BERLIN – Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley this week appointed local attorney Brian Shockley to fill the vacancy on the Worcester County Circuit Court bench created by the retirement of long-time Judge Theodore Eschenberg last summer.
O’Malley chose Shockley from a shortened field of five candidates, which also included sitting Worcester County Master Mary Margaret “Peggy” Kent along with prominent local attorneys Regan J.R. Smith and Kathryn Westbrook.
“I’m very pleased with the outcome,” Shockley said. “I’m honored to be appointed and I’m excited for the opportunity.”
The Worcester County Circuit Court seat became vacant when Eschenberg stepped down in late June, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. Eschenberg’s long-time colleague on the bench in Worcester County, Judge Thomas C. Groton, ascended to the position of Administrative Judge and Chief Judge of the Circuit, and Judge Richard Bloxom moved into the void created by Groton’s ascendancy.
As a result, the vacant seat to which Shockley was appointed this week is the Family Law judge for Worcester County, a position most recently filled by Bloxom. Shockley has long been an attorney with the Ocean City-based firm of Williams, Moore, Shockley and Harrison, having made partner in 2000. While the focus of his practice has been on civil and criminal law, probate, real estate, corporate law and administrative and zoning law, Shockley said yesterday he is fully prepared to tackle the Family Law cases that come before him.
“I intend to work hard at it and I’ll be prepared for any case that comes before me,” he said.
Shockley earned his undergraduate degree from Davidson University before graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1992. In addition to his private sector career, Shockley also served for three year as an assistant state’s attorney for Worcester County from 1995 to 1998. He also serves on the Boards of Directors for Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Worcester County GOLD and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.
In a press release announcing his decision, O’Malley took the time to acknowledge Eschenberg’s nearly three years of service on the bench.
“Mr. Shockley will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Eschenberg and I thank Judge Eschenberg for his many years of exemplary service to the Circuit Court for Worcester County as Administrative Judge and Chief Judge.”