Hon. Beverly J. Woodard See Rating Details
Associate Circuit Judge
Circuit Court
Prince George's County
7th Circuit
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Attorney Average Rating:   5.3 - 6 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 4 rating(s)
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Only items marked with (*) are averaged into the displayed overall rating.

General Rating Criteria

* Temperament (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Scholarship (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Industriousness (1=Not at all industrious,10=Highly industrious)
* Ability to Handle Complex Litigation (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Punctuality (1=Chronically Late,10=Always on Time)
* General Ability to Handle Pre-Trial Matters (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
* General Ability as a Trial Judge (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
Flexibility In Scheduling (1=Completely Inflexible,10=Very Flexible)

Criminal Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
General Inclination Regarding Bail (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
Involvement in Plea Discussions (1=Not at all Involved, 10=Very Involved)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Pretrial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Trial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Sentencing Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)

Civil Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation (1=Not at all Evenhanded,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
Involvement in Settlement Discussions (1=Not at all Involved,10=Very Involved)
General Inclination (1=Pro-defendant, 10=Pro-plaintiff)

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What others have said about Hon. Beverly J. Woodard



Comment #: MD9215
My child is a runaway in her father’s care yet this crazy lazy judge deemed that neglect and abuse and a Missing Person isnt warranted as an emergency hearing.

She will be sued personally. The
Senators are now involved in this case this lazy judge refused to allow a merits hearing

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD8417
Judge Woodard is scholarly, perceptive and has very good judicial temperment. She very effectively handles complicated civil and family cases. She takes the tiem to review case files, case law and all relevant issues prior to deciding a case. She is a very smart judge and exercises extremely good judgment.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD7234
Her work ethic rivals someone sleeping under a bridge in a tent. She showed up one time for a trial (domestic case)WITH HER HAIR IN ROLLERS. Maryland governors are turning Prince George's into a third world country, one Judicial appointment at a time. Breaks my heart.

Probation or Pretrial Officer

Comment #: MD7167
Judge Woodard is completely unprofessional and appears unstable. She is extremely rude to Court Personnel and others. I actually witnessed her attack an Attorney today whom actually tried to help the court by standing in on a case. I was in shock at Judge Woodard's behavior and prayed the entire time that my experience with her would be pleasant. To be paid to hold such an honorable position, and act like that is an absolute disgrace to Prince George's County and the Justice system. I am baffled as to why she is still a sitting Judge. She should be removed immediately as her conduct is unacceptable.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD7137
I've only had one case before Judge Woodard, so my opinion may be lacking significant exposure, but I found her to be extremely pleasant and fair. It was a criminal bench trial, so she was more involved in the proceedings than you might expect had a jury been present. I found her to be very engaged in what was otherwise a fairly routine case: her questions of both sides were on point, her rulings were correct, and her opinion was well considered. I did notice that Judge Woodard had a tendency to interrupt the attorneys at various points (during argument, not examination) but I never felt that it was inappropriate: seemed more like she was attempting to cut through the BS and get to the point, which I appreciate. Given my experiences with the Prince George's County bench, I would consider her amongst the best.


Comment #: MD5387
Rating:Not Rated
Beverly Woodard [redacted] thinks she is above the law. This judge was chosen to sit on the bench to meet judicial race quota and it is time she is removed due to her incompetency. She epitomizes injustice and is reckless in her carriage. She did not allow my attorney to speak and constantly shout and yell in the court room.


Comment #: MD3030
Rating:Not Rated
A disgrace to Brown Univ., which she attended.

Washington Post weighs in again, Sept 20, 2014

By Editorial Board September 20, 2014

IN PRINCE George’s County, it is now clear that the police, without provocation, can beat an unarmed young student senseless — with impunity. They can blatantly lie about it — with impunity. They can stonewall and cover it up for months — with impunity. They can express no remorse and offer no apology — with impunity.

The agent of this travesty of justice, and this impunity, is Judge Beverly J. Woodard of the Prince George’s County Circuit Court. Judge Woodard has presided in the case involving John J. McKenna, a young University of Maryland student who was savagely beaten by two baton-wielding Prince George’s cops in March 2010, following a men’s basketball game on the College Park campus.

The beating of Mr. McKenna was videotaped; had it not been, the police, who filed no report and then falsely claimed that he instigated the incident and attacked them, may never have been investigated or charged. Yet despite the fact that a jury convicted one of the police officers, James Harrison Jr., of assault nearly two years ago, Judge Woodard has now thrown the verdict out and closed the case.

The judge offered no explanation for her actions, and no wonder. What possible explanation could there be for exonerating Mr. Harrison? Mr. McKenna, now a law student at Catholic University, was simply skipping down the street when he rounded a corner and encountered police on horseback. As he started to back away, clearly meaning no harm, two officers on foot rushed him and beat him senseless with their batons. Mr. Harrison’s blows were particularly vicious.

There were dozens of witnesses, including police. Yet what followed was an official wall of silence, dishonesty and denial from the department. Mr. McKenna’s injuries, the police initially said, were sustained when he was kicked by a horse.

