Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Marielsa A. Bernard
MSA SC 3520-12448


Born in Washington, DC. Attended Thomas S. Wootton High School, Rockville, Maryland; Loyola College, B.A. (political science), 1977; Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, J.D., 1980. Admitted to Maryland Bar, 1981; District of Columbia Bar, 1981. Married; two children.

First Hispanic American to serve on the Montgomery County bench (1998). Associate Judge, Montgomery County Circuit Court, 6th Judicial Circuit, March 1, 2002 to July 3, 2017. Retired July 3, 2017. Member, Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Judicial Process, 2002-04. Member, Juvenile Drug Court Initiative Committee, Montgomery County Circuit Court, 2003-; Steering Committee, Bi-County Task Force on Gang Activity, 2004 (co-chair, suppression subcommittee); Truancy Court Work Group, 2007-08. Chair, Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Montgomery County, 2009 (member, 2009-14). Member, Public Defender Regional Advisory Board no. 4 (Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery & Washington counties), 2009-. Associate Judge, District Court of Maryland, District 6, Montgomery County, October 16, 1998 to March 1, 2002. Member, Criminal Law and Procedure Committee, 1999-2001, and Public Awareness Committee, 2001-04, Maryland Judicial Conference. Member, Business and Technology Division Task Force, 2000; Public Trust and Confidence Implementation Committee, 2000-. Member, East County Advisory Board, Montgomery County, 1994-96; Hispanic and Latino Advisory Group to County Executive, Montgomery County, 1994-98; Community Partnership Board, Montgomery County, 1995-98.

Associate, Ferretti, Ehrlich & Gordon, 1981-84 (law clerk, 1978-81); Tietz & Ferretti, 1984-86; Vincent E. Ferretti, Jr., 1986-87. Sole practitioner, 1987-97. Partner, Keiffer, Johnston, Reinstein, Bernard & Heffron, L.L.C., 1997-98. Member, Maryland State Bar Association (chair, hispanic-latino lawyers committee, 1995-98; co-chair, leadership academy, 2002-); Montgomery County Bar Association (co-chair, outreach section; chair, nomination & elections committee; chair, executive committee, 2000-01; co-chair, special committee on leadership academy, 2002-); Maryland Hispanic Bar Association (president, 1994-95; board member, 1993-2004; co-chair, membership committee; co-chair, outreach committee); Women's Bar Association of Montgomery County (chair, take-your-daughter-to-work-day program, 1997-2000). Member, Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association; National Association of Women Judges. Fellow, Maryland Bar Foundation, 1998; Montgomery Bar Foundation, 1999. Board member, Hispanic Alliance, 1995-98. Board of Directors, Maryland Chapter, National Association of Women Judges, 2000-02. Founder, The Story Book Project (program for incarcerated mothers), National Association of Women Judges, 2001-. Board of Directors, Catholic Community Services, Archdiocese of Washington, 2004-. Executive Citation for outstanding community service, Office of County Executive, Montgomery County, 1982, 1998. Citation, Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs, 1994. Award for public service to the community, Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association, 1995. Award for outstanding contributions to Montgomery County, Montgomery County Public Schools, 1997. Award for dedicated leadership, Hispanic Alliance, 1998. Maryland Leadership in Law Award, Daily Record, 2003. Maryland's Top 100 Women, Daily Record, 2003, 2005, 2007 (Circle of Excellence). Women of Achievement, Montgomery County Business and Professional Women, and Montgomery County Commission for Women, 2006. Inspiring Leader Award, Family Justice Center, 2011. Leadership Award, Maryland Hispanic Bar Association, 2011. Jurist Award, Montgomery County Bar Association, 2012.

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