In Memoriam

Remembering Tim McCormack

June 6, 2024

Timothy F. McCormack—a fervent litigator and generous mentor and colleague who was recognized for his tireless service on behalf of pro bono clients—died on June 2. He was 66.

Timothy McCormack

Tim joined Ballard Spahr’s Baltimore Office in 2005 as a partner and later became senior counsel. He was at home in a courtroom and could handle nearly any kind of litigation, advocating primarily on behalf of clients in matters involving real estate and construction litigation, labor and employment, and bankruptcy and restructuring.

Ballard Spahr Partner Michelle McGeogh met Tim when she was a summer associate and has worked closely with him since joining the firm in 2007. He so amazed and inspired her that she decided to become a litigator instead of a real estate lawyer as she had planned. “He taught me that when you’re presenting anything to the court, you want to tell a compelling story. He was a great storyteller, a fierce advocate for clients, and fearless in the courtroom,” she said. “He has been my mentor, champion, friend, and colleague. I can’t imagine practicing law without him.”

Their first case together was a pro bono matter on behalf of an elderly widow who had lost her home in Maryland as a result of unscrupulous actions taken on behalf of the neighbor to whom she owed ground rent. Michelle heard about the case and, knowing Tim’s reputation for pro bono service, asked if he would supervise her. He readily agreed. They settled the case, obtaining a cash payment to compensate the widow for her home.

Tim was the recipient multiple times of the firm’s most prestigious pro bono awards: the Alan J. Davis Award for exemplary legal representation in a matter involving the public good and the Leonard E. Lindquist Award, which honors pro bono support for low-income individuals.

“He believed in the idea that the law should be used to advance and protect people’s rights,” said Ballard Spahr Pro Bono Counsel Lisa Swaminathan. “He had a reputation in the community for unmatched advocacy on behalf of people whose civil rights were violated in prison.”

Tim represented incarcerated people who were seeking relief from life sentences for juvenile offenses and in one case an individual who was denied medically necessary gender-affirming treatment. “Tim was a deeply humane person; he cared about people as people,” said friend and Ballard Spahr Senior Counsel Bill McDaniel. “He saw a larger purpose in the law.”

Tim’s special calling to assist those behind bars transcended legal representation—he taught mindfulness and meditation in Maryland prisons through a program called Free Where You Are Prison Mindfulness Community, of which he was a founding member. He had traveled frequently to the Middle East to pursue his dedication to spiritualism and meditation and was affiliated with the Yoga Center of Columbia and the New Dawn Sangha, both in Maryland.

His willingness to give, whether through pro bono service or prison work, was evident in Tim’s professional relationships as well. “He would drop what he was doing to talk with you about your legal case or whatever was going on in your personal life,” Ballard Spahr Partner Matt Summers said. “Tim did not just mentor the lawyer, he mentored the whole person. Few people are willing to spend that time.”

Tim is survived by his wife, Walaa Abumonshar; his son Dan McCormack and daughter-in-law Yee-Ning Soong; his daughter and son-in-law Megan and Seth McCabe-Marcell; his son A.J. McCormack; his stepdaughter, Judi Bali; and his grandsons Lucien, Aubrey, and Remy Soong-McCormack and Felix and Ollie McCabe-Marcell.

Tim’s funeral will be on Monday, June 24, at Donaldson Funeral Home, 1411 Annapolis Road Route 175 E, Odenton, Maryland, with viewing at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m.