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Frederic N. Smalkin, Retired Chief Judge, US District Court for the District of Maryland

Frederic N. Smalkin, Retired Chief Judge, US District Court for the District of Maryland

General Biography
Practice Areas
Class Action/Mass Tort
Federal Judge
Health Care
Intellectual Property
Personal Injury/Torts
Professional Liability
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Frederic N. Smalkin (Ret.) served as a Chief U.S. District Judge for the District of Maryland, with 26 years of active judicial service as a U.S. Magistrate and District Judge.  He has successfully mediated many hundreds of contentious cases, including maritime and aviation matters. 

Since joining JAMS, he has undertaken arbitrations in numerous difficult commercial and consumer cases, and has rendered neutral case evaluations involving complex state and federal issues.

Judge Smalkin holds an LL.M. in maritime law from the University of London and is an FAA-rated pilot.

ADR Experience

  • Admiralty
  • Aviation
  • Business/Corporate
  • Broker Liability
  • Complex Litigation and Class Actions
  • Employment
  • Insurance
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability
  • Derivative Actions 

Representative Matters

Since joining JAMS, in addition to conducting arbitrations, neutral evaluations, and participating in mock trial panels, in his first 18 months of JAMS affiliation, Judge Smalkin has mediated a wide variety of cases, each one of which was successfully resolved, including:

  • Major shipbuilding contract dispute
  • CEO discharge disputes
  • Transportation cases arising on land, at sea, and in the air and running the gamut from multiple deaths to damaged goods
  • Highly complex D&O and bankruptcy matters
  • Employment discrimination claims
  • Disputes arising from LLC discord

He has also been selected for neutral analysis and arbitration work in a wide variety of cases in areas including:

  • Commercial contract disputes
  • Complex corporate financing issues
  • Consumer claims
  • Employment disputes
  • Evaluation of appellate arguments in a number of federal and state cases
  • Participating as a “judge” in preparatory appellate arguments and mock trials of several major pharmaceutical patent matters
  • Pre-filing reviews of contemplated litigation, including review of a major class action for compliance with Rule 11
  • Shareholder derivative and direct claims
  • Whistleblower retaliation

Representative Opinions

As a U.S. District Judge for the District of Maryland, Judge Smalkin has authored over 350 published opinions including the following:

  • Admiralty
    • AccaiSpeciali Terni USA v. M/V BERANE, 181 F.Supp. 2d 458 (2002), 182 F.Supp. 2d 503 (2002)
    • Hawksphere Shipping Co. v. 65 Bundles of Secondary Aluminum, 178 F.Supp. 2d 486 (2001)
    • Compania Sud Americana de Vapores, S.A., v. I.T.O. Group, 940 F.Supp. 855 (1996)
    • Ryan-Walsh v. M/V Ocean Trader, 930 F.Supp. 210 (1996)
  • Antitrust
    • Berlyn, Inc. v. Gazette Newspapers, 223 F.Supp. 2d 718 (2002)
  • Aviation
    • Walsh v. Avalon Aviation, Inc., 118 F.Supp. 2d 675 (2000), 125 F.Supp. 2d 726 (2001)
    • Powell v. Erb, 78 F. Supp. 2d 496 (1999)
    • Old Republic Ins. Co. v. Gormley, 77 F.Supp. 2d 705 (1999)
  • Banking
    • Harrington v. McNabb, 163 F.Supp. 2d 583 (2001)
    • Powers v. American Express Fin. Advisors, Inc., 82 F.Supp. 2d 448 (2000)
    • Northwestern Nat’l. Life Ins. Co. v. Laurel Fed. Sav. Bank, 979 F.Supp. 354, 359 (1996) 
  • Construction Law
    • Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. v. George Hyman Constr. Co., 1995 U.S. Dist. Lexis 22094 (1995) 
  • Derivative Actions
    • Raab v. General Physics Corp., 1993 U.S. Dist. Lexis 17443 (1993)
  • Employment
    • Lewis v. Forest Pharms., Inc., 217 F.Supp. 2d 638 (2002)
  • Environment
    • Sherwin-Williams Co. v. ARTRA Group, 125 F.Supp. 2d 739 (2001)
    • Deaton v. Cross, 184 F.Supp. 2d 441 (2002)
    • Md. Elec. Ind. Health Fund v. Levitt, 155 F.Supp. 2d 482 (2001)
    • In re Paris, 44 F.Supp. 2d 747 (1999) 
  • Evidence
    • Wilson v. Clancy, 747 F.Supp. 1154 (D.Md. 1990)
  • False Claims Act
    • United States v. Southern Md. Home Health Servs., 95 F.Supp. 2d 465 (2000) 
  • FLSA
    • Herman v. Mid-Atlantic Installation Servs., 164 F. Supp.2d 667 (2000)
  • Insurance Law
    • USAA Cas. Ins. Co. v. Mummert, 213 F.Supp. 2d 538 (2002)
    • Roy v. Northwestern Nat’l. Life Ins. Co., 974 F.Supp. 508 (1997)
  • Intellectual Property
    • Lowry’s Reports, Inc. v. Legg Mason, Inc., 186 F.Supp. 2d 592 (2002)
    • Takeall v. Pepsico, Inc., 809 F.Supp. 19 (1992) 
  • Internet Law
    • Fare Deals, Ltd. V. World Choice, 180 F.Supp. 2d 678 (2001) 
  • Legal Malpractice 
    • Royal Ins. Co. of America v. Miles & Stockbridge, P.C., 138 F.Supp. 2d 695 (2001)
    • Riordan v. Jones, 793 F.Supp. 650 (1992)
  • Medical Malpractice
    • Roberts v. Fleury, 987 F.Supp. 940 (1997)
  • Police Malpractice
    • Moore v. Winer, 190 F.Supp. 2d 804 (2002)
  • Practice of Medicine
    • Freilich v. Bd. Of Dirs. Of Upper Chesapeake Health, Inc., 142 F.Supp. 2d 679 (2001)
  • Products Liability
    • Brown v. Lyon Ladder & Scaffolding Co., 2000 U.S. Dist. Lexis 20568 (2000)
    • Stalnaker v. GM Corporation, 972 F.Supp. 335 (1996)
    • Moser v. Agway Petroleum Corp., 866 F.Supp. 262 (1994)
    • Giraldi v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 687 F.Supp. 987 (1988)
    • Higgins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 671 F.Supp. 1063 (1987)
  • Railroads
    • Bookhultz v. Maryland M. R. Co., 688 F.Supp. 1061 (1988) 
  • Religious Liberty
    • Keeler v. Mayor of Cumberland, 928 F.Supp. 591 (1996)
  • Secured Financing
    • Equitable Bank, N.A. v. Ford Motor Co., 138 F.R.D. 455 (1990)
  • Other Torts
    • Fox v. Encounters, Int’l., 318 F.Supp. 2d. 279 (2002) (fraud)
    • Hopkins v. Lapchick, 981 F.Supp. 901 (1997) (defamation)

