It is with great sadness that the CarneyKelehan family announces that Thomas M. Meachum, our partner, colleague and friend for more than 26 years, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2022, at his home surrounded by his loving family. Over the years, Tom provided a balanced, measured, compassionate and highly intellectual approach to our firm. He applied those same skills to serve his clients and our community. Using his unique behind-the-scenes approach, Tom’s primary goal was always to achieve problem resolution and never for personal recognition.
After serving in the Attorney General of Maryland’s office, then the Howard County Office of Law, and with other positions in private practice, Tom joined what was then Reese and Carney in 1996, where he practiced with us for the remainder of his distinguished legal career.
Tom was one of those rare attorneys who found the time to develop and maintain a thriving practice which, in an age of increasing specialization, included a highly skilled focus in several distinct areas of the law including liquor board matters, all levels of zoning and permitting, estate administration and employment law. His talents were consistently recognized by his peers with his perennial inclusion in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America award for business law and with the prestigious Daily Record Leadership in Law award in 2014.
Although Tom was a strong advocate for his clients, responses to Tom’s passing from clients and opposing counsel and from their clients included, “always fair, whichever side you were on; a great lawyer and an even better person; and a lawyer you rarely see anymore … someone looking for the best result for everyone.” Perhaps his greatest gift was his unique ability to connect with every client, no matter what their situation. In an era of in-and-out convenience for almost everything, Tom believed in establishing and maintaining long-term client relationships. Tom genuinely cared about each client, and the standard of excellence he set for client service is one our firm is proud to uphold as we move forward.
Throughout his busy career, Tom always found time for Bar Association work, rising through the chairs to serve on the Maryland State Bar Board of Governors and to lead its Special Committee on Appointments, as well as numerous other committee assignments, and was a career-long member, and past President, of the Howard County Bar Association. As his practice grew geographically, Tom also served on the Carroll and Frederick County Bar Associations. In addition, he was a board member of the Pro Bono Resource Center, Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Service and the Frederick County Legal Aid Bureau, all organizations providing legal assistance to those of limited means.
Tom’s ongoing commitment to legal education included serving as an instructor for the New Admittees Professionalism Course (for Civil Litigation) under the auspices of the Maryland State Court of Appeals, teaching both professionalism and ethics to admittees transitioning from book-learning to actual practice, and serving as a mock trial judge.
Tom served on many appointed county boards and commissions including the Rural West Advisory Committee, the Trial Courts Judiciary Nominating Commission and twice on the Charter Review Commission.
In addition to his bar-related and county-appointed work, Tom consistently lent his considerable skills to a wide range of business and community-based organizations, including the Howard County Chamber of Commerce board (and several of its committees), the Association of Community Services (ACS) and Arc of Howard County. Tom chaired the boards of both ACS and Arc of Howard County and was named Volunteer of the Year for Arc, both for Howard County and statewide. He was also on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster and Carroll Lutheran School, which held very special places in his heart, and was an enthusiastic Neighbor Ride volunteer.
Tom was a graduate of both the Howard County and Carroll County Leadership programs.
We will miss Tom’s energy, selflessness and dedication to the legal profession and to our firm. But perhaps even more, we will miss the loyalty and commitment we all observed and admired in his unwavering love and support for his family, friends and community. Tom is survived by his wife, Kari Ebeling, and their children, Mitchel, Elizabeth and Emma Ebeling, and Christopher Meachum.
The “Celebration of Life” for Tom will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at Crosswind Church, 640 Lucabaugh Mill Rd, Westminster, MD 21157. The family of Tom Meachum welcomes all to attend the visitation that will begin at 10:00 a.m., followed by the service at 12:30 p.m., followed by a public reception. Please join us as together we remember and pay tribute to the work and legacy of Thomas M. Meachum.
Memorial contributions may be made, in Tom’s memory, to:
Crosswind Church, www.mycrosswind.com/give
or the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, www.bgcwestminster.org/donate.