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Friday, August 23, 2013

Attorney Mark Scurti Appointed to the Bench

Written by  Steve Charing
Mark Scurti Mark Scurti photo: Steve Charing

Mark F. Scurti, a well-known attorney in Baltimore’s LGBT community, was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley on August 13 to be an Associate Judge on the District Court for Baltimore City. Three other judges were named by the governor: Kevin M. Wilson, Martin D. Dorsey and Nicole P. Klein.

“I am pleased to appoint such an accomplished and diverse group of candidates to serve on the Baltimore City District Court,” O’Malley said in a statement. “These appointees will bring to the bench a broad range of legal expertise and a true commitment to public service.”

Mr. Scurti, a partner at Towson law firm Pessin Katz Law P.A. (PK Law), has been appointed to a 10-year term and is expected to begin his new duties in early September.

“Becoming a judge has been a lifelong dream of mine to serve the citizens of Maryland,” Mr. Scurti told Baltimore OUTloud. “I see a judge as an instrument of justice, someone who is able to hear both sides of a dispute, weigh the facts and law and render an appropriate decision.”

He feels his specific work as an attorney served him well in this capacity. “I look back over my professional career and see that everything I have done has prepared me to be an effective and competent judge,” Mr. Scurti notes. “From the very beginning of my practice I handled small claims, traffic and landlord/tenant matters, domestic violence, and criminal, all of which are the core of the cases that come before the District Court. I am honored and humbled that the Governor had the confidence to appoint me to fill this vacancy.”

Mark Scurti has worked at PK Law since 2007, focusing his practice in all aspects of bankruptcy proceedings, debt restructuring and same-sex law. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law, and a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Maryland.

He is well known throughout Maryland for his commitment to helping ensure access to pro bono legal resources for those in need. Mr. Scurti has provided numerous hours of pro bono time imparting legal counsel on a number of areas including same-sex legal issues through the Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center, the Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland, and Maryland Volunteer Lawyer’s Service.

He is also Past President of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, Baltimore Bar Foundation, LGBT Bar of Maryland, Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, Free State Legal Project (a clinic for low income LGBT individuals) and past Chair of the Maryland State Bar Association Consumer Bankruptcy Section. He has served on the MSBA Board of Governors, the National LGBT Bar Association board as well as a number of local and state bar association committees and sections.

In 2007 Mr. Scurti received a Distinguished Alumni Award for his work for OUTLaw, an LGBT advocacy organization at the University of Baltimore School of Law. The award has been renamed the “Mark F. Scurti Award for Outstanding Contributions to the LGBT Community.”

In recognition of his commitment to community service, he was named Maryland Volunteers Lawyers Services’ “Volunteer of the Year” and was a Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland “Top 100” Civil and Human Rights award recipient in 2011.

Mark Scurti was also instrumental in arranging the first same-sex marriage ceremonies at Baltimore City Hall that took place right after midnight on January 1. He stood alongside Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as she proclaimed January 1 to be “Marriage Equality Day.”

“Being a part of making marriage equality legal in Maryland since 1996 has been my motivation and drive to see that this historic date be celebrated through marriages immediately after the law goes into effect,” Mr. Scurti explained at the time.

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