Norwood Bentley Orrick, 87, attorney specialized in corporate and banking law

Served as president of city and state bar associations

January 30, 1996|By Dan Thanh Dan and Fred Rasmussen | Dan Thanh Dan and Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Norwood Bentley Orrick, a retired Baltimore lawyer and former president of the city and state bar associations, died Saturday of respiratory failure at Roland Park Place. He was 87.

He was a leading specialist in corporate and banking law and laws dealing with creditors' rights.

"Ben was one of the finest lawyers of his time," said former partner Arthur Machen Jr., senior of counsel at Venable, Baetjer and Howard in Baltimore. "He was a walking encyclopedia of Maryland corporation law. He was a lawyer's lawyer."

Mr. Orrick, a Cumberland native, followed in his father's footsteps and graduated from Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., then earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia, where he was editor of the Virginia Law Review from 1931 to 1932. After graduating from law school, he was hired by Venable. He spent his career there, retiring in 1989.

During World War II, he was a communications officer on troop transports in the Pacific. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of lieutenant and returned to his law practice.

A civic activist, he served on a mayoral Civil Rights Committee and was a member of the Lawyer's Committee on Civil Rights Under Law. From 1966 to 1967, he was president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City and from 1977 to 1978, president of the Maryland Bar Association.

He was said to be most proud of his dozen years as a member of the Board of Library Trustees of Baltimore County, serving as president of the group from 1964 to 1967.

The former Ruxton resident enjoyed sailing and fly-fishing for trout. He was an accomplished artist who worked in oils and painted scenes of Baltimore, such as the Washington Monument and Tyson Street on a snowy evening.

His wife, the former Ruth Hughes, whom he married in 1935, died in 1986.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 1401 Carrollton Ave., Ruxton.

He is survived by a son, N. Bentley Orrick Jr. of Tampa, Fla.; a daughter, Phyllis Morrison Orrick of Berkeley, Calif.; two brothers, James B. Orrick of Salem, Va., and William P. Orrick of Hopewell, N.J.; a sister, Lucy Bolling Orrick of Chestertown; and three grandchildren.

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