June 2, 2021
187 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Judge James A. Bonifant named Sixth Judicial Circuit and Montgomery County administrative judge
(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) – Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera has named Judge James A. Bonifant as circuit administrative judge for the Sixth Judicial Circuit (Frederick and Montgomery counties) and county administrative judge of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. The designation is effective on July 6, 2021.
Judge Bonifant will succeed Judge Robert A. Greenberg, who has served for the last four years as circuit and county administrative judge. Judge Greenberg will retire on August 27, 2021, after more than 15 years on the bench at the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. Judge Greenberg was appointed to the Montgomery County Circuit Court on January 11, 2006. He serves as a member of the Equal Justice Committee of the Judicial Council and chairs its Operations Subcommittee. In addition, Judge Greenberg served as vice-chair of the Commission on Judicial Disabilities from 2011 to 2015 and presently serves as chairman of the Judicial Inquiry Board. He is a past recipient of the Anselm Sodaro Judicial Civility Award from the Maryland State Bar Association.
“Judge Greenberg has been a dedicated and effective leader. His service to the people of Montgomery County and Maryland has been exemplary, particularly in managing the challenges of ensuring access to justice during the COVID-19 emergency,” said Chief Judge Barbera. “Judge Bonifant is an experienced leader who will carry out this role with the dedication, commitment, and integrity required to meet the demands of this important administrative designation as the Judiciary moves forward with its commitment to provide equal justice under law for all.”
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to have served the people of Montgomery County for more than 15 years,” said Judge Greenberg. “The last 18 months have been difficult for all of us, but Frederick County, under the tutelage of Administrative Judge Julie Solt, and Montgomery County judges and court staff are among the best in the Judiciary, and they have served alongside me, making tremendous contributions to providing fair, efficient, and effective justice for all. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, I know they will serve just as well under Judge Bonifant’s leadership of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, and he has their full confidence.”
County and circuit administrative judges oversee the administration of the court, budget, and procurement functions. They also manage trial calendars to ensure the expeditious disposition of cases.
“For many years, I have admired Chief Judge Barbera’s thoughtful and effective leadership of the Judiciary and her vision of bringing justice for all who come before Maryland courts,” said Judge Bonifant. “I am honored by the confidence she has expressed in me and grateful for this opportunity to serve the people of Montgomery and Frederick counties. I have also admired Judge Greenberg’s tireless work during my time on the bench, particularly over the past year, and his devotion to the safe and efficient administration of justice. I intend to build upon their leadership, and I look forward to working with Frederick County Administrative Judge Julie Solt and my colleagues as we face the challenges that lay ahead.”
Judge Bonifant was appointed to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County on July 6, 2017, after serving for four years as a family magistrate at the same court. He currently serves as a member of the Education and Court Operations committees of the Judicial Council.
Judge Bonifant earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Virginia in 1978 and a juris doctorate in 1982 from the University of Maryland School of Law. He was admitted to the Maryland state bar in 1982. Prior to serving as a judge, he was an associate at Miller, Miller & Canby from 1982 to 1986, a partner at Clarke, Crawford & Bonifant from 1986 to 1994, and a partner at Debelius, Clifford, Debelius, Crawford & Bonifant from 1994 to 2013.
Judge Bonifant is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and the Montgomery County Bar Association, including membership in the family law section since 1994 and the judicial nominating committee from 2010 to 2012. Since 2009, Judge Bonifant has been a member of the Montgomery County Chapter of the American Inns of Court. Judge Bonifant has served on the Montgomery County Divorce and Family Roundtable since 2014.