Three Appointed to Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Positions

Governor’s picks were among 10 finalists submitted by Judicial Nominating Commission



Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday announced appointments for three circuit judge vacancies in Montgomery County.

The three appointees are David Warren Lease, District Judge Margaret Marie Schweitzer and Jill Reid Cummins.

• Lease will fill the seat held by Judge Marielsa A. Bernard, who retired July 3.

Lease is a founding member and shareholder at the Rockville law firm Smith, Lease & Goldstein, according to a press release from Hogan’s office.

• Schweitzer will fill the seat held by Judge John W. Debelius III, who retired Aug. 1.

Schweitzer has been a District Court judge since 2014. Previously, she was chief of the District Court Division at the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, the press release.

• Cummins will succeed Judge Joseph A. Dugan Jr., whose 15-year term expired this year, according to the Maryland Judiciary, which oversees the state’s court system.

Cummins has been staff counsel at Allstate Insurance Company since 1993 and previously worked as a litigation associate at two Montgomery County-based law firms, the press release from Hogan’s office said.

Lease, Schweitzer and Cummins were among 10 finalists recommended by the Judicial Nominating Commission for Montgomery County to succeed Bernard and Debelius.

The other finalists were District Judge John Christian Moffett, Theresa Michelle Chernosky, Gerald William Heller, District Judge Patricia Lynn Mitchell, District Judge James Bernard Sarsfield, Samantha M. Williams and Clark Emanuel Wisor III.

Five others who applied for the circuit judge vacancies did not make the cut as finalists.

According to the Maryland Judiciary’s website, all eight of the finalists to take over for Dugan also were finalists to succeed Bernard and Debelius.

In July, the Nominating Committee also put forward 10 names as finalists to succeed retiring Montgomery County District Court Judges Barry A. Hamilton, Gary G. Everngam and Eugene Wolfe.

Hogan has not announced his picks for those three judicial posts.

A District Court judge is appointed by the governor, with the approval of the Senate, to a 10-year term.

After being appointed by the governor, a Circuit Court judge must stand for election for a 15-year term in the next general election that’s at least one year after the date of the vacancy.

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