Judge James F. Schneider’s professional life was one of public service. He was an assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore City, general equity master for the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City and, for over 35 years, a United States bankruptcy judge. Judge Schneider died on April 6, after many years of ill health. In the coming days we expect that there will be many tributes focusing on his official duties. However, we would like to focus on Judge Schneider’s contributions to the Baltimore bar as its historian par excellence and the fellowship that he shared generously with the members of the legal profession.
For over 40 years, Judge Schneider wrote and spoke about the history of Baltimore’s lawyers and judges. It is hard to think of an important legal anniversary or historical event in those 40 years where Judge Schneider did not write or speak. Among his works were two books, “A Century of Striving for Justice: The Maryland State Bar Association 1896-1996” and “A Bicentennial History of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland” and numerous chapters and articles on legal history. Without his scholarship and rescuing of historical documents, significant parts of Baltimore’s legal history would have been undiscovered or lost. The legal profession owes him a great debt of gratitude.
Judge Schneider was an active participant in bar activities and law clubs. For many years he was a member of the Baltimore Bar Library Board, whose history he wrote in 1979 and updated in 2015. He was unfailingly kind, especially to young lawyers, and generous with his praise for the accomplishments of others. Even in his later years, when he was in ill health, he continued to attend events, most recently the Wranglers Law Club in late February.
Jim Schneider was a judge and a historian. But, first and foremost, he was one of us – a friend, a proud member of the legal profession. We will miss him greatly.
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
James B. Astrachan, Chair
James K. Archibald
Arthur F. Fergenson
Ericka N. King
Stephen Z. Meehan
C. William Michaels
Angela W. Russell
Debra G. Schubert
H. Mark Stichel
Vanessa Vescio (on leave)
The Daily Record Editorial Advisory Board is composed of members of the legal profession who serve voluntarily and are independent of The Daily Record. Through their ongoing exchange of views, members of the board attempt to develop consensus on issues of importance to the bench, bar and public. When their minds meet, unsigned opinions will result. When they differ, or if a conflict exists, majority views and the names of members who do not participate will appear. Members of the community are invited to contribute letters to the editor and/or columns about opinions expressed by the Editorial Advisory Board.