As the home of Maryland’s legal profession, the Maryland State Bar Association celebrates the accomplishments of all of its members. MSBA is proud to highlight the recent achievements, career moves, and impact members are making within the legal profession. Please join us in congratulating the following members on their recent moves.

CHRISTOPHER AZUOMA is the newest associate attorney at McMillan Metro.  Christopher graduated with his J.D. in 2018 from Howard University School of Law. His dedication to his clients and passion for the law has earned him numerous accolades, including a place on The National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 list in 2022. Christopher will focus on representing clients in real estate transactions, including acquisitions, financing, development, commercial leasing, and more. 

THOMAS A. HAUSER, a distinguished real estate and finance attorney with more than 30 years of experience, will become Managing Partner of Ballard Spahr’s Baltimore office, effective October 1, 2023. Mr. Hauser represents clients in all aspects of the purchase, sale, financing, and restructuring of real estate assets. He regularly handles large, complex transactions throughout the country that often involve multiple layers of financing and equity interests. He is a Fellow with the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA), and the Past President and Board Member of The Family Tree, a leading authority in Maryland for the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

KEVIN KELEHAN, a partner with Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett & Scherr LLP, received the Distinguished Maryland Real Property Practitioner Award from the Real Property Section Council of the MSBA. The award “is given annually to a Maryland real estate attorney who best exemplifies the experience, client service, technical skill, integrity, collegiality and courtesy that all real estate lawyers strive for in their professional lives.” Kelehan focuses on real estate law, primarily real estate finance and affordable housing. He earned his law degree from the University of Baltimore and graduated from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

LYDIA LAWLESS, former Maryland Bar Counsel, has joined Kramon & Graham as a Principal.  Ms. Lawless joins the firm’s litigation and appellate practices, where she will counsel lawyers and law firms in a wide range of matters and transactions, including compliance with professional obligations in merger transactions and separations, and in connection with internal controls and practices. Ms. Lawless will also represent lawyers, law firms and other professionals in the defense of professional liability claims. Given her experience conducting sensitive investigations involving a wide variety of subjects and transactions, Ms. Lawless will also represent commercial clients in corporate investigations and high-stakes business disputes. Ms. Lawless earned a reputation as one of Maryland’s finest trial and appellate lawyers. As the chief investigator and administrative prosecutor of attorney misconduct, she has handled numerous high-profile matters and argued more than 35 cases before the Supreme Court of Maryland. In 2017, Ms. Lawless was recognized by the American Bar Association with the prestigious Rosner and Rosner Young Lawyers Professionalism Award for her commitment to legal and judicial ethics, lawyer professionalism, and client protection. She has been named to the Daily Record’s Power 30 Law List and its list of Influential Marylanders. She earned her J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law and her B.A. from the University of Maryland College Park. She is a member of the state and federal bars of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

MELISSA MENKEL MCGUIRE has joined Gordon Feinblatt LLC in its Employment and Benefits/ERISA groups. Melissa brings experience and depth to the firm’s employer-side employment group. She has more than 25 years of experience in employment law. Melissa represents small, medium and large public, private and non-profit employers in all aspects of employment law. She provides advice and counsel on employee leave, disciplinary matters, wage and hour issues, wage payment and collective issues, reasonable accommodation, labor issues, medical leave, protection of proprietary information and employee good will, discrimination, harassment and retaliation under the civil rights laws. Melissa attended the University of Maryland School of Law and Notre Dame University of Maryland where she was awarded a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She is admitted to practice in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia.

NICHOLS GELMANN LLC opened its doors on June 1, 2023. Founded by PILAR CAMUS NICHOLS and EMILY B. GELMANNNichols Gelmann focuses on a personalized client experience, representing clients in family law matters, protective orders/peace orders, and criminal defense across the State. Pilar has nearly two decades of experience as a litigator starting from her time in the States’ Attorney’s Office to private practice family law. Pilar is an active member of the MSBA, serving on the Leadership Academy Committee (after graduating as a fellow) and sitting on the Board of Governors. Emily has focused her entire legal career on family law from litigating the most contentious and financially complex divorce cases to her court appointments as a Parent Coordinator helping parents work together to decrease conflict for their children. Emily is a graduate of the MSBA Leadership Academy. NICHOLE PRIOLO joined Nichols Gelmann as a Senior Counsel after more than a decade of experience as a litigator. Before committing to family law, Nichole practiced across a wide range of civil issues including employment, business, construction, and estate litigation. REBEKA BAUTISTA  also joined Nichols Gelmann after several years of litigation practice. Rebeka’s litigation experience includes domestic violence issues as well as immigration law including SIJS cases. Rebeka is a graduate of the MSBA Leadership Academy, and is the president-elect of the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association.

J.P. RIEGER is a (nearly) retired real estate attorney and amateur musician now bringing his own perspective to the literary sphere. Rieger is the author of Clonk!, a comic story of two Baltimore City detectives on the hunt for a murderer–much of which was inspired by Rieger’s real life experience witnessing antics with the law that were so outrageous, he says “You can’t make this stuff* up.” “Clonk! is a whimsical, nostalgic read spanning Baltimore’s recent past, while keeping company with plenty of amusing scoundrels,” said Dan Fesperman, author of Winter Work, “Diner meets Tin Men.

CATHERINE R. SPALLUZZI has joined Davis, Agnor, Rapaport, & Skalny, LLC in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group, focusing on construction and business litigation.

Prior to joining the firm, Catherine worked with small firms in the Baltimore metropolitan area, where her practice focused on litigation of complex cases in multiple national jurisdictions. She is a versatile counselor, litigator, and negotiator, with experience including civil litigation, employment law, education law, health care law, and mediation. Catherine earned her J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she served as Production Editor of the University of Baltimore Law Review. She received her B.A. from Hamilton College. Catherine is admitted to the bar in Maryland and in the District of Columbia and is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association. She resides in Baltimore with her husband and children.


JUSTIN TEPE has joined as of counsel in Baker Donelson‘s Baltimore office, where he  focuses his practice in the areas of cannabis law, business and corporate law, and commercial litigation. Representing operators and ancillary businesses in the cannabis industry, he serves as outside general counsel and regulatory advisor to clients on a broad range of matters, including employment law, contract negotiations, commercial disputes, and transactions. With a wide-ranging depth of industry knowledge, Mr. Tepe assists clients in the cannabis industry with writing applications for licenses and through all stages of the business lifecycle; developing compliant operating procedures; drafting management agreements; and in corporate governance and formation. Additionally, he defends cannabis clients in regulatory enforcement actions and has negotiated pre-charge resolutions of violations before the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

Mr. Tepe received his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. A member of the  Maryland Dispensary Association, Mr. Tepe is listed in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ for Commercial Litigation (2021 – 2023), and was selected to Maryland’s Rising Stars in Cannabis Law (2023) and Business Litigation (2021-2022).

MARTHA K. WHITE, has joined Wasserman Family Law LLC, in Towson, Maryland, as a Partner. Martha’s primary focus will be on litigation and complex financial services.  Martha is the Chair of the Family Law Committee for the Baltimore County Bar Association. Since 2018, she has served as an Attorney Liaison for the Family Law Division of the Baltimore County Circuit Court. She previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Louis A. Becker of the Circuit Court for Howard County.