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“Nationals October 2019

GUEST COLUMN: In support of Judge Mark Crooks

| May 29, 2018, 06:33 PM
I have been the Clerk of Court for Anne Arundel County for 24 years.   My staff and I interact with our judges on a daily basis.  In all of my years in the Circuit Courthouse, Judge Mark Crooks has exhibited an exceptional judicial temperament, civility and courtesy to all that places him among the top group of Judges with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working.

Judge Crooks treats litigants and counsel on both sides of a case with respect, and equally important from my perspective, he treats all of the Courthouse staff with like respect.  He cares about the Court staff as human beings.  He openly expresses appreciation for the time and work of others, including the attorneys on both sides of a case, while sitting on the bench, and everyone feels uplifted by his approach.  Those who are on both sides in a case before him seem satisfied with their experience and feel they have treated fairly in our court.

In managing the cases before him, Judge Crooks easily draws on his own vast trial experience prior to his appointment.  In my opinion, no other candidate for Judge comes close to having the jury and non-jury trial experience possessed by Judge Crooks.  Yet, with all of his background in the Courtroom, he is very conscious of how intimidating the courtroom can be for newcomers, litigants, jurors, and others.  He greets everyone and strives to make all in the courtroom feel welcome and comfortable with the task before them. He uses appropriate humor when it is needed to put others at ease or to break tensions, but never in a demeaning way.  He combines exceptional intelligence and a quick legal mind with genuine pleasant conduct.  He takes his job seriously, wanting to make the proper decision grounded in solid legal reasoning and application of the law.  The diligence that he puts into his work will, in time, save our taxpayers money, and the courtesy he shows to all will result in a more positive impression of our court system among all citizens.

Most impressively, Judge Crooks possesses a quiet humility for the position he holds, and it shines forth in everything that he does.  His identity and job satisfaction are not wrapped in the robe he wears, but rather in the experience that others have while they are with him in the Courthouse.   The citizens of Anne Arundel County are well served by having a judge of this caliber sitting our Circuit Court, and I urge the voters of Anne Arundel County to keep Judge Crooks in court by voting for him in the primary and general elections.

— Robert P. Duckworth

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