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Baltimore Lawyers and Judges Of the 20th Century

EDWIN G. BAETJER
1868–1945

Edwin G. Baetjer was one of America’s foremost experts in corporate law, with unique experience in massive corporate reorganizations. William L. Marbury, Jr., once described him as a person “regarded by many as one of the ablest financial lawyers in the United States.”

Nevertheless, throughout his 55 years at the Bar, Baetjer always regarded himself as a generalist who would accept any legitimate engagement offered to him. He argued important cases covering a wide spectrum of legal matters, including the construction of the charter and ordinances of Havre de Grace, the interrelation of state insolvency laws with the Federal Bankruptcy Act, the law of trusts, the successful defense of a physician criminally accused of having mutilated a corpse, the Sugar Institute antitrust case, and the U. S. Industrial Alcohol case.

Born in Baltimore on June 23, 1868, Baetjer graduated from the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland School of Law, from which he graduated in 1890. He practiced alone for several years before being engaged as an associate by Major Richard M. Venable. They were joined by Charles McHenry Howard upon the latter’s graduation from law school in 1893. In 1900, they formed the partnership of Venable, Baetjer and Howard.


RIGNAL W. BALDWIN III
1902–1986

Rignal W. Baldwin III gained the reputation as consummate advocate as a trial lawyer for 60 years at the firm of Semmes, Bowen & Semmes. He graduated with honors from the Johns Hopkins University in 1923 and the University of Maryland School of Law in 1927.

Baldwin subsequently received the Distinguished Alumnus award from both institutions. He joined the bar the year he graduated from law school, following in the footsteps of his father, Rignal W. Baldwin, Jr., (1869–1937), and his grandfather, Rignal W. Baldwin, Sr. (1835–1891), both of whom were Maryland attorneys. His son, Rignal W. Baldwin IV, continues the family tradition as a Maryland lawyer.

Steps toward democratization of the Maryland State Bar Association began during Baldwin’s term as president in 1967–68. He also pressed for the inclusion of African-American lawyers into the MSBA. While serving as president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City in 1959–60, Baldwin established a clients’ security trust fund on a voluntary basis four years before the Maryland General Assembly enacted legislation for a mandatory statewide fund. Baldwin served as a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War II.


JOSEPH BERNSTEIN
1897–1972

Joseph Bernstein devoted a lifetime of study to labor law in which he attained preeminence among Maryland attorneys. The Joseph Bernstein Fund, established at the University of Maryland School of Law in his memory, provides an annual prize for the law student who has done the best work in the field of labor law.

He was born in Baltimore on January 23, 1897, and graduated from City College in 1914. He entered the University of Maryland School of Law and was the valedictorian of the graduating class of 1918. After serving with the U.S. Navy in World War I, he entered into private practice, heading his own firm concentrating on insurance and labor relations.

In 1954, he joined the firm that ultimately became Frank, Bernstein, Conaway & Goldman, where he continued to practice until his death in 1972. He was one of 13 members of the Bond Commission that reorganized the Court of Appeals of Maryland and a trustee of the Commission on Governmental Efficiency and Economy. In 1949, he served as president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, and in 1959–60, as president of the Maryland State Bar Association. He was also a Fellow of the American Bar Association and served as a member of the ABA House of Delegates.


CHARLES J. BONAPARTE
1851–1921

Charles J. Bonaparte was the grandson of Jerome Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon, who married Baltimore belle Betsy Patterson in Baltimore in 1803. He rose to become Secretary of the Navy in 1905 and Attorney General of the United States from 1906–09 in President Theodore Roosevelt’s cabinet. As Attorney General, he established the federal law enforcement agency that became the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In Roosevelt’s “trust busting” crusade, he personally argued 50 cases before the Supreme Court.

After his graduation from Harvard Law School, Bonaparte began a lifelong crusade for clean government and fair elections. In 1881, he helped found the National Civil Service Reform League. He attended the meeting in 1894 that led to the founding of the National Municipal League. He was co-counsel with Edwin G. Baetjer, Edgar H. Gans and J. Wirt Randall in the landmark case of Myers v. Anderson, 182 F. 223 (Cir. Ct. D.Md. 1910), which struck down a statute that deprived African-American citizens of the right to vote in Annapolis municipal elections.


CARROLL T. BOND
1873–1943

One of Maryland’s greatest judges, Carroll T. Bond agreed to accept reappointment as chief judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland in 1941 despite his avowed intention to retire. Governor Herbert R. O’Conor said of him, “His learning, scholarship, experience and mature judgment combine to make him an ideal judge, and our State has been most fortunate in receiving the benefit of his valuable services.”

Judge Bond was a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Maryland School of Law. Except for service as a corporal with the Maryland Volunteers during the Spanish-American War, he practiced law in Baltimore for 15 years, first as an associate with the firm of Marshall, Marbury and Bowdoin, later Marbury and Bowdoin, and later as a partner in Williams and Bond, and Marbury and Gosnell. He was appointed as a trial judge on the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City (now the Circuit Court for Baltimore City), where he served from 1911–24. From there, he went to the Court of Appeals of Maryland as an associate judge in 1924 and later as chief judge from 1924 until his death in 1943. He was the author of The Court of Appeals of Maryland, written on the occasion of the sesquicentennial of the court in 1928. He chaired the Bond Commission, which recommended the plan for modernizing and reorganizing the Court of Appeals.


FREDERICK W. BRUNE IV
1894–1972

Judge Frederick William Brune, fourth member of his family to bear the name, was born in Baltimore on October 15, 1894. His grandfather was a founder of one of Maryland’s oldest law firms, Brown and Brune, in Baltimore in 1838. His father, Frederick W. Brune III, was a charter member of the Maryland State Bar Association when it was founded in 1896. Judge Brune would serve as its President in 1947–48. Brune graduated from Harvard University in 1916 and from the Harvard Law School in 1920. In between, he served in World War I with the Ambulance Corps and with U.S. Army Intelligence. In 1921, he achieved a perfect score on the Maryland bar examination. He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1923–24, leaving to form a law partnership with William C. Coleman and Edward F.A. Morgan. In 1927, he formed a partnership with Morgan under the name Morgan and Brown that was absorbed into Semmes, Bowen & Semmes the following year. He had a large corporate and banking practice. In 1940, he served as president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City. He remained a partner at Semmes until 1954, when he was appointed Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland by Governor McKeldin. The Brune Room at the Unive
rsity of Maryland School of Law was established in his memory.


