Governor Moore Appoints the 13 Montgomery County Leaders Who Will Recommend Judicial Appointments Over the Next Four Years

Published: 5/4/2023

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore today announced the 13 following individuals to the Montgomery County Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission:

Andrew V. Jezic (Chair): Andrew V. Jezic is the lead partner and criminal defense attorney with Jezic & Moyse, LLC.  Mr. Jezic is a former Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney and served as a prosecutor in Anne Arundel County. Jezic formerly served on Governor Hogan’s Montgomery County Judicial Nominating Commission. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is the former President of the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association. He is a Chevy Chase resident and is fluent in Spanish. 

Monique Tara Abrishami: Monique Tara Abrishami is a white collar criminal defense partner at Levy, Firestone, Muse, LLP. She also handles congressional investigations and complex civil litigation. She is former Of Counsel at Gilbert, LLP, where she handled complex commercial and products liability cases. She also served as a former criminal trial attorney at the Department of Justice. Ms. Abrishami graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, and served as a law clerk on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is fluent in Spanish. 

Thomas M. DeGonia, II: Thomas M. DeGonia, II, is a partner at Ethridge, Quinn, Kemp, Rowan & Hartinger. He formerly served as a prosecutor in Montgomery County and also served as counsel at the  U.S. Department of State, Office of the Inspector General. He also served as an adjunct professor at the American University, Washington College of Law. He is the current co-chair of the Pre-Release and Reentry Advisory Committee for Montgomery County Corrections. 

Carolyn Demougeot: Carolyn Demougeot is a medical malpractice and personal injury attorney at Armstrong, Donohue, Ceppos, Vaughn & Rhoades, Chrtd. She is a graduate of Vassar College and obtained her J.D. from the Wake Forest University School of Law. Demougeot served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Beverly J. Woodard, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, and is fluent in French, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

Nicole Y. Drew: Nicole Y. Drew is an Employment Law Associate at Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold, PLLC. Ms. Drew is a former Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She was also a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. She is an active member of the J. Franklin Bourne Bar Association and the Montgomery County Bar Association.

Casey Weinberg Florance: Casey Weinberg Florence is a Partner at Collier, Florance, Van Scoy, LLC. She is an accomplished family law attorney and was named “Top Divorce Attorney”, by Washingtonian Magazine for the past three years. She was also named “Best Lawyers in America'' from 2016-2022. Ms. Florance currently serves on the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and was formerly the co-chair of the Family Law Section of the Bar Association for Montgomery County.

Charles William “Bill” Frick: Charles William “Bill” Frick is the founder and principal of The Frick Firm, LLC. The Frick Firm is a government relations and advocacy firm focusing on Maryland state and local governments. He is a former State Delegate (Montgomery County) and a former litigator at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Donna Ellen McBride: Donna Ellen McBride is a Partner at Miller, Miller & Canby. In her practice, she handles business litigation, estates and trusts litigation, and insurance defense. The Maryland State Bar Association named her “Litigator of the Year” this past February, and she has been named a Super Lawyer every year since 2014. Ms. McBride, who also formerly served on Governor Hogan’s Montgomery County Judicial Nominating Commission, currently serves on the Attorney Grievance Commission and has served on the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure since 2014. 

Michelle Parikh: Michelle Parikh is a trial attorney in the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She investigates and prosecutes bribery, wire fraud and campaign finance violations. She was formerly litigation counsel for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, a Deputy Chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney in the DC U.S. Attorney’s Office, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York. She graduated magna cum laude from Cornell Law School. 

Sydney Marie Patterson: Sydney Marie Patterson is a partner at MarcusBonsib, LLC. She has a criminal defense, civil litigation, and appellate advocacy practice. She is also currently an appellate panel member for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. Ms. Patterson is fluent in Spanish and is an active member of the Montgomery County Bar Association and the Hispanic Bar. 

Edwin Cortes Sanchez: Edwin Cortes Sanchez is an in-house attorney for a global company where he  leads internal investigations into potential violations of company policy or laws. He formerly served as a complex commercial litigation attorney at DLA Piper, LLP, and served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York. Mr. Sanchez speaks fluent Spanish.

Nina Schichor: Nina Schichor is a long-time public servant. She has served as an attorney in the Office of Enforcement at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; the Contempt, Compliance and Special Litigation Branch of the National Labor Relations Board; and most recently as a Director at the Department of Education. She also served as a federal law clerk in the District of Maryland and the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Derek G. Turner: Derek G. Turner is Vice President of The Hatcher Group, a full service communications and marketing firm. He is an attorney with a strong background in communications. He is the former Chief Communications Officer for Montgomery County Public Schools and is the former Director of Communications for the NAACP’s Washington, DC Chapter.

“I could not be more excited about this group of appointees,” said Gov. Moore. “There were many talented and qualified individuals who applied for positions on the Commission, and I want to especially  thank the Montgomery County Bar Association for contributing, through its recommendations, to what was a truly excellent candidate pool. I am deeply grateful for the appointees’ commitment and desire to serve. The appointment of highly qualified persons from a diversity of backgrounds to the judiciary is of paramount importance to the people of the State and these outstanding citizens on the Montgomery County Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission will serve to ensure the quality of Maryland’s judiciary.” 

There are thirteen Trial Court Judicial Nominating Commissions (JNCs) established by Executive Order 01.01.2023.04. The JNCs recommend qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds to the Governor to fill judicial vacancies. The JNCs advertise judicial vacancies, seek recommendations for judicial candidates from their own membership, bar associations and members of the general public, set closing dates for the submission of judicial applications, and evaluate applicants based on a variety of factors including their integrity, temperament, legal knowledge, and professional experience.