Notice of Proposed By-Laws Change

Notice of Proposed By-Laws Change


The Executive Council of the Harford County Bar Association will present a proposed change to our By-Laws at the general meeting set for Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 5:00 P.M.  All members in good standing are encouraged to attend and vote.


It is proposed that Article XI, Section (c) be amended as follows:


(c) The fiscal year of the Association shall commence on the first day of (July) June and end on the (thirtieth) thirty-first day of (June) May.

Viewing and Funeral for James P. Krawczyk


We are sad to announce the passing of James P. Krawczyk, father of member J. Paul Krawczyk, Jr.

The viewing will be held on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at Schimunek Funeral Home in Bel Air (610 W. MacPhail Road)

Times will be from 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm with a luncheon between.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 10 am starting at Schimunek Funeral Home and ending at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens (200 E. Padonia Road, Timonium, MD, 21093).

Maryland Judiciary Expands Electronic Case Filing to Southern Maryland

(PRINCE FREDERICK, LA PLATA, AND LEONARDTOWN, MARYLAND – June 14, 2017) – The Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) case management system is now operational in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties.  The launch of MDEC in a county makes electronic filing mandatory for attorneys representing clients in civil and criminal cases in District Court, Circuit Court, and any appellate filings that commence in that county.


MDEC modernizes court processes and makes case filing more convenient for litigants.  Maryland attorneys have been filing electronically, or “e-filing,” since October 2014, when MDEC launched as a pilot in Anne Arundel County.  The Judiciary is expanding the highly automated system to provide attorneys with the opportunity to transition from a paper-based process to a technology-based electronic filing system.


“The Maryland Judiciary continues to make great progress in bringing electronic filing and case management to all Maryland state courts in order to improve services for the people of Maryland,” said Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland.  “Implementation of MDEC statewide will allow the Judiciary to meet a key goal of its strategic plan: improving services for all who enter the court by modernizing systems and streamlining processes.  The launch of MDEC in these three jurisdictions would not have been possible without the commitment of Judiciary staff and leadership throughout the implementation process.”


“With this launch, the Judiciary has successfully implemented MDEC in more than half of the court jurisdictions in the state,” said John P. Morrissey, Chief Judge of the District Court of Maryland.  “The tremendous work by everyone in the courts and the supporting offices to train, update hardware and facilities, and prepare for the new system has resulted in a smooth, seamless transition.”


“This is a long-awaited and planned-for event in our courts,” said Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Administrative Judge for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, which consists of Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s counties.  “Our judges and staff are well-prepared for this launch, having trained and worked with those who have already implemented the system, and we are pleased to be able to modernize our records system.”


“Our launch was like an almost-normal workday because we have all been working very hard behind the scenes to prepare for MDEC,” said Christy Holt Chesser, Administrative Judge for District 4, which consists of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties.  “This system is an important step forward in terms of records management and case filing.”


Courts no longer will accept paper filings from attorneys in areas where MDEC has launched.  Maryland Rule 20-106(b), however, sets out the circumstances in which a person may be excused from the e-filing requirement.  Nonpayment of rent cases filed under Maryland Code, Real Property, Section 8-401, will continue to be exempt from mandatory electronic filing until further notice.


As part of the preparation for MDEC’s launch in Southern Maryland, the Judiciary held informational events and offered online instructions to help attorneys learn about the new system, how to register to use it, and how to e-file.


The Judiciary website has more information about MDEC and instructions for attorneys and staff on how to register to e-file.  Attorneys and staff who are registered to e-file can register for webinars and training.


As of June 12, MDEC is operational in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. 


The next launch of MDEC will be October 16, 2017 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties in Western Maryland.  The Judiciary is on pace to achieve the goal to bring MDEC to every court by 2021.


# # #

Employment Opportunity

Bel Air Family Law Firm is seeking a full time receptionist.  Applicants should be self-starters, organized and know how to work under pressure in a professional environment.  We offer competitive pay, benefits and a pleasant work environment. EOE. To be considered, please submit your resume to

Judge Patricia L. Mitchell Named District Administrative Judge for Montgomery County


 (ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, May 19, 2017) — Montgomery County District Judge Patricia L. Mitchell has been named Administrative Judge for District 6 (Montgomery County) of the District Court of Maryland.  After consultation with Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey designated Judge Mitchell District Administrative Judge, effective July 1.  Judge Mitchell will begin her new role upon the July 1 retirement of District Administrative Judge Eugene Wolfe, who was appointed to the District Court in 2002 and served as the District’s Administrative Judge for the previous 11 years.

District Court Chief Judge Morrissey said, “Judge Mitchell is ideally prepared for this new role.  She brings substantial expertise from the bench and has exemplified great stewardship of the Judiciary’s commitment to fair and accessible justice for all.  As a leader in the court, Judge Mitchell has earned the respect of her colleagues, and I look forward to working with Patti to continue the initiatives undertaken by Judge Wolfe.”


Chief Judge Barbera said, “We are grateful to Judge Wolfe for his service as District Administrative Judge on behalf of the people of Montgomery County and Maryland.  I am confident Judge Mitchell will build on his achievements to provide effective administration of the District Court facilities and services in Montgomery County in order to meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges.”


