About the Award

The Honorable Anselm Sodaro Judicial Civility Award is presented annually to a sitting judge of the District, Circuit or Appellate courts of Maryland who demonstrates exceptional judicial temperament, civility, and courtesy to attorneys, litigants, and others.

Judge Sodaro stated that courtrooms should be “inviting” to attorneys and litigants. Judge Sodaro believed that while judges must maintain order and control of the courtroom, they should do so in a manner which does not demean or embarrass attorneys, litigants, jurors, or witnesses. He noted that lawyers always sought judges who provided a “level playing field.” Judge Sodaro made it a practice to compliment attorneys and litigants and to recognize in open court the efforts of both sides in presenting difficult cases. This award seeks to honor judges with similar qualities.

2021 Award Presentation

Watch Matthew Esworthy (Anslem Sodaro’s grandson), Hon. Shannon Avery (one of many nominators), and MSBA Past President Hon. Mark Scurti present the 2021 Sodaro Award to Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera.

Previous Sodaro Award Recipients

1998 – Hon. Raymond Joseph Kane Jr.
1999 – Hon. Ann S. Harrington
2000 – Hon. Maurice W. Baldwin, Jr.
2001 – Hon. Robert H. Mason
2002 – Hon. Albert J. Matricciani, Jr.
2003 – Hon. Daniel M. Long
2004 – Hon. Ellen Moses Heller
2005 – Hon. Neil Edward Axel
2006 – Hon. Richard H. Sothoron, Jr.
2007 – Hon. Joseph P. Manck
2008 – Hon. Diane O. Leasure
2009 – Hon. Robert J. Steinberg
2010 – Hon. Ann Sundt
2011 – Hon. John H. Tisdale
2012 – Hon. Pamela North
2013 – Hon. John P. Miller
2014 – Hon. James Sherbin
2015 – Hon. Robert Greenberg
2016 – Hon. C. Philip Nichols, Jr.
2017 – Hon. Theresa Adams
2018 – Hon. Stuart R. Berger
2019 – Hon. Martin P. Welch
2020 – Hon. Gregory C. Powell
2021 – Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera
2022 – Hon. Justin J. King
2023 – Hon. Nicholas E. Rattal