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This profile was last updated on 7/23/10  and contains information from public web pages.

Judge Ricardo D. Zwaig

Wrong Judge Ricardo D. Zwaig?

Partner

Zwaig and Zwaig , P.A.
 
Background

Employment History

  • Hispanic Judge
    Zwaig and Zwaig , P.A.
  • Criminal Law Specialist
    Zwaig and Zwaig , P.A.
  • Assistant Branch Chief
    Administrative Office of the United States Courts
  • Teacher
    Washington Council of Lawyers

Board Memberships and Affiliations

Education

  • University of Maryland , Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland School of Law
  • University of Maryland School of Law
34 Total References
Web References
In Howard County, Governor ...
www.mdamericanindian.org, 23 July 2010 [cached]
In Howard County, Governor O'Malley appointed Ricardo D. Zwaig to the District Court. Mr. Zwaig will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Alice P. Clark.
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Mr. Zwaig currently is a partner at the law firm of Zwaig and Zwaig, P.A., which specializes in criminal, business, and immigration law. Before entering private practice, Mr. Zwaig devoted 19 years of his career to public service in both State and federal public defenders' offices. He also served as an Assistant Branch Chief with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Mr. Zwaig has served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Bar Association, and on the Judicial Selections Committee of the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association. Mr. Zwaig graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law.
Maryland Hispanic Bar, Hispanic Bar, Maryland Hispanic Bar Association,Hispanic Bar Association, Maryland Hispanic Association, Hispanic Bar of Maryland, Hispanic Association of Maryland
marylandhispanicbar.com [cached]
The Outstanding Achievement Award will be presented to Judge Ricardo Zwaig of the Howard County District Court. Judge Zwaig a long-time member and supporter of the MHBA, was a partner of Zwaig and Zwaig, P.A., where he specialized in criminal law. Prior to joining his brother Michael in private practice, he devoted 19 years of his career to public service in both State and federal public defenders' offices. He also served as an Assistant Branch Chief with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Ricardo has served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Bar Association. He was on the Criminal Justice Act Panel of attorneys for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. He has been on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) for nearly 20 years. He also serves as Lecturer to University of Baltimore Law School third-year students and as pro-bono faculty for the Washington Council of Lawyers where he teaches Litigation Skills. This year the MHBA honors two remarkable advocates of immigrants and their rights.
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The MHBA will congratulate Audrey A. Creighton for her appointment to the Montgomery County District Court and Ricardo D. Zwaig who has been appointed to a judgeship for the District Court of Howard County.
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Mr. Zwaig , a long-time member and supporter of the MHBA, is a partner of Zwaig and Zwaig, P.A., with offices in Ellicott City and Baltimore City, where he specializes in criminal law. Prior to joining his brother Michael in private practice, he devoted 19 years of his career to public service in both State and federal public defenders' offices. He also served as an Assistant Branch Chief with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Ricardo has served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Bar Association. He is on the Criminal Justice Act Panel of attorneys for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. He has been on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) for nearly 20 years. He also serves as Lecturer to University of Baltimore Law School third-year students and as pro-bono faculty for the Washington Council of Lawyers where he teaches Litigation Skills.
MHBA President, Sylvia Ontaneda-Bernales, remarked that Ms. Creighton would be the only judge of Hispanic descent on the District Court in a county where the Hispanic population is greater than 15% and Mr. Zwaig is the first Hispanic male appointed to a judgeship in Maryland, which currently has a Hispanic population of approximately 7%.
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"We commend Governor O'Malley for diversifying the Judicial Commissions in the State, for opening the doors to eligible minority candidates, and for appointing to the bench Ms. Creighton and Mr. Zwaig, two superbly qualified Latino attorneys who have devoted their professional careers to excellence and service to the Hispanic community and the state.
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We, at the MHBA, are confident that both Audrey and Ricardo will contribute their depth of experience and diverse backgrounds in the proper exercise of their judicial positions," said Ms. Ontaneda-Bernales.
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The MHBA congratulates Audrey A. Creighton for her appointment to the Montgomery County District Court and Ricardo D. Zwaig who has been appointed to a judgeship for the District Court of Howard County.
