The judges of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland are pleased to announce their appointment of Adam B. Abelson to the position of United States Magistrate Judge. Mr. Abelson will take the oath of office during an informal ceremony on September 18, 2023. A formal ceremony will be held at a later date in the Baltimore Courthouse.
Mr. Abelson was born and raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He graduated from Princeton University, cum laude, and the New York University School of Law, magna cum laude, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. Before law school, Mr. Abelson served in Santiago, Chile as a research fellow for Human Rights Watch and the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales. Mr. Abelson began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Catherine C. Blake, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, and the Honorable Andre M. Davis, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (ret.).
Mr. Abelson joins the Court following a career as a litigator with the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, where he represented clients in complex civil litigation, white collar criminal defense, and government investigations. He maintained an active pro bono practice and is deeply involved in the community and legal profession. He serves as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Working Group on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, for which he worked to develop the ABA’s Ten Guidelines on Court Fines and Fees, and coordinated its development of the ABA’s Principles on Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Policies. He has served on the board of the Job Opportunities Task Force since 2017, including serving as the Vice Chair, and as a board member and officer of the Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
United States Magistrate Judges are appointed by the district judges for a term of eight years and are eligible for reappointment to successive terms. The position filled by Mr. Abelson became open when Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner retired and assumed recall status on August 31, 2023. In anticipation of Judge Gesner’s retirement, a merit selection panel composed of attorneys and other members of the community reviewed all qualified applications before recommending a slate of candidates to the full bench for review. Mr. Abelson was selected from this slate.