Judge Gary E. Bair (Ret.)
  • Of Counsel

Practice Areas:

  • Appellate practice: criminal appeals
  • Appellate practice: civil and family law appeals
  • Post-conviction work
  • Federal Habeas Corpus

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., 1973-1976, J.D. awarded May, 1976. Georgetown Law Journal (selected on basis of top 7% of first year class). Staff member, 1974-1975; third year editor, 1975-1976.
  • Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1968-1972, B.A., English, awarded May, 1972 (cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)

Bar Admissions

  • Court of Appeals of Maryland, December 29, 1976.
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals, August 15, 1977 (inactive).
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, September 14, 1977.
  • United States District Court for the District of Maryland, January 26, 1979.
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia, May 7, 1979.
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, November 23, 1981. United States Supreme Court, June 1, 1987.

Past Positions

  • Associate Judge, Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland (2012-2020).
  • Partner, Bennett & Bair, LLC, Greenbelt, Maryland (2004-2012).
  • Office of the Attorney General of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland (1983-2004).
  • Director, Criminal Justice Clinic and Adjunct Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C. 20016 (1980-1982).
  • Assistant Public Defender, Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772 (1979-1980).
  • Supervising attorney, Criminal Justice Clinic, American University Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C. 20016 (1977-1979).
  • Law clerk to the Honorable J. Dudley Digges, Court of Appeals of Maryland (1976-1977) (also part-time 1975-1976 while a third-year law student).

Representative Cases

  • Supreme Court: Maryland v. Pringle, 540 U.S. 366 (2003)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: United States. v. McKenzie-Gude, 671 F.3d 452 (4th Cir. 2011)
  • Maryland Court of Appeals: Unger v. State, 427 Md. 383 (2012); Longshore v. State, 399 Md. 486 (2007); Cooksey v. State, 359 Md. 1 (2000); Busch v. State, 289 Md. 669 (1981)
  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals: Shady Grove Psychiatric Group v. State, 128 Md. App. 163 (1999)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit: Tarpley v. Greene, 221 U.S. App. D.C. 227 (1982)

Committees/Commissions

  • Member of the State Advisory Board for the Department of Juvenile Services (2014-2020).
  • President of Montgomery County Chapter, American Inns of Courts (2016-2017).
  • Past Chair of the two Sections of the Maryland State Bar Association: the Section of Criminal Law and Practice, and the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
  • Appointed as Member, MSBA Standing Committee on Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions (1999-2010) and participated in drafting and redrafting numerous pattern instructions.
  • Appointed by the Court of Appeals as Member, Character Committee, State Board of Law Examiners (2004-2011).
  • Appointed by Governor William Donald Schaefer in 1992 as Chair of the seven-member Governor’s Commission on the Death Penalty to study the death penalty in Maryland.
  • Appointed by the General Assembly in 1991, as Member, Committee to Revise Article 27 of the Maryland Code, which was formed by the legislature to study the criminal code of Maryland and recommend revisions to various parts of it.

Honors

  • Adjunct Teaching Award, American University, Washington College of Law (2016).
  • Wayne Fenton Memorial Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness for the creation and implementation of Mental Health Court in Montgomery County, Maryland (2017).
  • 2014 Recipient of the MSBA’s Robert C. Heeney for Exemplifying the Highest Professional Standards and Achievement During His Distinguished Career.
  • Bar Leaders, Certificate of Recognition, Montgomery County Bar Foundation (2013).
  • Member of the Maryland State Bar Foundation.
  • Selected by peer ratings as Maryland and D.C. metro area “Super Lawyer” in field of criminal defense, awarded to top five percent of lawyers annually (2007-2012).
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated (2011).

Biography

The Honorable Gary E. Bair, retired from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, brings to RaquinMercer 45 years of legal experience and 35 years of appellate and post-conviction practice. Judge Bair has argued over 150 cases before Maryland’s appellate courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He is a member of the United States Supreme Court bar and he has argued cases before the Supreme Court such as Maryland v. Pringle, 540 U.S. 366 (2003), a landmark Fourth Amendment case that he won nine to zero.

Judge Bair was an Associate Judge in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County from 2012 to 2020, where he presided over criminal, civil, family, and juvenile trials. He provided early leadership to develop and implement the Mental Health Court Program, over which he then co-presided for four years. In 2017, he received the Wayne Fenton Memorial Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness for the creation and implementation of the Mental Health Court in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Judge Bair brought to the bench an extensive knowledge of appellate practice. During his tenure as an Associate Judge, Judge Bair was specially appointed to the Court of Special Appeals on six occasions, to sit as a member of a three-judge panel of that court. He authored twelve opinions, including two reported opinions, in both civil and criminal cases.

Before joining the bench, Judge Bair distinguished himself in private practice as a partner and defense lawyer at Bennett & Bair for over seven years (2004-2012). The focus of his successful statewide practice included appeals in the appellate courts of Maryland and the Fourth Circuit. He also had an extensive post-conviction practice in state court, as well as in federal habeas proceedings. His post-conviction practice included seeking modifications of sentence, challenging illegal sentences, and pursuing writs of actual innocence and coram nobis. Judge Bair’s extensive knowledge and experience in the standards of professional responsibility and competence for criminal defense attorneys earned him recognition as an expert by Maryland state courts and the Office of Bar Counsel of the District of Columbia.

