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About me

After many years as a solo practitioner sharing space with Brown, Goldstein & Levy, Mel Sykes decided to formalize his relationship with the firm in July 2008, when he became Of Counsel.


Mel’s breadth of experience in the practice of law is unparalleled. He has handled cases involving patents, corporate law, constitutional issues, contracts, medical malpractice, products liability, municipal law, taxation, civil procedure, federal jurisdiction, conflict of laws, trusts and estates, health law, insurance, legal malpractice, admiralty and partnerships. He has argued over 200 cases in the Maryland appellate courts. According to a 2004 article in the Daily Record, Court of Appeals Judge Alan M. Wilner has characterized Mel as “one of the very rare breed of lawyers still around who can do everything well.”


Mel has played a critical role in shaping Maryland law. For more than fifty years, he has served on the Court of Appeals of Maryland Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. He has also served on the Governor’s Commission to Revise the Annotated Code of Maryland (1970-78), the Governor’s Commission to Study State Aid to Nonpublic Education (1971), the Governor’s Commission to Revise and Recodify the Testamentary Laws (1968-69), the Maryland Constitutional Convention Commission (1966-67), the Baltimore City Charter Revision Commission (1962-63), the Legislative Council Committee on Revision of Condemnation Laws (1961-63), the State Commission to Revise Laws Relating to Public Service Commission (1953-55), the State Commission to Study the Judiciary (Reporter, 1953), the State Commission on Administrative Organization (Research Consultant, 1951-52), and the Maryland Department of Legislative Reference (Legislative Draftsman, 1949-50). He is also a founding member of the Ashburton Area Association and Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.


Drawing upon his wealth of experience, Mel takes great joy in mentoring younger lawyers. According to a 2004 article in the Daily Record, he has been encouraged in this regard by Judge Joseph F. Murphy of the Court of Appeals, who tells inexperienced lawyers, “Find out what cases Mel Sykes will be arguing, get a copy of the briefs, and watch him in action.”


Mel is also a prominent member of the Baltimore Jewish community. He has served as Director of the Baltimore chapter of the American Jewish Committee, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Baltimore Hebrew College, Director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, and a member of the American Jewish Congress and Bnai Brith.


At a firm event in 2010, Mel reminisced about his 60 years of practicing law and the changes that have taken place in the profession.


Languages spoken: Yiddish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian

Practice areas

  1. Appeals: 60%
  2. Trusts: 40%

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Contact info

Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP

120 E. Baltimore Street
Suite 1700
Baltimore, MD, 21202


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Best Lawyer, Appellate PracticeBest Lawyers in America2014
Baltimore Trusts & Estate Litigation ”Lawyer of the Year”Best Lawyers® 20142014
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2013
Best Lawyer, Appellate PracticeBest Lawyers in America2013
Baltimore Appellate Practice “Lawyer of the Year"Best Lawyers® 20122012
Best Lawyer, Appellate PracticeBest Lawyers in America2012
Living Legal Legends AwardBar Association of Baltimore City2011
Best Lawyer, Appellate PracticeBest Lawyers in America2011
Best Lawyer, Appellate PracticeBest Lawyers in America2010
Best Lawyer, Appellate PracticeBest Lawyers in America2009
Best Lawyer, Appellate PracticeBest Lawyers in America2008
Senior Lawyer of the Year AwardMaryland State Bar Association, Senior Lawyers Section2008
Best Lawyer, Appellate PracticeBest Lawyers in America2007
Lifetime Achievement AwardMaryland Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers2006
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Of CounselBrown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP2008 - Present
Sole PractitionerMelvin J. Sykes, Esq.1949 - 2008
Association namePosition nameDuration
Court of Appeals Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and ProcedureMember1954 - Present
Baltimore City Bar FoundationFellowN/A
Bar Association of Baltimore CityMemberN/A
Maryland State Bar AssociationMemberN/A
American Bar FoundationFellowN/A
American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
American Law InstituteMemberN/A
American College of Trust and Estate CounselFellowN/A
American College of Trial LawyersFellowN/A
American Academy of Appellate LawyersFellowN/A
Maryland Bar FoundationChairman1981 - 1983
Maryland Bar FoundationVice-Chairman of Fellows1979 - 1981
Baltimore City Bar LibraryPresident1962 - 1964
Baltimore City Bar LibraryDirector1957 - 1966
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Hoffman v. StamperAffirmed substantial compensatory economic damages; reversed Court of Special Appeals remand for further consideration of trial court’s award.
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Harvard University Law SchoolLawLL.B - Bachelor of Laws, magna cum laude1948
Johns Hopkins UniversityN/AAB - Applied Baccalaureate, with honors1943