Judge H. James West named Charles County circuit administrative judge

News Release, Maryland Judiciary

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera has named Judge H. James West county administrative judge of the Circuit Court for Charles County. The designation is effective February 21, 2020.

Judge West will succeed Judge Amy Janel Bragunier as county administrative judge upon her retirement after nearly 18 years in the Circuit Court for Charles County. Judge Bragunier joined the court in November 2002 and was named county administrative judge in 2009.

“Judge Bragunier has served the citizens of Charles County with distinction as a jurist and as an administrative judge,” said Chief Judge Barbera. “We were fortunate to have her as a member of the Judiciary’s leadership. Judge West is a distinguished jurist and is highly qualified for this new assignment. He brings excellent leadership skills and a commitment to justice that will be an invaluable asset to the court.”

County administrative judges oversee the administration of the court, budget, and procurement functions. They also manage trial calendars to ensure the expeditious disposition of cases.

“I am honored to have Chief Judge Barbera’s trust and support in this new chapter of service,” said Judge West. “It has been a privilege to work with Judge Bragunier, and I intend to build upon her wonderful example of thoughtful leadership. I look forward to this opportunity to serve my community and the court in this new capacity.”

Judge West was appointed to the Circuit Court for Charles County in April 2014. After serving as a U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst and a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, Judge West graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2002. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 2004 and in the same year was admitted to the Maryland Bar. Before his judicial appointment, Judge West was in practice with Alpert Schreyer, LLC. He served on the Board of Directors for The Jude House from 2009 to 2013 and was president from 2010 to 2013. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at the College of Southern Maryland.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Judge West since his appointment to the bench in April 2014,” said Judge Bragunier. “Judge West will do an outstanding job as administrative judge of the Circuit Court for Charles County. He is respected by his colleagues, attorneys, court personnel, and by judges across the state. He is the best choice to lead this court going forward, and I thank Chief Judge Barbera for this excellent appointment. It has been an honor and a privilege over the past seventeen years to work with my colleagues on the bench and court staff who provide dedicated service to Charles County.”


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David M. Higgins II

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in Digital Marketing, eventually leading him back to his passion. David started The Southern Maryland Chronicle in December 2017 and has grown it to become the #1 news source in Southern Maryland.

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