ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore today announced appointments to the Baltimore City Trial Court Judicial Nominating Commission. Divya Potdar will serve as chair.
“I am very thankful for the appointees’ commitment to serving the people of Baltimore City,” said Gov. Moore.
“The Baltimore City Trial Court Judicial Nominating Commission will greatly benefit from the range of experience and professional expertise that each appointee holds.”
There are sixteen Trial Court Judicial Nominating Commissions established by executive order
. The commissions 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 the judicial applications, and evaluate applicants based on a variety of factors including their integrity, temperament, legal knowledge, and professional experience.
Governor Moore’s appointees to the Baltimore City Trial Court Judicial Nominating Commission include:Divya Potdar, Chair
Divya Potdar is the sole proprietor of Diva Law, LLC, a litigation-focused personal injury law firm. Prior to starting her own practice, she worked in the Baltimore City Law Department and in the Office of the Baltimore City Council President. During law school, she volunteered for the Homeless Persons Representation Project. Prior to law school she worked as a legislative aide for Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clark. She obtained her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Chelsea Jones Crawford
Chelsea Crawford is a partner with Brown, Goldstein and Levy. Her practice focuses on civil rights litigation, wrongful conviction, police misconduct and disability rights. She is a member of the NAACP parents’ council and is active in the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Andre M. Davis, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and as a law clerk to the Honorable Stephanie A. Gallagher, U.S. District for the District of Maryland. She obtained her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, cum laude.Aaron DeGraffenreidt
Aaron DeGraffenreidt has deep experience in advocating for low-income homeowners and senior citizens in Baltimore. He is currently general counsel to the Baltimore City Council, and formerly served as assistant city solicitor to the Baltimore City Department of Law and as a staff attorney at Maryland Legal Aid. Mr. DeGraffenreidt worked as a health educator for the United States Peace Corps and was stationed in Morocco. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law and is a past president of the Monumental Bar Association.Alicia L. Wilson
Alicia Wilson is the managing director and global head of philanthropy for the North America region for JPMorgan Chase and Co. Previously, she was the vice president for economic development at Johns Hopkins University, senior vice president of impact investments and senior legal counsel for Port Covington Impact Investments, and a litigation partner at Gordon Feinblatt LLC. She serves on the University of Maryland Baltimore County president’s Commission for Women and is an adult literacy tutor with the Learning Bank. Ms. Wilson previously served as a law clerk for the Hon. David Young on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. She received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.Diane D’Aiutolo Collins
Diane Collins is the managing partner at Tydings & Rosenberg, LLP. She has been with the firm for the past 40 years. She is a trial attorney with a focus in professional malpractice defense, products liability and commercial and business disputes. Ms. Collins has served as a fellow with the Maryland Bar Foundation since 2006 and is a past president of the Maryland Association of Defense Trial Counsel.. Ms. Collins received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.Mark A. Yost
Mark Yost is the general counsel and chief compliance officer at Proud Moments, an accredited therapeutic care provider to children diagnosed with autism. He was previously on the board of directors for a number of non-profit organizations and has also served on the legislative policy committees of a number of industry trade associations. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law and his master’s degree in public policy from American University. Doug Colbert
Doug Colbert has been a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law for the past 30 years. He has also been a visiting professor at the Calcutta, India Touro Law School where he taught international law to students from the U.S. and India, and served as a visiting professor at Harvard University where he taught trial advocacy. He has published extensively and received his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, with honors.Valda Ricks
Valda Ricks is a staff attorney for the Courtroom Advocacy Project for the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland. She previously served as the deputy of operations on the executive team at the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office where she oversaw 150 attorneys and 150 support staff in various divisions. She currently serves as a board member for Sisters Saving the City. She obtained her J.D. from the University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.
Catherine A. Bledsoe
Catherine Bledsoe is an assistant attorney general with the Maryland Office of the Attorney General. She works in the higher education division where she advises and represents universities in the University System of Maryland in a broad range of trial and appellate matters. Prior to that, she was a member in the litigation department of Gordon Feinblatt, LLC. She serves on the board of directors of the Maryland Legal Services Corporation and is the chair of the pro bono and access to legal services committee for the Bar Association of Baltimore City. She received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude.Benjamin S. Salsbury
Benjamin Salsbury is a managing member at Salsbury Sullivan, LLC. He has a complex litigation practice involving medical negligence, personal injury and commercial and real estate transactions. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. Mr. Salsbury interned for the Hon. Marvin J. Garbis on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, and he received his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.Venroy K. July
Venroy July is a member of Dickinson Wright, PLLC’s corporate practice group. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and loan transactions. Mr. July currently serves on the board of directors of Sinai Hospital, Grace Medical Center and the Green Street Academy. He received his J.D. from the Duke University School of Law.Angela G. Galeano
Angela Galeano is the deputy state’s attorney and chief of staff of the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City. Ms. Galeano previously worked as an assistant state’s attorney, served as the chief of staff and associate counsel for Coppin State University and, early in her legal career, had her own solo practice focusing on estates and probate matters. She received her J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law.Kaliope Parthemos
Kaliope Parthemos is the managing member of Kaliope Law, LLC where she has a general practice focusing on personal injury, medical malpractice, and business disputes. She was the chief of staff for Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, serving as the mayor’s senior advisor. She previously served on the board of directors for the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Downtown Partnership of Maryland. She received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.