Maryland State Bar Association, Inc. 2017-2018
24,000 MEMBERS STRONG.
Maryland State Bar Association, Inc. 2017-2018
Annual Report Volume XXVII MSBA is pleased to present its membership with a brief overview of the year 2017/2018, highlighting its many activities, events, and accomplishments. Lisa Muscara Brice, Editor Maryland State Bar Association, Inc. 520 West Fayette Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 (410) 685-7878 (800) 492-1964 email: email@example.com www.msba.org
2017 | 2018 Executive Committee
Sara H. Arthur President
Hon. Keith R. Truffer President Elect
Dana O. Williams Secretary
Hon. Mark F. Scurti Treasurer
John J. Murphy, III At-Large
Deborah L. Potter At-Large
Michael W. Siri At-Large
Michael R. Hudak Chair Young Lawyers Section
2017 | 2018 Board of Governors
Sara H. Arthur President
Jason A. DeLoach Fifth District
David P. Putzi Seventh District
Hon. Keith R. Truffer President-Elect
Thomas J. Dolina Twelfth District
Steven W. Rakow Second District
Dana O. Williams Secretary
E. Regine Francois Young Lawyers
Nathan K. Risch Young Lawyers
Hon. Mark F. Scurti Treasurer
Alan F. Garten First District
John C. Schropp Consumer Bankruptcy
Hon. Harry C. Storm Immediate Past President
Kristine A. Howanski Eighth District
Michael W. Siri Eighth District
Hon. Barbara K. Howe ABA State Delegate
Michael R. Hudak Young Lawyers
Thomas B. Stahl Tenth District
Robert D. Anbinder First District
David W. Lease Sixth District
Richard S. Stolker Sixth District
Hon. Vicki Ballou-Watts Eighth District
Anne Colt Leitess Seventh District
Jocelyn S. Szymanowski First District
Bethamy N. Beam Eleventh District
Kelcie L. Longaker Tenth District
Margaret A. Teahan Criminal Law
Mary Beth Beattie Sixth District
Amy D. Lorenzini Fourth District
Robert J. Thompson Eighth District
Joshua L. Caplan First District
Michael J. McAuliffe Sixth District
Hon. Hope Tipton First District
William E. Carlson Business Law
Rhian McGrath Sixth District
Jason T. Wasserman First District
Hon. William O. Carr Ninth District
Richard H. Melnick Sixth District
Hon. Alexandra N. Williams Eighth District
William C. Chapman Third District
John J. Murphy, III Sixth District
Hon. Joseph L. Wright Fifth District
Sarah D. Cline Young Lawyers
P. Lindsay Parvis Sixth District
Carl S. Silverman Parliamentarian
Deborah L. Potter Seventh District
Executive Director’s Message As I reflect on my first 18 months with the MSBA, I’m pleased with our progress positioning this 100+ year old organization for the future. The MSBA is an organization with a rich history. I’ve been privileged to spend time with many of its past Presidents learning a great deal about its history. They are an esteemed group of leaders who represent the best of Maryland’s legal profession. I’ve also met with hundreds of members, as I’ve criss-crossed the state, to better understand the challenges our members faced and the opportunities that lie ahead for them. During my initial six months, I spent time listening, reviewing survey data from thousands of attorneys, and attempting to understand where this organization has been, and where it may head. Subsequently, in this last year, I’ve worked with President Sara Arthur, to begin what she described as ‘the year of change’. Change guided by 25 Foundational Recommendations focused on our future, and adopted by our board of governors in May, 2017. You will find additional information about these on our Inner Workings page at www.msba.org/for-members/inner-workings-at-msba. Based on those recommendations, we have begun to modernize our infrastructure, launched numerous updates to our products, rebranded with a new logo to convey that change is afoot at MSBA, focused on our digital marketing efforts, and so much more. I thank our President, Executive Committee, our Board of Governors, our talented staff, partners, and the many volunteer leaders and members who have made the progress possible. I’m heartened by the positive feedback we have received along the way, as we have begun to evolve in both small and large ways. That stated, we have always recognized that change is hard, change is often imperfect and disruptive, yet we know that change is necessary. With each attempt to try something new, there will always be a voice for maintaining the status quo, and that’s to be expected. We have sought to listen to all perspectives as we embark on this journey. To that end, we held a member survey, in person focus groups throughout the state, have continued to meet with individual members, spent time with non-members, hosted multiple in-person member forums, and have visited with firms of all sizes. There’s tremendous diversity in our profession, which means a diversity of perspectives on how we should proceed. As we try new things in new ways, we attempt to account for these diverse perspectives, knowing we won’t be able to satisfy everyone, but focused on satisfying as many as possible. That focus is both for the benefit of our members, and for enticing those attorneys who have not yet realized the tremendous value of belonging to our MSBA.
