GRBA Members in the News

Members in the News


January 17, 2019, Greensboro Maryland
Founder & Past President Rene' C. Swafford, Esq. ,  representing family and parents of Anton Black

    Four months after Anton Black died after he was tasered and placed in a chokehold just outside his home, police have released little information to the family or the community about why his encounter with a controversial officer they fought to keep off the force ended with his death.

    Article by Taya Graham and Stephen Janis for The Real News Network in Greensboro, Maryland.



December 17, 2018, Greensboro Maryland
Founder & Past President Rene' C. Swafford is Attorney of record, representing the wrongful death of Anton Black

    Caroline County family seeks answers after 19-year-old son dies in police custody.
    WMDT article by Taylor Lumpkin.

    Anton Black dies at age 19, on September 15th in police custody in Greensboro MD. We have been searching for answers since he died and have received nothing.
    Facebook post by Amia McGowan



September 22, 2017, Greensboro Maryland
The Harriet Tubman Byway
It was truly a great pleasure to serve as Host for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, on September 22, 2017.  

The Freedom Walk 2017 stopped in Greensboro en route to Sandtown Delaware, to complete the 125 mile Freedom Walk. For more info, visit - The Harriet Tubman Byway - Explore History on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Freedom Walk 2017



June 18, 2017, Ridgely Maryland
Juneteenth Walk
Commissioner Rene' C. Swafford at Adkins Arboretum during Commemoration of Juneteenth, enjoying native landscape walk. This special walk is part of an area-wide commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. The Arboretum's native landscapes provide a context for exploring this period of history, implication of which still resonate today.

Adkins Arboretum



June 3, 2017, Federalsburg, Maryland
Delmarva Soap Box Derby
Commissioner Rene' C. Swafford congratulates Saleta who represented the Town of Greensboro
in the Delmarva 16th Annual Soap Box Derby.

Delmarva 16th Annual Soap Box Derby



April 22, 2017, Arlington, Virginia
2016 - 2017 Debutante Cotillion Pearl Ball 
Magistrate Jo Ann Dashiell Asparagus-Murray (left) attended Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Cotillion.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Cotillion



November 19, 2016, University of Baltimore H. Mebane Turner Learning Commons
Exploring the Dynamics Between Police and Communities of Color: Where Do We Go from Here?
Sponsored by University of Baltimore and League of Women Voters of Maryland. GRBA President Denise W. Harden with Kurt Schmoke and speaker Chief William Harden.

Kurt Schmoke, GRBA President Denise Harden and Chief William Harden



July 12, 2016, Denton, Maryland
Denton organization hosts community forum after national shootings
At a time the nation is reeling from recent shootings from around the country, Caroline County African-American community leaders offered support to local law enforcement at a community forum in Denton Tuesday, July 12, while discussing ways to improve community relationships. Greensboro Town Councilmember and attorney Rene' Swafford praised the law enforcement agencies in Caroline County for their efforts to listen and be a part of the community...
(Read the full article by Dustin Holt on Times Record Community News /

Watch: Status of Black Males in American Society




May 19, 2016, Wye Mills, Maryland
Chamber of Commerce Regional Mixer at Chesapeake College
Attorney Rene' C Swafford, left, tells Gail Ruppe of the Bay Times about MD SUN, a nonprofit solar co-op just starting in Caroline County.

Photo by Angela Price 



April 28, 2016, Greensboro, Maryland
Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the Law Office of Rene C Swafford in Greensboro, Maryland

On April 28 2016, the Caroline County Chamber of Commerce  held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Law Office of Rene
C Swafford located at 111 South Main St., in Greensboro, Maryland. In attendance were the Caroline County Circuit Court Magistrate, Caroline County Commissions, Town of Greensboro Commissioners, the Caroline County Historical Society, amongst a host of local businesses. Music was provided by Orlando Phillips Entertainment.

See the Image Gallery

Ribbon Cutting at the Law Office of Rene' Swafford



February 22, 2016, Annapolis, Maryland
GRBA Founder & Immediate Past-President Rene C. Swafford appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to a 3-year term to the State Public Information Act Compliance Board

In October 2015, the State Public Information Act Compliance Board was authorized. The Board receives, reviews, and resolves complaints alleging that an applicant has been charged an unreasonable fee to inspect a public record. The Board issues a written opinion on whether the fee was unreasonable; determines the reasonable amount; and orders a refund when applicable. Further, the Board studies ongoing compliance with the Public Information Act by custodians of public records, and recommends improvements in the law to the General Assembly. With Senate advice and consent, the Governor appoints the Board's five members to three-year terms.

From The Office of Governor Larry Hogan:
Solicitation of Applicants for the State Public Information Act Compliance Board


Rene' C Swafford State Public Information Act Compliance Board appointment



September 1, 2015, Greensboro Maryland
Satellite Office Grand Opening

       Do you qualify for DAPA/DACA?
       Do you qualify for Asylum?
    September 26, 2015
       From 12 noon until 3 pm at
       Law Office of Rene' C. Swafford Satellite office
       111 South Main Street, Greensboro MD 21639

Click image for full resolution

Greensboro Professional Building



May 7, 2015, Greensboro Maryland
Congratulations to Rene' C Swafford for her appointment to the Town Council of Greensboro
Her term is until 2017. Mayor Joseph Noon welcomes Rene' on board.

