DiRito Awards

DiRito Award Recipients

Peter A. DiRito served as the President of the Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and was a member of the Chapter’s Board of Governors for many years. Peter’s dedicated service and leadership set the example which all of us strive to follow. Peter was a special human being.

To honor Peter’s memory, the Maryland Chapter established the Peter A. DiRito Award in 1987. The award is made annually to recognize public service that furthers the Federal Bar Association’s goals: the enhancement of the federal legal profession, the advancement of justice, and the betterment of society.

Year Awardee(s)
1988 Augie Cage, USDC Md., Clerk’s Office
1990 Karen Woolford, USDC Md., Marshals Service
1991 Michael Millemann, Prof. University of Maryland Law School
1992 James L. Thompson, Pres. Montgomery County Bar Ass’n, Leader in establishing Southern Division, USDC Md.
1993 Morris Street, USDC Md., Pre-Trial Services Officer
1995 Joe Haas, Clerk, USDC Md., Clerk of the Court
1996 Cedric Easter. USDC Md., Deputy Chief of U.S. Probation Office
1998 Ron Lawson, USDC Md., Courtroom Deputy Clerk
2001 David Johnson, USDC Md., U.S. Probation Office
2002 Judge Herbert N. Maletz and Magistrate Judge Daniel F. Klein (awarded posthumously in memoriam)
2003 Herbert Better, Esquire, for his many years of assistance to USDC Md.
2005 Donna Shearer, USDC Md., CJA Coordinator
2006 Michael Millemann, Prof. University of Maryland Law School and 20 students of the University Law Clinic for exoneration of Walter Arvinger who had been wrongfully convicted of murder.
2007 Hon. Susan Gauvey, Magistrate Judge, USCD Md., for her Open Doors Program with Baltimore City high school students schooling them in legal trial proceedings.
2009 Henry Eigles, Esquire, for his long years of service with the Federal Bar Association – Maryland Chapter and National FBA Organization.
2010 Hon. Paul Grimm, Magistrate Judge, for his work and expertise in the development of law of pre-trial discovery and electronic pre-trial discovery.
2011 Hon. Gregg Bernstein, State’s Attorney for the City of Baltimore and his many years of Federal criminal law practice.
2012 Hon. Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, for outstanding leadership to enforce law with fairness and impartiality.
2012 Hon. James Wyda, Federal Public Defender, for outstanding leadership and dedication to bring about justice to clients accused of Federal crimes who otherwise lack legal representation.
2013 Claudia Gibson, USDC Md., Clerk’s Office, Case Administration Manager, for her dedication, professionalism, assistance to the Court, and expertise on
Clerk’s Office procedures.
2014 Felicia Cannon, USDC Md., Clerk’s Office, Clerk of Court, for her leadership and selfless dedication, which has been invaluable to the operation of the Court, the judiciary, and all attorneys who practice in the Court.
2015 Hon. J. Frederick Motz, for transformative, exemplary, and outstanding leadership which has greatly benefitted the federal court and bar.
2016 Hon. William Connelly, for his selfless dedication to the Court’s timely resolution of cases, while furthering its commitment to the highest standards of advocacy, ethics, and collegiality.
2017 Geoff Garinther, for his knowledge, leadership, professionalism and outstanding service to the Court over many years.
2019 Hon. Beth P. Gesner and Hon. Stephanie A. Gallagher for outstanding service and leadership to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland that promotes the betterment of society, enhances the federal legal profession, and exemplifies the highest standards in the administration of justice.
2020 Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse for his exemplary and tireless work for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland during the COVID-19 pandemic

Carrie Corcoran, Mike McConnell, Philip Ekoma, Sandra Fleming, Amie West, Daniel Calderon, Renee Watts, Shari Derrow,  and Sapna Mirchandani of the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland, and Sterling Johnson, Deputy United States Marshal in recognition of their outstanding service to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and selfless dedication to the protection of vulnerable citizens during one of the most challenging times in the Court’s history.


Virginia Zahner and David Ciambruschini, Office of the Clerk of Court of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland In recognition of their outstanding service to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and selfless dedication to maintains the operation of the Baltimore and Greenbelt courthouses during one of the most challenging times in the Court’s history.

2023 James P. Ulwick, Kramon & Graham, in honor of his many years of practice before the District of Maryland as counsel in both civil and criminal matters
2024  The Honorable Deborah K. Chasanow, the Honorable Roger Titus, the Honorable Peter J. Messitte, and the Honorable Alexander Williams for their dedicated service to the District on the 30th Anniversary of the Greenbelt Courthouse.