JOSEPH R. BYRNES
1900–1971

Judge Joseph R. Byrnes began his legal career as a deputy clerk to the Supreme Bench, where he compiled the first catalogue of courthouse portraits in 1936. Orphaned at age seven, he was raised by the Norris family on their farm in Charles County. On his return to Baltimore City, Byrnes worked his way through Loyola College and the University of Baltimore School of Law, from which he graduated in 1931. Chief Judge Samuel K. Dennis encouraged him into private practice in 1939 with Tydings, Sauwerwein, Levy and Archer. He later joined his close friend David P. Gordon in partnership. In 1942, he was elected to the Maryland State Senate, and in 1947 became its president. As a senator he led the successful fight for the Bond Commission proposed reorganization of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the establishment of a juvenile court, and mental health policy reform.

In 1950, he was appointed to the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City by Governor William Preston Lane, Jr., and served until 1968. One of his notable cases was the trial of Dunbar High School students, including Robert M. Bell, the current chief judge of the state Court of Appeals, for trespassing in Hooper’s Restaurant on June 17, 1960, during the early days of the civil rights “sit-in” movement. There being no precedent for Equal Protection Clause defenses, they were found guilty. But stating that the students “were not law breaking people” and that their protest was “one of principle rather than an intentional attempt to violate the law,” Judge Byrnes imposed only a $10 fine, which he promptly suspended. The convictions were subsequently vacated. Maryland Court of Appeals Judge J. Dudley Digges called Byrnes “one of the best natural trial judges that ever graced the Bench of this State.” The Sun editorialized that he was a man who “knows right from wrong and whose habit it is to tell publicly which is which.”

He was the father of Judges John Carroll Byrnes and J. Norris Byrnes, Associate Judges of the Circuit Courts for Baltimore City and Baltimore County, respectively.


BERNARD CARTER
1834–1912

One of Maryland’s greatest advocates, Bernard Carter argued 224 cases before the Court of Appeals of Maryland between 1856 and 1908. He was provost of the University of Maryland from 1894–1912, succeeding Severn Teackle Wallis. His clients included the Northern Central Railroad, the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co., and the United Railways and Electric Co. of Baltimore. As a delegate to the Convention that drafted the Maryland Constitution of 1867, he chaired the committee that created the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. At his death, he was described in the Proceedings of the Maryland State Bar Association as “a lawyer who stood in the highest rank” of his profession, and a member of “the Hall of Fame of the Maryland Bar.”

Carter was born on July 20, 1834, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a descendant of the Carters of Virginia and the Calverts of Maryland. He graduated from St. James College, Hagerstown, in 1852 and from Harvard Law School in 1855. He came to Baltimore shortly thereafter and began his legal career in the law office of James Mason Campbell. Carter was a spokesman for reform and supported the New Judge Movement of 1882. He served as City Solicitor from 1883 to 1889. He died on June 13, 1912, at Narragansett, Rhode Island, the acknowledged Dean of the Maryland Bar.


W. CALVIN CHESNUT
1873–1962

W. Calvin Chesnut was one of the greatest federal trial judges in American history. He served as U.S. District Judge for the District of Maryland from 1931 to 1962. Among his most notable cases was the 1940 corruption trial of Judge Martin T. Manton of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to which he was specially assigned.

It is not surprising that Judge Chesnut’s first job after graduating from the Johns Hopkins University in 1892 was as a reporter for ten weeks with the Baltimore American. Although he opted out of a career in journalism in favor of a life immersed in the law, he spent that life writing opinions and historical tracts about the law that have enriched and informed the legal literature of Maryland.

Judge Chesnut was born in Baltimore on June 27, 1873. After graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law, his legal career began as an assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore City under State’s Attorney Robert M. McLane. He practiced with the firm of Gans and Haman from 1899 until his appointment as U.S. District Judge in 1931. When he took qualified retirement in 1953 at the age of 80, he was honored by the Bar Association of Baltimore City with a testimonial dinner attended by the largest gathering of Maryland lawyers and judges up to that time. Heading the list of 800 attendees was Chief Justice Earl Warren, who called the guest of honor “one of the most distinguished judges to grace the bench in this generation.” Judge Chestnut died on October 16, 1962, at the age of 89, while still serving as a Senior U.S. District Judge.

His notable books include A Federal Judge Sums Up (1947) and Sixty Years in the Courts (1958). His memorable address as president of the Maryland State Bar Association in 1946 recounted the 1893 Evening News Libel Case that he witnessed in Baltimore as a law student.


HARRY A. COLE
1921–1999

Harry A. Cole was born in Washington, D.C., on New Year’s Day, 1921. After his father’s death, his mother moved the family to her native Baltimore. Judge Cole graduated from Douglass High School in 1938 and then attended Morgan State University. As president of the Student Council during his senior year at Morgan, he helped organize the 1942 “March on Annapolis.” The purpose of the 2,000 African-American citizens who converged on the state capital under the direction of Judge Cole’s mentors, Lillie Carroll Jackson, head of the NAACP in Baltimore, Juanita Jackson Mitchell, and Carl Murphy, editor of the Afro-American newspaper, was to demand the repeal of Maryland’s “Jim Crow” laws.

Harry Cole graduated magna cum laude from Morgan in 1943 and enlisted in the U. S. Army. He spent 17 months overseas in France and Belgium, and later on Okinawa. After the war, he enrolled at the University of Maryland School of Law, from which he graduated in 1949. After passing the bar exam, he went to work for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People with W.A.C. Hughes and Robert B. Watts, his lifelong friend.

Judge Cole also became active in Republican politics. He was the first African-American appointed as an assistant attorney general of Maryland. In 1954, he won a seat in the Maryland Senate and became the first African-American elected to the Maryland General Assembly. He worked tirelessly to change the law to end discrimination. He was appointed to the Municipal Court of Baltimore City in 1967. Eight months later, he was elevated to the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City.

