J. Frederick Motz

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J. Frederick Motz
J. Frederick Motz District Judge.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
Assumed office
December 17, 2010
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
In office
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
In office
1981–1985
Appointed by Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Russell T. Baker
Succeeded by Breckinridge L. Willcox
Personal details
Born (1942-12-30) December 30, 1942 (age 74)
Baltimore, Maryland
Spouse(s) Diana Gribbon Motz
Alma mater Wesleyan University (A.B.)
University of Virginia School of Law (LL.B.)

J. Frederick Motz (born December 30, 1942)[1] is a Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. He has served as judge on that court since 1985. His previous experience included a range of positions as an Assistant US Attorney and US Attorney, and more than a decade in private practice.

Biography[edit]

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.[2] 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."[2] 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; the company argued a theory of cross-market injury. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates testified on the witness stand for two days in defending his decision during the two-month trial. The complex case had been under litigation for seven years. On December 16, Judge Motz declared a mistrial due to a hung jury; after three days it had not reached the unanimous decision required. Corby Alvey, a 21-year-old security guard, held out for the defense position. Discussion with jurors afterward showed that the eleven who sided with Novell were divided in some of their thinking.[3]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Motz Biography Maryland Manual Online
  2. ^ a b " 'Wal-Mart Law' in Md. Rejected By Court", Washington Post, 20 July 2006. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  3. ^ Paula W. Render and Thomas D. York, "The Mistrial: Novell v. Microsoft and Cross-Market Theories of Causation", The Anti-Trust Source, June 2012; accessed 22 April 2017
Legal offices
Preceded by
new seat
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
1985–2010
Succeeded by
James K. Bredar