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Our Sitting Judges of Prince George’s County

The Honorable Karen Mason, Circuit Court Judge

JUDGE KAREN MASON

Judge Karen H. Mason has devoted her life to helping troubled individuals and families in Prince George’s County. As presiding judge of the drug and mental health court, she works every day with members of our community ravaged by addiction, dependence and mental health issues, helping them on the road to recovery. Judge Mason’s work on the court is changing lives and rebuilding families in our county.

Judge Mason has devoted her life to helping troubled individuals and families in Prince George’s County.

Before becoming a judge, Karen Mason spent five years a family court master. Her job was to make sure every child lived in a safe environment, with adequate support and regular school attendance. Her insistence that every child deserved the court’s protection made a difference for vulnerable children throughout Prince George’s County. Karen Mason also worked an assistant state’s attorney in Prince George’s for eight years, bringing successful prosecutions on behalf of women and children victims of abuse and violence.

Judge Karen Mason knows that the family is the cornerstone of our community. She raised two successful children, putting Nicole through Elizabeth Seton High School and North Carolina State University, and Jonathan through DeMatha High School and Harvard University. Judge Mason attended Dayton University and Catholic University Law School. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and numerous community organizations. She lives in Upper Marlboro.

The Honorable Herman Dawson, Circuit Court Judge

JUDGE HERMAN DAWSON

Judge Herman C. Dawson was born and raised in Selma, Alabama where he participated in the Civil Rights marches as a child. He attended Alabama State University, where he majored in political science. He is married with three children and two grandchildren and is a Member of the First Baptist Church of Highland Park.

Judge Dawson works every day to change young lives for the better.

Judge Dawson graduated from the Howard University School of Law in 1980. He has served as a member of the Prince George’s Bar’s Board of Directors, Vice-President and President of the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association. He has also served as a coach for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kettering-Largo and Glenarden since 1986. He was also on the Board of the Prince George’s County Center for Community Development from 1989 to 1992.

After serving as a Senior Associate County Attorney for Prince George’s from 1984 through 1990, Judge Dawson opened his own law firm here in Prince George’s County. He practiced criminal, civil and family law until he was appointed to the Circuit Court, where he has served for 17 years.

As a judge, Herman Dawson has focused on providing opportunity for youthful offenders to avoid the cycle of crime. He is the Juvenile Coordinating Judge and Juvenile Drug Court Judge, where he takes a strong personal interest in each young person before him, following up with them on their progress in school, their jobs, and their families. Judge Dawson also serves on the Truancy Task Force, making sure kids are in the classroom when they are supposed to be. Judge Dawson works every day to change young lives for the better.

Judge Dawson’s work with our county’s children is well recognized. He has received numerous awards, including the Mentor to Manhood Award, the Unsung Hero Award from Selma, Alabama (Dallas County) Civil Rights Committee, the Living Legend Award from Associated Black Charities, and the meritorious public service award from the Ebony Scholarship Society.

The Honorable Dorothy Engel, Circuit Court Judge

JUDGE DOROTHY ENGEL

Judge Dorothy Engel is a proud 28 year resident of Prince George’s County. Judge Engel’s entire career has been in public service fighting crime in the courtroom and standing up for victims and their families. Judge Engel served in the State’s Attorney’s Office for Prince George’s County for over 15 years and in the last 12 years she has been prosecuting complex homicides, gang crimes, armed carjackings, robberies, and many other violent felonies. As an Assistant State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County, Judge Engel was widely recognized as a leader and expert in the use of DNA and digital forensic evidence in the courtroom. 

Judge Engel’s entire career has been in public service fighting crime in the courtroom and standing up for victims and their families.

While serving as an Assistant State’s Attorney, Judge Engel was honored to serve our Country in the United States Army Reserve after 9/11, along with her husband Mike, who deployed twice to Iraq and received the Bronze Star Medal. Judge Engel was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and was honorably discharged as a Captain in the US Army JAG Corps.  

Judge Engel has resided in Prince George’s County for over 28 years. She grew up in Riverdale, Maryland, attending Parkdale High School, Prince George’s County Community College, and the University of Maryland College Park. Judge Engel received her law degree from Catholic University. Judge Engel and her family live in Hyattsville, where she is an active volunteer in the community, and the proud parent of two young children who attend Prince George’s County Public Schools.