Press Release

June 5, 2024
Cardin, Van Hollen Introduce Biden District Court Nominee Adam Abelson to Senate Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today presented Marylander and Magistrate Judge Adam Abelson to the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. After an extensive search throughout the state, Cardin and Van Hollen had recommended Abelson to President Joe Biden for the position.

“Judicial nominees must meet the highest standards of integrity, competence and temperament, which is why I am excited by Judge Abelson’s nomination to the U.S. District Court. He has a lifelong commitment to public service and deep connections to both the non-profit and legal communities in Baltimore,” said Senator Cardin. “I am confident that Judge Abelson will safeguard the rights of all Marylanders, uphold the Constitution and rule of law. Judge Abelson will serve the people of Maryland well if confirmed for this lifetime appointment.  

“Judge Abelson’s diversity of experience, leadership in Maryland’s legal field, and commitment to serving underrepresented communities make him an outstanding nominee for the federal bench. His professional achievements and civic endeavors as well as his dedication to fulfilling the goal of equal justice for all speak to the integrity and skill that he would bring to the U.S. District Court. That’s why Senator Cardin and I recommended Judge Abelson to President Biden, and why we urge the Judiciary Committee to move quickly to approve his nomination,” said Senator Van Hollen.

Video of the hearing can be found here:


Judge Adam B. Abelson has been a United States Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland since 2023. Prior to his judicial service, Judge Abelson worked in private practice at Zuckerman Spaeder LLP from 2012 to 2023, rising from associate to partner. He served as a law clerk for Judge Andre M. Davis on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 2011 to 2012 and Judge Catherine C. Blake on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland from 2010 to 2011. Judge Abelson received his J.D., magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law in 2010 and his B.A., cum laude, from Princeton University in 2005.

Before law school, Abelson served in Santiago, Chile as a research fellow for Human Rights Watch and the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales. 

While a litigator with Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, Abelson represented clients in complex civil litigation, white collar criminal defense, and government investigations. He was named a 2020 Young Lawyer of the Year by The American Lawyer, one of five nationwide. 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.

In September 2023, Judge Abelson was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge and sits in Baltimore.  As a sitting federal Magistrate Judge, Judge Abelson presides over criminal preliminary criminal proceedings, including initial appearances, detention hearings, and arraignments.  He handles federal misdemeanor offenses, and reviews applications for search and arrest warrants, pen registers, and trap and trace devices.  On the civil side, he presides over civil proceedings by consent of the parties, conducts settlement conferences in civil lawsuits, and decides discovery disputes and non-dispositive motions.