Erik Atas joined Zirkin & Schmerling Law in 2013 and heads up the firm’s Criminal Department. Mr. Atas handles felonies and misdemeanors in District and Circuit Courts in all Maryland counties. Mr. Atas also handles civil cases in District Court, Circuit Court, and at the Office of Administrative Hearings. Mr. Atas’ civil practice primarily includes Administrative Hearings, Civil Protective and Peace Orders, and personal injury and contract disputes.
To enhance his defense of client’s charged with Driving under the Influence and while Impaired by Alcohol, Mr. Atas earned and received a Certificate of Training in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. This is the same training all Police Officers in Maryland take before they can properly investigate if a driver in Maryland is drinking and driving.
Prior to joining Zirkin & Schmerling Law, Mr. Atas was with the Office of the Public Defender in Baltimore from 2006 through 2012. During his time with the Public Defender’s Office, Mr. Atas was based in Baltimore City. As a Public Defender, Mr. Atas vigorously defended thousands of people charged with crimes in the District and Circuit Courts. He developed a reputation for being an aggressive litigator who was always willing to put in the long hours it took to prepare each case to its fullest. Mr. Atas has also written briefs for and argued before the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.
- United States District Court for the District of Maryland
- J.D., University of Baltimore School of Law 2006
- University of Baltimore School of Law Honor Court, Chairman
- Braxton Craven Moot Court Team
- B.A., University of Maryland Baltimore County 2003
Civic and Charitable
When he’s not arguing cases, Mr. Atas is very involved in his community. Mr. Atas currently sits on the Board for several nonprofit organizations:
Mr. Atas serves on the Board of Directors for the Citizenship Law Related Education Program (CLREP). CLREP is an educational organization that provides leadership, life skills, and civic awareness to Maryland youth through unique, real-world learning opportunities such as Mock Trial, Teen Court, and the Law Links Internship. Prior to joining the Board, Mr. Atas proudly worked with CLREP since 2010 as its Baltimore City Coordinator for the statewide High School Mock Trial program. Mr. Atas still serves in this role with the organization in addition to all of his new duties.
Mr. Atas also currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Maryland Association for Justice (MAJ). MAJ advocates for the preservation of the civil justice system, the protection of the rights of consumers and the education and professional development of its members. In addition to serving on the Board of Governors, Mr. Atas has served as Chair of MAJ’s Criminal Law Section since 2014 and has taught several continuing education programs in the field of criminal defense, including:
- DUIs: Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for a Court or an MVA Hearing
- Defending a Domestic Violence Case
- Protective Orders: The Intersection Between Family & Criminal Law
Lastly, Mr. Atas also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Tennis Patrons (BTP). BTP’s mission is to promote the lifetime sport of tennis, exercise and fitness to improve the quality of life for children and families in Greater Baltimore, to provide pathways to recreational and educational opportunities, and to promote life values of health, integrity, self-esteem and respect for diversity.
Maryland State Bar Association
Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys’ Association.
Maryland Association for Justice
Bar Association of Baltimore City
Baltimore County Bar Association
American Association for Justice