Our rich history is an important foundation as we move forward. We remain guided by this history, but not constrained by it, as we try new things in new ways. As the generational segments of the legal profession continue to shift, we need to remain relevant to all segments, and provide value in the ways that all professions, and consumers in general, require. As we continue to grow our in person events, physical products and learning opportunities, we are also focused on modernizing our products and altering our communications to better connect with millennials, younger attorneys, mid-career attorneys, seasoned attorneys, and overall to be more digital and social media friendly, as the world around us requires. President Arthur indicated this would be a year of change. She was correct. It has been a tremendously successful year under her leadership, and we thank her for that. As we look to the future, the reality is that to remain relevant, we must continue evolving as we move forward. As a result, each year will be...a year of change. The profession continues to evolve, the world is evolving, and we will as well. Please check out the latest updates at MSBA.org, follow us on your preferred social media platform, and I welcome you to connect with me directly on LinkedIn. I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to drop me a line. I’m privileged to serve as your Executive Director, I’m proud of what this report reflects for this past year, and I’m excited by what’s in store for the coming year and beyond.
Victor L. Velazquez, CAE Executive Director Maryland State Bar Association & Maryland Bar Foundation
2016 | 2017 Financial Highlights REVENUE
Activities & Meetings
Sections & Committees
Continuing Legal Education
Investment Income Other Income Total
Activities & Meetings
Sections & Committees
Computerized Legal Research
Continuing Legal Education
General & Administrative
Law Office Management Admin.
Building a Future-Ready MSBA Over the past several months, the MSBA has been working towards realizing our vision of a “100-year-old startup” – transforming our organization into one that acknowledges our rich history and traditions, but is also ready to embrace change. A significant part of this process involved technology upgrades that will make the MSBA member experience more responsive, mobile-friendly, and ultimately, more impactful.
New Website and Member Platform Visitors to msba.org will no doubt notice that we’ve made major changes to our online home. However, the updates are more than superficial. Our website now utilizes cloud-based software so that we can update our online content quickly and easily. The new website also facilitates frequent, up-todate publishing across all of our member service platforms – from a searchable CLE catalog, to individual section and committee pages, and brand new pages for our Legislative Advocacy and Health & Wellness initiatives. Powering our website is a brand new member platform that makes updating your member information, paying dues, registering for events, and staying in touch with other MSBA members and staff as simple as logging in. It’s designed to make online interactions with MSBA feel more immediate, and it seamlessly integrates business operations, member services, and the website itself.
Cloud-Based Technology MSBA staff are now utilizing cloud-based technology in order to accomplish our work and respond to members from anywhere, at any time. A cloud-based workflow also means that our publishing process is more collaborative and efficient, resulting in more timely, relevant content for members. Mobile-First Orientation An important goal of our technology upgrades is preparing the MSBA to engage members in a “mobile-first” world. Our members expect an organization that’s able to meet them where they are – which, in many cases, means on-the-go, on a mobile device. Our new hardware and software was upgraded with this reality in mind, and will enable us to work together seamlessly and efficiently. The MSBA’s membership is dynamic and constantly growing. Our new technology upgrades will enable us not only to keep up, but provide you with innovative and meaningful services for years to come.
