CENTREVILLE — The new circuit court judge for Queen Anne’s County needs only to cross the street from her current law office at 203 North Liberty Street in Centreville to take the bench at the county’s new Circuit Court building at 200 North Liberty Street.
(Carla) Lynn Knight received the news of her appointment through a phone call from the governor’s office at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20. Although first rendered speechless, Knight later said, “I am both honored and privileged.”
Governor Larry Hogan made the official announcement Friday afternoon. He said in a statement, “The appointment of 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. I have confidence that Ms. Knight will be a strong advocate for the law and will serve the citizens of Queen Anne’s County admirably.”
Knight, a native of Queen Anne’s County, will be the first female judge to serve in the county since its founding in 1706, 313 years ago. When asked if she aspired to be a judge, Knight indicated it was a recent decision.
“When Judge (Thomas) Ross announced his retirement, I considered the opportunity. Several of my colleagues urged me to apply, so I jumped in,” said Knight. “The application was submitted in September, so I definitely had to be committed.”
Judge Thomas Ross noted that Governor Hogan appointed Knight from among three able and qualified candidates.
“His choice was a good one naming Lynn Knight, an experienced trial lawyer who is always prepared and who has the proper temperament and work ethic for the bench,” Ross said. “She will work diligently and conscientiously to administer justice in this county and for the judicial circuit.”
Ross, who announced his retirement earlier this year, said he expects Knight will assume her role as judge between 30 to 60 days after her appointment.
Katherine Hager, Clerk of the Circuit Court, was equally laudatory.
“After a thorough and rigorous vetting process, Queen Anne’s County had a slate of very highly qualified candidates for judge. Governor Hogan has made an excellent choice for our county,” Hager said. “Lynn Knight has extensive legal experience and a long history of community leadership. I welcome her as our next judge.”
Knight completed her undergraduate degree from Washington College in Chestertown in 1988 and her law degree from Widener University School of Law In 1999.
Service to the community has been a focal point of Knight’s for decades. As former county attorney for Queen Anne’s Department of Social Services, she represented the department in matters such as shelter care, CINA (children in need of assistance), TPR (termination of parental rights), and other juvenile matters. She also served as executive director for the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence Inc. in Denton from 1988 to 2000.
In 2002, she opened the Law Office of Lynn Knight after working as an associate attorney with the law firm of Foster, Braden, Thompson, and Palmer, located in Stevensville.
Knight remains active in her community as a Rotary member while also serving on the board for the St. Martin’s Ministries.
Knight noted she looks up to and has learned much from the local judges.
“I look forward to reaping the benefits of all the hard work that Judge Ross did to get into the new courthouse,” Knight said. “I want this to continue to be a great place to live, and I will bring that to the bench.”