Gov. Martin O’Malley’s office has announced the appointment of a diverse group of four new judges to the Baltimore City District Court on Aug. 13. Kevin Wilson and Martin Dominic are African American; Mark Franklin Scurti and Nicole Pastore Klein are White.

“I am pleased to appoint such an accomplished and diverse group of candidates to serve on the Baltimore City District Court,” said O’Malley, in a statement released the same day. “These appointees will bring to the bench a broad range of legal expertise and a true commitment to public service.”

Wilson took the former position of just-retired District Court Judge H. Gary Bass after outshining more than 20 other applicants and 14 other nominees.

Dorsey has replaced Judge Ronald A. Karasic, Nicole Pastore Klein will fill the space left by the retirement of Judge James L. Mann, and the elevation of the Judge Christopher L. Panos left a vacancy to be filled by Mark Franklin Scurti.

“All were retirements except for the elevation of District Court Judge Christopher Panos from the District Court to the Circuit Court of Baltimore City,” said Elizabeth F. Harris, chief legal counsel to O’Malley.

“District Court judges serve ten-year terms and the governor ‘shall’ reappoint them until they hit the mandatory retirement age of 70 or voluntarily retire,” Harris said, referring to the Maryland Constitution.

Professor Jose Anderson, of the University Of Baltimore School Of Law, said that he has known three of the judicial appointees named by O’Malley for more than ten years.

“I think that all of the judges are well qualified and should bring energy, diversity, and a range of experience to the Baltimore bench,” he said, adding that he is especially proud to see former student Martin Dorsey make the cut.

It’s been more than a decade since Dorsey sat in the front row of Anderson’s criminal law class.

“I taught him his first year of law school,” Anderson told the AFRO. “He’s always been a very even-tempered and well-balanced person.”

According to information released by the Office of the Governor, for the past 15 years Dorsey has worked for Baltimore City’s Office of the Public Defender. In 2011, he became the supervising attorney for the Eastside District courthouse, and prior to that he served ten years as part of the felony trial unit.

Klein has served as an administrative law judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings since 2007. Klein has “specialized in complex commercial litigation and employment law.”

Curtis, a member of the board of governors of the Maryland State Bar Association, has worked with Pepsin Katz Law, P.A. since 2007 in Towson, where he focused on bankruptcy and consumer protection law.

Wilson is a former algebra teacher who has, for the past 13 years, served as “tier supervisor for cases involving handguns, felony narcotics, and burglaries” for the assistant state’s attorney, a Maryland official said.

The appointments were all recommended by the trial court judicial nominating commission and will go into effect at a later date that has not been announced. According to the office of the governor, no date has been set because each appointee has to be given time to arrange their affairs and finish out their current positions.


Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer