(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND – September 28, 2017) –Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera today announced that Cecil County Administrative Judge Keith A. Baynes will serve as the Administrative Judge for the Second Judicial Circuit, which consists of Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties. The designation will be effective October 2, 2017. Judge Baynes succeeds Judge Thomas G. Ross, who is stepping down after serving as Circuit Administrative Judge of the Second Judicial Circuit for more than eight years. Judge Ross will continue to serve as County Administrative Judge of the Circuit Court for Queen Anne’s County.
Circuit Administrative Judges are responsible generally for the administration of the courts within the judicial circuit. County Administrative Judges oversee the administration of the court, budget and procurement functions, as well as trial calendars to ensure the expeditious disposition of cases.
“We are grateful to Judge Ross for his exemplary service both as a Circuit Administrative Judge and County Administrative Judge for Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court,” Chief Judge Barbera said. “Judge Ross is an accomplished jurist and a highly respected leader within the Judiciary and in the community. He played an instrumental role in the Upper Shore’s successful launch of our Maryland electronic courts (MDEC) initiative. Further, for many years, Judge Ross has served as chair of the Judicial Council’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee, which has been invaluable in expanding and enhancing the use of ADR in Maryland courts. His contributions to improving the accessibility and quality of justice in Maryland are substantial and significant. Judge Baynes has demonstrated valuable leadership and management skills in Cecil County, and I am confident that he will work just as diligently in this new role to meet the needs of the people served by the Second Judicial Circuit.”
“I am honored that Chief Judge Barbera has the trust and confidence in me to serve as a Circuit Administrative Judge,” Judge Baynes said. “I want to thank Judge Ross for the excellent example he set in this role, and I look forward to continuing to work with my fellow judges and serve the people in this Circuit.”
Judge Baynes was appointed to the Cecil County Circuit Court on January 21, 2011, and has served as the Cecil County Administrative Judge since January 1, 2014. After earning a Bachelor of Science in political science from St. Vincent College in 1976, he attended the University of Baltimore School of Law and earned his Juris Doctor in 1979. Judge Baynes was admitted to the Maryland Bar the same year. While attending law school, he served as law clerk to Cecil County Circuit Judge H. Kenneth Mackey from 1976 to 1979. Prior to being appointed to the bench, Judge Baynes served as an associate at Eugene F. Herman’s law firm from 1980 to 1982 and worked as a sole practitioner from 1982 to 2011. Additionally, he served as an Assistant Public Defender for Cecil County from 1980 to 1986 and as an Assistant State’s Attorney for the county from 1986 to 2011.
Judge Baynes has served as presiding judge over the Cecil County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court program since August 2011. He is a member of the Judicial Council’s Court Technology Committee and the Judicial Council’s Specialty Courts and Dockets Committee. He also served on the Committee on Problem-Solving Courts from 2012 to 2014. Additionally, Judge Baynes represents the Second Judicial Circuit on the Conference of Circuit Judges.
Judge Ross was appointed to the bench and named County Administrative Judge for Queen Anne’s County on January 9, 2004. He has served as Administrative Judge for the Second Judicial Circuit since April 7, 2009. In addition to serving as chair of the Judicial Council’s ADR committee, he is also a member of the Conference of Circuit Judges.
“It has been an honor to serve the Second Judicial Circuit and the State of Maryland,” Judge Ross said. “I am humbled by the opportunity I have had to work with my colleagues on the bench and hardworking court staff throughout the Upper Shore region. Judge Baynes is an excellent choice to lead this Circuit because of his temperament, intellect, and work ethic.”