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Roger W. Titus, federal judge, dies at 77.

Byline: Steve Lash

Senior U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus, who presided for more than 15 years in the Greenbelt federal courthouse, died Sunday after a long battle with liposarcoma, a cancer of the connective tissues. He was 77.

Titus, an appointee of President George W. Bush, took his District Court seat on Nov. 17, 2003, succeeding Judge Marvin J. Garbis. He took senior status in January 2014.

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who served as U.S. attorney for Maryland from 2005 to 2017, called Titus "one of the most kind, decent, and honorable lawyers in the state of Maryland."

"He served with distinction as a federal judge and fostered high standards of professionalism and collegiality," Rosenstein said in a statement. "The Maryland legal community mourns along with his family and friends."

In January 2013, Titus informed President Barack Obama that he would take senior status the following January. Titus said he was giving the president and the Senate "a full year's notice and seeing if they can get it done" and confirm a successor.

Titus served on senior status until his death.

Jim Wyda, the federal public defender for Maryland, said Titus' death was "a tremendous loss to the United States District Court of Maryland and the state's entire legal community."

"As a judge, he was prepared, and thoughtful," Wyda stated in an email.

"He treated everyone who came before him, the powerful and the vulnerable, with respect and dignity," Wyda said. "He had a tremendous appreciation for good lawyering, and patience and empathy for young lawyers as they learned their craft. Mostly, you could tell that he approached his role as a judge with great humility and appreciation for the extraordinary power that judges wield."

Titus founded the Drug Action Coalition around the time of his 1966 graduation from Georgetown University Law School, which he attended at night while working as an insurance claims adjuster. The coalition united legal, medical and social services to help drug addicts, a service common now but not then.

Titus worked as a solo practitioner from 1967 to 1972, when he formed the partnership of Titus & Glasgow. He also served as Rockville city attorney from 1970 to 1982.

In 1988, Titus' practice merged with Venable, Baetjer & Howard, where Titus was a partner until Bush appointed him to the bench.

While in private practice, Titus served as president of the Maryland State Bar Association from 1988 to 1989.

Titus was a member of the Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission for Montgomery County from 1979 to 1991, assisting with the governor's appointment of judges to the circuit and district courts. He then served on the Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission from 1991 to 1999, helping to vet potential gubernatorial appointees to the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals.

In 2001, Titus was honored by The Daily Record with a Leadership in Law award.

Titus is survived by Catherine "Cathie" Titus, his wife of 57 years, whom he met on a blind date; a daughter, Paula Titus Laboy, of Bethesda; sons Mark Titus of Bethesda and Richard Titus of Westminster; and four grandchildren.

Funeral and memorial arrangements were not available at press time.

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Publication:Daily Record (Baltimore, MD)
Geographic Code:1U5MD
Date:Mar 5, 2019
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