Frederic N. Smalkin


Frederic N. Smalkin

The Honorable Frederic N. Smalkin was a Senior Judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and is currently a Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Judge Smalkin also has served as Chairman of the Maryland Emergency Management Advisory Council and is a Brigadier General in, as well as the former Commander of, the Maryland Defense Force, and served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary.

Childhood and Education

Judge Smalkin was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1946. His father, Richard, was the son of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants and had risen to become a prominent attorney in Baltimore County, serving as President of the local Bar Association, before his untimely death, in 1958.

He graduated from McDonogh School and, in 1968, received a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University, "Phi Beta Kappa". Following in his late father's footsteps, he graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law, earning his J.D. in 1971, while reputedly recording the highest grade point average in the school's history.Fact|date=January 2008

Military Service

Judge Smalkin put himself through college and law school with a set of Army ROTC scholarships. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1968 until his honorable discharge, in 1976, earning the Meritorious Service Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster and achieving the rank of Captain. Judge Smalkin served in the Ordnance Corps and the Judge Advocate General's Corps, as Assistant to the General Counsel of the Army, and was a Recorder for the Army Contract Adjustment Board. He later became a rated pilot and Lieutenant Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, and was awarded its Distinguished Service Medal. He was commissioned a Brigadier General in the Maryland Military Department and appointed as commander of the Maryland Defense Force (State Guard) in April 2005. Upon relinquishing command of the Defense Force in 2006, he was awarded the State of Maryland Distinguished Service Cross.

Professional career

Judge Smalkin began his career in public service as Law clerk to then-Chief Judge Edward S. Northrop, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. He was subsequently admitted to the Maryland Bar, in 1972, having reportedly achieved that year's highest score on the Maryland bar exam.Fact|date=January 2008

Before entering "senior status," on January 8, 2003, Judge Smalkin served as Chief Judge, from October 20, 2001 to January 6, 2003. He had been on the bench since 1976, having begun his career as a United States Magistrate at the early age of 30 years. He received a "promotion," of sorts, on December 1, 1986, when he was invested as a United States District Judge. Fact|date=January 2008

Notable Cases

Two controversial cases stand out from the many that Judge Smalkin heard during his thirty years on the bench. First was his 1987 decision which overturned the conviction of Marvin Mandel, who succeeded Spiro Agnew as Governor of Maryland, for mail fraud and racketeering. Smalkin applied a Supreme Court decision -- handed down after Mandel's conviction -- which held that the mail fraud statute under which Mandel was convicted did not apply to cases of government corruption.Fact|date=May 2007

The second, and perhaps more notorious, case was "Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. v. Glendening", 954 F. Supp. 1099, 1101-02 (D.Md. 1997), in which Judge Smalkin held that the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles could not deny the local Sons of Confederate Veterans a "vanity" license plate bearing a confederate flag, because to do so would infringe their right to free speech, in violation of the First Amendment.Fact|date=May 2007

Academic and Professional Associations

*Federal Bar Association
*American Law Institute, 2003-present
* Adjunct, The Carey School of Business , Johns Hopkins University, 2003-present
* Lecturer (aviation law, commercial law, evidence) University of Maryland School of Law, 1978-2005
* Senior Judicial Fellow, University of Maryland School of Law, 2003-2005
* Former Faculty member, Trial Advocacy Institute, University of Virginia
*Army and Navy Club
* Former Faculty member, Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL)
*Jurist-in-Residence, University of Baltimore School of Law, 2005-present


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