The Latest News

Record Attendance at FBA Maryland Chapter Annual Luncheon with Bench and the Bar

On Friday, April 12, 2024 the Maryland Chapter welcomed approximately 300 members of the Bar and Bench of the District of Maryland to the Chapter’s Annual Luncheon at the Baltimore Hyatt Hotel. During the pre-lunch reception, members mingled with colleagues and met new connections.  As for the Luncheon, Mark S. Saudek warmly welcomed members and introduced all presenters and honorees.  FBA Maryland Chapter President Ezra Gollogly provided opening and closing remarks.  Honorees included the Honorable Adam B. Abelson, the Honorable Erin Aslan, the Honorable Charles D. Austin, the Honorable Brendan A. Hurson, and the Honorable Matthew J. Maddox.  The Chapter also recognized the Honorable J. Frederick Motz.  On behalf of the Chapter, Stuart Berman presented the Peter A. DiRito Award to the Honorable Deborah K. Chasanow, the Honorable Roger Titus, the Honorable Peter J. Messitte, and the Honorable Alexander Williams for their service to the District on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Greenbelt Courthouse.  Established in 1987, the Peter A. DiRito Award recognizes public service that furthers the FBA’s goals of enhancing the federal legal profession, advancement of justice, and the betterment of society.

The Chapter thanks the presenters and honorees for their participation, as well as the FBA Maryland Chapter Luncheon Committee of Mark S. Saudek, Maria Salacuse, and Samantha Miller. For more photos of the event, click here.

Fireside Chat Held with Chief Judge James K. Bredar on April 25, 2024

On April 25, 2024, the Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association continued its fireside chat series with a conversation with Chief Judge James K. Bredar, whose tenure as chief judge will conclude at the end of May.  Chief Judge Bredar described his early professional experience in the National Park Service and his unique profile as an attorney who worked both as a prosecutor and as a public defender before being appointed first as a United States Magistrate Judge (1998) and later as a United States District Judge (2010).

Chief Judge Bredar shared valuable insights with the guests who attended the chat, including about the need for lawyers to form and nurture professional mentorships early in their careers; the role of law clerks in chambers; and the important work of the Judicial Conference of the United States.  Chief Judge Bredar concluded with some thoughts about the rule of law as a bulwark against anti-democratic pressures in contemporary society.

We are truly grateful for Chief Judge Bredar’s willingness to spend an hour with us and to share his views and experience after a long and rich career in public service.

Fireside Chat Held with Magistrate Judge Erin Aslan on March 27, 2024

On March 27, 2024, the Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association hosted Magistrate Judge Erin Aslan for its Fireside Chat series. Judge Aslan joined the court in December 2023 after working most recently in the Office of the Inspector General. She reflected on her path to the bench, including her experiences studying abroad in Latin America, her law school clinic work representing victims of domestic violence, and her clerkship in the Southern District of New York. Judge Aslan also spoke about how her work investigating allegations of police misconduct with the Civilian Complaint Review Board in New York City inspired her to go to law school and enhanced her commitment to public service. She provided insightful advice to both new attorneys and established practitioners regarding mentorship, career development, and being a working parent. She also shared some practical guidance for litigators. We are grateful to Judge Aslan for the enlightening chat with the Chapter.

Finding Justice: History of Women Lawyers in Maryland

In celebration of Women's History Month, on March 12, 2024, the Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the Women's Law Center cosponsored an engaging webinar with the Honorable Lynne A. Battaglia who discussed her seminal work: "Finding Justice: A History of Women Lawyers in Maryland since 1642." Judge Battaglia traced the history of women lawyers in Maryland, beginning with those women during the colonial period who appeared as attorney-in-fact, such as Margaret Brent.  Judge Battaglia discussed how married women faced more obstacles than those who were single since in many states such as Maryland a married woman could not individually own or inherit property, enter into contracts, or keep money earned unless her husband permitted it. The Married Women's Property Acts of 1898 significantly improved the legal status of married women and allowing even greater change in the legal community.  Judge Battaglia highlighted many of the "firsts" such as Etta Maddox who was the first woman admitted to the Baltimore Law School in 1900 and became the first licensed woman in the State of Maryland.  She also discussed her own experiences being the first presidentially appointed woman to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland and becoming the third woman to be appointed to the Maryland Court of Appeals. Judge Battaglia emphasized the importance of mentors, both male and female, to women lawyers to ensure diversity and accessibility in the legal profession.

