I was born and raised in Catonsville, Maryland where I attended grade school at St. Mark's Catholic School and high school at Mt. St. Joseph's College. In 1986, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County campus (UMBC). From there, I went on to the University of Baltimore School of Law graduating in 1989 and receiving my Juris Doctorate Degree. At that point, I was admitted to the Maryland State Bar.
During college and law school, I clerked at my father's law office in southwest Baltimore City. I grew up around the law. My father, A. Gus Mastracci, was an Assistant City Solicitor in the Baltimore City Law Department from 1968 to 1989. He was assigned to the Litigation Section, responsible for defending the City of Baltimore in jury and court trials for actions against Baltimore City.
In addition, my father, widely regarded as a "heavy hitter" among judges and attorneys, maintained a successful private practice and was the family lawyer for generations of residents in southwest Baltimore City and beyond, primarily concentrating in the areas of personal injury, auto accidents, workers' compensation and negligence actions.
Upon being admitted to the Maryland Bar, I joined my father's firm as an attorney and for many years, worked primarily in the area of personal injury and negligence cases, including auto accidents and workers' compensation claims. Additionally, I developed a criminal defense practice for our firm. Although we moved our office to Baltimore County in 1995, we were delighted that the majority of our long-time clients followed us and have continued to utilize our services, referring family members and friends throughout the years.
After a very short and less than harmonious marriage, I became the first branch on the Mastracci family tree to become separated and divorced. My "main man," Nicholas, was born in the spring of 1993, and had not yet reached the age of two before his mom and I separated and began one of the most acrimonious custody battles to wreak havoc on the Baltimore County Circuit Court. I only mention this because it was that experience that led to my interest in the area of family law matters and lead me to write my first book: Stop Fighting Over the Kids: Resolving Day-to-Day Custody Conflict in Divorce Situations.
There is life after divorce and as bad as all of that can be for the children of separation and divorce there is a lot that can be done to move forward even when you and the other parent don't get along. Like many recently separated and divorced people with small children, I had some significant adjustments to make and was often reminded of how much different a parent-child bond is when compared to other interpersonal relationships; kids come first. Probably the best thing I ever did for my then young son was to marry his wonderful stepmom, Deb Cromer. As Nick pointed out, her name is B E D spelled backwards. Kids say the darnedest things don't they?
During many darker times I thought Deb was my guardian angel. Having been acquaintances and then friends for a few years first, Deb and I have been together and married for a long time now. Nick is an awesome young man and is doing well at Towson University; life is good. While never clouding her role and importance in Nick's life, I have never seen anyone show a stepson as much love. Indeed, step parenting following an ugly custody battle has its own unique and often painful challenges. I learned a lot from watching how those situations can best be handled while keeping a child's best interests of paramount concern. Amongst her many attributes, Deb, a/k/a our Administrative Goddess, is also the office manager at the Mastracci Law Office.
Now that I've told you more than you need to know, let me tell you why I choose to share such personal information.
When I was in law school, one of my teachers was an Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Baltimore County. During Constitutional Criminal Law class, His Honor taught us that one of the most important things you can do for your client is to "know your judge." He added that he was not talking about personally knowing the judge as a friend (which generally doesn't hurt), but knowing the particular background of a judge so that one could have a reasonable degree of certainty as to how a particular judge would likely rule or otherwise view the particulars of any given case. Similarly, I believe that you, the client, should know your lawyer. All of us bring our personal experiences into our professional life. It is a part of our human nature and ultimately inevitable.
Another life-long lesson I learned from an adjunct professor, also a practicing attorney, was that "the practice of law has very little to do with the truth and everything to do with the perception of truth." Take a moment and think back on some of the more publicized criminal trials, political campaigns and scandals in recent years and you'll know what I mean.
There is another more common saying that is often true. "It's not necessarily what you know but who you know." Again, this is the reality.
Similarly, while my office concentrates in the areas of personal injury, auto accidents, workers' compensation, criminal defense, serious traffic violations, drunk driving cases, criminal trials, and family law matters, there are many other areas of law where I can be of service to my clients by simply making an appropriate referral.
I do not profess to know everything or to be "an expert" in each and every area of law. I believe in specialization and hiring the right person for the task at hand.
When looking for a qualified person to handle a specific legal matter or related service, an attorney is a good place to start. I often make referrals to competent alcohol and substance abuse counselors, child custody evaluators, accountants, realtors and the like.
Please contact me if you would like information on our comprehensive referral network to suit your individual and family needs.
Licensed since 1989
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|Owner||Law Office of Michael A. Mastracci||2000 - Present|
|Association Name||Position Name||Duration|
|Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys' Association||Member||N/A|
|International Academy of Collaborative Professionals||Member||N/A|
|Maryland Collaborative Law Association||Member||N/A|
|Maryland Collaborative Law Association||Past President||N/A|
|Bar Association of Baltimore City||Member||N/A|
|Baltimore County Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|American Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|Maryland Trial Lawyers Association||Member||N/A|
|Maryland Association for Justice||Member||N/A|
|Maryland Collaborative Practice Council||Member||N/A|
|University of Baltimore School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1989|
|University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)||N/A||BS - Bachelor of Science||1986|