Theodore S. Miller, 69, divorce lawyer, past president of city bar association

March 10, 2002|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Theodore S. Miller, a retired attorney and past president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, died Thursday of complications from diabetes at Northwest Hospital Center. He was 69 and lived in Pikesville.

Legal associates said he was a specialist in family law and was one of the city's best-known divorce lawyers before his retirement five years ago.

"He was extraordinarily persuasive in the courtroom, a comfortable speaker before both a judge and a jury," said William Engelman, a friend and attorney. "He enjoyed that aspect of his practice. He was also a good raconteur who loved to tell stories about his many cases. He was a gregarious, outgoing, friendly person who enjoyed the respect of his fellow lawyers."

"The integrity of being a lawyer was very important to him. He was a leader in the professional community," said Baltimore attorney Sheila K. Sachs. "Until the late 1970s, there were not many women at the bar in Baltimore city. He learned to be gender neutral in his workings with a woman as an adversary -- and in fact became a mentor to me."

Born in Baltimore and raised on Appleton Street in West Baltimore, Mr. Miller was a 1950 graduate of City College. He earned degrees at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he took honors. He was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1955 after serving in the Army.

He was a founding partner at Miller, Rosenthal and Land, a downtown Baltimore legal firm. He later was senior partner at Kaplan, Heyman, Greenberg, Engelman and Belgrad. During the 1950s, he was a member of Sklar, Blacker and Sullivan.

"Besides his family, his total outside interest was the law -- and representing his clients to his best ability," said Abraham L. Adler, an attorney and friend for many years. "He was easy to get to get along with. ... He could disagree without being disagreeable."

"He loved to reminisce about the old days when he was president of the city bar association," said Katherine T. Sanzone, the association's executive director. "He was interested in providing legal services to all economic levels of the community. He was dedicated to the ideal of equal justice under the law."

In 1978, he was elected president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City. He also served as president of the Legal Aid Society. He belonged to many professional societies and was a fellow of the American Matrimonial Lawyers Association.

Friends said that Mr. Miller was a voracious reader -- he enjoyed history and Jewish literature. He also was a storyteller and often recounted a humorous tale about attending the Baltimore Colts-New York Giants overtime championship football game Dec. 28, 1958, in New York.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road.

Mr. Miller is survived by his wife of 42 years, the former Anita Cohen; a son, Brian L. Miller of Baltimore; a daughter, Mindy Choran of New York, N.Y.; and a grandson.

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