    

Annual Introduction to Federal Practice Program Held

The Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association presented its annual Introduction to Federal Practice Program on Friday, March 1, 2024 in the J. Frederick Motz Ceremonial Courtroom at the federal courthouse in Baltimore. This year’s edition marked the second return to an in-person format and the first in-person version in Baltimore since 2019. The Chapter’s Immediate Past President served as master of ceremonies. After wonderful welcoming remarks from Chief Judge James K. Bredar, the audience was treated to”

  • A primer on the courthouses by Chief Deputy Clerk David Ciambruschini
  • Highlights of the District’s Local Rules and Standing Orders  from Lauren McLarney, Neel Lalchandani and the Hon. Julie R. Rubin
  • A discussion of discovery and ESI issues featuring Tom Barnard and the Hon. J. Mark Coulson
  • Catherine Curran O’Malley, Executive Director of the Women’s Law Center of Maryland speaking on services to victims of domestic violence
  • A review of motions practice with Kristen Eriksoon and the Hon. Deborah Boardman
  • A discussion of effective mediation practices with Bradley M. Strickland and the Hon. Gina L. Simms

And finally a brief word from Chapter President Ezra Gollogly about the benefits of FBA membership.

The formal program concluded with 30 members of the audience being sworn in as members of the District’s bar during an admission ceremony presided over by the Hon. Brendan A. Hurson. Following the program participants, new admittees, their guests and presenters adjourned to a catered reception in the Courthouse lobby.

    

    

Shattering Barriers: A Conversation with the Hon. Willie J. Epps, Jr. 

On February 27, the Maryland Chapter and the Chapter’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee were honored to present a discussion led by the Hon. Willie J. Epps, Jr., Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, on the remarkable lives and careers of the first nine Black Americans to serve as federal judges.  In a conversation moderated by Chelsea Crawford, a partner with Brown Goldstein & Levy LLP, Judge Epps provided fascinating insight into the effect these trailblazers had on our judicial system, as well as the legacies they left for generations of lawyers and jurists who followed.

Three years after Jackie Robinson shattered the Major League Baseball color barrier by starting at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers, President Truman sparked an equally momentous revolution by appointing the first Black American for life tenure to a federal court.  Like Jackie Robinson, the first Black federal judges left an indelible mark on our society.  Decades of institutionalized discrimination had created a federal court system that Judge A. Leon Higgenbotham, Jr. described as “both exclusionary and racially homogeneous.”  During a time when segregation permeated nearly all aspects of American life—from schools to workplaces, restaurants to hotels, public restrooms to water fountains—nine Black Americans overcame these barriers to lay the groundwork for decades of change to come.  Judge Epps offered engaging anecdotes and keen insight into the first nine Black judges’ backgrounds, lives, and achievements.  His discussion provided a deep and rich viewpoint on our nation’s history during tumultuous times of social change.  All who participated came away with deep admiration for the lasting legacies and continued relevance of these trailblazing Black federal judges.

The Maryland Chapter is most grateful for Judge Epps’s generous, engaging, and thoughtful remarks.  We further extend our deep appreciation to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for its leadership, and FBA National’s Program and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committees for their commitment and support.  Finally, we recognize and appreciate Ms. Crawford’s outstanding service as moderator. 

We invite you to visit the following link to enjoy the program in its entirety:

https://zuckerman.zoom.us/rec/share/wz5IwD5Bi3SBV9k8rFAIF9oPXPzDmJfLRXdxTDryIvdNWHdUZ-yajq_MAk-S1foG.mLRIJ5tbU76CsCmU

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