In 1977, Judge Cole was appointed to the Court of Appeals of Maryland by Governor Blair Lee III. He took the oath of office on December 12, 1977, as the first African-American to serve at the highest level in the state judicial system. He served with distinction for 13 years, until his mandatory retirement at age 70. From 1995 until his death in 1999, he served as chairman of the Board of Regents of Morgan State University.


SAMUEL K. DENNIS
1874–1953

Samuel King Dennis had a distinguished record on the ben
ch and at the bar. He was born into a prominent Eastern Shore family on September 28, 1874, at “Beverley,” the family home in Worcester County. He entered public life in 1900 when he became the secretary to John Walter Smith, Governor of Maryland from 1900–04. While acting as the governor’s secretary, Judge Dennis attended law school at the University of Maryland. He graduated in 1903 at the top of his class. The following year he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates.

After a single term in the legislature, Judge Dennis concentrated on the development of a practice in Baltimore. In 1915, he was appointed United States Attorney for Maryland by President Woodrow Wilson. He served in that position until 1920. Upon returning to private practice, he devoted a great deal of time to fighting tuberculosis, helping to found the Henryton Hospital and the Mt. Wilson Sanitarium.

Judge Dennis became Chief Judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City in August, 1928, when he was appointed by Governor Albert C. Ritchie. At his investiture, he became the first Maryland state judge to wear a judicial robe. He was elected for a full term and remained on the bench until 1944, when he returned again to private practice.

He was a member of the Bar Association of Baltimore City and sought unsuccessfully in 1929 to convince the association to admit women members. In 1933, he served as president of the Maryland State Bar Association.


CHARLES H. DORSEY, JR.
1930–1995

Charles H. Dorsey, Jr., was Baltimore’s conscience. As the executive director of the Legal Aid Bureau for 25 years, he fought tirelessly to provide all people with access to civil justice. Charlie Dorsey was a man of great conviction and courage, who considered lawyers to be the guardians of civil liberties. “He epitomized everything good about lawyers,” said Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy of the Court of Appeals of Maryland in an eulogy. “He was a man with great humanitarian instincts.”

Dorsey was born in West Baltimore in 1930. He attended St. Catherine’s Academy before moving to Epiphany Apostolic College in Newburgh, New York, to study for the priesthood. After six years, he returned to Baltimore as the first African-American admitted to Loyola College. His education was interrupted by his enlistment in the Air Force during the Korean War. After the war, Dorsey returned to Loyola, where he received his degree in 1957. Upon graduation, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service while attending the University of Maryland School of Law at night.

After receiving his law degree in 1961, Dorsey entered private practice with Brown, Allen, Russell and Watts. Eight years later, he was appointed an assistant city solicitor under George Russell before joining the Legal Aid Bureau in 1969. When he became executive director in 1974, the bureau had three Baltimore offices. Under his direction, the bureau expanded to 13 offices throughout the state, with a staff of more than 100 lawyers. He also expanded the nature of the cases taken by the bureau to include domestic relations, landlord/tenant, Social Security, and unemployment.

Dorsey was the president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, chairman of the State Board of Law Examiners, and served for many years as a director of the Baltimore Bar Library. He worked for the NAACP and Maryland Project Equality and was a member of the Baltimore Welfare Commission. Active in the Roman Catholic Church, he was the director of the West Baltimore Interfaith Council and a recipient of the Papal Order of the Knights of St. Gregory.


H. VERNON ENEY
1908–1980

H. Vernon Eney, a 1929 graduate of the University of Baltimore Law School, cut his teeth as an office boy at the firm of Armstrong, Machen & Allen during his years in the evening law school, learning the basics of trial work and office practice from Wendell Allen and John Henry Lewin. He made his first argument at the Court of Appeals at 25 and at the Supreme Court at 29. His partner, Arthur W. Machen, praised him as “one of the finest lawyers in Maryland’s history.”

On June 27, 1951, the firm then known as Armstrong, Machen & Eney merged with Venable, Baetjer & Howard. As managing partner, Vernon Eney brought modern business and accounting procedures to the firm, broadened its specialities, and sparked its phenomenal growth that continued after his death in 1980.

As president of the Maryland State Bar Association, he oversaw the drafting of legislation enacted by the Maryland General Assembly that created the Clients’ Security Trust Fund. After his term, he was responsible for the decision to incorporate the MSBA and to found the Maryland Bar Foundation in 1965. He led the movement to scrap the 1867 state constitution in favor of a modern one and served from 1965 to 1967 as chairman of the commission to revise the constitution. He was president of the Constitutional Convention that framed a new constitution that the voters of Maryland rejected in 1968. A number of its key provisions relating to the judiciary were later given new life as amendments to the current constitution.


EUGENE M. FEINBLATT
1919–1998

Eugene M. Feinblatt was one of the legal architects of modern Baltimore. He had a profound impact on many aspects of life in this city.

Gene Feinblatt was born in New York City in 1919. He arrived in Baltimore at the beginning of the Great Depression when his father became Director of the Levindale Home for the Elderly. Feinblatt graduated from Forest Park High School and earned a philosophy degree from the University of Virginia. During World War II, he enlisted in the Army. After his discharge from the military, he studied both finance and labor law at Harvard Law School and then returned to Baltimore in 1947. There, he was hired by Simon Sobeloff, who introduced him to Baltimore politics and helped launch his career.

As an attorney, Gene Feinblatt was prominent in the fields of labor law, real estate, bankruptcy, business law, and tax law. A founding partner of Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander, Gene Feinblatt represented Baltimore mayors from Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., in the early 1950s, through William Donald Schaefer in the 1980s. He drafted the legislation that created the city’s Urban Renewal and Housing Commission and ultimately headed the agency, which was responsible for developing Charles Center, the Inner Harbor, and subsidized housing for the poor.

Feinblatt also taught law at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and the University of Maryland. He negotiated the sale of City Hospitals, now known as Hopkins Bayview, to Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also served as special counsel to the Maryland Stadium Authority during the building of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He served as chairman of the board of Sinai Hospital, a trustee at Union Memorial Hospital and Helix Health, and president of the Maryland Hospital Association.


