Judge Theresa Lawler’s Retirement

Sixteen Year Veteran of the Baltimore County Orphans’ Court Bench, Judge Theresa A. Lawler Announces She Will Not Seek a Fifth Term

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Press Release from Chief Judge William R. Evans, Baltimore County Orphans’ Court
Towson, Maryland (July 22, 2014)
“I would like to thank Judge Theresa A. Lawler for sixteen years of dedicated service to the residents of Baltimore County. She has had a positive impact on the way Baltimore County and Orphans’ Courts around the State operate. We will miss her wisdom and experience.”

Career and Accomplishments

Orphans’ Court Judge Theresa A. Lawler will be retiring at the end of her term in November. She was first elected in 1998 and served as Chief Judge of the Baltimore County Orphans’ Court from 1999 to 2007. In 2004 the Hon. Robert M. Bell, then Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, appointed Judge Lawler to the Conference of Orphans’ Court Judges where she served as Vice-Chair, Chair and again as Vice-Chair. Hon. Theresa A. Lawler also was elected Treasurer, President and Board Director of the Maryland Association of the Judges of the Orphans’ CoPicture10urts and was appointed to the Board of the Judicial Institute in 2006. Judge Lawler is a member of the National Association of Women Judges and National College of Probate Judges. She is admitted to the Maryland Bar and member of American, Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore City and Women’s Bar Associations. The Daily Record named her one of “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” in 2008, 2010 and 2013 and inducted her into the “Circle of Excellence” in 2013.

The Orphans’ Court conducts hearings, directs the conduct of a Personal Representative, adjudicates disputes and passes orders required in the course of estate administration. When asked about her achievements while serving as an Orphans’ Court Judge, she responded “Orphans’ Court hearings often are highly contested and emotional. During my tenure as Chief Judge, we developed and implemented the Baltimore County Orphans’ Court Mediation Program which allows litigants to meet privately with a trained neutral facilitator to resolve their disputes outside the courtroom. I believe this program saves families time and money and often helps preserve relationships which are severely strained by having to come into court. We also developed the first Baltimore County Orphans’ Court website and educational brochure.” Judge Lawler added “Statewide, I authored several sections about the Orphans’ Court which appear on the Maryland Judiciary website and was pleased to be part of the implementation of continuing legal education requirements for Orphans’ Court Judges, expansion of the number of probate courses offered by the Judicial Institute and development of a two day training and orientation program for newly elected Orphans’ Court Judges.”

Plans after Retirement

When asked what she plans to do after her retirement from the Bench, Judge Lawler said “I hope the next chapter of my life continues to provide me with an opportunity for public service, however, I hope to have more time to travel and “read for fun” and would like to try my hand at writing fiction!”