Our TeamHelping individuals with disabilities and their families is our passion.
Ellen A. Callegary, Esq.
Ellen A. Callegary, a practicing attorney for 40 years and a founding partner of the Law Offices of Ellen A. Callegary, P.A., focuses on special education, disability and family law issues. Ellen is trained in civil and family law mediation. She is a founding member of the The Collaborative Professionals of Baltimore and handles collaborative family law cases. She represents children and adults with disabilities to help them get appropriate services such as special education and rehabilitation services throughout the state. She also helps families through the guardianship, mental health, and health care decision making processes. Ellen A. Callegary, Esq. is the Co-Editor of “Guardianship and Its Alternatives: A Handbook on Maryland Law”, a joint publication of The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and the Maryland State Bar Association.
Ms. Callegary has a long history of involvement in disability issues. During her ten years as an assistant attorney general for the State of Maryland, she worked directly with two Attorneys General advising state agencies on matters related to the rights of persons with disabilities and serving as principal counsel for the Department of Juvenile Services. She has lectured extensively on special education and health law and taught an AIDS Legal Clinic and a Mental Health Law Clinic as a clinical law professor at the University of Maryland School of Law where has also taught the “Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Seminar” as an adjunct professor. In 2003, Ellen completed three years as the Chair of the Juvenile Law Committee of The Bar Association of Baltimore City. She was a member of the Maryland’s State Bar Association Section Council on Elder Law and Disability Rights Law and is a member of the Family Law Section of The Bar Association of Baltimore City. Ellen was the President of the Board of the Mosaic Community Services. She is currently on the Board of the Collaborative Professionals of Baltimore. She’s a former board member of the First Maryland Disabilities Trust.
Ms. Callegary is the author of The IDEA’s Promise Unfulfilled: A Second Look at Special Education & Related Services for Children with Mental Health Needs After Garret F, 5 J. Health Care LAW. & Policy 164 (2002) and author of Chapter 2, “Consent & Competency” in “Best Practices in Developmental Disabilities: A Maryland Resource”, Office of External Affairs, University of Maryland (2005). She is the Co-Author of “A Special Education Primer“, Md. Bar Journal Vol. XXXIII, Number 2. Ellen is a member of the Education Advocacy Coalition for Students with Disabilities. “The Daily Record” named Ellen one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women for 2000, 2004, and 2008 putting her in “The Circle of Excellence” as a three-time awardee. Ellen is a past president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and a former Woman’s Law Center Board Member. Ms. Callegary is an honors graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and an honors graduate of the Johns Hopkins University.
James F. Silver, Esq.
James F. Silver is a partner with The Law Offices of Ellen A. Callegary, P.A.. Before beginning his legal career with The Law Offices of Ellen A. Callegary, P.A., Jim Silver served in the Peace Corps and had a five-year career as a journalist in Northern Virginia. Jim is a 2007 graduate from American University – The Washington College of Law and a 1997 graduate from New York University. Jim spent a year of law school working in special education and disability law in Washington, D.C.. Jim’s areas of law practice include special education, disability law, and family law. Jim is also trained in Collaborative Family Law. Jim handles complex guardianship litigation as well as creating alternatives to guardianship.
Harold W. Pskowski, Esq.
Harold W. Pskowski has been practicing law in Maryland and Washington D.C. since 1984, when he moved from the Boston area. His wife, who is a Montgomery County native, persuaded him to make the move and he has not regretted it. His practice focuses on trusts and estates, including planning for persons with special needs and their families. He can advise clients on how to preserve assets for the use of a loved one with a disability, while still qualifying the beneficiary for government assistance and creating a structure for his or her long-term care. Although he believes that family needs are paramount when advising clients, his tax background enables him to advise on the tax implications of client planning and how taxes can be minimized.
Harry’s undergraduate degree is from Boston University, his law degree from Northeastern University and he has an advanced degree in tax law from Boston University. He is a member of the Maryland, D.C., and Massachusetts bars, and is admitted to the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. District Court for Maryland.
