Office of Communications and Public Affairs
2011-D Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

For Immediate Release

New Circuit Administrative Judges Named

Judge Kathleen Gallogly Cox leads Third Judicial Circuit (Baltimore, Harford counties);
Judge W. Michel Pierson to head Eighth Judicial Circuit (Baltimore City)

(ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Sept. 12, 2013) Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera has named two new circuit administrative judges. Baltimore County Circuit Judge Kathleen Gallogly Cox is the new administrative judge for the Third Judicial Circuit (Baltimore and Harford counties), and Baltimore City Circuit Judge W. Michel Pierson has been named administrative judge for the Eighth Judicial Circuit (Baltimore City).

“Judge Cox and Judge Pierson have impressive records of service, leadership, and administrative experience in their courts,” Chief Judge Barbera said. “I’m sure Judge Pierson and Judge Cox will help advance the Judiciary’s goal of achieving equal, fair, and timely access to justice here in Maryland.”

Retired Chief Judge Robert M. Bell said, “I applaud Chief Judge Barbera's appointments of Judge Pierson as the next administrative judge for the Eighth Judicial Circuit and Judge Cox as the administrative judge for the Third Judicial Circuit. They are each accomplished jurists and excellent choices to succeed Judge Marcella Holland and Judge John Turnbull, both of whom have served with distinction, and whose service has been exemplary.”

Circuit administrative judges oversee the administration of the courts, budget and procurement functions, and trial calendars to ensure the expeditious disposition of cases. They supervise county administrative judges, and may also supervise judges, officers, and employees.

Judge Kathleen G. Cox

Judge Kathleen G. Cox’s appointment was effective Aug. 27. She succeeds Judge John Grason Turnbull II, who retired in August. Judge Turnbull was appointed to the Circuit Court in June 1986, and had served as circuit administrative judge since 2001. Judge Cox has been on the Baltimore County Circuit Court bench since February 1999, and has served as judge-in-charge for juvenile court since 2001.

“I am honored to have been selected for this position by Chief Judge Barbera,” Judge Cox said. “I’ve been privileged to have Judge Turnbull’s excellent example of leadership, and I look forward to continuing to work with my fellow judges in the Circuit Court and serve the people of Baltimore and Harford counties.”

After completing college at the University of Notre Dame in 1976, Judge Cox earned her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame School of Law in 1979. She was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1979 and the District of Columbia Bar in 1980. She was a law clerk to Judge James R. Miller Jr., U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, from 1979-1981, then assistant federal public defender for the District of Maryland from 1982-1985. Before joining the bench, Judge Cox was in private practice and was a partner in Venable, Baetjer and Howard, LLP, from 1989-1999.

Judge Cox is on the executive committee of the Judiciary’s Conference of Circuit Judges, and is an active member of several professional organizations, including the Maryland State Bar Association, Baltimore County Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association of Maryland, Women’s Law Center of Maryland, and National Association of Women Judges. She is a fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation. She is a past chair of the MSBA’s standing committee on gender equality and the Coe Board of Review. Judge Cox received the Maryland Leadership in Law Award from the Daily Record in 2005, and has been named by the Daily Record as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2004 and 2012.

Judge W. Michel Pierson

Judge W. Michel Pierson’s appointment will become effective Dec. 1. He will succeed Judge Marcella A. Holland, who will retire Nov. 30 after serving as a judge for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City since 1997 and circuit administrative judge since 2003. Judge Pierson was appointed to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City in 2004, and has been judge-in-charge of the civil docket since 2009, and a judge in the court’s Business and Technology Program since 2008.

“I’m thankful for the confidence Chief Judge Barbera has shown in me with this appointment,” Judge Pierson said. “It is an honor to follow Judge Holland’s example, and I will continue to do my best to ensure we provide open, fair and equal access to all who come to the Baltimore City Circuit Court.”

Judge Holland said, “From the time I decided to retire this year, Michel Pierson was my first choice for my successor. I am pleased that Chief Judge Barbera also recognizes that his intellect, experiences and temperament make him the best choice for the next administrative judge of this circuit. He will continue the tradition of strong, fair and excellent leadership of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.”

Judge Pierson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in 1970 and earned his J.D. with honors from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1973. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1973, and was a law clerk to Judge C. Stanley Blair, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, from 1973-1974. Before being appointed to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Judge Pierson was in private practice beginning in 1974, and was a partner in the law firm Pierson and Pierson from 1978-2003. The emphasis of his practice was civil and criminal litigation, including trials and appeals in federal and state courts.

A member of the Court of Appeals’ Rules Committee (Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure) since 2009, Judge Pierson is also an active member of the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Maryland State Bar Association, and Baltimore City Bar Association. He is a fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation and the Baltimore City Bar Foundation, and was elected a permanent member of the American Law Institute in 2007. He is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

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Note: For a higher-resolution photo of Judge Cox or Judge Pierson, please contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, 410-260-1488.