ELI FRANK
1874–1958

In the middle of his term as president of the Maryland State Bar Association, Judge Eli Frank, Sr. reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 as an associate judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City and returned to private practice with the firm later known as Frank, Bernstein, Conaway & Goldman.

Judge Frank was born in Baltimore on February 8, 1874, and was an honors graduate of both the Johns Hopkins University (A.B. 1894) and the University of Maryland School of Law (LL.B. 1896). He was a founder of the Hebrew Hospital, later known as Sinai Hospital, the Associated Jewish Charities, and the Park School. Judge Frank was appointed to the Supreme Bench
of Baltimore City in 1922 by Governor Albert C. Ritchie. He was president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, an early member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the law faculty of the University of Maryland for 40 years.

After World War II, he taught some of the refresher courses sponsored by MSBA for returning veterans. He was a noted author of treatises on title, property, and procedure. Judge Frank died in Baltimore on July 25, 1958. His son, Eli Frank, Jr., served as MSBA president in 1969–70.


FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER
1928–1972

The Baltimore Sun described Francis X. Gallagher as “the witty, indefatigable attorney, political organizer and advocate of liberal social reform” at his death from a heart attack on February 11, 1972, at age 43. His death at that youthful age was a severe loss to the city and state.

As a young assistant city solicitor, Francis X. Gallagher was a guiding force in making Baltimore one of the first major cities to desegregate its public schools in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. He also wrote the legal opinion that upheld the power of the Baltimore City Council to enact one of the first public accommodations laws in the nation. In 1955, he was appointed a charter member of the Baltimore Equal Opportunity Commission. Gallagher used this position to target housing and employment discrimination. In 1959, as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, he co-sponsored a bill mandating equal accommodations statewide.

With James Rouse, William Boucher III, and Walter Sondheim, Gallagher was a central figure in revitalizing the downtown business district. He resigned from the legislature in 1961 to serve as People’s Counsel before the Public Service Commission. Later, he entered private practice, founding the Baltimore law firm of Gallagher, Evelius & Jones. In addition to a clientele of large institutions, including the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, the firm also represented thousands of individuals, often for little or no fee. At the request of Cardinal Lawrence J. Shehan, he assisted in the defense of two Roman Catholic priests charged with anti-Vietnam war conspiracy tried in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was elected a Delegate to the 1967–68 constitutional convention, chairing its Legislative Branch committee.


HALL HAMMOND
1902–1991

At memorial ceremonies held in the Court of Appeals of Maryland, Judge Hammond was eulogized by Baltimore attorney Henry R. Lord as an “Olympian” and a “titan,” whose “public career in the life of the law [was] unmatched in this century.” His colleague, Judge William J. McWilliams, referred to him simply as “the Great Hammond.”

Born in Baltimore on May 18, 1902, Judge Hammond graduated from the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland School of Law. He was Attorney General of Maryland from 1947–52. In 1951—three years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision and the year before he was appointed to the state’s highest court—Judge Hammond directed the University of Maryland to admit a black student to the College Park dormitories “under the same conditions and on the same conditions and on the same terms as those accommodations are made available to white students.”

For 20 years Judge Hammond served on Maryland’s highest court, first as an associate judge from 1952–66, and then as chief judge from 1966–72. He championed restructuring the state judiciary through the creation of the Court of Special Appeals. In 1972, Judge Hammond became the first chief judge in the history of the Court of Appeals of Maryland to present a State of the Judiciary Address to a joint session of the General Assembly.

“Judge Hammond was one of those rare people who are able to make the difficult and complex look easy,” Harford County Circuit Court Judge Broadnax Cameron, Jr. said of him after his death in 1991. “Judge Hammond was totally lacking in the vanity and self-importance we now call ‘ego.’”


HENRY D. HARLAN
1858–1943

Judge Henry David Harlan was born on a farm near Churchville, Harford County, Maryland, on October 23, 1858. He was educated by Reverend Edward A. Colburn at a parish school his father built for the sole purpose of educating his children and relatives. In 1878, he graduated with highest honors from St. John’s College, receiving an A.M. degree. Harlan received his law degree from the University of Maryland in 1881 and was admitted to practice that same year.

Judge Harlan began his career in Baltimore City, sharing law offices with James P. Gorter and H. Arthur Stump, both of whom would ultimately serve as judges on the Supreme Bench. On October 22, 1888, Governor Elihu Jackson named him Chief Judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. Appointed one day before his 30th birthday, he was the youngest Maryland state judge ever appointed. Judge Harlan served with distinction until December 31, 1913, when he resigned to become a director and general counsel of the Fidelity Trust Company.

In addition to his service on the bench, Judge Harlan devoted a substantial portion of his career to the University of Maryland School of Law. He was appointed professor of law at the University of Maryland in 1883 and taught constitutional law and domestic relations. In 1910, he was made dean. Although he stopped teaching in 1913, Judge Harlan remained dean until 1932.

Judge Harlan was a member of the Court House Commission, which supervised the construction of the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse and the selection of the preeminent members of the Maryland bar of the 18th and 19th centuries whose names were engraved on a circular frieze in the courthouse. He oversaw the construction of the Loch Raven and Pretty Boy reservoirs and the building of the Montebello and Loch Raven Water Tunnel. Judge Harlan was also instrumental in the expansion of the Baltimore public school facilities. Due to his hard work and perseverance, 70 new schools were built during Judge Harlan’s service.

Judge Harlan also served as treasurer of the University of Maryland and president of the board of trustees of Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins University. On September 6, 1943, he died at the age of 84.


CHARLES McHENRY HOWARD
1870–1942

Charles McHenry Howard was one of the three men who founded the law firm of Venable, Baetjer and Howard. He was the great-grandson both of Francis Scott Key, the Maryland lawyer who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner,” and of Colonel John Eager Howard, hero of the Revolutionary War. He practiced almost every kind of law before the state and federal courts for nearly 50 years. In A Venerable Assembly, The History of Venable, Baetjer and Howard, 1900–1991, Arthur W. Machen described his attainments and told us something of his generous nature:

Howard came into national prominence as a member of the Council and vice-president of the American Law Institute during the years when the Restatement of Trusts and the Restatement of Agency were being drafted. On the former project he was thrown into contact with Professor Austin Wakeman Scott, a luminary of the Harvard Law School who later described Howard as having “about the best legal mind of any lawyer whom I have known.” Professor Warren A. Seavey, the Reporter on the Agency project, said of him: “His colossal knowledge of the law and keenness of intellect placed him in a class almost by himself among American lawyers.”

