Three Judicial Appointments Fills Vacancies in Court of Appeals, Anne Arundel, and St. Mary’s Counties

December 10, 2019



Governor Larry Hogan today announced the following judicial appointments:

  • Jonathan Biran for the Court of Appeals
  • Richard Trunnell for Anne Arundel County Circuit Court
  • James Lee Tanavage for St. Mary’s County District Court

“The appointment of these qualified individuals to serve across our state’s justice system is paramount to upholding our responsibilities to the people of Maryland and the rule of law,” said Governor Hogan. “I have every confidence that Mr. Biran, Mr. Trunnell, and Mr. Tanavage will continue to be strong advocates for the law and will serve the citizens of Maryland admirably.”

Jonathan Biran was a federal prosecutor for 17 years and is currently a partner at Baker Donelson, a nationally prominent law firm, practicing both criminal defense and appellate law. He worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division. He also served in the U.S. Attorney’s office for Maryland under Rod Rosenstein, working on fraud and public corruption matters. He served on the Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force and served as Appellate Chief of the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office from 2010-2013, supervising the appellate work of dozens of assistant U.S. Attorneys. He previously served as a law clerk for the Honorable David F. Levi, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Richard Robert Trunnell is a solo practitioner operating under the name Trunnell Law, LLC. His practice areas include criminal, traffic, juvenile, domestic relations, and personal injury law. He also practices estate planning and administration, and has a significant mediation practice, which includes both court ordered and private mediations. Throughout his 31-year legal career, Trunnell has worked primarily as either a solo practitioner or at small firms. He also spent six years as a prosecutor in Prince George’s County. He served as a law clerk to Judge Calvin R. Sanders, Circuit Court for Montgomery County from 1987-1988. He received his B.A. from Gettysburg College and his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.

James Lee Tanavage is a solo practitioner with the Law Office of James L. Tanavage, LLC. He is a general practitioner handling criminal defense, DWI/DUI, domestic cases, family law, personal injury, and wills and estates cases. Prior to creating his own firm in 2011, he was an assistant state’s attorney in St. Mary’s County for 18 years. He also worked as an associate with the firm of Farmer and Braun and served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Robert C. Nalley, Circuit Court for Charles County from 1990-1991. Tanavage holds a B.S. from LaRoche College (now LaRoche University) and obtained his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Jonathan Biran for the Court of Appeals

Jonathan Biran, Court of Appeals

Richard Trunnell, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court

Richard Trunnell, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court

James Lee Tanavage, St. Mary’s County District Court

James Lee Tanavage, St. Mary’s County District Court

6 Responses to Three Judicial Appointments Fills Vacancies in Court of Appeals, Anne Arundel, and St. Mary’s Counties

  1. Anonymous on December 10, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    great pictures. no i don’t mean to say that they’re great pictures i mean to say great — pictures, as in there are pictures included

    check the articles for an explanation about why they were chosen over the others that applied

    what? no explanation? should the judges that have been appointed be elected? i dunno

    • Jeff Spicoli on December 12, 2019 at 8:56 am

      Dude, put the bong down.

  2. Anonymous on December 11, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Judge Tanavage, congratulations. You definitely deserve the position and I know that you will do your best.

  3. Anonymous on December 11, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    when the governor appoints, there is no reason given, so, there really isnt a reason given, then, that the judges appointed …… should be elected. this is a general comment, it is not specific to this occasion. the applicants that werent’ appointed should consider filing for election.

  4. Anonymous on December 11, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    This coment was not made by a judge, it was not made by a states attorney, it was not made by a police officer, it was not made by a criminal defense attorney. it should be included in the oath-0of-office that judges take, … to not give excessive sentences. —————-yeah, an auto mechanic taught me how to do that. (this irrelevant comment is dedicated to lawyers & judges who have no tolerance for irrelevant comments in the courtroom).

  5. Anonymous on December 12, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    It is appropriate to refer to a judge as judge in the courtroom, so everyone knows who youre’ talking to & about, otherwise, out & about, theyre’ lawyers, no need to refer to them as judges.