The investiture of Clayton Anthony Aarons took place Sept. 15.

Colleagues of recently appointed District Court Judge, Clayton Anthony Aarons describe him as compassionate, helpful, level headed, and overall right for the job. Aarons is the newest associate judge of the District Court for the 5th District of Maryland. He succeeded Patrick R. Duley, who retired. The investiture took place Sept. 15.

Aarons joins fellow appointees, Brian Charles Denton and Ann Louise Wagner-Stewart in the District Court for Prince George’s County, Md. “I cannot think of a better face of justice,” Seventh Judicial Circuit Court Associate Judge Herman Dawson Sr. said.

Dawson said Aarons was not only compassionate, but community oriented. “He would often volunteer his time,” Dawson said. He has known Aarons since 1980. The two attended Howard University School of Law together and worked in the public defender’s office. “He was the first individual to volunteer all day and help with all of the constituents in the community,” Dawson continued.

Nicholas E. Rattal, associate judge for the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court has known Aarons since 1987, when both were assigned to the District Court as public defenders. He described Aarons as calm, level headed, and analytical. “When you share an office, you spend hours talking,” said Rattal, “Clayton can crack you up.”

J. Patricia Wilson Smoot, commissioner of the United States Parole Commission, described Aarons as a big brother and mentor. “He can relate to people well,” Smoot said. “He is connected to the community.”

Smoot has known Aarons for well over 20 years. She described him as a man with integrity who can handle difficult situations with a calm response. According to John P. Morrissey, chief judge in the District Court of Maryland, Aarons possess positive skill sets and a vision that will assist the core mission of District 5.

Aarons previously maintained a solo law practice in Largo, Md., representing clients in criminal and civil cases. Along with his law degree, he earned an undergraduate degree from State University of New York at New Paltz. Aarons also served as Assistant Public Defender as well as Assistant State’s Attorney in Prince George’s County.

During his investiture, Aarons made the courtroom burst in bouts of laughter with anecdotes about his career and home life. Aarons told a humorous, heart-warming story about the reaction his wife had when she heard of his appointment. “My wife Linda, had been very sick, bedridden, but when I got the call from the governor, she jumped out of bed!” he told witnesses in the courtroom.