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
  • Author of "Judicial Control of Juries and Just Results in the Common Law System: A Historical Perspective," in Jus Gentium, Vol. 46: General Principles of Law - The Role of the Judiciary (Springer, 2015)
  • Chairman, Maryland Commission on Law Enforcement Body Cameras (By appointment of the Governor, 2015)
  • Awarded the Saul Ewing Prize for excellence in teaching transactional law, 2009
  • James A. May Award, by vote of the Student Bar Association, for excellence in teaching and mentoring, 2007
  • Adjunct Professor, teaching commercial law, sales, business organizations, estates and trusts, English legal history, and evidence, University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Member of the Bars of the U.S. District Court for Maryland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the Court of Appeals of Maryland
  • Member, (Royal) Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member, Maritime Law Association (U.S.)
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Former Chair of the Maryland Governor’s Emergency Management Advisory Council
  • Co-authored a law review article with his son, “The Market For Justice, The ‘Litigation Explosion,’ and The ‘Verdict Bubble’: A Closer Look At Vanishing Trials,” 2005 Fed. Cts. L. Rev. 8, August 2005

Selected Teaching, Lectures, Panel Presentations

  • Taught by invitation for many institutions, bar associations, and professional organizations, including the Federal Judicial Center, Maryland Judicial Institute, Maryland Institute for the Professional Education of Lawyers, Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, the FBI Academy, and the Trial Advocacy Institute of the University of Virginia Law School, which presented him with the William J. Brennan, Jr., faculty award
  • Senior Judicial Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Maryland School of Law, where he was voted Teacher of the Year and, twice, Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year
  • Former member of the practitioner faculties of the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he was selected “Best of Hopkins” instructor in the MBA in Medical Services Management Program. He instructs first and second year Johns Hopkins medical students in legal issues in the practice of medicine.
  • By invitation, he has been the principal presenter at a Grand Rounds in Internal Medicine for the Department of Medicine of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, as well as at a Grand Rounds for the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Hopkins and a Grand Rounds for the Franklin Square Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Presented a paper on the history of the jury system in England, by invitation, at the University of Parma (Italy)

Background and Education

  • Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, December (Chief Judge, October 2001-January 2003)
  • U.S. Magistrate (now Magistrate Judge)
  • Private law practice (solo)
  • Commissioned Second Lieutenant and honorably discharged as Captain, Regular Army Ordnance Corps; Assistant to the General Counsel of the Army and Recorder of the Army Contract Adjustment Board in the Pentagon; currently, Brigadier General in the Maryland Military Department, serving with the Maryland Defense Force (“State Guard”). Decorations include the Army Meritorious Service Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster) and Maryland Distinguished Service Cross
  • Law Clerk to the late Hon. Edward S. Northrop, then Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • LL.M. in Maritime Law, University of London
  • J.D., with honors, University of Maryland School of Law (Order of the Coif graduated first in the class)
  • B.A., Johns Hopkins University (Phi Beta Kappa, General Honors, and Distinguished Military Graduate)
  • Holds FAA ratings as instrument pilot and ground instructor


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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