J. Frederick Motz
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|J. Frederick Motz|
|Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland|
December 17, 2010
|Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland|
July 12, 1985 – December 17, 2010
|Appointed by||Ronald Reagan|
|Preceded by||New seat|
|Succeeded by||James K. Bredar|
|United States Attorney for the District of Maryland|
|Appointed by||Ronald Reagan|
|Preceded by||Russell T. Baker|
|Succeeded by||Breckinridge L. Willcox|
December 30, 1942 |
|Alma mater||Wesleyan University (A.B.)
University of Virginia School of Law (LL.B.)
J. Frederick Motz (born December 30, 1942) is a Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Motz received an A.B. from Wesleyan University in 1964 and an LL.B. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1967. He served as a law clerk to Harrison Lee Winter of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit from 1967 to 1968. He was in private practice in Baltimore, Maryland from 1968 to 1969. He was an assistant U.S. Attorney of the District of Maryland from 1969 to 1971. He was in private practice in Baltimore, Maryland from 1971 to 1981. He was a U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland from 1981 to 1985. His wife, Diana Motz, sits on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
On April 23, 1985, Motz was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a new seat on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland created by 98 Stat. 333. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 11, 1985, and received his commission on July 12, 1985. He served as chief judge from 1994 to 2001.
In July 2006 Judge Motz struck down Maryland's "Wal Mart Law" for violating the federal ERISA act. The Maryland law, Motz wrote, "violates ERISA's fundamental purpose of permitting multi-state employers to maintain nationwide health and welfare plans, providing uniform nationwide benefits and permitting uniform national administration." Republicans, including Gov. Ehrlich who was running for re-election, applauded this ruling on the grounds it would make Maryland a more friendly environment for new business.
In December 2011, Motz presided at the two-month trial in Salt Lake City of an anti-competition lawsuit where Novell claimed $1 billion from Microsoft. The issue was Microsoft's discontinuance of a Windows feature that Novell's WordPerfect software depended on; Microsoft CEO Bill Gates himself was on the witness stand for two days defending his decision. On December 16, Judge Motz decided to declare a mistrial due to a hung jury - a lone 21-year-old security guard was the holdout juror.
Motz has ruled in similar ways for previous Microsoft cases, and has been overturned on appeal.
- J. Frederick Motz at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.