Attorney, 47, named to fill judge's post District Court seat has been vacant since May retirement

'A compassion for people'

Rasinsky chosen by governor over 6 other candidates

January 03, 1996|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,SUN STAFF

Westminster attorney Marc G. Rasinsky has been chosen to fill a vacant seat on Carroll County's District Court, the governor's office confirmed yesterday.

A broad range of legal experience pushed Mr. Rasinsky ahead of six other candidates for the $93,534-a-year position left open when Judge Donald M. Smith retired in May, said Ray Feldmann, a spokesman for Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

The Carroll County Judicial Nominating Commission also had recommended local attorneys Erin M. Danz, J. Michael Earp, Michael M. Galloway, Judson K. Larrimore, Michael S. Levin and Charles M. Preston.

Mr. Rasinsky "has a diverse background in the types of experience he brings to the bench," Mr. Feldmann said.

For example, the Westminster native has been a partner in the Westminster firm Scott and Rasinsky for three years, handling general litigation and family law cases, Mr. Feldmann said.

Mr. Rasinsky, 47, also has experience with Legal Aid and from 1975 to 1979 was chief attorney for the mental health division of the Maryland public defender's office.

In 1979, he joined the firm Dulany and Davis in Westminster, which became Dulany, Scott, Rasinsky and Leahy in 1981.

Even temperament

More important than background was Mr. Rasinsky's even temperament and community work, Mr. Feldmann said.

Mr. Rasinsky is on the board of directors of CHANGE, a local organization that helps educate and train mentally disabled people.

He also has worked with the Carroll County Mental Health Association.

"Those were two things the governor was looking for," the spokesman said. "In his meeting with the governor, his temperament, qualities and values were consistent with what the governor wanted on the bench."

For Mr. Rasinsky, those values include making sure he fairly hears both sides of a dispute.

"Frankly, I feel one of the most important things about being a judge is striving to have the litigants feel they've had their day in court," he said.

A quiet man, Mr. Rasinsky said he feels overwhelmed and humbled by the announcement.

"I feel very fortunate that I got the nomination," he said. "There were a great number of qualified people whose names went up to the governor.

"I'm still in a little bit of shock. It was a pleasant surprise to start the new year off with."

Experience with family law and litigation should help him deal with the people who come before him and understand their situations, he said.

Familiar with District Court

"I'm no stranger to the District Court," Mr. Rasinsky said, noting that almost all of his experience has been in litigation. "Litigation helps you broaden your horizons for dealing with people who are in a dispute," he said.

Longtime friends said his desire to work with the community goes way back.

"He has a compassion for people," Westminster businessman Jack Tevis said yesterday.

The two have been friends since kindergarten and shared an apartment while Mr. Rasinsky was studying at the University of Maryland School of Law. Mr. Tevis was enrolled in the dental school at the time.

"On a regular basis, he would volunteer at a free legal/health clinic because he wanted to make a difference," Mr. Tevis said. "He wanted to contribute."

A hard worker who puts in long hours, Mr. Rasinsky will make a great judge, he said.

"He's a solid guy," Mr. Tevis said. "He's a good thinker with a keen, sharp intellect. When discussing issues we've read about in the paper, he gives insight and understanding, and leaves other people nodding in agreement."

Mr. Rasinsky earned his law degree from Maryland in 1974. He had received his bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Maryland College Park in 1970.

He and his wife, Ann, have three grown children: Christopher, who lives in California; Jordan, a Massachusetts resident; and Sarah, a student at Western Maryland College.

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