Circuit Court Bench Bar Committee
The next Committee meeting will be held on October 5, 2016.
The following issues were raised at the September meeting of the Committee:
Remote Interpreter Pilot Program
The Court Administrator advises that coming soon, the Court will initiate a pilot program whereby court-certified interpreters will provide interpreting services remotely. The pilot program will be limited to lower-level proceedings such as scheduling hearings. The goal of the pilot program is to see whether remote interpreters can provide the same level of service to the client while minimizing costs for contract interpreters who may have to travel substantial distances to staff very brief hearings. Two-channel frequency would permit confidential interpreting of communications between attorney and client.
Additional Spanish Interpreter
The Clerk of the Court advises that a sixth full-time Spanish interpreter has been hired to staff Circuit Court proceedings.
Pursuant to an Administrative Order issued by the Maryland Courts, retired judges who are recalled to sit shall be referred to as “senior judges.”
The Court is proud to announce that the TBA docket is now averaging 65 cases per month. This is down significantly from the 105 case per month average of the TBA docket in 2013.
Monroe Street Entrance Construction
Pedestrian passage around the Monroe Street entrance is expected to be open by early voting for the 2016 general election. The entrance is expected to be open for vehicular traffic by Election Day (November 8).
Renovations of North Tower Room 3121
Room 3121 of the North Tower (formerly Room 307), home to Quality Control, the Administrative Aides, and other courthouse personnel, is going to be renovated in October to remediate structural flooring issues relating to the 2011 earthquake. Staff from this office will be relocated to open offices throughout the courthouse. Renovations are not expected to be lengthy.
Upcoming Renovation of Criminal Department
The Criminal Department is next to be renovated, with renovations to begin during the winter. During the renovations, the Criminal Counter will be temporarily relocated to the counter just past the elevators on the Lobby Level of the North Tower. This temporary counter was used by the Civil Department during its renovation and was formerly the Appeals Counter.
If you have any concerns to bring to the Committee’s attention, please feel free to contact any Committee member or Co-Chairs David C. Merkin at (301) 762-9200 or email@example.com; Jeremy Rachlin at (301) 913-2948 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael A. Taylor at (301) 251-2772, email@example.com.