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For Immediate Release
May 8, 2006
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357


In a stately room surrounded by family, friends, and many of the hundreds of attorneys and staff who work with him, J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that he has decided to end his 20-year tenure as Attorney General. Entering the room to thundering applause and cheers of support, Curran said that while it is a great privilege to work in the finest law firm in Maryland, in service of the people of this great State, he believes it is now time to serve in a different way. "I mean this from the bottom of my heart that this is the greatest job a lawyer could ever have," said Curran. Recalling his nights at the University of Baltimore law school over half a century ago when he aspired to practicing law to "solve problems, help people, and right wrongs," Curran expressed profound gratitude for an opportunity "I could never have imagined."

With the humility and charity which so characterize him, Curran thanked his family for their lifetime of support, his attorneys and staff for their help, and the citizens of Maryland for allowing him the opportunity to represent them. In giving credit to everyone but himself, he offered a piece of off-the-cuff advice, saying, "Let me tell you, no one gets anywhere in this life without help." Curran explained that the reasons for his decision to step down were multiple. He wanted to spend more time with his many grandchildren, to seek new challenges within the practice of law, and perhaps to tell the story of his half-century in Maryland politics and government. Noting also that his office has always been held in the highest regard, he told the crowd, "I’d rather have you saying I left too early than I stayed too long."

In reflecting on what he has tried to accomplish in his many decades of public service, Curran stated that he has aspired always to two goals - doing what he believed was right no matter what it cost, and giving a voice to those who often lack one. "Children at risk, vulnerable seniors, victims of family violence, all those who have special challenges - I hope we have made their lives better," he said. Curran’s career has indeed been marked by courageous battles to advance causes in which he fiercely believed. His bold stance on laws promoting racial equality led to the picketing of his Baltimore home in the tumultuous years of the civil rights movement. He narrowly lost a bid for Congress in which he became one of the first political leaders in the country to call for withdrawal of the troops from Viet Nam. His father’s death in the aftermath of the 1976 shooting at Baltimore City Hall launched his decades-long fight to end gun violence. He has also called for abolition of the death penalty and been instrumental in opposing efforts to legalize casino gambling. His office has gained national recognition for its efforts to combat consumer exploitation, Medicaid and securities fraud, and violations of state and federal environmental protections.

In the humble style so familiar to all in the room today, Curran closed by saying he owed a "debt of gratitude" to all the citizens of Maryland for "letting me have a career that surpassed anything I dreamed of as a young man, wondering what the future might hold for me." 

Click here for a PDF of Curran's Career highlights.


Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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