In 2013, UBLaw Professor Byron L. Warnken published the first edition of his treatise on Maryland Criminal Procedure. Byron B. Warnken, Professor Warnken’s son who graduated from UB Law in 2004, helped make the first edition a reality, explaining that, as a teacher, his father had developed his own materials and “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.” Warnken’s family pushed him to draft his treatise, though, reminding him that he already had written the book in many ways. With Byron B.’s assistance and gentle pressure, Warnken published the first edition. Warnken, a renowned criminal law expert, appellate attorney, media presence, and beloved teacher died September 5, 2022, after a long illness.
MSBA is honored and proud to carry on Warnken’s legacy with the release of the second edition of the treatise, titled Warnken’s Maryland Criminal Procedure. G. Adam Ruther, a partner at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLC in Baltimore and a former student of Professor Warnken, led a team of renowned criminal law attorneys to update the treatise, bringing it current to reflect changes to statutory and case law that have occurred since a 2015 supplement.
Byron B. said that the book is the embodiment of his father’s life’s work, but ultimately, it was always secondary to his students. The fact that Warnken’s legacy is living on in the second edition of his treatise, with former Warnken students among its contributors, means a great deal to his family. To Byron B., Warnken’s Maryland Criminal Procedure represents what Warnken gave to his students, and to have a tangible thing that embodies his father’s spirit is incredible.
In his preface to the book, Ruther noted that “not all of the people who became part of this team studied under Professor Warnken. But I knew that wasn’t important. All that Byron Warnken would have cared about was that they loved the law and devoted themselves to it as he did.”
Joining Ruther in writing the second edition were Thomas M. Donnelly and Kristin C. Tracy, widely regarded as two of the best criminal appellate and post-verdict litigators in private practice in the State; Carrie J. Williams, former chief of the Criminal Appeals Division of the Office of the Attorney General who has argued some of the most important cases to come before Maryland’s Appellate courts in recent years; the Honorable Charles M. Blomquist, who was a renowned homicide prosecutor in Baltimore City and Deputy State Prosecutor before his appointment to the bench; Todd W. Hesel, a former Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Division, where he was widely regarded as an expert on the Fourth Amendment, and now a rising star in private practice; Megan E. Coleman, a senior litigator in private practice who handles high-profile criminal cases in State and Federal trial and appellate courts; and Andrew D. Geraghty, who leads a team of defense attorneys in the felony division of the Public Defender’s Office in Harford County.
The two-volume treatise contains more than 10,000 cases, rules and statutes, yet easily breaks down specific topic areas. Totalling nearly 2000 pages, the book is organized into 34 different chapters with such titles as “Arrest & Stop and Frisk,” “Fourth Amendment Remedies,” “Double Jeopardy,” and “Victims’ Rights.”
Since its release, the book has become an indispensable resource for prosecutors, public defenders, defense counsel, judges, and attorneys, including those who deal only infrequently with criminal law.