Sarbanes named Wicomico’s chief administrative judge

Wicomico Circuit Court Judge Jimmy Sarbanes has been named the county’s administrative, effective Oct. 1

Sarbanes succeeds Judge Kathleen Beckstead, who will return to full-time service as a trial judge and presiding judge of the Wicomico County Adult Drug Court Program.

Beckstead has been administrative judge since Judge Donald C. Davis retired in 2010.

Sarbanes was appointed to the court by then-Gov. Martin O’Malley just 16 months ago, and withstood an election challenge last November.

“Judge Sarbanes has demonstrated the extraordinary leadership and management acumen that is requisite to the administration of a Circuit Court,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. “His prior experience as a fine lawyer and effective manager will benefit the Circuit Court for Wicomico County and the people it serves.”

She added: “In his tenure as a judge, Judge Sarbanes has quickly proved he is an asset to the Maryland Judiciary. I look forward to working with him in this new role.”

As administrative judge, Judge Sarbanes will oversee the administration of the court, its budget and procurement functions, and trial calendars to ensure the effective and expeditious resolution of cases.

Barbera praised Beckstead’s service.

“Judge Beckstead has made invaluable contributions to the people and state of Maryland through her excellent work with the adult drug court, as a member of the Maryland Judicial Council’s Specialty Courts and Dockets Committee and a variety of commissions and committees,” Barbera said.

Sarbanes said he was “honored to be selected for this appointment.”

“I was born and raised in Wicomico County, and I am delighted to continue to serve the residents of the county, and the entire state of Maryland, in this capacity,” Sarbanes said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my career in this public service role, where I can support the Judiciary’s mission to provide fair, efficient and effective justice.”

Sarbanes joined the bench after serving as a partner at the law firm of Laws & Sarbanes. He also served as an associate at Adkins, Potts and Smethurst and is a former member of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Judicial Process.

Judge Sarbanes earned a Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law in 1999 and a Bachelor of Science degree from Salisbury University in 1993. He served as a law clerk to Judge Daniel M. Long, Circuit Court for Somerset County, and Judge Dale R. Cathell of the Court of Appeals.

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