This year’s deserving recipient of the J. Earle Plumhoff Professionalism Award is Herbert R. O’Conor, III, who received the Award following a resounding standing ovation at the annual Bar Association dinner on January 29th. The Award is given each year to a member of our Bar Association who has made significant contributions to the Bar Association, whose contributions have gone largely unnoticed, and who espouses particularly high marks for dignity, integrity and civility. Herb met and exceeded each of the criterion.
Herb has spent almost his entire 41 year career working and living in Baltimore County. After a federal clerkship in 1975, Herb practiced with Cook, Howard, Downs and Tracy until its merger with Venable, and then remained at Venable until 1994. After a short stint with U.S.F.&G., Herb became the managing attorney for State Auto Mutual Insurance Company, a position he still holds through his Towson firm of O’Conor, Grant and Samuels.
Herb’s many contributions to the Bar Association include active membership on a multitude of committees and service as the Chair of the Professionalism Committee, the CLE Committee and the (former) Planning and Zoning Committee. Outside of service to the Bar Association, Herb has served on the Boards of Province Review, Good Shepherd Center and the Maryvale Preparatory School.
Unfailingly, everyone who knows Herb knows him to be polite, cooperative, professional, congenial, helpful, intelligent and courteous.
Herb was nominated for the Plumhoff Award by The Honorable Philip N. Tirabassi, who described Herb as “a throwback to another era” who we, as members of the Bar “would be far more professional if we were to emulate his ways.” Judge Tirabassi wrote that Herb “brings an air of dignity, integrity and quality” to everything he does. Judge Tirabassi concluded his nomination with the following personal observation: “The profession would be far better off by having many more individuals like Herb, who has displayed manners, respect and dignity throughout his legal career. I can think of no more deserving individual to receive the J. Earle Plumhoff Award than Mr. O’Conor.” The Professionalism Committee agreed with Judge Tirabassi’s assessment, as did the Executive Committee and the Bar Association as a whole. Congratulations Herb. Very well deserved indeed!