On March 22, Kerwin A. Miller Sr. was publicly sworn in as a Maryland District Court Judge. Judge Miller’s appointment by Gov. Hogan makes him first African-American male to take the bench in Harford County.
Judge Miller quipped during the investiture “that makes Larry Hogan my favorite governor.”
Judge Miller recounted a pivotal moment in his life leading up to becoming a judge. When he was a teenager growing up in the Bronx, New York, he read an article about how unlikely it was for an African-American male to graduate high school. He took the article as an insult and a challenge. “When I graduated high school, I saw that as a sign that I could do anything,” Judge Miller said. He still wears his high school class ring today.
Judge Miller went on to graduate from Mary Washington College and the Southwestern University School of Law. He has run his own law firm, worked as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Bureau, Inc., been a public defender, and been an assistant state’s attorney in both Baltimore and Cecil Counties.
He was also an administrative law judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings. Judge Miller called this time “an invaluable experience” before recognizing several of his former colleagues whom were in attendance.
The only ring Judge Miller said he wears besides his high school class ring is his wedding ring. He thanked his wife, Alethea Miller, for her love and support. “We had a dream, and we got here” he told her.
Judge Miller was formally dressed in his judicial robe by his children, Alanna Miller and Kerwin Miller Jr. “I know I can be hard on you sometimes, but it’s only because I want the best for you. I love you” he told his children.
Three of Judge Miller’s former co-workers, Sam Curry, Esq., Quinton Herbert, Esq., and S. Everett Brown, Esq. spoke of their high regard for Judge Miller. “We had a great group of attorneys at the public defender’s office” said Mr. Brown, “where you could bounce ideas off each other. Kerwin tried all manner of cases.
“I remember he had a difficult client… and at the end of the case Kerwin won and the surprised client looked at Kerwin like a proud papa.”
Judge Miller’s sister, Stacey Miller Geiger, spoke of their childhood. “Our mother was our mother and our father,” she said, “and I would sometimes take care of my little brother while she was working.” Now, “he is my rock. I am so proud of him.”
The chief judge of the District Court of Maryland, Judge John P. Morrissey, Judge Susan Hazlett, the administrative judge of the District Court for Harford County, and Brian Young, on behalf of the Harford County Bar Association, also congratulated Judge Miller. “He is a welcome addition to our team,” said Judge Hazlett.
I thought it fitting that Judge Miller’s investiture be memorialized in words in The Aegis, in addition to the excellent photos taken by photographer Matt Button. On behalf of the Harford County Bar Association, I again congratulate Judge Miller and wish him the best as he accepts the challenge of the fair and impartial administration of justice in Harford County.
Brian K. Young is president of the Harford County Bar Association.