The scope of his mind had been manifested in law sch
ool days as he completed a three year course of study in two, receiving on graduation the highest prize for scholarship and also the award for the best thesis presented by the class. He was fluent both in speaking and reading French, German, Italian, and Spanish and had some familiarity with Russian and Sanskrit. He was widely read in history and the sciences and, according to Dr. William Henry Welch, the renowned pathologist of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after whom the Welch Library is named, Howard had more familiarity with medicine than any other laymen he had ever met.


WILLIAM A.C. HUGHES, Jr.
1905–1966

At his death on September 24, 1966, W.A.C. Hughes was eulogized by Thurgood Marshall and Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., as the dean of civil rights lawyers and a major moral and intellectual force behind the movement in Maryland. In a fitting epitaph, Juanita Jackson Mitchell observed, “We have lost a legal giant. He was a brilliant lawyer whose talents for the past 34 years have given the Constitution real meaning for the poor, oppressed and the downtrodden. The man might die, but the legacy of William Alfred Carroll Hughes, Jr., remains.”

The son of Bishop William A. C. Hughes, Sr., of the Methodist Church, Hughes attended the Dunbar High School of Washington, D.C., and the Morgan Academy. He was accepted by Lincoln University and also attended classes at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, he was admitted to Boston University to study law. He graduated in 1930, honored for the highest grade for the best prepared and most ably argued moot court case.

Hughes served as legal counsel for the Baltimore City Young People’s Forum, the precursor to the NAACP in Baltimore, and rose quickly in the civil rights movement. He became chief counsel for the NAACP in Baltimore in 1935. Hughes sought and won integration of the University of Maryland and equal access to the public schools in Baltimore. In the famous Mergenthaler and Western High School desegregation suits of 1953, his victory positioned Baltimore to be the first city below the Mason-Dixon Line to voluntarily desegregate its public schools after Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Another of the many examples of Hughes’ determination and victories was the opening of Enoch Pratt Library’s training courses to African-American librarians in 1945.


FRANK A. KAUFMAN
1916–1997

At his death, the Baltimore Sun called Judge Frank A. Kaufman “a friend of the underdog” and “an omnipresent civic figure.” A 1937 summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth and a 1940 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, he first gained local attention as the author of the definitive work on Maryland ground rents in the December 1940 Maryland Law Review. An expert legal practitioner in complex contract law, Judge Kaufman was responsible for bringing major league baseball to Baltimore in 1954 when he negotiated the agreement by which the St. Louis Browns became the Baltimore Orioles. His greatest contribution to the law was as U.S. District Judge for more than 30 years, serving as associate judge from 1966–81, as chief judge from 1981–86, and as senior judge from 1986–97. Noteworthy decisions included the desegregation of public schools in Prince George’s County and alleviating the overcrowding of prisoners in the Baltimore City Jail. His reputation as a hardworking and compassionate judge was legendary.


SOLOMON LISS
1915–1988

Solomon Liss won fame and admiration as a judge, but his true greatness came from his humanity, his sense of humor, and his love of people. He weighed almost 300 pounds and was always the central attraction wherever he went.<p. He was born in Baltimore on March 6, 1915, graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1937, and was admitted to the bar that same year, immediately setting upon the practice of law. In 1943 he became judge of the Baltimore Police Court, a position he held for one year. He was elected to the Baltimore City Council and served from 1955 to 1963, where he was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. In 1968, he was appointed to the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City, where he championed the modernization of the judicial system and better communication between the bench and the public.

Judge Liss lectured on personal property for 23 years at the University of Baltimore School of Law and was president and founder of the Baltimore Metropolitan Area Council.

After his service as a trial judge for eight years, he was appointed by Governor Marvin Mandel to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland in 1976. He resigned in 1984 to accept the appointment by Governor Harry Hughes as chair of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas Commission, a 25-member group charged with controlling development on the shores of the bay. He died in Annapolis on October 18, 1988, while on his way to testify before a legislative committee.


ARTHUR W. MACHEN
1827–1915

Arthur Webster Machen was born on July 20, 1827, in Washington, D.C. His early education was gained through self-study under the guidance of his father. His formal education began at Harvard Law School, from which he graduated in 1851. Machen remained at the school as its librarian for a year before returning to Maryland. He was admitted to the Maryland bar upon oral examination in 1853. He quickly formed a partnership with Richard J. Gittings in Towson. In 1860, Machen was appointed by then-Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks as judge of the Superior Court of Baltimore City, but he declined the honor because he was more concerned with the practice of law. Several years later, he was offered a position as a United States district attorney under President Abraham Lincoln. He again declined the honor, preferring, as always, to remain an advocate.

Machen practiced law for 62 years. He was an able and prolific advocate, arguing over 204 cases before the Court of Appeals of Maryland. He also served for 32 years as president of the Library Company of the Baltimore Bar. Machen was also a charter member of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, serving from 1897–98 as its 15th president. He died in December 1915 at the age of 88.


ARTHUR W. MACHEN
1877–1950

Arthur W. Machen was born in Baltimore on March 18, 1877. After graduating from the Johns Hopkins University at the head of his class in 1896, he entered Harvard Law School, his father’s alma mater, where he served on the law review. He graduated cum laude in 1899, and upon his admission to practice the same year entered his father’s law office, which the two shared until the elder Machen’s death in 1915. Their portraits hang side by side in Courtroom 400, the ceremonial courtroom in Baltimore’s Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse.

