Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin

December, 2004

Clyburn Named New Chief Judge of District Court of Maryland
By Janet Stidman Eveleth

Hon. Ben C. Clyburn

HON. BEN C. CLYBURN
Incoming Chief Judge of the District Court of Maryland

The Honorable Ben C. Clyburn, an associate judge of the District Court of Baltimore City, will assume the role of Chief Judge of the District Court of Maryland on December 29, 2004. Clyburn has served on Maryland’s bench for nine years, most recently as the Judge-in-Charge of the Eastside District Court. He follows Judge James N. Vaughn, who is retiring after three years as the District Court’s Chief Judge. Clyburn is the fourth judge to serve in this leadership role.

“I am honored. This is the most gratifying moment in my life,” declares Clyburn. “It represents the professional culmination of my career, which has been dedicated to public service.” He brings a wealth of legal and public service experience to the district court’s top post, having dealt with a host of societal issues throughout his diverse legal career. As a lawyer and judge, Clyburn has been committed to the delivery of justice.

Clyburn’s entire legal career has been devoted to public service and issues with broad impact on society and the everyday citizen. As soon as he graduated from law school, Clyburn joined the Motor Vehicle Administration, where he traveled across the state handling DWI cases and responding to the societal problem of drunk driving. He was also involved in procurements and considers his efforts to ultimately secure the shock trauma helicopter to be “the peak of his career.”

Clyburn received his criminology and law degrees from the University of Maryland. Upon graduation from law school in 1981, he joined the Office of General Counsel to the Motor Vehicle Administration as an assistant attorney general. In 1983, he became Assistant Attorney General to the Office of General Counsel to the Maryland Department of Transportation and also served as counsel to the Department of Transportation Minority Business Certification Council.

In 1991, Clyburn was appointed Assistant Attorney General to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Office of the Attorney General. In 1993, he was promoted to the position of Chief Counsel to the Department of Transportation. In 1995, then-Governor William Donald Schaefer appointed Clyburn to the District Court.

As the designated Judge-in-Charge of the Eastside District Court, Clyburn has been responsible for that facility’s daily operation. He has assisted in the development of the First-Time Offenders Diversion Program and the Early Resolution program in Baltimore City. Clyburn has served as chairman to the Early Resolution Court Committee and is a member of the Domestic Violence Docket Oversight Committee at the Eastside Facility and the Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General’s Domestic Violence Council.

Clyburn considers today’s district court system to be a very well organized, well-oiled machine that handles a very high volume of cases in a fair and efficient manner. As Chief Judge, he plans to work with Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, Court of Appeals of Maryland, and the Judiciary’s leadership to continue this tradition. “We will continue our efficiency in responding to society’s needs and always look for ways to improve things,” Clyburn notes. He looks forward to working with Maryland’s Bar to make the system work more effectively and is “open to suggestions.”

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Publications : Bar Bulletin: December, 2004

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