Chestertown, MD — The Honorable Robert Mack Bell, the first African American to head Maryland's highest court and an active advocate of court reform, will speak at Washington College at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday Feb. 15 in the Casey Academic Forum.
Chief Judge Bell is the only active judge in the state of Maryland to have served at least four years on each judicial level, District Court, Circuit Court, Appellate Circuit, and Court of Appeals. As head of the Court of Appeals, Judge Bell adjudicates cases, manages more than 3,000 employees, and determines the annual budget.
Chief Judge Bell also heads the Maryland Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission, which has just released its final report on implementing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the state. The Commission has received national praise for its groundbreaking work in using ADR to effect social change inside and outside the courtroom.
Born in Rocky Mount, N.C., Chief Judge Bell moved to Baltimore as a child. He attended Dunbar High School in Baltimore and graduated from Morgan State College there. In 1969, he received his law degree from Harvard University. He was admitted to the Maryland bar that year.
Prior to his evening speech, Judge Bell will talk with students at Kent High School then meet with minority, pre-law, and political science majors at Washington College. His talk is free and open to the public.