The White House nominated Rockville attorney Roger W. Titus yesterday to fill the latest vacancy on Maryland's federal bench.
Titus, 61, was nominated to fill a vacancy created by U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis' decision to retire to senior status in Baltimore. Titus is expected to be based in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, joining three sitting judges.
District Judge Peter J. Messitte, who works from the Greenbelt courthouse, praised the nomination last night, calling Titus a "first-class appointment and just a great guy."
"He is really one of the finest lawyers around," said Messitte, who attended junior high school and high school with Titus in Bethesda. "He's an excellent trial lawyer and a guy with a great commitment to bar activities and public interest work."
Titus, currently a partner overseeing Venable LLP's Montgomery County office, said he was pleased by the nomination, which must be confirmed by the Senate. "I'm very honored that the president selected me and look forward to the nomination process and serving alongside my old high school classmate," he said.
In the late 1980s, Titus was the leading contender for the judicial vacancy that was filled by Garbis in 1989. Titus said he took himself out of the running for professional and financial reasons - he had been selected to serve as the president of the Maryland Bar Association that year, and he also had two children in college who planned to attend law school.
The opening created by Garbis' retirement this year is the third federal judicial appointment in Maryland under the Bush administration. Prominent Baltimore attorney Richard D. Bennett and former Baltimore City Circuit Judge William D. Quarles joined the federal bench this year.
A native of Washington, D.C., Titus earned a bachelor's degree at the Johns Hopkins University in 1963 and a law degree at Georgetown University in 1966.