Commissioners Honor Retiring Circuit Court Judge

Commissioners Honor Retiring Circuit Court Judge
Pictured, from left, are County Commissioners Chip Bertino and Jim Bunting, retiring Circuit Court Judge Richard R. Bloxom, and County Commissioners Joe Mitrecic, Bud Church, Ted Elder, Diana Purnell and Merrill Lockfaw. Submitted Photo

BERLIN– Local officials recognized Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Richard R. Bloxom for his contributions to public safety this month as he nears the conclusion of a lengthy law career.

The Worcester County Commissioners presented a commendation to Bloxom last week as they wished him a happy retirement.

“It is my honor to present this commendation to you,” Commissioner Bud Church said.

Bloxom thanked the commissioners for their own efforts in representing Worcester County’s citizens.  He said that throughout his lifetime, he’d watched the county’s elected officials operate in the best interests of the people, without the partisanship that was present in so many jurisdictions.

“I’m grateful to each of you for carrying on that tradition,” he said.

In an interview this week, Bloxom reflected upon the time he’s spent at the courthouse.

“It’s been a great opportunity—everything I wished it would be as a career,” he said.

While Bloxom’s 70th birthday officially marked his retirement, he will remain on the bench until Gov. Larry Hogan chooses his replacement. Ten individuals have applied for the judicial seats currently held by Bloxom and Judge Thomas C. Groton, whose retirement was celebrated last month. Even after their replacements are named, both Groton and Bloxom plan to continue to serve as needed as senior judges.

“I intend to do a bit of that,” Bloxom said, adding that he was looking forward to retirement nonetheless. “It would be nice to have a little more free time to maybe travel a bit.”

Bloxom, who grew up in Pocomoke, served in the U.S. Navy from 1969-1979. It was during that time he started his law career, eventually spending time as a special court martial military judge.

“That kind of whetted my appetite for a judicial career,” he said.

From there he went on to practice law in his hometown and in 1983 took a position as an assistant public defender in Worcester County. He also served as attorney for the Worcester County Board of Education from 1981 until 1990, when he was selected to be an associate judge for the District Court of Maryland for Worcester County. He moved to Circuit Court in 2005 and served as the county’s first family court judge.

“It was very interesting work,” Bloxom said. “I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

For the past seven years, however, he’s handled primarily civil and criminal cases. Bloxom said he’d appreciated the intellectual challenge the variety of cases provided.

“You’re required to be a student of the law,” he said. “You are confronted often with legal questions and issues you’ve not had occasion to experience.”

The other aspect of the career he said he’d enjoyed was working with local lawyers.

“We have an excellent bar,” he said. “Lawyers are respectful of one another and the court. There’s a sense of collegiality between the members of the bar and bench.”

Bloxom, who also praised the efficiency of the court’s support personnel, said there was a mutual respect between the lawyers and judges that enabled them to perform their legal duties.

“What lawyers and judges do is important,” Bloxom said. “We resolve disputes among our fellow citizens in a way in which everyone has an opportunity to be heard and have their cases decided fairly.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.