The MSBA is honored to carry on the legacy of acclaimed criminal law professor and expert Byron L. Warnken with the release of the second edition of Warnken’s Maryland Criminal Procedure. Led by editor Adam Ruther, a partner at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg in Baltimore, the second edition was written by a team of some of the state’s most talented criminal law attorneys.
Professor Warnken passed away on September 5, 2022, at the age of 76. Fondly referred to as Mr. UB, Warnken taught at the University of Baltimore School of Law for more than 40 years, mainly focusing on criminal law and constitutional criminal procedure. His education of attorneys outside of the classroom continued with the publication of his treatise in 2013.
Warnken’s Maryland Criminal Procedure is an invaluable resource for criminal law practitioners, offering over 10,000 cases, statutes, and rules, broken down into specific topic areas for ease of reference. Judge Charles Moylan, Jr. described the first edition as a “monumental contribution to our legal literature” and Professor Warnken as “one of Maryland’s foremost experts and analysts of this rapidly evolving field of law.” In the preface to the second edition, Ronald Weich, Dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law, concurred with Judge Moylan while adding that this second edition is a most valuable and timely supplement to Professor Warnken’s original masterwork.
Byron B. Warnken, Professor Warnken’s son who graduated from UB Law in 2004 and took over his father’s law firm, Warnken LLC, in 2012, helped make the first edition of Maryland Criminal Procedure a reality. Byron B. explained that his father “developed his own materials, since he began teaching . . . and he always had it in his mind that it would become a book, but he was more interested in teaching his students . . . than the prestige that comes with writing a book.” Professor Warnken’s family pushed him to draft his treatise, though, noting that he already had written the book in many ways. With Byron B.’s assistance and gentle pressure, he published the first edition.
Byron B. noted that the book was important to his father and was “the embodiment of his life’s work” but ultimately, but it was always secondary to his students. Professor Warnken put so much into his work, and the fact that his legacy is living on in the second edition of his treatise, with former Warnken students as co-authors, means a great deal to his family. To Byron B., the treatise represents what Professor Warnken gave to his students, and to have a tangible thing that embodies his father’s spirit is incredible. He thanked Ruther, his team, and the MSBA for carrying on his father’s work.