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Bar Association president keeping it friendly

•  Bar Associations     updated  2009/05/13 08:45


The legal system is an adversarial process, but it helps when opposing sides remain professional.


As president of the Bar Association of Frederick County, Scott M. Hartinger strives to promote collegiality among members.

He's also eager to continue his predecessors' passion to do community service projects for those in need.

"As lawyers, we are obligated to help our community," said Hartinger from the law offices of Ethridge, Quinn, McAuliffe, Rowan and Hartinger.

Hartinger's community service goes beyond his bar association work. He is a member of the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County.

Before becoming bar president in January, Hartinger served terms as president-elect, secretary and treasurer.

Although Hartinger practices many types of law, handling civil and criminal matters, he gets perhaps the most satisfaction tackling personal injury cases or business litigation.

"It is satisfying to take a problem an injured person has, or that of someone involved in a business breakup, and to help them through a tough time," Hartinger said.

"That goes for all the cases we handle," he said. "When someone asks for help, we do our best to achieve a good result."

The bulk of Hartinger's time is devoted to general civil litigation, personal injury and family law.

His firm does a lot of trial work, he said.

He's had 30 to 40 jury trials in his nearly 12-year career and about 100 bench trials.

His job requires long hours.

"We work whenever work needs to be done, sometimes weekends," Hartinger said. "We burn the midnight oil during trial."

During quieter times, Hartinger, 37, might take an afternoon off for golf. His wife, Jennifer, and children, Thomas, 6, and Kate, 3, lay claim to the rest of his free time.

Complimented on his pink and navy striped necktie, Hartinger points out that Kate helped him with his wardrobe that morning at their Frederick home.

"Pink is her favorite color," he said.

Images of his family warm up his large, first-floor North Court Street law office across the street from Frederick 's City Hall.

Diplomas speak to his admission to practice in state and federal courts in Maryland and Washington.

Hartinger is a 1993 graduate of Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg . He received his law degree from Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, Pa., in 1996.

Hartinger said he is happy practicing law in Frederick .

"I think the bar in Frederick is a special place to be because the lawyers, judges and courthouse staff truly seem to care about one another and are on friendly terms," he said.

Working in an adversarial process is difficult enough, but it's even harder when a relationship hasn't been established with opposing counsel.

"Knowing you can implicitly trust your opponent and take them at their word makes life easier," he said. "And it helps the client."


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