Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has appointed Michele D. Hotten to the Court of Special Appeals for the Fourth Appellate Circuit in Prince George’s County, making her the first African-American woman to be appointed to an appellate court in that state.

Hotten was born on April 20, 1954 in Washington, D.C., where she also grew up and graduated high school from Immaculate Conception Academy. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in 1975 and her law degree from Howard University in 1979.

After passing the Maryland, Hotten begin her career in public service as an assistant state’s attorney in Prince George’s County. Hotten served in that capacity from 1985-1989 before moving on to private practice.

She began working at Farrington, Smallwood, Wells & Wyrough in Landover, Md. in 1989 and specialized in civil and criminal litigation until 1992. At that point she began her own practice, and became Special Counsel to the Human Relations Commission, Hearing Examiner for the Prince George’s County Board of Education, a deputy for the People’s Zoning Counsel, and Examiner in Chancery for Prince George’s County Circuit Court.

In 1994, she became only the second African-American woman to become a judge with the District Court for Prince George’s County. Hotten served in that capacity for a year before serving in the same capacity for the Circuit Court, a position she held until her appointment to the appellate court..

Hotten, a past president of the Prince George’s County Bar Association, will replace the retiring James P. Salmon.