When a law firm has been in existence for more than 70 years, it attracts some of the top legal talent in its location and areas of practice. Take a look at our attorneys’ biographies and credentials and you will see why our partners are all Peer Review Rated as Preeminent or Distinguished by Martindale-Hubbell®. Peer review ratings attest to a lawyer’s legal ability and professional ethics, and reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and judiciary.
Among Carroll County, Maryland’s top-rated attorneys
When you need knowledgeable and experienced attorneys in central Maryland or the greater Baltimore metropolitan area, call Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP at (410) 848-4444 or contact us online.
Attorney Hoffman is the managing partner at Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Maryland College (now known as McDaniel College), he earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law. In addition to his managerial duties, Mr. Hoffman focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, estate administration and real estate.
A member of the Maryland State and American Bar Associations, he is also a member and past president (1984–85) of the Carroll County Bar Association. From 2001 to 2013 he was chairman of the Carroll County Advisory Board of Directors of Branch Banking and Trust Company. Attorney Hoffman also serves or has served the community in numerous ways, including:
- Carroll Lutheran Village – Trustee (1997-2003, and 2006-2012)
- Davis Library, Inc. – Trustee (1994-present), President (2003-2012)
- Carroll Hospital Center Foundation — Trustee (1998–2008), Secretary (2001–2007)
- Carroll County Leadership Team for McDaniel College Carpe Diem Campaign (2008–2009)
- Grace Lutheran Church – Member, Stewardship Committee (2008-2012)
Attorney E. Ronald Comfort was a partner in the firm who passed away in April 2016. He will be sorely missed, and we appreciate his many years of service to the firm, his family, and the community.
He was admitted to practice in Maryland and the U.S. Tax Court. He graduated from Loyola College with a B.S Degree and earned his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. His areas of practice included:
In addition to his practice with the firm, Attorney Comfort served the community in the following capacities:
- Rape Crisis Board of Trustees (2000–2003)
- Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Dug Hill, Director and Vice President (1985–2000)
- Community Foundation of Carroll County, Board of Trustees (1994–1997)
- St. John’s Catholic Church School Board (1990–1993)
A member of the Maryland State and American Bar Associations, he was treasurer (1986–87) and president (1988–89) of the Carroll County Bar Association. Since 1996, he served as a settlement officer for the Circuit Court for Carroll County.
Attorney Scott is a partner in the firm. He received a B.A. from Dickinson College and earned his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. His areas of practice include:
In addition to his practice with the firm, Attorney Scott serves the local community in the following capacities:
- Settlement Officer, Estate and Trust Matters, Circuit Court for Carroll County, Maryland (1998–present)
- Chair, Carroll County Human Rights Advisory Committee for the Developmentally Disabled (1983–present)
- Member, Investment Committee, Mid-Atlantic District, Church of the Brethren (1994–2004)
- Member, Carroll Hospital Center Foundation, Planned Giving Committee (2003–present)
- Westminster Church of the Brethren (1987–present); Chair of Soup Kitchen Ministry (2002–present)
Attorney Offutt is a partner in the firm. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. degree from James Madison University and received his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. Before joining the firm, he served for a year as a law clerk to the Honorable Arthur M. Ahalt, Circuit Court, Prince George’s County. His areas of practice include:
Attorney Offutt was also the winner of the Since 2007, Attorney Offutt has served as a settlement officer for the Circuit Court for Carroll County. He is a member of the Carroll County Bar Association (president, 2005–2006), Maryland State Bar Association and Maryland Association for Justice.
Mr. Halstad is a partner in the firm and is admitted to practice in Maryland state and federal courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. He graduated from Loyola University with a B.A. and received an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University. He earned his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. His areas of practice include:
Before joining Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP, Mr. Halstad was a law clerk for the Honorable Donald J. Gilmore, Circuit Court, Carroll County, and then for the Honorable John J. Garrity, Maryland Court of Special Appeals. He has also served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, Carroll Community College, and Anne Arundel Community College. His civic and community involvement includes:
- Carroll County Bar Association President (present)
- Westminster City Council President (1993-2005, 2009-2013)
- Westminster City Ethics Commission, Chairman (present)
- Westminster City Councilman (1993-2005, 2009-2013)
- Carroll County Council of Governments (President, 2003)
- American Heart Association, President, Carroll County Branch (1992)
- Carroll County Board of Zoning Appeals (1992–1993)
- Maryland Criminal Justice Advisory Board (1996–2005)
- Carroll Lutheran Village, Board of Trustees (2003–2006)
- Carroll County General Hospital Foundation Board (1993–1997)
- St. John’s Catholic Church School Board (1993–1997)
Since 1996, Mr. Halstad has been a settlement officer for the Circuit Court for Carroll County. He is past Secretary and Treasurer of the Carroll County Bar Association and a member of the Maryland State Bar Association. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a member of the Estates and Trusts Section of the Maryland State Bar Association. He has also served as a member of the Attorney Grievance Commission Peer Review Committee since 1994.
Attorney Halstad’s publications include: “Aguilar v. State: Limiting the Terry Search,” published in the Maryland Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, Vol. III, No. 2, Spring 1992, pp. 177–198; “The Tao of Litigation,” The Journal of the Legal Profession, University of Alabama School of Law, Vol. 19, pp. 93–116, 1994–95; “Admitting the Smoking Gun,” Maryland Bar Journal, November/December 1991, Volume XXIV, No. 6, pp. 36–37; and “Jerome Frank as Prophet: Courts on Trial Revisited,” University of Baltimore Law Forum, Spring 1992, Volume 22.3, pp. 13–15.