‘Collegial’ litigator Paul Walter dies at 82
Posted: 7:23 pm Wed, December 5, 2012
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
Paul Walter, who followed his son to Offit Kurman in Baltimore after more than a half-century at Tydings & Rosenberg LLP, died Nov. 22. He was 82.
Walter died at his home in Mount Washington after fighting cancer, an Offit Kurman spokesman said.
Family and co-workers remembered him as a soft-spoken man and a strong but gentlemanly litigator.
“He believed the practice of law should be cooperative and collegial and non-confrontational to the extent that that is possible,” said his son Harold “Hal” Walter, who is also an attorney at Offit Kurman. “I can’t tell you how many opposing counsel would say that it was a pleasure to work with him.”
A member of the Commercial Litigation Practice group, Paul Walter focused on warranty claims and product liability, often representing manufacturers, distributors and retailers, according to the law firm’s website. He had been at the firm for two years, said Howard K. Kurman, a founding partner at Offit Kurman.
“Paul was a litigator and probably one of a diminishing breed of litigators that litigated everything — not just one specialty,” Kurman said. “He was very well-regarded and respected for his talents.”
Walter was born in Baltimore and raised in the Park Circle neighborhood, his son said. He graduated from University of Maryland in 1952 with his undergraduate degree. Walter then attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1955.
After law school, he spent two years in the U.S. Army working in counter-intelligence. He then joined a law firm in Baltimore before he, U.S. Senator Millard E. Tydings and Morris Rosenberg split off to start Tydings & Rosenberg, Hal Walter said.
Paul Walter remained with Tydings & Rosenberg for 55 years, joined by his son for 25 years. Hal Walter moved to Offit Kurman six years ago, and the two enjoyed practicing law together so much that Paul Walter followed him there at the age of 80.
“One of the things about him as a lawyer was an ability to say in few words what it would take most lawyers to say in pages and pages,” Hal Walter said. “Reducing an argument to its core is not easy and that is something he was really good at.”
Kurman said he never heard Paul Walter raise his voice.
“He was just the kind of person who you could have a nice conversation with and had a very charming personality,” Kurman said.
Walter was very active on the board of the Hebrew Free Loan Association in Baltimore for years and the board of his synagogue, the Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion Congregation.
He also taught a litigation process class at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He was also on several committees of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, the Forum on Franchising of the American Bar Association, the Rosewood Center for disabled adults, the Governor’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission, the Northwest Citizens Patrol and the United Nations International Council for Caring Communities, according to the firm’s website.
When he was not practicing law or doing charitable work, Paul Walter was spending time with his family, his son said. The whole family gathered for dinner at his house every Friday night and would go on vacations together.
“He loved the practice of law,” Hal Walter said. “If he was not practicing law, I guess his hobby was his family. He absolutely valued time with his family.”
Walter is survived by his wife, Marilyn “Marna” Walter; his children, Hal and Perrie Walter; and six grandchildren.