Five seek to fill Court of Appeals seat when Judge Robert Bell retires

Four judges and one lawyer have applied for the Court of Appeals seat that will become vacant July 6 when Chief Judge Robert M. Bell reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.

The applicants for the judgeship on the state's highest court are Judges Stuart Ross Berger, Albert Joseph Matricciani Jr. and Shirley Marie Watts, all sitting on the Court of Special Appeals; Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge W. Michel Pierson; and Baltimore attorney Mary Natalie McSherry.

Gov. Martin O'Malley must appoint someone from Baltimore.

The Judicial Nominating Commission, which gives the governor a list of applicants it finds qualified to select from, is scheduled to meet June 20.

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