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MHBA President Sylvia Ontaneda-Bernales remarked that Ms. Creighton would be the only judge of Hispanic descent in District Court in a county where the Hispanic population is greater than 15% and that Mr. Zwaig is the first Hispanic male judge appointed in the State of Maryland, which currently has a Hispanic population of about 7%.
...
Mr. Zwaig , a long-time member and supporter of the MHBA, is a partner of Zwaig and Zwaig, P.A., with offices in Ellicott City and Baltimore City, where he specializes in criminal law. Prior to joining his brother Michael in private practice, he devoted 19 years of his career to public service in both State and federal public defenders' offices. He also served as an Assistant Branch Chief with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Ricardo has served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Bar Association. He is on the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel of attorneys for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. He has been on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) for nearly 20 years. He also serves as Lecturer to University of Baltimore Law School third-year students and as pro-bono faculty for the Washington Council of Lawyers where he teaches Litigation Skills.
Ricardo has worked raising funds for high-school scholarships as a member of the Columbia Foundation and has served on the MHBA's Judicial Selections Committee. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association, Maryland Chapter and of the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney's Association. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ricardo obtained his BA at UMBC in 1977 and his JD from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1982.
The appointments of Mr. Zwaig and Ms. Creighton double the number of Hispanic judges in Maryland, with the other two currently sitting judges being the Honorable Marielsa Bernard of the Montgomery County Circuit Court and the Honorable Audrey J. S. Carrion of the Baltimore City Circuit Court.
...
"The MHBA applauds Governor O'Malley's appointment of two of our most respected and accomplished members, Ricardo Zwaig and Audrey Creighton, into judgeships for the District Courts of Howard County and Montgomery County," said Ms. Ontaneda-Bernales.
...
"We commend Governor O'Malley for diversifying the Judicial Commissions in the State, for opening the doors to eligible minority candidates, and for appointing to the bench Ms. Creighton and Mr. Zwaig, two superbly qualified Latino attorneys who have devoted their professional careers to excellence and service to the Hispanic community and the state.
...
We, at the MHBA, are confident that both Audrey and Ricardo will contribute their depth of experience and diverse backgrounds in the proper exercise of their judicial positions," she said.
Howard County DUI NewsBlog from Shapiro and Mack » Uncategorized
www.howardcountydui.com [cached]
Ellicott City lawyer has historic place as judge Zwaig, 57, first Hispanic male to reach bench in Maryland.
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Ellicott City attorney Ricardo Zwaig became the first Hispanic judge in Howard County after being appointed to the bench by Gov.
...
Zwaig, an immigrant from Argentina, moved to the United States in 1963.
Ellicott City lawyer Ricardo Zwaig was sitting in his optometrist's office recently, his eyes dilated, when his cell phone rang.
Through blurry vision, he couldn't make out the number of the caller, but he answered anyway.
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With those words, Zwaig, 57, found out he had reached a peak of the legal profession: He was going to become a judge.
"I was just so happy," Zwaig said in a recent interview in his Ellicott City office. "I was elated. I cried to myself."
Gov. O'Malley's selection of Zwaig as the first Hispanic judge in Howard County - and the first male Hispanic judge in the state - meant a lot to the immigrant from Argentina, whose family moved to the United States in 1963.
"I'm really incredibly honored," he said. "It's a heavy responsibility. I'm really taking it seriously."
Zwaig's father wouldn't let him speak English in the house, because he wanted his sons to maintain their strong Spanish-speaking roots. Speaking fluent Spanish is a skill Zwaig has used to help his law practice flourish. Between 80 and 90 percent of the clients of Zwaig and Zwaig, which Ricardo runs with his brother, Michael, speak Spanish.
Zwaig's family fled Argentina when he was 10 during what's known as the country's "Black Year," when rebels seized control of the government.
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Since his appointment, Zwaig's been getting emotional when he thinks about his father, a salesman who pushed his sons to pursue their education.
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"He would have been so proud," Zwaig said, wiping tears from his eyes.
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Ricardo Zwaig graduated in 1977 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County after majoring in Spanish and history. There, he cultivated a passion for Spanish literature, which he maintains today, constantly reading esteemed works from Mexico, Spain, Colombia and other Spanish-speaking countries.
