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Kerry-Ann Hamilton
Media Relations Manager


Howard University Alumna becomes First African-American Woman Sworn into Maryland Court of Special Appeals

WASHINGTON (August 30, 2010) – The Honorable Michele D. Hotten (J.D. ‘79) became the first African-American woman to be sworn into the Court of Special Appeals, Tuesday, Aug. 17, by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. Judge Hotten is the first African-American woman to hold a position on any appellate court in the state of Maryland.

“It is an honor and a privilege to swear in the Honorable Michele D. Hotten to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.  “Many judges and lawyers have written to me to describe Judge Hotten as impeccably prepared, uniformly fair, and a devoted legal scholar with a truly legendary work ethic.  I am confident that she will serve well on the Court of Special Appeals and handle its notorious case loads with efficiency, integrity, and fairness.  Those qualities, in addition to her sense of justice, compassion, and wisdom – qualities that made Judge Hotten such a fine Circuit Court judge – will also cause her to excel as an appellate judge.”

Last month, Governor O’Malley announced the appointment of Judge Hotten to the Court of Special Appeals for the Fourth Appellate Circuit (Prince George’s County).  Judge Hotten will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable James P. Salmon.  Judge Hotten brings to the appellate court extensive experience as a trial judge, as well as a diverse legal background in both private practice and government service.  For 15 years, she has been an Associate Judge on the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, where she serves as the Civil Coordinating Judge.  Prior to joining the Circuit Court, she served for one year as an Associate Judge for the District Court for Prince George’s County. 

Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Hotten worked in private practice, representing individuals, companies and local government on a variety of matters, including insurance cases, medical malpractice lawsuits, criminal trials and administrative law issues.  Among other positions in public service, Judge Hotten has served as Special Counsel to the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission.  In addition, Judge Hotten served as a prosecutor for several years in the State’s Attorney’s Office for Prince George’s County.

Judge Hotten is a past president of the Prince George’s County Bar Association, and a past president of the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association.  In 2008, she received the Daily Record’s Leadership in Law award. 

About Howard University School of Law:
Howard University School of Law opened its doors in 1869 during a time of dramatic change in the United States. The School of Law was created to provide legal education for Americans traditionally excluded from the profession; especially African Americans. The objective of the School of Law is to produce superior professionals, capable of achieving positions of leadership in law, business, government, education, and public service. Most importantly, Howard School of Law is dedicated to producing “social engineers.”


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