State officials have announced the addition of the first new judgeships since 1977 for the Court of Special Appeals, the state's second-highest court. Lawyers and judges can begin to apply for the two newly created seats.

Appointments by Gov. Martin O'Malley will bring the number of special appeals judges to 15. Applications are due in by Aug. 7 and the panel that advises O'Malley will begin screening candidates after that.

In the past 35 years, the court's workload has grown by nearly 40 percent and individual judges' caseloads by nearly 42 percent, according to the Department of Legislative Services. The court has brought in retired judges to help.

Andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

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