This year, the citizens of Harford County have the opportunity to retain the two most qualified individuals (and the only jurists) running for election for Judge of the Circuit Court for Harford County.
Those two individuals are Judge Paul Ishak who was appointed by Governor Hogan on Dec. 7, 2016 and Judge Lawrence F. Kreis, Jr., who was appointed on Sept. 22, 2017.
Both Judge Ishak and Judge Kreis came to the bench after lengthy trial careers and decades of trial experience.
Their careers included trying criminal cases, civil cases, administrative cases, bench trials, jury trials, corporate work, real estate matters and practicing in nearly every other area of the law which they are now called upon to adjudicate as judges.
It was precisely because of this decades-long trial experience in a myriad of practice-areas that the Judicial Nominating Commission for Harford County found each of them to be qualified for the position of Judge of the Circuit Court for Harford County and advanced their names to Governor Hogan for consideration.
Governor Hogan appointed Judge Ishak, and then Judge Kreis, precisely because of their vast trial experience and because they were the candidates that best embodied the virtues that allow gifted trial attorneys to become excellent jurists: Honesty, humility, integrity, independence, fairness and compassion.
These virtues, coupled with their enormous trial experience (which has now been augmented by their time on the bench in the trials they handle every single week) provide Harford County with excellent examples of what a judge can, and should be.
Judges Ishak and Kreis arrived on the bench not by accident, but rather by an exhaustive process that by its very nature is designed to ensure that only the absolute most qualified candidates are elevated to the bench.
The Judicial Nominating Commission and the Governor have fully vetted Judges Ishak and Kreis and their conduct on the bench since their appointment validates the wisdom of these appointments.
As a past president of the Harford County Bar Association and as an attorney that has appeared before judges over more than 25 years of trial work, I know when the right persons were appointed to the bench. Judges Ishak and Kreis were, without question, the right choices.
The citizens of Harford County should retain Judges Paul Ishak and Lawrence Kreis, Jr. and I encourage everyone to vote for them in the upcoming election.
Roger J. Sullivan