By Alan R.L. Bussard

Gerald C. Ruter recently received the John Adams award in recognition of his extraordinary work in representing indigents as a member of the federal Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel. The award was presented at the semi-annual CJA gathering by Judges J. Frederick Motz, Catherine C. Blake and James K. Bredar of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

Under the CJA, all persons charged with federal offenses who are financially unable to obtain adequate
representation are entitled to appointment of counsel. In Maryland, the Federal Public Defender is appointed in 75 percent of these cases. The remaining eligible defendants are represented by private attorneys from the CJA panel.

“This award says something wonderful about our justice system: that poor people charged with crimes in this district can get the quality and caliber of attorneys like Gerry,” said Jim Wyda, Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland. “The bench certainly appreciates what Gerry has donated to the court and to the cause of indigent justice in our district.” 

In addition to representing private clients in federal court, Gerry has worked on the panel for years, representing indigents in drug conspiracy, bank fraud, robbery and other felony cases for the U.S. District Court in Maryland. “He always makes himself available to the court in the most difficult of cases,” said Donna P. Shearer, the CJA coordinating attorney.

The CJA award is named after John Adams for his role in defending British soldiers, including the captain, who were charged with murder in the Boston Massacre in 1772. The soldiers, who had been cornered by an unruly mob in downtown Boston, fired on the mob, killing five citizens. John Adams received personal threats and
suffered professional opprobrium for agreeing to take on this unpopular case. He was successful in getting an
acquittal for the captain and five of the British soldiers. The other two were convicted only of manslaughter. John Adams went on to be a principal author of the Declaration of Independence with Thomas Jefferson, and was elected the second president of the United States.

Mr. Ruter practices criminal and civil litigation in the state and federal courts. Before entering private practice, he served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore County and then as an Assistant State Prosecutor in Maryland.

November 2011


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9411 Philadelphia Road, Suite O, Baltimore, MD 21237

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The Law Offices of Gerald Ruter, PC
9411 Philadelphia Road, Suite O
Baltimore, MD 21237  

Fax: 410-238-0597

Business Hours:
Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm
Sat. & Sun. By Appt. Only