Saying a circuit judge's salary isn't high enough to pay for his children's education, Judge Hilary D. Caplan is stepping down from his post on the Baltimore City bench to return to private law practice.
Judge Caplan, 59, will be "of counsel" to the firm of Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Gray beginning in September. He said he would concentrate on medical-malpractice cases and on alternative dispute resolution, an increasingly popular method of settling cases out of court.
Judge Caplan, who has been on the Circuit Court bench for 11 years, said he can't afford to keep the $91,700-a-year judicial post and pay for private school and college for two children. His wife, Gale R. Caplan, makes $84,800 as a judge in Baltimore District Court.
Also, he said, "alternative dispute resolution is really coming in. A lot of big clients are realizing they need to settle to save money."
Judge Caplan wrote a resignation letter to Gov. Parris N. Glendening this week. A judicial nominating commission will nominate his successor, who would have to run for election next year to win a 15-year term.