The cops’ story fell apart when the video surfaced, but even then their stonewalling continued. For months, no one would identify the officers in riot gear who were shown beating Mr. McKenna.

It was only due to the persistence of Mr. McKenna’s lawyers that the cover-up and lies were shredded. At trial, in late 2012, a jury convicted Mr. Harrison on a felony charge of assault. Another officer, Reginald Baker, was acquitted, although he, too, used his baton to beat Mr. McKenna as he lay stunned and defenseless on the ground.

Judge Woodard conducted herself unprofessionally at trial. She failed to disclose an apparent conflict of interest — she had been previously married to a Prince George’s officer who himself was convicted for brutality — until asked about it by a journalist. In court, she exhibited what many observers regarded as overt hostility toward Mr. McKenna, the victim.

In Maryland, judges sometimes toss out convictions for first-time offenders in minor cases. This is another matter — a clear case of egregious police brutality. Mr. Harrison, who was allowed to retire from the department with a full pension, may now work again as a police officer if he wishes.

In a separate proceeding, the county was forced to pay $2 million to Mr. McKenna to settle a civil lawsuit arising from the beating. That’s fine. But for Mr. Harrison to walk away scot-free from his conduct, for which he has still not apologized or expressed remorse, is a disservice to the public. The message it sends to the county police — that they will suffer no consequences for blatant and violent misconduct — is dangerous.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD2271
I tried a unpaid overtime case before her ten years ago in district court. Following trial, she sat on the case for nine months, then ruled that my client got nothing (although admitting that she was cheated of overtime compensation), and was then unwilling to rule upon a solid motion for reconsideration -- we had to settle this out of court for less than the client deserved. This judge was living proof that choosing judicial nominees based solely upon racial preference is not in the interest of justice.


Comment #: MD2132
On May 17, 2012, I was scheduled to have my divorce hearing in front of Judge Woodard. This judge does not deserve to sit on the bench in Upper Marlboro. As my divorce proceeding started, Judge Woodard started raising her voice as to where were the documents, and why we did not have them, and that she was not going to have the hearing unless we re-submitted our divorce documents. I was not expecting a judge to act this way when I entered the courtroom. She is a selfish person. This judge does not need to be on the bench.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1950
A generally unpleasant individual. Biased, rude, and not very intelligent.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1736
Rating:Not Rated
She is the worst, she sit,s there laughting at certia case's that she will be hearing. This day she wanted to leave the bench earlie to go shopping.
I raise my hand and asked to speak to her concerning my grandson's case she yelled at me and said you wait until I come back and she told me to leave her court. She is rude, and laugh too much, she need's to be kicked off the bench. I would like to see the F.B.I would like to see the F.B.I. do an investegation, of her some of her case's.


Comment #: MD1687
this judge is very biased,, she needs to be off the beanch.i hade her as a trial judge and she acted more like a clown than a judge,, get her off the beanch off the beanch and back to clown shool


Comment #: MD1679
Rating:Not Rated
What the Washington Post said 28 Dec 2012

This is a travesty of justice. Let’s take a look at who is responsible.
Then there was the unprofessional conduct of the Prince George’s County Circuit Court judge, Beverly J. Woodard, who presided at the officers’ trial. Ms. Woodard was previously married to a Prince George’s police officer who himself was convicted in 1988 for repeatedly shooting an unarmed suspect in the back, as he lay on the ground, with a confiscated BB gun. When she was assigned to handle a trial involving a similar case of alleged police misconduct and assault, she should have at least disclosed that fact, if not recused herself. She did neither.

She withheld the information until asked about it during the trial by a journalist, Brad Bell of WJLA-TV. At that point she summoned counsel for both sides into her chambers and, in an emotional meeting, refused to declare a mistrial, insisting that she could be fair. Her reasoning remains unknown because she did not allow a court reporter into the meeting.

Nonetheless, Judge Woodard’s comportment on the bench left no secret about her leanings, according to several courtroom observers. During the trial, she was overtly sympathetic toward the defense and hostile to the prosecution, signaling her disdain with facial expressions and by turning her back on the prosecutor, Joseph Ruddy, during his closing argument. Those gestures may have been noticed by jurors.
At the same time, Judge Woodard, in her comments at sentencing, went out of her way to vilify Mr. McKenna by dwelling at length on the unruly behavior of some, though not most, Maryland students following the game. She thereby managed to smear an innocent victim by associating him with the unrelated actions of others. Judge Woodard did not respond to phone calls to her office.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1081
J. Woodard has the makings of a great judge. I appeared to her in family law matters when she was just appointed to the bench, and thereafter. I can honestly say that what she does not know, she will quickly find out. In other words, she is the type of judge that will spend her lunch reviewing case law so she can have intelligent questions to answer trial counsel after the trial resumes.

I have pushed the envelop with her on more than a few occassions, and, to her credit, she has always been polite, respectful, and attentive (even when my legal argument was very weak). Although I don't always like her rulings, I can never say that my client did not have a fair chance.