He spent a year teaching in Colorado after graduation, before enrolling at the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore.
Zwaig said an interest in constitutional law drew him to the field.
"It was a romantic kind of thing," he said.
After working for 27 years in law, Zwaig sees the rule of law as being a distinguishing characteristic of the United States.
"It was the element that set us apart from ... Latin America," he said. "Nowhere is it applied with the degree of consistency that it is applied here."
Prior to joining his brother at their law firm, Zwaig spent 19 years as a state and federal public defender.
At Zwaig and Zwaig, which has offices in Ellicott City and Baltimore, his firm specializes in criminal, business and immigration law. He has represented Spanish-speaking clients in several high-profile cases, including a 2006 hit-and-run case in which a toddler was dragged to death after his stroller was struck by a pickup truck.
That trial, during which Zwaig's client was sentenced to 10 years in prison for manslaughter, was "a really sad case," he said.
"We did the best we could with the facts we had," he said. "I don't think that case defines me."
Zwaig also represented the chief operating officer of Network Technologies Group, who was one of four executives indicted federally in a fraud case.
Convinced his client was innocent, Zwaig said he vigorously researched the case and presented evidence that cleared his client to federal prosecutors, who agreed to drop the charges.
"He just started crying," Zwaig said of his client.
O'Malley selected Zwaig for the District Court judgeship July 23 to replace Alice P. Clark, who retired in February.
...
Zwaig said the appointment is slightly "bittersweet," because he must stop practicing law with his brother, but he believes his Hispanic background gives a perspective needed on the court.
"The fact that I'm Latino, that gives me a different viewpoint," he said. "It's not better or worse, just different.
...
Maryland's fast-growing Hispanic population is about to have its first male representative in judicial robes, as Governor O'Malley has chosen of defense lawyer Ricardo D. Zwaig for a Howard County District Court judgeship.
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There are two female Hispanic judges and O'Malley named Audrey Creighton, a third, for a Montgomery County District Court judgeship along with Zwaig.
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"I feel proud I've been selected," said Zwaig, 57, the father of three. "It speaks very clearly to the community," he said about his selection.
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Zwaig, who practices with his younger brother Michael at offices in Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood and Ellicott City, is a former state and federal public defender who has applied twice before to be a circuit judge. He withdrew his application in 2005 and was passed over in 2007. Now he is to replace the retired Judge Alice P. Clark as soon as he can wind up his private practice and schedule his swearing in. His practice is mostly criminal defense, personal injury, and immigration plus some civil work, he said.
He is eager to be a judge because "I've been committed to community service forever," he said, adding that he likes dealing with people rather than doing administrative jobs. "My kids say to me, 'Dad, you know everybody. You talk to everybody.' I really enjoy talking to people.".
Though Zwaig has previously applied for circuit Court positions, he is looking forward to District Court.
"District Court is pretty much the face of the judiciary" to the vast majority of people, he said, and although cases in traffic court may seem routine and repetitive, "every single person who comes to court on every single case believes that case is important," and so does he. The judgeship pays $127,252.
Zwaig's Baltimore office is on Eastern Ave. in the midst of the Hispanic community and he often defends Hispanics, sometimes pro bono.
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It was a "terrible" case" Zwaig said this week.
A native of Argentina, he moved to the Baltimore area at age 10, he said, when his family came north to join European cousins who had survived the Holocaust in a concentration camp during World War II. He attended what was then Milford Mill High School in Baltimore County and then graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 1977. He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1982, passing the bar the following year.
Zwaig worked as a state public defender until 1990, and then became a federal public defender before taking an administrative federal court job he quickly began to dislike. In 2002 he returned to the courtroom in private practice with his brother.
Lawyer Jason Shapiro, who headed the Howard County judicial selection panel that forwarded four names to the Governor, said Zwaig "has fantastic experience and a wonderful demeanor and would make an outstanding judge."
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What I like most is that I know Ricardo is going to treat all who come before him in the same manner," she said.
Officers
www.fedbar.org, 1 July 2010 [cached]
Ricardo D. Zwaig
Officers
www.mcdaa.org, 28 Aug 2009 [cached]
Ricardo Zwaig
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