MSBA expresses our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Past President Judge Roger W. Titus, who passed away on Sunday, March 3, 2019, following a courageous battle with cancer. He was 77-years-old.
Titus served as MSBA President during the 1988-1989 bar year. He was commissioned as a United States District Judge on November 17, 2003, and served in the Court’s Southern Division at the Greenbelt courthouse and was on active status until January 17, 2014. He continued service on senior status until his passing.
Funeral services were held Friday, March 8, at Saint Bartholomew Catholic Church in Bethesda, followed by a reception at Congressional Country Club and private burial.
Dennis Belman, who served as MSBA President in 1994-1995, recalls that, despite being the same age as Titus, “I always considered him older and much wiser.”
“When I was Bar President, I often sought Roger’s advice on various matters coming before the Board of Governors,” he says. “While I didn’t agree with some of the advice given, it was almost always correct.”
“He was a brilliant lawyer, good guy, and will be missed by all of us in Bar leadership during those years,” notes Belman.
In May 1989, as Titus neared the end of his presidency, the Maryland Judiciary issued its Report on Gender Bias in the Courts. “Roger saw the importance of the Report – and the controversial impact of its declaration that gender bias did exist in Maryland courts and required correction,” recalls Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Pamela J. White, then-President of the Women’s Bar Association of Maryland (White later served as MSBA President in 2001-2002). “He was a change-agent as he participated in the identification and appointment of members to the newly constituted and implemented Committee on Gender Equality.” That Committee, chaired by Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Larry Rodowsky (and on which White herself would serve for 12 years), was charged with addressing many of the 121 recommendations set forth by the Report, including many recommended action items for the organized bar.”
“Roger’s appreciation of ‘professionalism’ at the bar necessarily expanded with his focus on concerns and issues of diversity in the legal profession and on the bench,” notes White.
In 2013, then-incoming President Michael J. Baxter interviewed Titus, as well as fellow Past Presidents Hon. Barbara Kerr Howe, Harry S. Johnson, and Paul D. Bekman, for a video feature paying homage to retired Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, Court of Appeals of Maryland:
Read The Washington Post’s obituary for the Honorable Roger W. Titus here.