Rebranding Update A 100-Year-Old Startup
Embracing change as we lead into the future. Since our founding more than a century ago, MSBA has built a legacy of service to our members and the profession by staying true to our mission: “... to effectively represent Maryland’s lawyers, to provide member services, and to promote professionalism, diversity in the legal profession, access to justice, service to the public, and respect for the rule of law.” However, we don’t intend to rest on our past success alone. In fact, we recognize and embrace the changes that are reshaping the reality of the world in which our members operate: new technologies, demographic changes, and shifting expectations of how a membership organization should work. What a membership organization can be. Over the past several months, our leadership team has had the future of our organization in mind as we consider: “where do we go from here?” We’ve spent considerable time reimagining MSBA as a “100-year-old startup” to make sure that we remain relevant, effective, and vibrant for decades to come.
Member-Focused Online Presence
New Brand Identity
This year, we overhauled our online presence to better meet members’ needs.
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Rebuilding MSBA’s Digital Home
The new msba.org makes it easier than ever for members to find the resources they need. Our redesigned website serves as a portal for members to find networking and learning opportunities, keep up with MSBA’s advocacy efforts in Annapolis and D.C., and stay connected to sections and committees. Members will also notice more easily accessible health and wellness resources, and a renewed commitment to supporting our partner organizations working for justice in our communities. The new website is designed to be responsive, mobilefriendly, and personalized – to reflect how our members increasingly work.
Future-ready on the inside and out.
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Looking Ahead Sustainable growth is a challenge for any membership-based organization, MSBA included. However, our organization has a unique quality: a rich history spanning more than a century. MSBA has an opportunity to leverage this in a way that prepares us to not only respond to change, but lead it. We must in order to grow. We are eager to continue the work we’re doing to serve our members, and look forward to leading them and the profession into the future.
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FREE CLE & FASTCASE
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Enhancement Initiatives CLE & Publications each represents an opportunity to add value for MSBA members, and to extend the reach and impact of the MSBA through unique learning opportunities. Throughout the year, we developed new author opportunities and training to increase our offerings, accelerate the renewal and update of published titles, and modernize topics and delivery methods.
Events The MSBA’s biggest event of the year, the MSBA Annual Meeting, now has an all-new name: the Maryland Legal Summit & MSBA Annual Meeting. This year’s program featured increased programming, with sessions focusing on: • • • • •
Solo and Small Firm Specialized Law The Judiciary Legal Technology, Tools & Resources Attorney Mental and Physical Wellness
The 2018 event packed in more activities for members, guests, and children, with keynote speakers Preet Bharara and Alberto Gonzalez. With pre- and post-conference workshops, more networking opportunities, and an entire track of programs dedicated to Women in the Legal Profession, this year’s Annual Meeting was a great success. We reached new members, explored new ideas, and hosted a marquee event for the legal profession.
What’s New in CLE The MSBA has partnered with Webcredenza to add 200+ new audio programs per year, along with the Business Learning Institute to offer “soft” skill professional development programs. The MSBA is developing a brand new CLE Institute for faculty/ author development and opportunities while attempting to double the number of programs before the end of this fiscal year. If you wish to propose a new program or pursue authorship opportunities, please e-mail andrea@ msba.org.
Publication Progress MSBA CLE has developed a plan to ensure that all of the best selling titles are current by the end of FY 2018. We published Gibber on Estate Administration in December, with two more bestsellers by the end of the first quarter of this year. We have partnered with Fastcase to offer our publications electronically, along with hyperlinks to source documents. The shipping and inventory process has been automated for ease of use through Yurchak Printing, and we have hired a new publications attorney.