He served as special assistant to the U.S. Attorney in 1914–15. Machen was an authority on the law of corporations and taxation, publishing a two-volume treatise entitled The Modern Law of Corporations in 1908 and A Treatise on the Federal Corporation Tax Law of 1909. In 1927, Governor Albert C. Ritchie, Machen’s Hopkins classmate, appointed him chairman of the Maryland Tax Revision Commission. Two years later, acting upon his recommendations, the General Assembly revised the state’s tax laws and for the first time organized them under one article in the Maryland Annotated Code.

A Democrat, he was nevertheless opposed to the New Deal, which he viewed as an encroachment on individual freedom. He was also opposed to Prohibition, which he fought to repeal. He served as president of the Maryland State Bar Association in
1939–40.


WILLIAM D. MACMILLAN SR.
1896–1974

William D. Macmillan Sr. was one of 20th-century Baltimore’s most colorful trial lawyers.

“Bill Macmillan was, when the occasion required it, the consummate actor in court,” his friend and partner, Rignal W. Baldwin, once said of him. “His ready wit, coupled with a thorough knowledge of the law, eased many tense situations in court.”

Macmillan was born in Baltimore on July 28, 1896, and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in the Class of 1918. His legal career of 54 years was spent at the law firm of Semmes, Bowen & Semmes, beginning as an office boy in 1916 and ending with his retirement as senior counsel in 1970. He was a recognized expert in the field of medical malpractice, representing many physicians as clients and lecturing extensively on the subject.

He employed his legal talent in a number of important cases. In 1948, he represented Whitaker Chambers as the defendant in a suit for libel and slander brought by Alger Hiss. Hiss, whose attorney in the libel case was William L. Marbury Jr. (below), was later convicted of perjury for lying to a federal grand jury and sentenced to prison.

In 1954, Macmillan was counsel to a group of interested citizens who sued the National Football League to obtain the Baltimore Colts football franchise for the city.

He was president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City in 1960–61 and a founding member in Maryland of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Macmillan also was involved in Maryland Democratic politics and served as John F. Kennedy’s state campaign manager.


WILLIAM L. MARBURY JR.
1901–1988

In a career spanning more than 60 years, William L. Marbury Jr. served as an assistant attorney general of Maryland in the 1930s and a top legal advisor to the War Department during World War II, and won renown as an appellate advocate in the federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

His father, William L. Marbury Sr. (1858–1935), was himself a major figure on the bar of Maryland; his son, Luke Marbury, is a former partner in the firm of Venable, Baetjer and Howard. His grandson Hugh is with his grandfather’s firm, now Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe.

Marbury was born in Baltimore County in 1901, grew up in his family’s home on Bolton Hill and spent summers on the family farm in Ridgewood. He graduated from Boys’ Latin and Episcopal High Schools, the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School. He joined his father’s law firm, then called Marbury, Miller and Evans, in 1925. After his father’s death in 1988, the firm was known as Piper and Marbury.

Marbury was also a trustee of the Legal Aid Bureau. He represented Alger Hiss in a libel suit against Whitaker Chambers, whose lawyer was William D. Macmillan Sr. (left). That suit was later dismissed. Marbury was president of the Maryland State Bar Association in 1965–66.

In his presidential address to the MSBA in January, 1966, Marbury exhorted the lawyers of Maryland to take leadership in the struggle for racial equality. It was the first time in history that such a positive statement in favor of civil rights for all was made by a president of the association. He also admonished the elder members of the bar not to surrender the crusade to younger lawyers, with these memorable words: “Our leadership is still needed, or else why have we lived so long?”


THURGOOD MARSHALL
1908–1993

Thurgood Marshall has been called one of the most important and influential lawyers and judges of the 20th century.

He believed in the law as a tool for achieving social justice.

Born in Baltimore on July 2, 1908, he graduated from Howard University Law School in 1933 — at the time, the University of Maryland School of Law was closed to African-Americans. As counsel to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, he represented Donald Gaines Murray in a lawsuit brought in Baltimore City that desegregated the University of Maryland School of Law in 1935.

Marshall’s greatest achievement was his 1954 Supreme Court victory in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which ended legally sanctioned racial segregation in public schools. In that unanimous decision, the Supreme Court struck down the doctrine of “separate but equal” school facilities for different races.

In 1961 he was appointed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by President John F. Kennedy. He later served as Solicitor General of the United States and personally argued 19 cases before the Supreme Court. He was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 as the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court, where he continued his advocacy of equal rights for all.

After his death at age 84 on Jan. 24, 1993, Marshall was eulogized by President Bill Clinton: “He was a giant in the quest for human rights and equal opportunity in the whole history of our country. Every American should be grateful for the contributions he made as an advocate and as a justice of the United States Supreme Court.”


CLARENCE W. MILES
1897–1977

Clarence W. Miles was best known as a great civic leader who helped bring major league baseball to Baltimore and who led the fight to revitalize its downtown through urban renewal in the 1950s and ‘60s.

Miles was born in Cambridge, Md., on June 29, 1897, the son of Alonzo L. Miles, a charter member of the Maryland State Bar Association. He was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1920 and practiced law in Salisbury for five years with his brother, Hooper S. Miles.

In 1925, Miles came to Baltimore and was appointed People’s Counsel before the Public Service Commission of Maryland. That year, he founded the University of Baltimore, with Eugene A. Edgett, assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore City, and Howell A. King, of the University of Maryland School of Business. For a brief period, Miles and Edgett were law partners.

In the early 1930s, Miles and Seymour O’Brien entered into a partnership that later became the firm of Miles, Walsh, O’Brien & Morris. In 1953, the firm merged with Mullikin, Stockbridge and Waters to become Miles & Stockbridge.

During World War II, Miles served as a colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps on the staff of General Dwight D. Eisenhower in North Africa and Europe. He won the Bronze Star for his wartime service.

After the war, he organized the Greater Baltimore Committee and served as it first chairman. He served on the Bond Commission to reorganize the state’s judiciary and was chairman of the Miles Commission to restructure the state laws controlling horse racing. The year 1953–54 witnessed two of the greatest achievements of his life: his attainment of the presidency of the Maryland State Bar Association and the purchase of the St. Louis Browns baseball team, which became the Baltimore Orioles. He chaired the Cambridge Racial Commission to combat racial tensions during 1963–64. Miles was also active in Democratic Party politics and ran unsuccessfully in the 1966 gubernatorial primary.