Judge Bair is recognized as a leader by the legal community. In 2014, he received the prestigious Heeney Award from the Maryland State Bar Association for Exemplifying the Highest Professional Standards and Achievement During his Distinguished Career. Judge Bair is a past Chair of two Sections of the Maryland State Bar Association: the Section of Criminal Law and Practice, and the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. He was also President of the Montgomery County Inn of Court from 2016 to 2017.

Judge Bair was the Solicitor General for the State of Maryland for criminal cases at the Attorney General’s Office from 2002 to 2004, where he represented the State in the United States Supreme Court and the Maryland Court of Appeals. He was Chief of the Criminal Appeals Division (1987-2002), where he focused on criminal appellate litigation in the Maryland appellate courts and the United States Supreme Court. Judge Bair also became a distinguished federal habeas corpus litigator in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. While Chief of the Criminal Appeals Division, Judge Bair managed and supervised a team of fifteen Assistant Attorneys General. From 1984 to 1987, Judge Bair was Chief of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Attorney’s General Office where he prosecuted white collar Medicaid provider fraud. He litigated and handled major cases, and made policy decisions in all investigations.

In addition to his successful litigation career, Judge Bair taught advanced courses as an adjunct professor for over 25 years at American University’s Washington College of Law. He received that law school’s Adjunct Teaching Award in 2016. Judge Bair presented before state-wide organizations, bar associations, and judicial conferences, including before the Judicial College of Maryland. He published books, law reviews articles, and other authoritative materials that earned him the esteem of his fellow judges and attorneys.

Although he represented the State of Maryland for more than 20 years, Judge Bair started his legal career on the defense side as a supervising attorney for the Criminal Justice Clinic at the Washington College of Law (1977-1979). He became the Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and an Adjunct Professor of Law from 1980 to 1982. Judge Bair litigated many cases in the trial courts. He handled major felony trials, such as the death penalty trial of Jack Jones (Stephanie Roper case), which he co-chaired, and he successfully avoided a death sentence for his client. Judge Bair also was an Assistant Public Defender at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender in Prince George’s County (1979-1980) where he represented clients in misdemeanors and felony jury trials.

Teaching

Law School Teaching
  • American University Washington College of Law: Criminal Procedure II (1989-2014); Criminal Procedure I (1981; 1998-2017); Evidence (Summer 1981; Spring and Summer 1982); Legal Methods (1980-1981); Criminal Justice Clinic (1977-1979; 1980-1982)
  • University of Baltimore School of Law: Appellate Advocacy (1998-2006)

Judicial College of Maryland. The Judicial College of Maryland coordinates and administers continuing judicial education programs required of all state judges.

  • October 16, 2019: “Trial Court Opinion Writing”
  • April 7, 2016: “Evidence in Criminal Cases”
  • September 18, 2015: “Criminal Impact Cases”
  • April 9, 2015: “Criminal Impact Cases”
  • May 1, 2014: “Fourth Amendment Issues and Applications”
  • March 25, 2011: “Search and Seizure”
  • March 16, 2011: “Criminal Post Sentencing Matters”
  • April 20, 2010: “Confessions and Identifications”
  • September 23, 2009: “Fifth and Sixth Amendment Issues”
  • March 14, 2008: “Search and Seizure”
  • March 12, 2008: “Post Conviction”
  • September 27, 2007: “Confessions and Identifications”
  • October 13, 2006: “Fifth and Sixth Amendment Issues”
  • April 15, 2005: “Search and Seizure”
  • April 10, 2003: “Fifth and Sixth Amendment Issues”
  • March 6, 1992: “Managing the Child Abuse Trial”

Published Works

  • “Reflections upon Retirement from the Bench” (Newsletter, The Bar Association of Montgomery County, MD, November 2020).
  • “Ten Tips for the Appellate Practitioner” (The Barrister, Howard County Bar Association Newsletter, February 2005; reprinted in The Law Clerk, the monthly publication of the MSBA Solo and Small Firm Practice Section, March 2005).
  • Chapter on State appellate practice, Appellate Practice for the Maryland Lawyer (Sandler & Levy, 2d ed. 2001).
  • “Delays in the Execution of Death Sentences” (The Maryland Bar Journal, November/December 1995)
  • Annual cumulative supplement to Chester J. Antieau, Federal Civil Rights Acts–Civil Practice (2d ed. 1980, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company, Rochester, New York), published annually December 1981-1993.
  • Note, The Applicability of Federal Common Law to Aviation Tort Litigation, 63 Geo. L.J. 1083 (1975) (co-authored).
  • Circuits Note: 1974-1975 Term, Prisoners’ Rights, 64 Geo. L.J. 509 (1975) (authored one section of annual criminal survey issue).

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