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Richard Titus stands on stage after donning his robe with the help of his wife and children during his investiture as an associate judge for the Circuit Court for Carroll County at Carroll Community College in Westminster Friday, March 11.
Richard Titus stands on stage after donning his robe with the help of his wife and children during his investiture as an associate judge for the Circuit Court for Carroll County at Carroll Community College in Westminster Friday, March 11. (DAVE MUNCH/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Those in attendance at the Westminster High School football games might recognize the voice of Richard Titus, who for the past couple of years has been the announcer at the games.

But Titus has been called to an even more important public duty. He was sworn in Friday as a the new judge for the Circuit Court of Carroll County.

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Titus will be filling the spot on the bench left open after former Judge Michael Galloway retired at the beginning of the year. He'll have big shoes to fill, said Judge Barry Hughes, the administrative judge for the Circuit Court.

"I knew there were a lot of candidates that could fill his shoes, but only Rich could fill both his shoes and his chair," Hughes said at Titus' investiture Friday.

The large presence left by Galloway is one Titus recognized during his speech after he was officially sworn in.

"Judge Galloway, whether I can fill his seat or not, was a great judge … I hope I can fill his seat," Titus said.

Titus received multiple votes of confidence, from his former boss — Charles Hollman, of the Hollman, Maguire, Korzenewski and Luzuriaga, Chtd. firm — from his former colleague — Peter Korzenewski, of the same firm — and from another former colleague, Hughes, who worked with Titus at that firm before taking his own seat on the bench.

Hughes said during his speech that he looks forward to working with Titus once more, noting both Titus' strong legal writing abilities and his great sense of humor.

As colleagues at Hollman, the two would play pranks together, Hughes said.

"I'm pretty sure only one of us has matured past that time," he said. "I guess we'll have to find out which."

While Titus' sense of humor was mentioned by many of the speakers at his investiture, it was always followed by the fact that he was able to balance a good sense of humor with knowing when to be serious. Many of the speakers talked about Titus' "elegant" legal writing and his knowledge of law.

"He'll be a patient judge. A knowledgeable judge," Hollman said.

Titus said he loves law but did not discover that passion until he was in college, even though law has a history in his family. Titus' father, Roger Titus, is a senior U.S. district judge.

"I was hooked. I loved everything about the process," Titus said of law.

Titus is not a Carroll County native, though he has managed to buy a pickup truck and begin deer hunting since he moved to the county from Ellicott City, Hollman said.

Now, though, Titus is a well-known member of the community, and both of his children graduated from Westminster High.

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"He loves the county and its people," Roger Titus said during the investiture.

Titus was raised in Chevy Chase, near the border with Washington, D.C. He graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law and began his legal career as a law clerk for former Judge James McAuliffe Jr., with the Montgomery County Circuit Court, Titus said.

After that he was an associate with the Budow and Noble law firm before answering an ad in The Daily Record for a law clerk for the now-retired Judge Raymond Beck on the Carroll County Circuit Court, he said.

He then went on to work at the Hollman firm for 20 years, before accepting his new appointment.

While Titus was given encouragement from his former and new colleagues — as well as from Gov. Larry Hogan, who appointed him, and Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts — the most important of the praise might have come from his own father.

Titus' father offered his congratulations and a sign that hung above his office since he took the bench. The sign was a gift from Richard Titus and his siblings that said "Judge Titus." The "T" of Titus can be removed to say "Judge-itus," a judicial slang for when a judge or a lawyer has become unbearable to work with or arrogant.

Titus' father reminded him to be patient as a judge and said that he could not wait to see what he does on the bench.

"Richard, we are all, as you understand, proud of you," Roger Titus said.

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