Clarence W. Miles died at “White Banks,” his home near Queenstown, Md., on Oct. 8, 1977, at the age of 80.


CLARENCE M. MITCHELL, JR.
1911–1984

Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., will forever be remembered because of his lifetime dedication to advancing social j
ustice and human rights in our city, our nation, and our world. He walked the corridors of power with senators and presidents, but never lost touch with his neighbors or forgot his home town. Except for a brief sojourn in Minnesota during the early years of their marriage while he was serving as executive director of the St. Paul Urban League, Mitchell and his wife, Juanita Jackson Mitchell, maintained their family home and law office on Baltimore’s Druid Hill Avenue.

He was born in Baltimore on March 8, 1911, the son of Clarence Maurice Mitchell, Sr., and Elsie Davis Mitchell. Although educated as an attorney, his memorable role in history was as America’s chief lobbyist for civil rights. As director of the Washington office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1950–78, he influenced the passage of the Civil Rights Laws of 1957 and 1964, the Voting Rights Law of 1965 and the Fair Housing Law of 1968, earning for himself the title of the “101st Senator.” He was also credited with the desegregation of every major federal agency. After his retirement, Mitchell served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations. In 1980, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter and the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP.

A week after Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., died on March 18, 1984, at the age of 73, then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer appointed a commission to select an appropriate memorial for him. The commission suggested that the Baltimore City Courthouse, the local symbol of equal justice under law, be renamed in his memory. So it was that on March 8, 1985, on the occasion of what would have been Mitchell’s 74th birthday, the city of his birth rededicated its most important public building as “The Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse.”


JUANITA JACKSON MITCHELL
1913–1992

Juanita Jackson Mitchell was the first African-American woman to engage in the practice of law in Maryland and one of this state’s greatest champions of civil rights. Mitchell was born Juanita Elizabeth Jackson on January 2, 1913 in Baltimore. Her mother was Dr. Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson (1889–1975), longtime president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP. Her family’s home later became the Lillie Carroll Jackson Museum.

One year after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1931, Mitchell’s career as a civil rights activist began in Baltimore when she founded The Citywide Young People’s Forum, which later became the basis for a revitalized chapter of the NAACP. In 1935, she earned a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and the next year joined the national staff of the NAACP. On September 7, 1938, she and Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., embarked upon a 45-year-marriage that produced a family committed to public service.

In 1942, Mitchell helped lead a historic “March on Annapolis” by more than 2,000 citizens to demand the repeal of “Jim Crow” laws from the State statute books. While her husband was advancing the cause of civil rights in Washington, D.C., Mitchell took the fight to the courts. In 1950, she became the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of Maryland School of Law, where she served with distinction on the law review. She was counsel in a number of important civil rights cases in the state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Through her efforts, recreational facilities and restaurants in Maryland were desegregated, and Baltimore became the first southern city to integrate its public schools after Brown v. Board of Education. At her death on July 8, 1992, Juanita Jackson Mitchell deserved the same epitaph chosen for her mother: “Servant of God, Champion of the People, Mother of Freedom.”


ALAN H. MURRELL
1902–1999

Alan H. Murrell, whose life spanned nearly the entire 20th century, was a renowned criminal defense attorney hand-picked by Governor Marvin Mandel in 1971 to create Maryland’s Office of Public Defender. He fought with the General Assembly for the necessary funding of the statewide operation and led the organization until his retirement at age 88. During his tenure, he recruited many of the state’s most seasoned criminal defense attorneys to represent Maryland’s indigent criminal defendants. Though widely known as a fierce opponent in the courtroom, Murrell was a charming and pleasant colleague in his personal relations with other attorneys.

Born in 1902 in the town of Barry near Cardiff, Wales, the son of a Welsh sea captain, Murrell and his family came to this country before World War I. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander at the time of his discharge at war’s end. After the war, he became an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore City. He later went into private practice, in many cases representing criminal defendants who were denied their civil liberties during the 1950s.

A contemporary who served as District Public Defender for Baltimore City during the Murrell era observed “that notwithstanding his gruff demeanor, Alan H. Murrell truly cared about the individual defendant, and spared no expense to provide superb representation for the poorest of his clients.”


EMORY H. NILES
1892–1976

Among the most vital and brilliant jurist who served on the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City was Chief Judge Emory H. Niles. During a life that spanned eight decades, he was at one time or another a Rhodes scholar, philosopher, artist, athlete, student of law and the classics, historian, world traveler, humorist, politician, reformer, statesman, soldier, educator, author and editor, clubman, attorney, and judge—the true embodiment of a Renaissance man in modern dress. He and Arnold Whitman Knauth were founders and co-editors in 1923 of American Maritime Cases and in 1928 of U.S. Aviation Reports, which Judge Niles personally carried on until his death.

His crusade to overhaul the judicial selection process, one of his greatest public services, was rendered after he left judicial office. He began the movement during his last year on the bench, suggesting the implementation of a system known nationally as “The Missouri Plan,” which came to be known locally as “The Niles Plan.” The plan embodied two essential features. First, judicial appointments were made by the governor from a list of candidates proposed by a nominating commission on the basis of ability. Second, the judges so appointed would serve a period of probation until approved or disapproved by the voters on the basis of performance. That is, the election of judges would involve one judge running against his or her own record, with the voters saying “Yes” or “No.”

Judge Niles first proposed the plan at a speech before the Maryland Judicial Conference in January 1962 and to a wider audience the following June in his address as outgoing president of the Maryland State Bar Association in Atlantic City. In 1967, a new constitution was drafted for Maryland, and Judge Niles labored to have his plan incorporated in it. Maintaining a vigil at committee meetings and caucuses, he realized his greatest moment on November 22, 1967, when the “Niles Plan” was approved as a feature of the proposed constitution. The victory was short lived, however, because the new constitution was rejected by the voters the following year. Within Judge Niles’ lifetime, major parts of the plan were adopted by administrative decree of the governor. Its most salient feature, abolishing contested judicial elections, has yet to be realized in Maryland.


