18310 MONTGOMERY VILLAGE AVENUE, SUITE 400, GAITHERSBURG, MD 20879

PHONE: 301.977.8400 | FAX: 301.258.4003

 

John Heise In Memoriam
John I. Heise, Jr. (1924 - 2009)

Most people knew Jack Heise as "Mr. Maryland" for his phenomenal devotion to the University of Maryland, especially the various sports programs which he supported by his attention, attendance and enthusiasm following his graduation from the University in 1947. Over the years Jack served with distinction as President of the Alumni Association, Terrapin Club and M Club, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Educational Foundation and also as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. Attendance at virtually every home football and basketball game over a period of 50-60 years would be an amazing display of support by any standard, but Jack far surpassed that benchmark by attending most away games in those sports, countless contests in other sports such as lacrosse and soccer as well as the many women's programs.

Those of us at Heise Jorgensen and Stefanelli P.A. know that Jack Heise's energy and passion was not limited to his sports interests. After receiving his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1950, Jack was admitted to the Maryland Bar and was originally employed as a trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice. During that period and for many years thereafter he specialized in the trial of cases before the U.S. Court of Claims (now United States Claims Court). He entered private practice in 1952 and was associated with what became the law firm of Shea & Gardner. He entered practice as a sole practitioner in the District of Columbia and Montgomery County in 1958, eventually joining Herb Jorgensen and Joe Kyle to form Heise Kyle & Jorgensen in 1970.

Jack Heise was a talented trial and appellate attorney with a practice focusing on business and commercial law, devoting most of his civil trial practice to bench and jury trials in the Circuit Courts of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties. His appellate experience came before the Court of Military Affairs, U.S. Court of Claims, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the two Courts of Appeals of Maryland and United States Supreme Court.

Just as he never seemed to miss a game, Jack Heise virtually never missed a day at the office, even well into his 80's. Jack's devotion to his clients, his law practice, his partners and associates always seemed to take precedence over life's other distractions. No matter how busy his schedule, he had a way of making it seem as if everyone he interacted with was the most important person in the world and that he had all the time necessary to listen and help. He was the consummate gentleman lawyer.

Years ago, the Montgomery County Bar Association approved a code of civility and professionalism which we were encouraged to post in our office as a reminder of how a lawyer is supposed to conduct himself. We did not need a written reminder at Heise Jorgensen and Stefanelli P.A. We had Jack Heise instead.

~ Lou Pettey

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In Memoriam
Herbert W. Jorgensen (1929 - 2010)

A first meeting with Herb Jorgensen, the lawyer, usually meant an encounter with a gruff bulldog whose client was clearly in the right. This was the tough demeanor of a man who was born in a log cabin in Electric, Montana, grew up in the Midwest and who managed a paint store while putting himself through law school at American University in Washington, D.C. When Herb first started practicing law in suburban Maryland in 1959, he learned quickly that legal skills were only a part of the essence of a great lawyer. Eventually, however, even his toughest opponents discovered the humorous and fun-loving soul of this fine gentleman.

In his early legal career, Herb partnered with Joe Kyle and Ralph Shure, eventually joining with Jack Heise and Dick Stefanelli to form the firm of Heise Jorgensen & Stefanelli P.A. which continues today with Herb's son-in-law, Stephen B. Jackson, as a partner. With a law practice having an emphasis on real estate, Herb also formed Fenton Title Company in 1983 as an adjunct to the law firm.

Herb's clients were many, but one of his most important clients was Citizens Savings Bank, headquartered in the same building as the law firm in Silver Spring. He was general counsel for Citizens during the trying early 1990's when the national savings and loan crisis struck and caused many to fail. Herb's guidance of Citizens out of that crisis resulted in his appointment as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank in April 1994, leading to its eventual merger with Provident Bank of Maryland in 1997. Herb continued to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of Provident Bank for years thereafter.

Herb's resume included a number of significant bar and civic achievements, including serving as Chair of the MSBA Real Property Section, President of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Chairman of the Board of Bullis School, Director of The Security Title Guarantee Corporation of Baltimore and serving in many capacities with Christ Episcopal Church and School in Rockville.

Those of us who started our law careers at Heise Jorgensen & Stefanelli P.A., some of whom have gone on to other firms with great success, owe a great deal to Herb Jorgensen for sharing of his knowledge about the practice of law. He was the ultimate mentor. While Herb was always opinionated about almost any subject, probably his most important attribute was his ability to listen carefully to the opinions of others, including the junior lawyers in his firm. More often than not, we were able to influence decisions and strategy in cases because, despite of (or perhaps because of) his great intellect, Herb was always able to sort through the mélange of information presented to him and produce a winning strategy.

Most of all, we remember how much Herb enjoyed having a good time, whether it be just going out from the office for lunch with fellow lawyers and businessmen, taking in an opera, inviting a crowd for a Las Vegas trip or having guests at his condo in Ocean City for crabs. While the Montgomery County legal community has lost a true pioneer, we at Heise Jorgensen and Stefanelli P.A. will sorely miss both the legal expertise and the booming laugh of the great Herb Jorgensen.

~ Lou Pettey

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