Mayor Joseph Noon administers the oath of office



April 7, 2015, Maryland
Anne C. Ogletree, Esq.
Argues Case of first impression before the Court of Appeals
Case:  Ottis E. Breeding, Jr., et al. v. Christian Nicholas Koste

  WATCH (Opens new window)

Issues – Real Property – 1) Does the “woodlands exception” apply to cases involving adverse possession as well as those involving prescription? 2) If the “woodlands exception” applies to adverse possession cases, does it apply to the facts of this case? 3) Assuming, arguendo, the “woodlands exception” does apply and the use of the property was initially permissive, did there come a time when the character of the use changed and became adverse?




"The Star Democrat" March 14, 2015
Choptank Elementary celebrates Black History Month
with presentations from "The Gems of Dorchester County", including Judge Melvin Jews.

Community members speaking to students included Judge Melvin Jews, (center) the first African-American District Court Judge in Dorchester County.  Community leaders discussed their accomplishments and what inspired them to do great things in life.

Click image for full article




March 11, 2015, Maryland
Celebrating Women's History Month
Original by Carl Snowden - edited  for GRBA -

Today is the eleventh day of Women History Month. On this day we profile Rene' Swafford, the former president of the Anne Arundel Coalition of Tenants. During the month of March, we have been looking at women, who have made a difference in their community.

Over fifteen years ago, Rene' Swafford and the Anne Arundel Coalition of Tenants held successful rent strikes in various apartment complexes in Anne Arundel County. They used the court room to win major concessions for renters through out the county. Rene' saw first-hand what an effective advocate could do in a courtroom on behalf of their client. Which brings me to the purpose of profiling Rene' Swafford. Rene' saw something in this process that changed her. She saw what a law degree and determination could do. She decided to go back to school and get a law degree. She was a mother and a wife, however, she was determined to get a law degree and she did.

What I admired about this native South Carolina was her tenacity. Her willingness against the odds to take up the challenge of becoming a lawyer. It has been said that the greatest influences on a community, is to see one of their own achieve. Girls like boys need to have role models. They need to see their mothers and grandmothers succeeding. It becomes a powerful symbol for children in a community. I often think of those many hours that low-income residents saw Rene' coming to meetings, sometimes with her daughter and spending countless hours in those meetings and then going home to study. Now, more than a decade later, she has become Rene' C. Swafford, Esquire. The reason, I share this story is because far too often, we do not read in the major media the success stories. All too often, the headlines reflect the negatives. I think that it is so important to remind our community, not only of those women who made history, but, also of those women who were homemakers and decided to go into law, medicine, or some other profession.

Women did not get the right to vote until 1920. Today, we see women running for president, senate, governor, congress and mayor. These women, like Rene' Swafford are reminding our children that their dreams are only limited by accepting the status quo. Coretta Scott King once said, that women are the soul of our nation and that full equality will only come, when women take their rightful place in society and when asked "what is that rightful place"?
She responded, "wherever they decide, they want to go".

Information is power. Justice is indivisible. Truth is revealing and freedom must never be abandoned.

A Luta Continua!

Click images for full resolution

Rene' Swafford - Photo provided by Bobbie Jean Wilkins
Rene' Swafford




March 11, 2015, Maryland
GRBA in Caroline County


Sponsored by  the
Caroline County Bar Association
Caroline County Schools
Gloria Richardson Bar Associations, Inc.
Maryland Judiciary
Maryland State Bar Association &
Citizenship Law-Related Education Program




November 12, 2014, Maryland
Judicial Reception
November 12, 2014 hosted and sponsored by Gordon - Feinblatt, Gordon Feinblatt LLC
Presented by:
The Alliance of Black Woman Attorneys of Maryland,
the Monumental City Bar Association,
the Gloria Richardson Bar Association,
the Hispanic Bar Association
and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Maryland

Click images for full resolution

Carlton J. Moss, Esq., Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford (2014 --) and Rene' C . Swafford, Esq.

Barry Rosen, Esq., Rene' C. Swafford, Esq. And Honorable Judge Marcella Holland
Barry Rosen, Esq., Rene' C. Swafford, Esq. And Honorable Judge Marcella Holland




October 15, 2014, Maryland
“Getting It Right”
GRBA members involved in their community

Click image for full resolution

Sherwood R. Wescott, Esq., Jodi A. Cavanaugh-Jews, Esq.,
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (2006-2014) and Rene' C. Swafford, Esq.




June 21, 2014, Glen Burnie Maryland
Congratulations to Melvin J. Jews, Esq.
on his appointment to District Court Judge for Dorchester County, Maryland!
Investiture and Reception
June 20, 2014 at the Circuit Court in Dorchester County, Maryland
& June 21, 2014 at La Fontaine Bleue in Glen Burnie, Maryland
         See the Image Gallery
         Read Rene' C. Swafford’s Speech




May 22, 2014, Annapolis Maryland
Governor O’Malley Appoints Judges in Dorchester, Garrett and Howard Counties

Governor O’Malley announced today the appointments of Melvin James Jews to the District Court for Dorchester County, Stephan Martin Moylan to the District Court for Garrett County, and Wayne Alan Brooks to the District Court for Howard County.

“I am honored to appoint these individuals to seats on the District Court of Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “Each of these attorneys has a strong commitment to public service and exemplifies the highest standards in the legal profession.”   The newly appointed judges were recommended to Governor O’Malley by local trial court judicial nominating commissions.

For the District Court for Dorchester County, Governor O’Malley has appointed Melvin James Jews.  Mr. Jews has maintained a solo practice in Dorchester County since 2001, representing clients in both civil and criminal matters. Previously, he served as the Chief of Litigation for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, a Senior Solicitor in the Baltimore City Law Department, an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, and a Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Bureau.  Mr. Jews earned his law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.


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