Robert E. Carney Jr., veteran lawyer and former court auditor for the Circuit Court of Baltimore County, dies

Robert Carney specialized in real estate law, helping families secure loans for houses.
Robert Carney specialized in real estate law, helping families secure loans for houses. (Handout / HANDOUT)

Robert E. Carney Jr., former court auditor for the Circuit Court of Baltimore County, who had been a partner in the law firm of Moore, Carney, Ryan & Lattanzi LLC, died Sunday from complications of melanoma at Encore of Turf Valley, an Ellicott City assisted-living facility.

The longtime Baldwin resident was 87.


“He was a good, reliable, great guy who was diligent and liked the practice of law,” said Judge Kathleen Gallogly Cox, chief administrative judge for the Circuit Court of Baltimore County.

“I’ve known Bob close to 45 years as an attorney, and he was very well thought of and competent,” said retired Baltimore County Circuit Judge John F. Fader II. “He was a classical fellow and had a fantastic reputation for honesty and competency.”

Peter J. O'Connor Jr. served for 38 years as a Baltimore City Fire Department firefighter and was chief of the department from 1980 until his retirement in 1992.

Richard C. Burch, a Towson attorney who is a partner in the law firm of Mudd Harrison & Burch, was both a professional colleague and friend.

“By all accounts, Bob was the consummate gentleman. He was always composed, congenial and welcoming. I say that I never saw the fellow have an outburst or let his temper flare,” Mr. Burch said.

“He was careful and meticulous in his work with the court. I had the pleasure of serving with him for the last decade, and my late partner, Sam Mudd, had served with him for 30 years, so our firm has had a relationship with Bob for 40 years,” he said.

Mr. Burch added: “He was a great credit to our profession and the community.”


Robert Emmett Carney Jr. was born in Baltimore and raised in Carney, in a home at the intersection of Harford and Joppa roads, in a settlement that was founded in 1885 by Thomas Carney, his Irish immigrant paternal grandfather, and named for him.

Mr. Carney was the son of Robert E. Carney, an attorney, and his wife, Anne Murray Carney, a homemaker.

He attended Immaculate Conception School and graduated in 1948 from Towson Catholic High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1952 from what is now Loyola University Maryland and his law degree in 1957 from the University of Maryland School of Law, after serving a stint in the Army.

Mr. Carney whose practice focused on real estate development and transactions, was a partner for almost 60 years with the Nottingham law firm of Moore, Carney, Ryan & Lattanzi.

“He regularly represented such institutions as Baltimore County Savings Bank, Hamilton Federal, and other community lenders in closing loans for residential purchases and refinances in Baltimore County neighborhoods and provided legal services to develop those same neighborhoods,” a son, Robert F. Carney, of Pasadena, wrote in a biographical profile of his father.

“He viewed his practice as community facilitation,” his son wrote. “He helped families purchase and finance homes in Baltimore County neighborhoods and provided legal services to develop those same neighborhoods.”

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He retired from the law firm in 2009, but continued as court auditor.

In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Carney had been appointed court auditor for the Circuit Court of Baltimore County in 1984, and he remained in that position until 2018, which made him the longest-serving court auditor in the county’s history.

“Bob would examine all of the foreclosure files, review all of the financial documents, and report to the court,” Judge Cox said. “We’d ship the files to him, he would then do his review, and ship them back. He really loved doing this work.”

In a recent letter to Mr. Careny, Judge Cox wrote, “On behalf of our Bench, I want to extend our sincere appreciation for your many years of service in that position. Your assistance in this role, particularly the efficient and reliable reporting you provided, has been invaluable.”

Mr. Carney was an inveterate competitive golfer and tennis player.

“He was gentlemanly competitive,” his son wrote. “While he could gracefully accept losing, he relished winning more.”

A longtime resident of Manor Glen Road in Baldwin who had earlier lived in Kingsville, Mr. Carney played tennis for many years at Gunpowder Swim and Tennis Club in Kingsville, in leagues at Carroll Manor Elementary School, and, off season, indoors.

He regularly played golf at local courses and had been a longtime member of Mountain Branch Golf Course in Fallston.

A friend of 50 years, Delanie “Pat” Patrick, recalled Mr. Carney’s demeanor on the course.

“Bob would step up to his ball and deliver typically a downhill, double break 30-foot putt that none of thinks he can make, but all too often would find nothing but the bottom of the hole,” he told Mr. Carney’s son.

“This would invariably culminate in a blood curdling yell of ‘Yo Baby!’ which would make us all cringe and shake our heads in disbelief,” he said.

He enjoyed playing bridge, working crossword puzzles, and watching Orioles and Ravens games.

He was a spirited conversationalist, punster, and storyteller.

Mr. Carney was an active communicant of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, where he was a Eucharistic minister and helped prepare food for local food,banks for donation to the needy.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m.Wednesday in the chapel of his church, 13305 Long Green Pike in Hydes.

In addition to his son, Mr. Carney is survived by his wife of 59 years, the former Mary Lou Santora; three other sons, John M. Carney of Ellicott City, David F. Carney of Washington and Dr. Daniel E. Carney of York, Pa.; a daughter, Anne Marie Carney of Cape Elizabeth, Maine; two sisters,Anne Carney Brown of Catonsville and Dr. Kathleen Beutow of Champaign, Ill.; and 13 grandchildren. Another son, Christopher P. Carney died last year.