John grew up in Calvert County, Maryland, the oldest of three boys raised by Maurice and Patricia Erly of Owings. After graduating with honors from Northern High School in 1981, he attended Dickinson College where he was named both a Charles P. Dana Scholar and recipient of the William Lenox Avis Prize in U.S. History before graduating in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1990 he received his Juris Doctor Degree from the George Washington University Law School.
He was admitted to the practice of law in Maryland by the Maryland Court of Appeals in 1990 and to the Federal Bar by the U.S. District Court for Maryland in 1991. After working as an associate for Laurence W. B. Cumberland, Esq., in 1995 they formed the law firm of Cumberland & Erly, LLC, which is among the most prominent law firms in Southern Maryland.
John is a litigator with twenty-seven (27) years of courtroom experience. He has personally handled thousands of criminal and civil cases throughout Southern Maryland in both the District and Circuit Courts.
In 2015 Mr. Erly was again elected by the Calvert County Bar Association to serve as its representative on the Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission for Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties. This Commission is responsible for selecting candidates to fill all judicial vacancies in the District and Circuit Court. The Governor must make his appointment from this list forwarded by the Commission. When he was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to serve a sixth consecutive four (4) year term he became the longest serving member of the what is commonly called the Judicial Nominating Commission.
In addition to his trial court experience, Mr. Erly has handled numerous appeals in both The Court of Special Appeals and The Maryland Court of Appeals. Several of these cases resulted in reported decisions, and therefore made law. His reported decisions are: Kobrine, L.L.C. v. Metzger, 380 Md. 620, 846 A.2d 403 (2004); Kobrine, L.L.C. v. Metzger, 151 Md. App. 260, 824 A.2d 1031 (2003); In re William George T., 89 Md. App. 762, 599 A.2d 886 (1992); and, Sterling Mirror of Maryland v. Rahbar, et ux., 90 Md. App. 193, 600 A.2d 899 (1992).
On several occasions John was appointed Special Prosecutor in both St. Mary’s County and Calvert County to represent the State of Maryland is criminal prosecutions.
John resides in Calvert County with his wife Katie and their blended family of five (5) children, ranging in age from 9 to 24 years old. Known to his family and friends as 'Jay', when he isn’t working or parenting, you can find Jay feeding his life-long obsession with all things soccer (playing, coaching, cheering for his kids, and supporting D.C. United).
John is a member of the Calvert County, Maryland State and American Bar Associations. He served as President of the Calvert County Bar Association in 1995.
- George Washington University National Law Center, Juris Doctor, 1990
- Dickinson College, Bachelor of Arts, 1985
- Honors: Charles P. Dana Scholar
- Honors: William Lenox Avis Prize in U.S. History
- Maryland, 1990
- United States District Court, District of Maryland, 1991
Professional Associations & Memberships
- Calvert County Bar Association, Member and Past President, 1995-1996
- Maryland State Bar Association, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission, Member