Baltimore County Sitting Judges


The Maryland Judicial Appointment Process:

Why Are These Judges Running?

People often wonder why these judges are running for an election. The Maryland Constitution requires Circuit Court Judges to stand for election after being appointed. The Governor of Maryland undertakes a comprehensive vetting process to appoint a judge when a vacancy occurs on the Circuit Court. Pursuant to a Gubernatorial Executive Order, the Baltimore County Judicial Nominating Commission vets and nominates lawyers to fill vacancies on the Circuit Court. Lawyers who are nominated by the commission meet exceptional standards of legal aptitude and must be the “most distinguished for integrity, wisdom and sound legal knowledge” as dictated by the Maryland Constitution.

The Maryland Constitution requires that Circuit Court Judges, once appointed or reappointed, must run in the next election to be retained.

Judges are Prohibited under the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct from taking a position on matters that are likely to come before them as a judge (MD Rule 18-102.10). Click here for the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct, found in the Maryland Rules.

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Michael Barranco

Judge Barranco has a proven track record on the bench. Since his appointment in 2022, Judge Barranco has presided over countless jury and judge trials as well handles all of the types of matters which come before the Court. He regularly handles criminal and civil dockets, decides motions of all types, as well as presides over family law and domestic violence protective order cases, appeals from the District Court and administrative agencies and a large variety of other kinds of matters.

Please click here to read the judge’s full biography


Patricia DeMaio

Patricia DeMaio graduated from Morgan State University in May 1996 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Telecommunications. She subsequently attended Temple University School of Law and received her Juris Doctorate in May 1999. Following law school, Patricia served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Renee Cardwell Hughes in the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. Patricia went on to become an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. Patricia began her tenure as an Assistant District Attorney in the Municipal Court Unit and after handling misdemeanor, juvenile, narcotics and other general felony matters, Patricia joined the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit.

Please click here to read the judge’s full biography


Marc A. DeSimone, Jr.

Judge DeSimone is an associate judge of the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, appointed by Governor Wes Moore in 2023.

A 2004 graduate of Maryland Carey Law, Judge DeSimone also holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Maryland.

Prior to his judicial service, Judge DeSimone served as an assistant public defender in the Appellate Division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, delivering over 60 arguments before the appellate courts of Maryland, including 14 before the Supreme Court of Maryland.

Please click here to read the judge’s full biography


James Rhodes

Before being appointed to the bench, Judge Rhodes practiced law for 26 years. He served as the legal chair to the NAACP, while also providing pro bono work to local law enforcement, and government attorneys. Judge Rhodes began his career at house counsel for Liberty Mutual Insurance company and eventually running his solo firm for 24 years thereafter. He was a trial lawyer, handled cases in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, State Courts, and Federal Courts. As an attorney, Judge Rhodes consistently tried cases in several areas of the law, including criminal defense matters, civil litigation, family law, as well as estates and trusts. Judge Rhodes has also handled appellate matters and he has argued issues that have been published at both the Maryland Appellate Court and the Supreme Court of Maryland. Judge Rhodes would eventually be inducted into the Monumental Bar Association’s Hall of Fame. Outside of the law, he volunteers his time, monthly, serving the homeless community and supporting social services’ food pantries. This service has continued over the past 13 years. Judge Rhodes is a graduate of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, The University of Vermont, and The Western New England University School of Law. He was selected by Governor Hogan’s Judicial nominating committee to be qualified as a Judge and the appointed by Governor Moore to the Baltimore County Circuit Court bench.

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