REUBEN OPPENHEIMER
1897–1982

In a history of the law firm of Frank, Bernstein, Conaway and Goldman, written in 1979, Shale D. Stiller wrote of Reuben Oppenheimer: “The Oppenheimer name remained in the firm name until 1955, when Oppenheimer was appointed as Associate Judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. Throughout his 34 years of association with the firm, Oppenheimer was its leader and its magnet, and even today, there are many lawyers, both inside the firm and outside the firm, who speak with great reverence, admiration and respect for Oppenheimer, the lawyer.”

He was born in Baltimore on October 24, 1897, and attended city public schools. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 1917 and served in the U.S. Navy during World War I. Judge Oppenheimer graduated with honors from Harvard Law School in 1921, having served as law review editor in his senior year. He joined what was then the law firm of Frank, Emory, Beeuwkes & Skeen as an associate in February 1921. Eli Frank, Sr., left in 1922 to become a judge, and the next year Judge Oppenheimer became a partner. Reuben Oppenheimer was president of the Maryland State Bar Association in 1955 when he was appointed by Governor Theodore R. McKeldin to a new judgeship on the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. He also served as president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City. Governor J. Millard Tawes appointed him to the Court of Appeals of Maryland in 1964 to succeed Judge Brune. Judge Oppenheimer retired at the mandatory age of 70 in 1967. He died on July 10, 1982 , at the age of 84.


PHILIP B. PERLMAN
1890–1960

Philip Perlman was eulogized for his battle for the “elimination of the evils of discrimination,” his “brilliant mind and crusading spirit,” and his “glittering string of victories” in the U.S. Supreme Court. The strong civil rights plank that he drafted for the platform of the 1960 Democratic National Convention was said to have been his crowning achievement. It advocated voting rights and open housing for all Americans. As U.S. Solicitor General from 1947–52, he personally argued the government’s brief in Shelley v. Kraemer before the Supreme Court, in which racially restrictive covenants in deeds that prevented residential housing sales to African-Americans were held to be unconstitutional in 1948. Perlman returned to private practice in 1952, heading up his own firm in Washington, D.C.

He had begun his career in private practice in Baltimore and, as City Solicitor from 1923–26, had defended city housing policies that discriminated against minorities. In the course of a single professional life of 50 years, Philip Perlman changed from being an advocate of racial segregation to a champion of the rights of African-Americans. More importantly, this change signified a metamorphosis in the body politic of the nation, the beginning of a movement away from discrimination and toward racial equality.


JOHN P. POE
1836–1909

John Prentiss Poe was a household name in law offices across Maryland thanks to his authorship of Poe’s Pleading and Practice, the indispensable treatise first published in 1880. For many years, he was dean of the University of Maryland School of Law and one of the most powerful politicians in the state Democratic Party. He codified the public general laws and public local laws of Maryland and the ordinances of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. He served as president of the Maryland State Bar Association in 1898–99.

His father was Judge Neilson Poe (1809–1884), second cousin of the immortal Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849). Each married half-sisters, the latter marrying Virginia Clemm, and the former, Josephine Clemm.

He was a strict party man, espousing the principles of Jefferson, whose portrait hung in his office. He held numerous public offices, including school commissioner, member of various tax commissions, state senator and City Solicitor. He was Attorney General of Maryland from 1891–95. He delivered one of the principal addresses at the dedication of the Baltimore City Courthouse (now the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse) at its opening on January 8, 1900.

He was the father of nine children. All six of his sons went to Princeton, his alma mater, where they became legendary football stars. His son and namesake became a soldier of fortune and was killed in France at the Battle of Loos in 1915 while serving in the famous kilted Black Watch regiment in World War I. Another son, Edgar Allan Poe, also served as Attorney General of Maryland.


J. GILBERT PRENDERGAST
1909–1973

In 1973, the year of his death, Judge J. Gilbert Prendergast was honored by the St. Thomas More Society with its “Man For All Seasons” Award. As a judge, lawyer, and citizen, Judge Prendergast fully lived up to the name of that award.He was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame University in 1930, where he had been recruited to play football by the legendary Knute Rockne. He came to Baltimore to study law at the University of Maryland. After gradation in 1933, he worked for a year as an insurance claims adjuster before joining the law firm of Clark, Thomsen and Smith (later Smith, Somerville and Case), where he specialized in insurance defense litigation. His employment as an assistant city solicitor from 1941–43 was interrupted by service during World War II on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers in the South Pacific. He returned to private practice at the firm in 1945 and became a partner the following year. In 1955, the firm became known as Clark, Smith and Prendergast. He was known as one of the city’s finest trial lawyers and was appointed to the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City by Governor J. Millard Tawes in 1959.

Prendergast’s years on the bench were marked by a number of high-profile cases that came before him, including that of Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s landmark challenge to the constitutionality of mandatory prayer in Baltimore public schools. Judge Prendergast’s most tangible legacy was the collection of opinions he handed down as the city judge assigned to handle issues of pretrial discovery. With the assistance of his law clerks and secretary who compiled and indexed them, these cases formed a substantial portion of the Maryland Discovery Opinions published by the Young Lawyers Section of the Maryland State Bar Association in 1975.


NORMAN P. RAMSEY
1922–1993

Norman P. Ramsey was not only a great lawyer, but also a great U.S. District Judge. He was revered as a “lawyer’s lawyer” and as a role model to the younger members of the profession.

Judge Ramsey was born in Fairchance, Pennsylvania on September 1, 1922. After graduating from Towson High School in 1938, he attended Loyola College and the University of Maryland School of Law. Judge Ramsey’s law studies were interrupted by World War II, when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He saw combat in the Pacific on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After the war, he returned to his law studies and graduated in 1946. He was admitted to the Maryland bar while in his third year at the University of Maryland School of Law, where he was associate editor of the law review. From 1947–48, he served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge W. Calvin Chesnut. He served two years as an assistant U.S. Attorney before joining the law firm of Semmes, Bowen & Semmes in 1950. Except for his two years as an assistant attorney general of Maryland in 1955–57, his career as a practicing attorney was spent at Semmes. He gave unstintingly in public service, serving at vari
ous times as chairman of the school, civil service and fire boards of Baltimore City.

He served as pr