Debbie was born and raised in Silver Spring. Her Dad was a firefighter and her Mom was a high school secretary. After Debbie graduated from Springbrook High School in Montgomery County, she became a Terp. She graduated from the University of Maryland Law School with honors in 1990.
Early in her career, Debbie made a name for herself by obtaining a $26.4 million verdict against Ford Motor Company. Her client was involved in a motor vehicle collision, and was trapped by a seatbelt inside a burning vehicle. The client was badly burned, resulting in the amputation of his right arm and leg. She successfully sued Ford Motor Company for the design defect.
Debbie is an avid Maryland Terps fan. She can usually be found cheering on the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams as well as the football team. She enjoys watching her daughter Whitney’s dance performances and helps out in Brian’s Compass Stone & Tile Studio.
She was recently honored by American Lawyer Magazine as one of the Top Women in the Law and named to the list of Top 100 Women in the state by The Daily Record. She served for 12 years on the Court of Appeals Rules Committee. Debbie has been extremely active in a variety of organizations throughout the state. She is one of the founders of Court Appointed Special Advocates – Anne Arundel County, a non profit organization that trains volunteers to represent children in the court system. She served as the youngest President of the Anne Arundel Bar Association. She also served as the first female President of the University of Maryland Terrapin Club. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Maryland College Park, on the MSBA Board of Governors and on the Maryland Association for Justice Board of Directors.
Maryland, 1990 U.S. District Court District of Maryland, 1991
University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, Maryland J.D. Cum Laude University of Maryland College Park, College Park, Maryland B.A. – 1987 Major: Economics
Top Women in the Law, 2012 by American Lawyer Magazine The Daily Record Top 100 Women, 2010 “Super Lawyer”, 2008 – 2014 Justice for All Award, 2007 Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating 10.0 “Superb” Ed Shea Professionalism Award from the Maryland State Bar Association, 2002 Trustees Award, Anne Arundel Bar Association 2003 and 2013
Maryland State Bar Association, Executive Committee, 2014 to present; Board of Governors, 2013 – present, and 2000-2001
Court of Appeals Rules Committee, Member, 2000 – 2012
University of Maryland College Park, Board of Trustees, 2007 – Present
Maryland Association for Justice, Board Member, 2012 – Present
MSBA Citizenship Law Related Education Program, 2013 – Present
Anne Arundel Bar Association, 1990 – Present (President, 1999 – 2000, and Board of Trustees 1993-2002, 2010-2012)
University of Maryland Law School, Alumni Board, 2007 – Present
Prince George County Bar Association, 1999 – Present
Court of Appeals Professionalism Commission, Member, 2003 – 2007
Anne Arundel Judicial Nominating Commission, 1998-2002
University of Maryland Foundation College Park Executive Committee 2010 – present ; Member, 2007- present,
Anne Arundel Bar Foundation, President, 1998 – 1999
University of Maryland Terrapin Club, President, 2003 – 2004
University of Maryland Terrapin Club, Board Member 1999-2005
University of Maryland Alumni Association, Board Member, 2004 – 2006
Legal Aid, Co Chair Campaign, 2002 – 2007
Court Appointed Special Advocates – Anne Arundel County, Founding Member, 1997-2002, 2011 – present
Maryland State Bar Association, Leadership Academy, 1997-1998
Summit School, Board Member 1998-2001
Ballet Theatre of Annapolis, Board Member 1991-1996
University of Maryland Hall of Fame Selection Committee, 2001-2002