U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey won The Daily Record’s top Leadership in Law award for 2010, honoring her decades of work in public service.
“As all of you know, none of us truly do it alone,” Gauvey said, lavishing praise on the team that surrounds her for taking on her “harebrained ideas.” She gave special mention to her daughter, G-K Gauvey-Kern, and judicial assistant Donna Cowan, both of whom accompanied her to Friday’s ceremony at the BWI Hilton.
Now in its 10th year, the Leadership in Law awards recognize 24 members of Maryland’s legal community for their outstanding contributions to the profession, public service and mentoring. The 24 honorees then select the top winner by secret ballot.
“It was truly very humbling,” Gauvey said in an interview following her acceptance speech.
She also acknowledged her fellow honorees, noting that she knew all of them personally or by their “wonderful” reputations, and was impressed to learn of their community service and mentoring.
“There’s so much goodness,” she said. “They’re not satisfied with just doing well in their profession. They know it’s important to lift while you climb.”
Several people at the luncheon said Gauvey’s work with Marian House, a transitional housing program for homeless women who have suffered with abuse, addiction and poverty, inspired them to get involved with the group. Gauvey said she first donated to the organization in honor of her mother when she died 25 years ago.
Before becoming a magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court in Baltimore in 1996, Gauvey led the Mental Health Law Project at the Legal Aid Bureau in Baltimore.
She went on to serve as assistant attorney general for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. From there, she moved to the attorney general’s civil division and was named principal counsel for trial litigation before joining what was then Venable, Baetjer and Howard in 1986.
Along with Gauvey, other judicial honorees included the Hon. Zakia Mahasa, master in chancery for the Baltimore City Circuit Court (Juvenile Division); and Judge Melanie Shaw Geter of the Prince George’s County Circuit Court.
Several winners were named from the public sector or academia, including Jennifer Etheridge, Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City; Sen. Brian E. Frosh, who chairs the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and is a partner at Karp, Frosh, Lapidus, Wigodsky & Norwind PA; Professor Michael Millemann of the University of Maryland School of Law; April N. Richardson, lead prosecutor of the mortgage foreclosure fraud division at the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office; and Donna P. Shearer, criminal justice act supervising attorney at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
More than half of the honorees, though, are in private law firms or corporations: Gary R. Alexander, senior partner at Alexander & Cleaver PA; Michael Joseph Baader, partner-in-charge at Venable LLP’s Baltimore office; Charles A. Berardesco, senior vice president and general counsel of Constellation Energy Group Inc.; Robert R. Bowie Jr., founder of Bowie & Jensen LLC; Michael W. Davis, senior partner at Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny LLC; Kathleen Dumais, principal at Paley Rothman; Daniel Goldstein, partner with Brown, Goldstein & Levy LLP; Arthur J. Horne Jr., managing partner with Shipley, Horne & Hewlett PA; Patricia McHugh Lambert, member at Hodes, Pessin & Katz PA; Andrea Leahy-Fucheck, managing member of Leahy & DeSmet LLC; J. Bradford McCullough, principal with Lerch, Early & Brewer Chtd.; Howard Metro, partner at McMillan Metro PC; Thomas D. Murphy, partner at Murphy & Mood PC; Ronald Shapiro of Shapiro, Sher, Guinot & Sandler PA; Lawrence A. Shulman, of Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker PA; and Darrell R. VanDeusen, president of Kollman & Saucier PA.
The honorees were selected from more than 100 nominations The Daily Record originally received for this year’s Leadership in Law awards. Six judges chose the 24 honorees from those statewide nominations.
The panel included Paul V. Carlin, executive director of the Maryland State Bar Association; Caroline D. Ciraolo, partner at Rosenberg|Martin|Greenberg LLP; Ward Coe III, partner at Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP; Barbara Grzincic, managing editor of law at The Daily Record; Harry S. Johnson, a partner at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP; and Byron S. Warnken, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law.