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Law movers: 4/23/12

It’s all in the family

Lisa DiMonte

When people talk about joining the family business, they’re probably not thinking of the kind of career move Lisa DiMonte has made. She’s the new CEO of Planet Depos LLC, a Washington D.C./Baltimore-based international court reporting business that was launched in 2009 by her three sons, Joseph, William and Nico, who say they owe their interest in court reporting to their parents. DiMonte has 34 years’ experience in the legal industry, both as the founder of her own court reporting service and also as an executive with another international court reporting business. She served as CEO to, an Internet company that helps lawyers find and vet legal service providers around the globe.

Lisa DiMonte

Education: University of Alabama; ITT Business Institute

Resides in: Fairfax, Va.

What drew her to Planet Depos: The desire to be reunited with my sons in a business we all love and are passionate about.

Recent vacation: Tuscany

Favorite book: Mind Magic: Techniques for Transformation (Marta Hiatt)

Favorite quotation: “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” — Albert Schweitzer


The Maryland Access to Justice Commission has announced the recipients of its second annual Maryland Access to Justice Awards. The Outstanding Program of the Year Award goes to the District Court Self-Help Center operated by Maryland Legal Aid, which in 2011 helped more than 10,000 self-represented litigants with civil cases before the District Court of Maryland.

Del. Samuel I. Rosenberg and Sen. Jamie Raskin won Legislator of the Year Awards. Rosenberg’s was for sponsoring a 2010 bill that enhanced the filing fee surcharge that generated funds for civil legal services and for introducing three 2011 bills to implement the recommendations of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission to help law students enter public interest or public service practice. Raskin was recognized for advancing a number of legislative issues that have enhanced access to justice in Maryland. Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown received the Executive Branch Award for championing reforms to help victims of domestic violence, laws that protect the health and safety of children, and access to justice for veterans.

Two judges shared Judge of the Year: Judge Karen Murphy Jensen, administrative judge for the Circuit Court for Caroline County, and retired Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Joseph F. Murphy, Jr. Connie Kratovil-Lavelle, executive director of family administration, Administrative Office of the Courts, won the Judicial Branch Excellence Award for her dedication to Maryland families who need help negotiating the legal system and the courts. The honorees will receive their awards at the 2012 Judicial Conference on May 11 in Annapolis.

Michelle M. Harner, co-director of the business law program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore is one of 19 new members elected to the Council of the American Law Institute, whose members include eminent judges, practicing lawyers and law professors from the United States and abroad. The institute drafts, discusses, revises and publishes restatements of the law, model codes and principles of law that influence both courts and legislatures, as well as legal scholarship and education Its total membership currently stands at 4,317.

Michael Baader, partner-in-charge of the Baltimore office of Venable LLP, has been named chair of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore’s board of directors. A corporate attorney who has been active in the Baltimore business community for 25 years, Baader served as chair of the corporate transactions group at Venable for seven years. He replaces former EAGB board chair Ed Brake and says the board will continue to concentrate on promoting regional business growth by producing timely research and supporting the companies and leaders who make up the local business community.

Sheela Murthy, president and founder of the Murthy Law Firm, an immigration law firm, has been invited for reappointment to the peer review committee of the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission. The appointment is for a term of two years. The commission oversees the discipline of Maryland lawyers and also seeks to prevent the unauthorized practice of law. Murthy was also the recent recipient of the 2012 Children’s Guild Sadie Award for her philanthropic activities. The Children’s Guild’s work includes special-needs schools serving children and adolescents who are difficult to educate due to autism, multiple disabilities and trauma.

Byron L. Warnken, a law professor at the University of Baltimore for 35 years, is the 2012 recipient of the Robert C. Heeney Award, a lifetime achievement award within Maryland’s criminal law community. One recipient is selected annually by the Maryland State Bar Association Criminal Law & Practice Section, consisting of judges, prosecutors, and defense counsel. Warnken is only the second academic to receive the award in its 31-year history. Warnken plans to publish a 1,200-page treatise on Maryland Criminal Procedure in 2013. He has handled more than 200 appeals, including eight cases in the Supreme Court. The award dinner is scheduled for Thursday, May 31 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Martin’s West, off Beltway exit 16.

Joyce A. Kuhns, a partner in the Baltimore office of Saul Ewing’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice, has been selected to serve as co-chair of the newly reactivated and renamed Greater Maryland chapter of the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation. IWIRC is an international organization dedicated to supporting and promoting women professionals in the insolvency and restructuring professions worldwide. Members of the Greater Maryland Network will encompass lawyers, accountants, lenders, judges, financial advisors, liquidators and others. Kuhns will co-chair the chapter with Linda V. Donhauser, a partner with Miles & Stockbridge P.C. The group will host its first event in May.