On October 18, M. Peter Moser, 80, a past President of the Maryland State Bar Association, lost his battle with cancer, and Maryland’s legal community lost an exemplary lawyer and revered leader. A well-respected champion of the law, Moser was nationally recognized as a strong advocate for legal ethics whose practice of law reflected professionalism, integrity and the highest ethical standards. He served as MSBA President in 1979-80 and remained involved for the rest of his life. MSBA has not only lost a legal giant and valued leader, but a treasured friend.
“I have always considered Peter Moser to be one of the Bar’s preeminent leaders,” states Katherine Kelly Howard, MSBA President. “He not only inspired young lawyers like myself to become better lawyers, but set an example for us to use to become leaders in our profession through Bar association work and other public service endeavors. His guidance and wisdom will be greatly missed.”
After graduating from the Citadel, Moser earned his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1950 and joined the law firm of Blades and Rosenfeld. From 1951 to 1953, Moser took a leave of absence and served in the U.S. Army as a Judge Advocate General in the Korean War. He then became an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, heading the homicide division. He joined the law firm of Nyburg, Goldman & Walter in 1954 and became a partner in 1966 when the firm merged with Frank, Bernstein, Conaway & Goldman. Moser joined Piper & Marbury in 1992, where he remained for the rest of his legal career.
Moser practiced corporate law, general business law, tax and estate planning, health care law and professional ethics and disciplinary law. He served as President of the Baltimore City Bar Association in 1971 and as President of MSBA in 1979-80. Moser also served as Chairman of the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland from 1982-1986.
In 2002, Moser was honored with the American Bar Association’s Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award in recognition of his commitment to the highest ethical standards in the legal profession. He served as Treasurer of the ABA from 1993 to 1997 and also led the American Bar Foundation. Moser was an active member of the ABA House of Delegates for 24 years and chaired the ABA Professional Ethics Committee in 1981-82.
“Although Peter was MSBA President 30 years ago,” states Paul V. Carlin, MSBA Executive Director, “the MSBA benefited greatly over the years from his expertise and his prominent involvement with the American Bar Association on ethical issues such as the Model Codes for Judicial Conduct and Professional Conduct. When proposals were made to the ABA House of Delegates, the Maryland Delegation could always count on Peter’s wise counsel about the fine points of those proposals. The MSBA was indeed fortunate to benefit from a man of Peter’s caliber and knowledge.”
Moser championed legal ethics in all of these forums and was fondly known by many as the grandfather of legal ethics. He served as a mentor to many young lawyers over the years. Moser leaves a legacy for all lawyers to emulate. This skilled practitioner and ethical expert was a true gentleman.