Howard County has five circuit court judges.
Each of them routinely hears divorce and all other types of family law litigation, including high asset cases, alimony cases, child custody cases, domestic violence cases, child support cases, contempt cases, as well as all other family law matters.
Who are the Howard County judges, and exactly how experienced are they to hear your case? For each of the Howard County judges, family law cases often comprise about 50% of everything that they do. You heard it right. About half of all of the cases in the Howard County circuit court are divorce and family law cases.
The administrative judge is the Honorable Lenore Gelfman. She is a highly experienced judge, and she hears all types of family law cases. She has heard thousands of family law matters over the years. She was previously a district court judge, where she heard thousands of domestic violence cases.
The Honorable Timothy McCrone has an amazing resume, which includes handling family law cases in private practice. He went on to be the Howard County State’s Attorney for many years. He has likewise been on the circuit court for many years, hears thousands of family law cases, and thus, he has an incredible amount of experience as a family law judge.
The Honorable Richard Bernhardt has quite a different background, which has served him quite well to be a well-balanced and experienced family law judge. He started as a public defender in Howard County, and he then went on to work at the Maryland Office of the Attorney General before becoming a Howard County judge. He hears many complex family law matters, including a trial where I represented the minor children that lasted for a solid month.
The Honorable William Tucker has an amazing background, having previously served as a police officer before becoming an attorney, where he has worked as an assistant state’s attorney, a private divorce and criminal attorney, a family law Master in Howard County and now, as a circuit court judge in Howard County. There is very little within the realm of family law that Judge Tucker has not seen or heard.
Our newest circuit court judge is the Honorable Mary Kramer. Judge Kramer was divorce attorney for many years. Thereafter, she served as a Howard County family law Master for ten years, and as of December 2014 she restores the bench to its full complement of five circuit court judges.
If you have read this far, you may still be asking “Why do I care?”
I will tell you why. If you have a family law or divorce matter in Howard County, you will likely be appearing before one of these judges. You will not know until the day of your trial which judge will be presiding over your case.
Your experienced divorce attorney needs to have a great deal of experience practicing before each of these judges to understand their tendencies, as well as their individual styles. Some judges rely less than others on alimony. Some judges like certain issues proven in a certain way. Some do not mind your attorney trying a negative case, while others will punish the client for being negative. Some judges have certain expectations of clients, while others do not.
When interviewing your prospective divorce attorney, make sure you quiz him or her on their knowledge of the specific judges who might be hearing your case.
The attorneys at SIEGELLAW regularly practice before all of the judges in Howard County, as well as the surrounding areas throughout the State of Maryland.