Special to The Daily Record//May 14, 2018
By Special to The Daily Record
//May 14, 2018
Assistant General Counsel
Maryland Commission on Civil Rights
As an attorney specializing in civil rights, Terrence J. Artis has taken on numerous cases.
One he is particularly proud of involved two disabled condominium residents who won the right to have a special key to facilitate travel to the condo clubhouse as a reasonable accommodation in fair housing. The decision, Artis said, opened the door to other rulings for special accommodations for individuals with disabilities, including a blind tenant who needed a seeing eye dog on the property and a person who needed a special parking space.
“In each instance, the burden is on the housing provider, not the resident, to show the request is unreasonable,” Artis said. The initial case, he added, “positively affects many areas because it can help foster a more diverse society.
“…The goal of most civil-rights law is integration, breaking down of barriers,” he said.
Artis is past president of the Heritage Crossing Resident Association, in west Baltimore, and still serves on association committees – walking the neighborhood once or twice a week with a police officer as a member of the Citizens on Patrol Committee, for example.
He has been a pro-bono attorney with Maryland Volunteers Lawyers Service for three years, providing legal representation to low-income Baltimore residents. He also does pro-bono work for several churches in Cecil and Harford counties.
State Del. Charles Sydnor, who has known Artis since they were both judicial clerks at the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, described Artis as “someone constantly seeking to make this world better through service,” both as an attorney and a volunteer.
Artis’ supervisor on the commission, Glendora C. Hughes, praised Artis’ performance in litigation research, opinions and staff advice, and noted he has conducted workshops on discrimination across the state.
She described his dedication to both the legal profession and to community service as admirable – “despite not being a native of Maryland.”