I must disclose that I am a member of the Committee Keep Judges Ishak and Kreis. I am also a former member of the Judicial Nominating Commission having served from 1984 to 2012. The time and the effort to make an application to become a Judge is significant. A written application is required as well as a writing sample in more recent years. Interviews with various specialty bar associations and letters of recommendations are part of the process. The Judicial Nominating Commission is made up of both attorneys and citizens who ultimately interview the candidates before a number of names are sent to the Governor. No one on the Circuit Court now or in the past has had a perfect balance of criminal and civil practice. There are many criminal cases on the docket; however, the vast majority of those cases are not tried.
Plea bargains are made between the prosecutors and the defense attorneys subject to the approval of a Judge . This leaves the civil cases. The current Circuit Court Judges, before going on the bench, had primarily the following background: Judge Eaves (District Court Associate Judge, Maryland Attorney General's Office, Legal Aid, Prosecutor); Judge Curtin (Former Administrative Law Judge; Former Prosecutor); Judge Bowen (Former Prosecutor); Judge Mahoney (Private practice- civil); Judge Ishak (Private practice- civil); Judge Kreis (Maryland Attorney General's Office and private practice - civil). Governor Hogan personally interviewed the last three Judges as well as Diane Adkins Tobin. He also had other attorneys to choose from. He selected Paul Ishak and Lawrence Kreis. At that time he may have based his decision, in part, on trying to give the bench more balance in naming two attorneys with more civil law experience. I believe Paul Ishak and Lawrence Kreis were the right choice and should be elected.
John B. Kane