Listening “What’s next for the MSBA? And how do we get there?” Answering these seemingly simple questions is crucial to ensuring the MSBA is effective, influential, and relevant for years to come. The foundational recommendations adopted by the Board of Governors in May 2017 underpin the priorities and objectives that will define the MSBA over the next several years. Setting a vision for the future is just the beginning. Actually getting there requires listening carefully to members and incorporating their feedback – because our members are the MSBA’s future. The MSBA made listening to every segment of our membership a high priority over the past year. Some of the ways we gathered input from members included: • • • •
Assessed data from a 2015 survey completed by over 2,000 Maryland attorneys Conducted 5 Board of Governors input sessions Hosted 5 MSBA town hall group sessions across the state Administered a new comprehensive survey to members and non-members
Thank you to our members MSBA leadership gained invaluable insights and data from these processes, and we are grateful to all of the members who took the time to answer surveys, attend events, and contact us to offer feedback and first-hand experiences about how the MSBA can continue to serve you. We appreciate your input, and will use what we’ve learned as a key part of constructing our roadmap for the next several years of challenging – but worthwhile – growth and transformation.
LEGAL SUMMIT &
ANNUAL MEETING 2018
Preet Bharara Distinguished Scholar, NYU School of Law & Host of Cafeâ€™s Stay Tuned with Preet
Alberto Gonzales Former Attorney General of the United States
Sections & Committees
Sections Alternative Dispute Resolution Chair: Toby Treem Guerin The Alternative Dispute Resolution Section participated in the development of Title 17, Chapter 600 to expand the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution to the Maryland Orphans’ Court, along with updates to the Maryland Standard of Conduct for Mediators. The Section also monitored dispute resolution-related legislation before the 2018 General Assembly; hosted an annual spring event – “Master of Disaster,” featuring Kenneth Feinberg – and awarded the Chief Judge Robert M. Bell Award for Outstanding Contribution to ADR to Louise Phipps Senft.
Business Law Chair: The Honorable Michelle M. Harner The Business Law Section had another busy and productive year. The Section’s guiding theme for 2017-2018 was “education and outreach.” The Section, through its Council and Committees, strived to increase both educational opportunities and outreach to the Section’s members, the judiciary, and others interested in the business and commercial law fields. The Maryland Business Law Developments Blog continued to provide timely and informative posts on business and commercial law decisions. The Section’s Annual Business Law Institute offered a half-day program addressing cutting-edge issues in business law, including developments in blockchain technology. Business Law Committees were active on many fronts. The Committee on Data Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Technology contributed to the drafting, revising, and editing of various chapters of an ABA Book concerning Cybersecurity. The Committee on Franchise and Distribution Law hosted a presentation regarding the award to franchisors
of post-termination damages for “lost future revenues,” and a presentation by Maryland Assistant Attorney General Dale Cantone. The International Law Committee has been working with various stakeholders, including the Attorneys and Judges Subcommittee of the Rules Committee, concerning its 2017 Task Force Report on the practice by foreign attorneys in Maryland. That Committee also hosted panels at both of Maryland’s law schools on Careers in International Law. The Committee on Opinion Practices engaged in a review of the ongoing revisions to the draft Statement on Customary Practice prepared by the Joint ABA/WGLO Committee. The Securities Law Committee continued its tradition of periodic educational lunches, which included discussions on the SEC’s proposed amendments to Regulation S-K (which cited the Committee’s comment letter on the concept release preceding the proposals), the new PCAOB rule recently approved by the SEC, and initial coin offering and enforcement developments. Many of the Section’s Committees also were very active during the 2018 General Assembly session, drafting and reviewing proposed legislation and testifying before the General Assembly. In addition, the Section appointed a new Ad Hoc Task Force to Study the Uniform Protected Series Act. The Section anticipates that this Task Force Report will, among other things, evaluate the uniform act and the role of series limited liability companies in general and potentially in Maryland. Construction Law Chair: Michael A. Schollaert The Construction Law Section organized events throughout the year to bring members together for learning and networking. Educational programs included: The Evolution of the AIA Documents from 2007-2017; Bid Protests with the State of Maryland & Baltimore City (a joint program with the Administrative Law Section); and Figures Don’t Lie, But Liars Figure: Maryland’s New False Claim Act. The Section hosted a happy hour in October, and in May, members joined with colleagues in the Virginia Bar Association’s Construction Law Section for a project tour and networking event at MGM National Harbor. The Section continued to provide content related to case law, legislative, and statutory updates, and undertook an outreach campaign to bring new members into the fold and keep members updated on events, benefits, and developments.
