Judge Laura S. Kiessling Named Administrative Judge for Anne Arundel County
and Fifth Judicial Circuit
Circuit Judge Laura S. Kiessling has been named as the new administrative judge for Anne Arundel County and for the Fifth Judicial Circuit (Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Howard counties). Judge Kiessling succeeds Judge Paul A. Hackner, who will retire in April after 18 years on the bench and who had served as administrative judge since last January.
The appointment will be effective April 10. In announcing the appointment today, Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera said, “The Judiciary is entering a dynamic new era of service to the people of Maryland, and Judge Kiessling brings a strong background of leadership and management combined with unfettered enthusiasm and energy for the tasks ahead of us. I am grateful to Judge Hackner for his service, including his admirable management during the launch of the Judiciary’s electronic case management system, MDEC, in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. Anne Arundel was the first county in the State to implement the system. While many might hesitate to take on that challenge, Judge Hackner was and is an enthusiastic supporter and effective leader in the effort to modernize.” As administrative judge, Judge Kiessling will oversee the administration of the court, budget and procurement functions, and trial calendars to ensure the expeditious disposition of cases.
Judge Kiessling was appointed to the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County by then-Governor Martin O’Malley in February 2010. She joined the bench from the Anne Arundel County Office of State’s Attorney, first as assistant state’s attorney from 1991-2006, then as deputy state’s attorney from 2006-2010. She was chief of the hate crimes unit from 2001-2010. “I am honored to be chosen by Chief Judge Barbera and I look forward to the challenge,” Judge Kiessling said. “Judge Hackner has set a wonderful example of leadership, and he will be missed by me, the bench and the courthouse staff. I am grateful for the opportunity to build on his example of serving the public and dispensing justice fairly, respectfully, efficiently, and courteously.”
Judge Kiessling’s assignments within the Circuit Court include juvenile and family cases, drug court, and differentiated case management for family law, a model that is used to improve the efficiency of case processing and reduce judicial intervention at each phase of litigation. She has been a member of the pre-trial detention task force, the criminal law and procedure committee, the domestic law committee and the court technology committee A graduate of Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Judge Kiessling received her J.D. from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in 1989. She was law clerk to Judge Bruce C. Williams, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, from 1989-91.