On October 14, 2014, 40+ members of the Bar gathered at Christopher Daniels Restaurant in Cockeysville to hear from a coalition of individuals billed as those you “Need to Know” in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County in order to be effective.
After a brief presentation from Kristine Howanski involving news from the Family Law Section Council of the State Bar Association, Mary Sanders, the current Family Law Chair, introduced the various individuals considered VIPs.
Wendy Sawyer, Director of the Mediation and Family Services Office, spoke of the role the mediators play in the various proceedings in the court house, including but not limited to, contempt, divorce, CINA and TPR case and how to access this valuable service even if there is not any litigation pending.
Betty Domozych, Scheduling, provided the latest in the news involving Master’s Settlement/Scheduling Conferences, telephone conferences, collection of fees and the like.
Patti Luchessi, Central Assignment, advised of the state of “stand by” cases, in addition to providing other pertinent information regarding scheduling.
Lauri McComas, Clerk’s Office, was identified as “THE GO TO PERSON” if you have a problem that needs fixing, as she describes herself, “I know a lot about everything, but I am Master of none.”
Becky Culbertson, Motions Hearing Clerk, handles the processing of all Family Law Motions. She can help in getting the Motions processed and ruled upon in your family law matter.
Lori Keel, Director of Child Support Enforcement Baltimore County, also spoke. She can fix any problem that you encounter within this agency.
Billy Allen, recently retired Docent of the Courthouse, advised that he worked in the Courthouse for 54 years, was enjoying the meeting and catching up with long-time friends but further advised that he loved retirement.
In the midst of the presentation of important persons, the Honorable J. Norris Byrnes rose to say a few words about a very important person in the Courthouse, Barbara Preis. Judge Byrnes spoke about the spectacular job that she has done in Settlement Court over the past 12 years. Judge Barnes referred to her unending patience, work, work ethic and calm and friendly demeanor in a place riddled with antagonism and toxicity. He presented her with an Award of Appreciation from the Family Law Committee.
Rebecca Fleming presented Barbara with a Proclamation summarizing her accomplishments and sent sincere wishes for her future happiness. After hugs and a few tears, Barbara thanked everyone for their kindness and relayed that she would surely miss her job. Stating that “life calls” Barbara offered that she was looking forward to the future. Having spent over 26 years working in the Courthouse over the course of her career, Barbara will undoubtedly be missed by every family law attorney.
Once again, the monthly Family Law Committee Dinner meeting was a success. If you haven’t done so recently, I encourage you to attend one of the monthly dinner meetings. You won’t be disappointed.