Ten lawyers, including the county's state's attorney and a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, have applied for the vacancy on the Harford County Circuit Court.
In addition, 20 lawyers have applied for the vacancy on the county's District Court bench, with six applying for both.
The 10 applicants to replace recently retired Circuit Judge Emory A. Plitt Jr. are:
• Joseph Ignatius Cassilly, Harford County State's Attorney since 1983;
• Michael Gerard Comeau, a senior assistant attorney in the Harford County Law Department and a former state delegate;
• Yolanda Lauranzon Curtin, a state administrative law judge and former Harford prosecutor;
• Michael Hugh Andrew Daney, associate zoning hearing examiner for Harford County;
• Howard Wayne Norman Jr., a member of the House of Delegates representing Northern Harford;
• Steven J. Scheinin, a lawyer in private practice and previous judge applicant and candidate;
• District Court Judge Victor Kuras Butanis, a district judge since 1996;
• Melissa Lazarich Lambert, chief legal counsel to the Harford County Council and a former assistant state's attorney;
• Kerwin Anthony Miller Sr., a deputy state's attorney for Cecil County;
• Diane Adkins Tobin, a deputy state's attorney for Harford County.
Butanis, Lambert, Miller and Tobin were finalists for the last Circuit Court judge vacancy in late 2011 that went to Judge M. Elizabeth Bowen. Because Plitt's retirement occurred within 24 months of their earlier consideration, the four were automatically put back into the pool for the latest vacancy.
Plitt reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in February. Harford has five Circuit Court judges.
Circuit Court judges serve 15 year terms and are required to stand for election to a full term following their appointment by the governor. A circuit judge can be challenged in an election by any member of the Maryland bar residing in Harford County.
Cassilly and Daney applied for the previous Circuit Court judicial vacancy but were not among the finalists chosen by Harford County's Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission. Scheinin has run unsuccessfully in several previous judicial elections, including in 2012 when he finished well behind Bowen and another candidate in both Democratic and Republican primaries, thus ensuring Bowen's election to a full 15-year term.
The 13-member nominating commission screens candidates and selects up to five finalists for circuit and district judgeships. The final selection is then made by the governor.
The District Court judgeship became vacant earlier this month with the retirement of Judge John Dunnigan. Harford has four District Court judges.
Those who have applied for both judgeships are Daney, Lambert, Miller, Norman, Scheinin and Tobin.
The other District Court judge applicants are:
• Kevin David Barth, a lawyer in private practice in Baltimore;
• David Earl Carey, a Bel Air town commissioner and lawyer in private practice in Bel Air;
• Kelly Anne Casper, district public defender for Harford County;
• Tracey Johns Delp, an assistant state's attorney in Harford County;
• Craig Harry DeRan, a lawyer in private practice in Bel Air;
• Derek James Howell, a lawyer in private practice and chairman of the Harford County Republican Central Committee;
• Charles Edward Kearney Jr., a lawyer in private practice in Bel Air and former legal counsel to the county council;
• Kevin Joseph Mahoney, lawyer in private practice in Bel Air;
• Robert Scott McCord, chief legal council to Harford County government and head of the county Law Department;
• Patrick Joseph Motsay; chief of the Charging Division in the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office;
• Carl Ridgeley Schlaich, a lawyer in private practice in Bel Air;
• Steven Lee Trostle, an assistant state's attorney for Cecil County;
• Taras Andrew Vizzi, a lawyer in private practice in Baltimore;
• Paul Michael Weiss, a lawyer in private practice in Bel Air.
District Court judges serve 10-year terms are not required to stand for election. This post also is open to any member of the Maryland Bar residing in Harford.
According to the mdcourts.gov website, the next meeting of Harford's Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission is scheduled for April 18.
The Harford nominating commission, which has at least two vacancies, is chaired by Laura V. Bearsch. By law, nine commission members are appointed by the governor and four are selected by the county's bar association.