Howard County Community College's Everyday Law welcomed Maryland State Bar Association President, Judge Mark Scurti to a chat with Host, Robert Clark. Judge Scurti was appointed by Governor Martin O'Malley and serves on the District Court for Baltimore City.
Judge Scurti spoke about his service to Maryland's state bar association and the many benefits lawyers accrue in membership. He also revealed the dazzling list of speakers for the impending MSBA conference including former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, United States Senator Amy Klobuchar and NPR Supreme Court and Legal affairs Commentator, Nina Totenberg.
Judge Scurti discussed the negatives and positives of serving a s a judge during the Covid-19 pandemic. He and the other judges continued to come to work throughout the pandemic and found that some sorts of cases were not easily done remotely. Criminal and personal injury cases were in his view, not susceptible to remote trial as seeing the witnesses and their evidence in person is a vital component of assesing credibility.
On the plus side parking tickets and moving violations suddenly saw a jump to 90% attendance in remote court as alleged violaters could check in from their homes and workplaces rather than lose a half day's pay.
Judge Scurti said that the most difficult and challenging work he did was in domestic violence cases. He suggested that innovations such as Veteran's Court, Drug Court and diversion programs, were welcome developments and focused more on helping people deal with personal issues rather than punitive criminal sanctions.
Judge Scurti noted that prior to taking the bench he managed the largest LGBTQ focused firm in the Mid-Atlantic region and helped many people who could not be married in Maryland under the prevailing law at the time, People would go to California or Massachusetts where gay marriage was recognized and return to Maryland where it was not. He would then prepare a vast array of documents necessary to secure the rights and privileges of marriage for the returning Marylanders.