The Honorable Joan Elizabeth Ryon was appointed to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland in July 2013 by Governor Martin O’Malley. Prior to her appointment, she served for 12 years as a Family Division Master in the Circuit Court and for 6 years as a Special Master for Child Support Enforcement. During these 18 years as a judicial officer, Judge Ryon presided over hundreds of hearings involving families in financial and emotional crisis and children whose best interests were in need of judicial protection and oversight. In 2010, she served as one of the first volunteer judges with the Montgomery County Truancy Court Program, a position she held for 2 years.
In the early years of her career, Judge Ryon was an associate in several small general practice firms in the county, was a contractual attorney to the Office of the Public Defender and was employed as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Child Support Enforcement. She was admitted to the Court of Appeals of Maryland in 1983 and to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland in 1984. A member of the Bar Association of Montgomery County since 1984, she served on the Executive Committee from 2005 to 2007 and from 2011 to 2013. She is a Past President of the Montgomery Inn of Court, a member of the Montgomery County Bar Foundation Bar Leaders and a member of the Maryland State Bar Association.
Judge Ryon is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County and a 1976 graduate of Sherwood High School. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Frostburg State College in 1980 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law of the College of William and Mary in 1983. After completing her legal education, Judge Ryon returned home to Montgomery County where she continues to reside with her husband of 23 years and her two children.
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