Harry is active in professional organizations, currently serving on a publications committee of the Real Property, Estate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association. He was previously the Chair and Co-Chair of the Montgomery/Prince George’s County Tax Study Group of the Maryland Bar Association. He is a past editor of the Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal, published by BNA Tax & Accounting, and was a contributor to the ABA Family Legal Guide (2004) and the ABA Guide to Wills and Estates (2004), both published by Random House Reference. He has spoken to many professional groups and public audiences on trust and estate planning topics.
Harry’s wife, Ellen Pskowski, is a licensed clinical social worker with the Jewish Social Service Agency in Montgomery County, where she provides counseling to families and individuals. He has three children, all now on their own, one of whom was a special education student in the Montgomery County Schools. As a result of his personal experience, he is familiar with the opportunities for special education, as well as the difficulties that families face in qualifying for and implementing it.
Karen S. Smith, Esq.
Senior Associate Attorney
Karen S. Smith, Esq. is a senior associate attorney with The Law Offices of Ellen A. Callegary, P.A. Karen has practiced law since 1990, beginning in commercial litigation in Boston, MA.
Volunteer advocacy for public education in Montgomery County, MD led her into a solo legal practice in which she represented children with special needs, and handled other education law, family law, and landlord / tenant law cases. Prior to practicing law, Karen was a systems analyst for scientific programming systems.
Paulette C. Matteson
Paulette C. Matteson has been a paralegal at The Law Offices of Ellen A. Callegary, P.A. since 2004. She is the mother of three wonderful children. Paulette has a B.S. in Textile Design from Philadelphia College of Textiles Science and is an accomplished seamstress, designer, knitter, and gardener.
Betsy K. Gamse
Betsy K. Gamse joined The Law Offices of Ellen A. Callegary, P.A. in 2005. She serves as an office manager and paralegal. Previously, Betsy has worked in the field of special education in the summers and school years as a camp counselor for special needs children, teaching adaptive aquatics through the Towson YMCA, short and long-term substitute teaching at The Ridge School and The Chimes School and most recently; acting as a year-long personal aide to a special needs 5th grader at the Fort Garrison School. On the business end of things, Betsy and her husband Jon owned and successfully ran Balloon Town and Mt. Washington Florist for over 20 years. She has three children and also actively participated in their schools by volunteering for classroom activities and projects and chairing or serving as member of the school boards during their pre and then secondary school years. In addition to taking various graduate courses in Special Education and Social Work Studies from Towson University, Loyola College, and University of MD School of Social Work, Betsy is a graduate of The Park School of Baltimore and earned her B.A. degree in Classics and Religious Studies from Beloit College in Wisconsin and has studied at Stevenson University in Maryland for her B.S. degree in Paralegal Studies.
After receiving his B.A. from Hofstra University and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Michael worked in a community action nonprofit and has created a new approach to painting by blending clay on wooden boards. Michael gained deep insights into the challenges facing individuals with disabilities and their families growing up with his brother David who was diagnosed with autism in the 1950’s. His wife, Ellen A. Callegary, as David’s attorney, negotiated that he receive lifelong services from CSAAC (Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children, Inc.) located in Montgomery County, MD. Michael’s brother and sister wrote an award winning book The Ride Together. The story is about growing up with their brother David.
Michael’s parents Joan and Monroe Karasik were founding members of the ARC of Maryland and were strong advocates when there were few laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities. They were recognized for their work in the 1990’s when the Karasik Center in Montgomery County was named in their honor. The Arc Montgomery County Karasik Family, Infant & Child Care Center is an inclusive, family-centered child care program integrating typically-developing children, children with developmental disabilities and children with chronic medical conditions.
Their son Henry Callegary is following both his mother’s and grandfathers’ (Monroe Karasik and Claude Callegary) legal careers as a lawyer.