UPPER MARLBORO – An 8-year-old magazine article describes young attorney and Prince George’s County resident Tiffany Hanna Anderson as an aspiring judge. Today, Anderson has surpassed her aspirations after District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey appointed Anderson as the new administrative judge for District 5. Anderson is the first woman and first African-American […]
UPPER MARLBORO – An 8-year-old magazine article describes young attorney and Prince George’s County resident Tiffany Hanna Anderson as an aspiring judge.
Today, Anderson has surpassed her aspirations after District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey appointed Anderson as the new administrative judge for District 5.
Anderson is the first woman and first African-American woman to hold this position.
Anderson has served on the bench of the Prince George’s County District Court since 2008.
As administrative judge, Anderson will manage the court and ensure the prompt disposition of cases. Anderson said she sees the role as a personal responsibility to make the judicial process a smooth one for all people who visit the court.
“For a lot of people, this is the first place they encounter the judicial system,” Anderson said. “What I want to do as administrative judge is to make sure that everyone who comes into this court house has a good experience.”
Now 43, Anderson got her first introduction to the legal field while still a student at the University of California, San Diego, through an internship with former California Lt. Gov. Mervyn Dymally. Dymally invited her to take a full time job and Anderson moved from her home state of California to work on Capitol Hill.
Anderson said she fell in love with the job and decided to become a litigator, receiving her law degree from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in 1997. Anderson obtained a position as an associate with the law firm of Gabriel J. Christian and Associates.
Christian and others later encouraged Anderson to apply with the State’s Attorney’s Office where she went on to work for over four years, prosecuting everything from misdemeanor cases to homicide. Anderson worked her way up to partner at the law firm of Funk & Bolton before Governor Martin O’Malley appointed her to the District Court of Maryland in 2008.
“From day one she was a go-getter, and very involved and committed,” said Marva Jo Camp, chairperson of Leadership Prince George’s, who encouraged Anderson to move to Prince George’s County a decade ago.
Camp, who met Anderson while also working for Dymally, said what makes Anderson a remarkable judge is her deep interest in creating an effective system
“She looks at it holistically, beyond just the law, but what impact she can have through her decision making,” Camp said.
Anderson said she will operate the position with fairness and efficiency and wants to make sure everyone is treated fairly with the highest of competence. Although one side will have to lose a case, Anderson said she wants to come out knowing they had a fair trial.
Anderson takes over a Prince George’s County court which leads the state in the number of domestic violence cases filed. The Prince George’s District Court handled 9,250 protective orders and peace orders in 2012. The district court also handles civil, landlord/tenant, criminal and jailable and non-jailable traffic cases, in addition to conducting preliminary hearings and bond reviews. In total the district court handles more than 500,000 cases.
At home, Anderson is a wife, mother of three and someone who invests time in helping other people. Anderson has been involved with groups such as Leadership Prince George’s and Leadership Greater Washington. Anderson said she mentored two students from Largo High School through the Adopt-A-High School program who now serve as a law clerk in the circuit court and an attorney at the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
Anderson said she is able to maintain a positive mind while she balances work and family. She also praises the staff and group of judges, saying they are among the hardest working bench and staff in the state
“I wanted to be able to make a difference and I hope that I have,” Anderson said. “I hope that I’ve had a positive impact on people’s lives and I hope that when people come into my courtroom they feel that they’ve been treated fairly and that’s what my goal is.”