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Law movers – 7/16/12: Smith rises at Pessin Katz

Smith rises at Pessin Katz

Helen M. Smith

Helen M. Smith has become a member at Pessin Katz Law PA, of Towson. Smith is part of the firm’s estate planning practice. She began her career at Pessin Katz Law as a wealth preservation paralegal and attended the University of Baltimore School of Law in the evenings. She also holds a master’s in taxation from UB. Smith focuses her practice on estate planning, probate and trust administration. She assists individuals and families in setting up their estate plans through prenuptial agreements, wills, trusts, naming guardians for minor children, powers of attorney and health care directives. “Helen has been a valuable part of the firm’s wealth preservation group for many years,” said David N. Pessin, a member of the firm’s Wealth Preservation Group. “She is very well-respected among the Baltimore area’s estate planning legal community.”

Helen M. Smith

Education:Villa Julie College (B.S.), University of Baltimore School of Law (J.D.), University of Baltimore (M.T.).

Resides in: Baltimore County.

What did being a paralegal teach you about being a lawyer? “Being a paralegal gave me extra experience that I would not have had otherwise. I have been a lawyer since June 2004, but I have been working in this area of law since June 1999.”

What is one key piece of legal advice in estate planning? “Don’t ignore it. I have seen too many examples of this on the probate end where I handled an estate that I knew was not being distributed the way the decedent would have wanted, but the decedent never did estate planning or never signed documents.”

Favorite music: “The River” (Garth Brooks).

Favorite quotation: “Save your strength for things that you can change/forgive the ones you can’t.” (“Let It Go,” Zac Brown Band).

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Sheela Murthy, founder and president of the Owings Mills-based immigration practice the Murthy Law Firm, will chair the annual fall conference for the Washington chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in November.

Stein Sperling Bennett De Jong Driscoll PC, of Rockville, has added Meg E. Manchester and Ana M. Rodrigues as associates. Manchester has joined the tax law department, where she will concentrate on business-related tax issues, including entity structuring and transactional planning. Before joining Stein Sperling, she practiced business law in Boston and San Francisco. Rodrigues has joined the firm’s personal injury department, where she will handle serious and catastrophic injury cases.

Graeme W. Bush, chairman of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, a Washington-based firm with a Baltimore office, has been named to the list of “Legal Times Visionaries” by The National Law Journal for spearheading a strategic expansion in the past year through the addition of a prominent group of attorneys in the New York and Baltimore offices, as well as the food and drug practice in Washington.

The Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service has elected four officers. Paul S. Sugar, a principal with Ober | Kaler, of Baltimore, and former vice president, was elected president. His practice is devoted to construction industry counseling and dispute avoidance and resolution. Ex-board treasurer Fred S. Hecker, a partner with Miller & Hecker LLC, of Westminster, was elected vice president. Hecker has practiced law for over 20 years in the areas of civil and criminal litigation. Former board secretary Mary T. Keating, a Baltimore solo practitioner, was elected treasurer. Keating offers representation in civil litigation matters in Baltimore and surrounding counties. Board member E. Hutchinson “Hutch” Robbins Jr., a principal of Baltimore’s Miles & Stockbridge PC, was elected secretary. Robbins heads the firm’s commercial and business litigation practice group.