Martin O'Malley

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (Ethan Miller / Getty Images / August 13, 2013)

Gov. Martin O'Malley has appointed the lawyer who defends the General Assembly to a seat on the state's second highest court.

O'Malley on Tuesday appointed Dan Friedman, an assistant attorney general, to the at-large position on Maryland's Court of Special Appeals, a job vacant  since Judge Albert J. Matricciani resigned earlier this year. 

Friedman has been the chief architect behind the Maryland's defense of its new ban on the sale of assault weapons, upheld by a judge earlier this year, as well as several other high-profile cases. In that role, Friedman has also dispensed legal advice to state lawmakers and public officials. 

In his role as assistant attorney general to the state legislature, Friedman has advised state lawmakers on legislation for the past eight years.  Before that, he worked in O'Malley's mayoral administration as an assistant city solicitor, after a private sector career as a litigator.

On Tuesday, Friedman was in court defending the state's decision not to use an online-balloting tool developed to help protect the privacy of blind people during voting. The National Federation of the Blind has filed a lawsuit against the state contending that Maryland is violating the Americans with Disability Act by not using the tool.

O'Malley, a two-term Democrat whose tenure will end in January, also on Tuesday appointed judges to circuit and district courts across the state.

Raymond George Strubin, a longtime public defender in Garrett County, was appointed as a Circuit Court judge there.  

O'Malley appointed Easton lawyer Stephen Hughes Kehoe to the Talbot County Circuit Court. In Washington County, assistant state's attorney Viki Marie Pauler was appointed to circuit court.

O'Malley also appointed lawyer Clayton Anthony Aarons, public defender Brian Charles Denton and deputy state's attorney Ann Louise Wagner-Stewart to the Prince George's County District Court.

ecox@baltsun.com