Remembering Judge Howard S. Chasanow

By Brandon Moore

We mourn the loss of Judge Howard S. Chasanow, a former judge on the Court of Appeals of Maryland, who died on April 2.  I had the privilege to hear Judge Chasanow speak in October 2014 at the portrait and chief judge transition ceremony for his wife, Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, a senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.  Judge Chasanow joked about his wife’s aversion to the spotlight, even at an event held in her honor.  “It’s hard to give speeches about people who won’t let you talk about them,” he quipped.  That night, Judge Chasanow displayed the same charm that many lawyers had come to admire.

Much will be written about Judge Chasanow’s contributions to Maryland law during a career that spanned several decades.  We invite you to read tributes to Judge Chasanow published by the Maryland Law Review in 2000.  Judge Deborah Chasanow and three law professors at Maryland Carey Law wrote the tributes to recognize Judge Chasanow’s retirement from the Court of Appeals.

The tributes, among other things, described the Judge Chasanow that each author knew as a friend.  Highlights include Judge Deborah Chasanow describing the struggle of addressing mail to a judicial couple: “We’ve received letters addressed to the Judges Chasanow, the Honorable Chasanows, the Honorable and the more Honorable Chasanow, the Honorable Howard S. Chasanow, et hon ux, and, his favorite, the Hons.”  Professor Emeritus Alan Hornstein remembered how Judge Chasanow’s interest in the law of evidence led to many memorable conversations: “Those conversations continued over the years when Howard invited me to join a small group of judges and lawyers who would meet at this favorite Chinese restaurant to discuss evidence issues.”

The tributes detail a person whose character was just as extraordinary as his legal career.  As Professor Emeritus Edward Tomlinson remarked, Judge Chasanow “will be surely missed.”

You may read the Maryland Law Review tributes to Judge Chasanow here.

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