“It is a unique honor to serve Montgomery County because this is my home. I grew up in Garrett Park, graduated from Walter Johnson High School, and earned an associate degree from Montgomery College,” Judge Mitchell said.  “I started at the Montgomery County District Court after high school in the clerk’s office and was a District Court Commissioner from 1975 to 1980 while I went to law school at night.  I have been fortunate throughout my career to learn from and work with highly skilled and dedicated judges and professionals.  I am grateful to Chief Judge Morrissey and Chief Judge Barbera for this opportunity.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in this new role as we provide efficient and accessible services and ensure the effective administration of justice in Montgomery County.”


Judge Mitchell has served on the Montgomery County District Court since December 2, 1996.  After graduating from the American University in 1976, Judge Mitchell earned her Juris Doctor from the George Mason University School of Law in 1980 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1981.  She was law clerk to Judge William M. Cave, Circuit Court for Montgomery County, from 1980 to 1981.  Before she was appointed to the bench, Judge Mitchell was an attorney with O’Malley, Miles, Farrington & McCarthy from 1981 to 1982, the Office of the Public Defender in Rockville from 1982 to 1983, and Donahue, Ehrmantraut & Montedonico, Chtd., from 1983 to 1988.  Judge Mitchell was acting general counsel and associate general counsel for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission from 1988 to 1996.


Judge Mitchell serves on the Maryland Judicial Council’s Education Committee and is Chair of the Commissioner Education Subcommittee. She is also a member of the District Court Chief Judge’s Committee.  She has been an adjunct professor in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology at the American University since 1999, and was adjunct professor at the Montgomery College Paralegal Studies Program from 2001 to 2003, the University of Baltimore School of Law from 2005 to 2011, and the George Mason University School of Law from 2010 to 2012.  She is a former member of the Maryland State Board of Law Examiners.


# # #

The Park School Wins 2017 Mock Trial State Championship

The Park School Wins 2017 Mock Trial State Championship


(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, April 28, 2016) — Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Michele D. Hotten today announced The Park School as the winner of the 2017 Mock Trial State Championship.  Baltimore City College High School and The Park School (Baltimore County) competed in the championship final in the historic Court of Appeals today in the state’s 34th annual competition.


“I was honored to preside over the Maryland Mock Trial Championship this year,” said Judge Hotten.  “The stellar performances of these teams reflected a tremendous amount of dedication, hard work, preparation and confidence.  I applaud the pinnacle of success these finalists have achieved and the sportsmanship exhibited by both teams during the mock trial.”


This year’s mock trial case, Maryland v. Saratoga, provided the opportunity for students to research and study the environmental justice issue of contaminated water supplies in communities and schools, which has been brought to the forefront of legal discourse due to the crisis in Flint, Michigan.  The students received information about the mock case, which included criminal charges filed against a local school superintendent after high concentrations of lead were found in the district’s drinking fountains.


“The Maryland Judiciary has an honored tradition of working with the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) and the Citizenship Law Related Education Program (CLREP) to educate students and the public about the judicial branch of government,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera.  “Programs such as the Mock Trial State Competition encourage students to develop their understanding of and appreciation for our system of justice and the role of the rule of law in our democracy.  I congratulate all of the teams competing in this year’s Mock Trial  Competition, those teams competing in the semifinal round, and commend the Baltimore City College High School and The Park School teams for their performance in the final round of competition.”


The mock trial competition depends heavily on the several hundred judges, magistrates, and attorneys who volunteer to coach the teams and score the competitions at the local, regional, semifinal, and final levels, providing high school students throughout Maryland the opportunity to learn about the law and the legal system while developing advocacy skills.  Since the competition began in 1983, more than 62,000 students from nearly all of the counties in Maryland and Baltimore City have participated.


“Mock trials provide an excellent opportunity for state and local bar associations to connect with students and the community,” said Judge Harry C. Storm, Montgomery County Circuit Court, who is also president of the MSBA.  “Attorneys throughout the state are rewarded with a unique opportunity to coach and connect with the next generation of jurists.”


The Mock Trial semifinals were held on Thursday, April 27, at the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, with Court of Special Appeals Judge Timothy E. Meredith and Court of Special Appeals Judge Douglas R. M. Nazarian presiding.  The four semifinal teams included Baltimore City College High School; Bishop Walsh High School (Allegany County); The Park School (Baltimore County); and Winston Churchill High School (Montgomery County).


“The Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) and Citizenship Law Related Education Program’s Mock Trial Competition is incredibly fortunate to have the support and participation of many of Maryland’s judges and lawyers,” said Shelley Brown, Executive Director, CLREP.  “Their involvement and enthusiasm creates a unique, authentic educational experience for nearly two thousand Maryland students and teachers every year.”


The mock trial competition is coordinated by the Citizenship Law-Related Education Program in cooperation with the Maryland State Bar Association and the Maryland Judiciary.  Every year, high school mock trial teams participate at least four times each in local competitions.  By the time a team has reached the state championship, it will have competed, on average, more than eight times.  Virtually all competitions are held in either District Court or Circuit Court courtrooms throughout the state.


Follow the Maryland Judiciary on Twitter to get news and notes from the courts.


# # #