Pro Bono Profile:
Honoring Long-Term Pro Bono Service
By Lisa Muscara
Francis J. Gorman
“A skilled attorney, dedicated
to making legal services available to low-income persons and ever-available
to those who dedicate themselves to providing those services. In short, he
truly cares.” A poignant description of Francis J. Gorman, recipient
of this year’s Lee A. Caplan Maryland Pro Bono Service Award. Gorman
and seven other 2005 Maryland Pro Bono Service Award recipients were honored
on June 18 at the MSBA Annual Meeting in Ocean City, Maryland.
The Lee A. Caplan Award – one of the Maryland Pro Bono
Service Awards, sponsored by the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland (PBRC) – is
presented to a solo or small firm practitioner who has demonstrated long-term
commitment through extensive pro bono service over many years. Francis J. Gorman
fits this description to a “T”.
Gorman has developed an impressive professional background.
He is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and
the Georgetown University Law Center. In 1995, he co-founded the Baltimore-based
firm Gorman & Williams. His practice includes litigation, arbitration and
mediation of business and insurance matters, including professional liability
and responsibility matters and jury and non-jury trial of patent, copyright
and trademark infringement cases. Gorman is a past chairman of the Intellectual
Property Subcommittee of the Maryland State Bar Association. He serves in various
community and professional groups, including the Advisory Committee of St.
Ambrose Housing Aid Center. He is a member of the American College of Trial
Lawyers and is admitted to practice before the bars of Maryland and the District
of Columbia. He is also a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of
Baltimore School of Law.
Gorman’s history with pro bono service is equally impressive
and has been demonstrated on numerous levels. He has been actively involved
with St. Ambrose Legal Services (SALS) Advisory Committee since its inception
in 1988. SALS provides legal counseling and direct legal representation to
low- and moderate-income clients who have been victimized by predatory real
estate practices. SALS also helps clients enforce land installment sales contracts
and resist fraudulent re-financing and home improvement scams. Gorman’s
service to SALS permeates the organization. He has not only participated as
a faithful member of SALS Advisory Committee but has also served as an impressive
advocate for the organization’s low-income clients, serving as co-counsel
in class action, multi-plaintiff and individual cases. His involvement in these
pro bono matters has impacted the lives of hundreds of clients.
Gorman’s commitment to equal access to justice extends
beyond his service to SALS. He serves as a member of the adjunct faculty at
the University of Baltimore School of Law, and through teaching, seminars,
lectures and other educational activities, shares not only his own expertise
with the community but also engages lawyers from his firm as well as other
colleagues. For his long-term service to SALS and to the legal services community
at large, Francis J. Gorman is a truly deserving recipient of the 2005 Lee
A. Caplan Maryland Pro Bono Service Award. PBRC extends our congratulations
and thanks to Mr. Gorman for his many years of dedicated service.
Lisa Muscara is Director of Volunteer Services for the Pro Bono Resource
Center of Maryland.