DWI HIT PARADE / Fairfax Judge Michael Cantrell beats DUI rap at Solomon’s Island with big city mouthpiece William Brennan

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  • Judge Cantrell will appear before a Maryland District Court Judge on Aug. 16, 2017, in Prince Frederick to explain his arrest for driving while impaired in Maryland.


DWI HIT PARADE / Fairfax Judge Michael Cantrell beats rap for DUI in Calvert County with big city mouthpiece William Brennan

John DiGiovanni’s attorney William C. Brennan being interview by WUSA reporter Gary Reals outside of the Charles County Circuit Courthouse during the trial regarding the arson of the Playhouse Lounge. ST. MARY’S TODAY photo / THE STORY OF THE RAG

UPDATE: Just as predicted in the news graphic above, Judge Cantrell’s decision to bring in a top criminal defense attorney to give a big lesson in legal whoopass worked like a charm and Judge Cantrell was acquitted by a District Court Judge of the DUI charges on Oct. 13, 2017. Cantrell was represented by William C. Brennan.

Brennan has represented other judges in recent years. In the case of Prince Georges County District Court Judge Richard Palumbo who dismissed a protective order sought by Yvette Cade against her husband, Roger B. Hargrave. After the order was dismissed on Oct. 10, 2005, Hargrave went to the T-Mobile store in Clinton and set Cade on fire after dousing her with gasoline.  Cade was hospitalized with third-degree burns. Brennan said that the dismissed charges were reinstated and were the result of a clerical error, however, didn’t specify who’s error it was, that of a court clerk or Judge Palumbo.  Cade appeared in court for another hearing prior to the attack and asked Judge Palumbo for “an immediate divorce”, according to a report in the Washington Post. Palumbo responded that he “…would like to be 6’5″ but that isn’t what we do here, you’d have to go to divorce court for that”. Palumbo was removed from the bench hearing domestic cases and then brought before the Judicial Disabilities Commission by the House of Ruth, following other attempts at humor in cases in court that went over like the proverbial lead balloon with affected women. A month before a hearing on those charges, he retired from the bench.  Known as a fair and competent Judge, Palumbo had to handle dozens of cases each day in the busy District Court. He had been a delegate to the General Assembly as well before his appointment to the bench by then-Gov. Parris Glendenning. After retirement, Judge Palumbo founded a new law firm that now is run by two attorneys with offices in Fort Washington, Waldorf, and Riverdale. Hargrave was sentenced to life in prison for attempted first-degree murder. 


Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Alfred Nance

William C. Brennan represented Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Alfred Nance before the Maryland Judicial Disabilities Commission which on Oct. 18, 2017, ordered that a recommendation for the removal for Judge Nance be forwarded to the Maryland Court of Appeals. Judge Nance was cited by the commission for making numerous remarks, sneers, eye rolls, caustic comments and other dramatic verbal and gestures in open court, directed mainly towards defense attorneys but sometimes towards detectives showing up in “vacation” attire as witnesses and jurors falling asleep. If Judge Nance is tossed from the bench, he ought to be able to land a starring role as TV Judge where he’ll be an instant hit. Apparently, the defense attorney’s are a lot more sensitive these days. 

Montgomery County Judge Cougar leaves the bench while her burglar boyfriend
cools his jets in jail  — MORE


Judge Nalley was given probation in federal court and was represented by William C. Brennan
Calvert County States Attorney Laura L. Martin

SOLOMON’S ISLAND, MD. – A Fairfax County District Court Judge who has not served one year yet on the bench in Virginia was arrested for DUI in Calvert County, Md., on April 28, 2017, at 11:09 pm by Calvert Deputy J. Curtin.

Michael Harry Cantrell, of 3902 Clares Court, in Fairfax, Va., was charged with driving while impaired by alcohol as he operated a 2013 GMC on Maryland Rt. 2 at Langley Lane, in Solomon’s, Maryland. 

Judge Cantrell was released to a sober driver, said Calvert Sheriff Mike Evans in response to THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY. 

Judge Cantrell will appear before a Maryland District Court Judge on Aug. 16, 2017, in Prince Frederick to explain his arrest for driving while impaired in Maryland.

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Solomon’s Island is a popular tourist destination and nightspot on the Patuxent River.

Judge Cantrell has employed the services of high-powered criminal defense attorney William C. Brennan Jr., of Greenbelt to be his mouthpiece on the two counts of driving while impaired.  Brennan is recognized as one of the top lawyers in Washington and has practiced criminal law for forty years. He is a partner at BrennanMcKenna.

From Fairfax County profile of Judge Michael Harry Cantrell:

Michael Cantrell receives official Fairfax County General District Court commission July 21, 2016, at 4 p.m.

Served as a substitute judge for General District Court from 2013 through 2016.

In private practice, he specialized in criminal defense work and representing juvenile offenders.


Pepper Langley on Langley Lane which was named for his family at Solomons. Judge Cantrell was stopped for driving while impaired on the busy main drag in the resort town. This location is just at the Calvert Marine Museum which is attended by thousands of people at events where pedestrians must cross the roadway where the Judge was allegedly driving drunk. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Judge Michael Cantrell Michael H. Cantrell will be presented his official commission as a Fairfax County General District Court judge on Thursday, July 21, 2016, at 4 p.m. at the Fairfax Courthouse, Courtroom 5J, 4110 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax. The public is invited to attend the investiture ceremony and the reception that follows.

At the ceremony, State Sen. Dave Marsden will present him with the official commission and former Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Jonathan C. Thatcher will ceremonially administer the oath of office. Cantrell was elected by the Virginia General Assembly to fill a vacancy on the court.

Cantrell served as a General District Court substitute judge from 2013-2016 and heard cases involving traffic, criminal and domestic relations. In private practice since 1989, he specialized in criminal defense work and represented juvenile offenders throughout the Northern Virginia area. He has been active with community service work in Fairfax County and has received the prestigious Arnold B. Kassabian Memorial Award, The Golden Gavel Award and official recognition for his efforts by the Fairfax County Police, Sheriff’s Department and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

A Fairfax County native, Cantrell graduated from Robert E. Lee High School.

He received his bachelor’s of social work from James Madison University and was subsequently employed by the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for 10 years. He received his law degree from the George Mason University School of Law in 1988. He has been in private practice as a sole practitioner since January 1989.

  • Judge Cantrell will appear before a Maryland District Court Judge on Aug. 16, 2017, in Prince Frederick to explain his arrest for driving while impaired in Maryland.

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