The Latest News


The FBA Maryland Chapter continued its fireside chat series by welcoming U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang on April 13, 2023.  Judge Chuang joined the bench in 2014.  Public service is part of his fabric.  His parents immigrated to the United States seeking political freedom, and they strove to give back.  This played a significant role in Judge Chuang serving in all three branches of federal government—roles in the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, as investigative counsel in the House of Representatives, and as a law clerk and now judge.  The judge also gave great practice tips, such as honing written arguments, seeking reconsideration of adverse decisions, and preparing for oral argument.  If you’re tinkering with font size and margins, you’ve written too much.  If a judge offers Monday or Friday as a deadline, choose Friday and enjoy your weekend.  Having grown up in Massachusetts, Judge Chuang is a longtime Boston sports fan (though he noted that the Yankees are mutual rivals of the Orioles).  And he shared how his clerkship experience informed how he approaches being a judge.  That experience also informs how he selects and builds relationships with his own law clerks.  We thank Judge Chuang for the great chat. 



On March 23, 2023, the Maryland Chapter hosted a virtual fireside chat with U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher.  The chat covered a variety of topics.  After graduating from law school, Judge Gallagher clerked, worked at a large law firm, became a federal prosecutor, and opened her own small firm.  She did not always set out to become a lawyer.  But it ended up being the perfect fit.  Plus, her path gave her a solid of mix of criminal and civil experience that she now brings to the bench.  Judge Gallagher discussed her practice preferences.  Written submissions are very critically important for dispositive motions.  For discovery disputes, she encourages litigants to meet in person or speak with each other.  And she stressed ways to streamline proceedings, like flagging objections in advance, outside the presence of the jury, or streamlining the number of filings when briefing dispositive motions.  We also learned more about Judge Gallagher the person: her close relationship with her law clerks, the judges she tries to emulate, and her favorite Orioles players.  We thank Judge Gallagher for her time and the wonderful chat. 



Shirley Brannock Jones: Maryland's First Female District Court Judge

Shirley Brannock Jones was not only Maryland's first female Federal District Court Judge, she was also the first female Federal District Court Judge in the entire Fourth Circuit as well as the first female assistant attorney general and the first female judge on the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. Born to a civilian Coast Guard worker and sailmaker and a homemaker in Cambridge, Maryland, Jones graduated in 1942 from Cambridge High School.  After receiving her associate degree in 1944 from what is now Baltimore City Community College, she received a law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1946. Admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1947, she worked for the state Department of Employment Security until she was appointed assistant city solicitor. She later became a Maryland’s first female assistant attorney general from 1958 to 1959, a judge of the Orphans’ Court, and the first female judge on the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City beginning in 1961. Read more details about her life here.

Rose Zetzer: First Woman Admitted to the Maryland Bar Association After Applying 20 Consecutive Times

It was not until 1946 that Maryland admitted women into its state bar association, making Maryland the last state to admit women to a state bar association. Prior to that time, women lawyers formed their own groups such as the Women’s Lawyers Association (the precursor to the Women’s Bar Association). Rose Zetzer was undaunted by the exclusion, applying for membership to the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) twenty consecutive times until she was finally admitted in 1946. 

Born in 1904 in Baltimore City to Russian immigrants, Zetzer attended city schools and according to a 1970 interview in the Evening Sun, decided to become a lawyer when she was in the eighth grade during a discussion about whether women should have the right to vote. Reas her complete profile here

Etta Haynie Maddox: Maryland's First Woman Licensed to Practice Law & Suffragist

Etta Haynie Maddox was the first woman licensed to practice law in Maryland. Born in 1860 in Baltimore, Maryland, she attended Eastern Female High School and later studied voice at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. While traveling as a vocalist, she became involved in the suffrage movement. In 1900, the Baltimore Law School accepted her into its first class of students where she was the only female in the class. Although she graduated in 1901, she could not take the bar or practice law because the Act of 1898 limited the practice of law to men. See e.g. Section 3 of Chapter 139 of the Act ("All applications for admission to the bar shall be referred by the Court of Appeals to the State Board of Law Examiners, who shall examine the applicant, touching his qualifications for admission to the bar.")(empahsis added). Maddox petitioned the Court of Appeals to permit her to take the bar exam, but the Court denied her request, finding that that the right to practice law was not a natural inherent right. In re Etta H. Maddox, 50 A. 487 (Md. 1901). After Maddox lobbied the state legislature, State Senator Jacob M. Moses introduced Senate Bill No. 30 to amend law to admit women to the bar. On April 8, 1902, Governor John Walter Smith signed it into law. To read Maddox's complete profile, please click here.

A CONVERSATION WITH A TRAILBLAZER: JUDGE ALEXANDER WILLIAMS, JR. (RET.) On February 28, 2023, as part of our chapter's celebration of Black History Month, Nichole' C. Gatewood, the Immediate Past President of the Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, spoke with Judge Williams about his career journey. If you missed this conversation, be sure to check it out below.  To read Judge Williams' profile, click here