Source:  Baltimore Sun Sunspot

                   Woman to join District Court
                    Lawyer with history of public service to become Harford judge

                   Angela Eaves will Be Sworn In

                    Angela Eaves began her legal career in Maryland by defending the

                    As a lawyer for the Legal Aid Bureau in Harford County, Eaves
                    represented tenants facing eviction, women fighting for child support
                    and indigent families denied public assistance.

                    When she is sworn in today as a Harford County District Court
                    judge, Eaves -- known for her sensitivity to people battered by life --
                    will become the county's first African-American judge.

                    "I think she'll listen to people, and I'm excited about her taking the
                    bench," said Dorsey Berndt, chief attorney for the Northeast Office
                    of the Legal Aid Bureau, which represents indigent clients in Harford
                    and Cecil counties.

                    Eaves, 40, of Bel Air is scheduled to be sworn in at 5 p.m. in the
                    Harford County Council chambers in Bel Air. As a District Court
                    judge, she will not have to stand for election, as Circuit Court judges

                    A former assistant attorney general, she will fill a vacancy created in
                    November when Judge Emory A. Plitt Jr. was elevated to the
                    Harford County Circuit Court.

                    "She's going to be a welcome and needed addition," said Judge
                    Victor K. Butanis, chief of Harford County District Court.

                    Butanis noted that Judge Mimi Cooper became Harford County's
                    first female judge when she was appointed to the District Court in
                    October. All five of the county's Circuit Court judges are white

                    Eaves' appointment has been called a positive step toward
                    diversifying the bench in a county in which minorities constitute 15
                    percent of the 214,000 residents.

                    Eaves, who will be one of four judges in the county's District Court,
                    was selected from 23 candidates who applied for the $103,000
                    position last fall.

                    "She's a very impressive person, with very impressive credentials,"
                    said Albert J. A. Young, a member of the Harford County Judicial
                    Nominating Commission. The commission recommended Eaves and
                    four other applicants to Gov. Parris N. Glendening in

                    January after conducting interviews.

                    Eaves said that she is thrilled about the appointment.

                    "I consider it a tremendous honor," she said.

                    Eaves was born in Panama. Her father was a noncommissioned
                    Army officer and, as a youth, she lived in many places, among them
                    Germany, California, New York, New Jersey and Texas.

                    She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas in
                    1981 and her law degree from the university's law school five years
                    later. She worked for two years as an assistant city attorney in Dallas
                    before moving to Harford County in 1989.

                    Eaves worked for the Legal Aid bureau in Bel Air from 1990 to July
                    1993, when she joined the state attorney general's office.

                    As an assistant attorney general, she defended correctional officers
                    and state officials in civil suits, and handled appeals of child-support
                    cases for the state Department of Human Resources.

                    She also has served on the Harford County Human Relations
                    Commission, the county's Charter Review Commission and on the
                    boards of a number of civic organizations, including the YMCA.

                    "She's really an amazing success story," said Alan C. Cason, a
                    partner in a Baltimore law firm.

                    Cason said that Eaves sought his advice about entering Harford
                    County's legal community 10 years ago, when she arrived in Bel Air
                    and he was deputy county attorney in Harford.

                    "We went to lunch, she started asking me questions and we've been
                    friends ever since," Cason said. "She's got one of the sharpest minds
                    that you can imagine."

                   Originally published on Mar 27 2000