointment, Chief Judge Bell became the first African-American to lead the Maryland Judiciary. The Court of Appeals was formally established as the state’s highest court by the Maryland Constitution in 1776, but its history as a Colonial court stretches back to the middle of the 17th century.

The Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) and the Friends of the Honorable Robert M. Bell Committee will host a statewide two-day event, April 18-19, in honor of Judge Bell. The MSBA website,, has more information about the event, which includes a gala and a half-day legal symposium.


Gala and Legal Symposium to honor retiring Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell


Gala: Thursday, April 18, 7:30-10 p.m.
Media is invited to attend the gala during the greetings, tributes, and remarks from Chief Judge Bell. The program is attached.

Legal Symposium – “Access to Justice: Five Decades of Change in Maryland and the Impact on America” –
Friday, April 19, 9 a.m.-noon
Media is invited to attend. The program is attached.


(Both events) Hilton Baltimore, 401 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, Md., 21201



Because of limited seating, members of the media who plan to cover the gala must contact Angelita Plemmer Williams or Terri Bolling before the start of the event.
Angelita Plemmer Williams 703-585-7486 (cell)
Terri Bolling 443-995-9263 (cell)

# # #