Office of Communications and Public Affairs
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For Immediate Release

Worcester County District Court Visited by Maryland’s Chief Judge

(OCEAN CITY, Md. – Aug. 6, 2014) Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera came to Worcester County Tuesday, Aug. 5, to meet with judges and court professionals at District Court locations in Snow Hill and Ocean City.

The first stop was in Snow Hill, where Chief Judge Barbera was greeted by Worcester County District Judge Gerald V. Purnell, administrative judge for District 2, (Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties).

“Chief Judge Barbera has made it a goal to visit each court facility in the state. I had the honor of meeting with her in Dorchester County in May, and it was a wonderful opportunity again today to introduce her to the great people I am privileged to work with in Worcester County,” Judge Purnell said. “I think the most important part of these visits for me has been being able to showcase the dedicated court professionals who help people in our community and whose behind-the-scenes work enables us judges do our jobs.”

County Clerk Elnora “Peaches” Gibson said, “We are a small court, but we provide the same services as the larger jurisdictions, and I think Chief Judge Barbera was really interested in how we make that work. I was very impressed that she took the time to talk to each of us. She asked great questions. She is so personable and genuine. It was an honor to meet her.”

After the visit in Snow Hill, the chief judge moved on to Ocean City, where she met with Worcester County District Judge Daniel R. Mumford during a court recess, then met court staff.

“We have never had the chief judge of Maryland visit our court, so it was a real privilege to have her observe us at work,” Judge Mumford said. “It was a very, very nice visit. It meant a great deal to me, and I know it meant a great deal to the staff. Chief Judge Barbera took the time to meet and talk to everyone here.”

District Court Supervisor Christine Morris said, “It was an honor to have Chief Judge Barbera visit today. We know that we are appreciated, but it says something to have the head of the Judiciary come down here to see us personally -- to meet us, want to find out what we do, and to say thank you.”

“The judges and court staff in Worcester County are wonderful representatives of the Maryland Judiciary,” Chief Judge Barbera said. “Today has provided me with an opportunity to get to know the people in Worcester County District Court who work so hard, without fanfare, to serve the public. I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with my colleagues on the bench, Judge Purnell and Judge Mumford, and I look forward to an ongoing dialogue. It has also been delightful to be able to personally thank the judges and the wonderful staff for their service.”

Since she was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley last July to head the Maryland Judiciary, Chief Judge Barbera has made it a priority to visit each of the State’s Circuit and District Courts.

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