Sections Criminal Law & Practice Chair: Hon. Laura Robinson At the Criminal Law Section’s Council Planning meeting in September, guest speaker Josepha Murtha discussed his experience representing one of the police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. The Section Council met again in October to continue planning for the year’s activities and events. On December 5th the Criminal Law Section hosted its first program, with the Honorable Andre Davis as the featured speaker. He spoke on issues confronting Baltimore City with regard to police reform and the consent agreement from his perspective as the current Baltimore City Solicitor. In January, the Section forwarded two articles for publication in the February Bar Bulletin on expungements and prior convictions. In March, the Criminal Law Section partnered with the Litigation Section to host Circuit Court Criminal Practice, an educational program on criminal law-related topics. It hosted a program on “The Art of Cross Examination” in April, as well as a program in Annapolis with Delegate Joe Vallario on new laws passed this session on criminal law and procedure. In March, the Section Council also provided our position to MSBA against the shielding of police officer names from the public record JIS database. The nominations committee vetted candidates for eight vacancies on the Criminal Law Section Council, as well as nominations for The Heeney Award. The Criminal Law Section provided a program at the MSBA Annual Meeting where Judge Grimm discussed evidence. Delivery of Legal Services Chair: Dave Pantzer
The Delivery of Legal Services Section presented free, open “limited scope” practice training, co-sponsored by Civil Justice, Inc., the MSBA Section on Family and Juvenile Law, and the Law Offices of Luanne McKenna. The Section prepared two educational programs for the MSBA Annual Meeting on expanding access to justice and immigration issues. It also planned and hosted the annual Pro Bono Reception at the Annual Meeting. Members met for an annual social & networking meeting at Baltimore’s historic Lexington Market; communicated through a high-quality newsletter and listserv; and maintained a legislative presence to support issues relating to access to justice for modest- and low-income clients. This year, the Section continued its tradition of providing opportunities for law students to engage with legal services and pro bono service, through initiatives like Summer Public Interest Training Day, and student scholarships to the Maryland Partners for Justice Conference. Elder Law and Disability Rights Chair: Mary M. Aquino This Section sponsored several educational initiatives throughout the year for its members including Medicare Rehabilitation Benefits Advocacy, and Appeal and Go with the Flow II – Married Couples and the Medicaid Compliant Annuity. In addition, the Section sponsored several continuing legal education programs on Housing Options, Special Needs Trusts under the New Rules and ABLE Accounts, Guardianship under the New Rules, and Hot Topics in Elder Law. The Section worked with the Estates and Trusts Section and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) to actively promote legislative proposals. In May, the Section continued its statewide Law Day initiative, in which members volunteer to draft Advance Directives for older adults and people with disabilities at no cost. At the MSBA annual meeting, the Section’s educational program focused on financial elder abuse using a panel of experts to discuss the signs of abuse, possible remedies, and other resources to heighten awareness. Estate and Trust Law Chair: Mary Alice Smolarek This Section proposed, reviewed, and testified on legislation affecting the practice of estates and trusts law in Maryland. It focused on legislation designed to further enhance trust administration, eliminating certain disparities between revocable trusts and estates and reforming the elective share. In addition, the Section monitored and, when necessary, provided testimony in the General Assembly with respect
Sections to other proposed bills involving inheritance tax, estate tax, and certain trust and estate issues. It participated in three comprehensive meetings with various Registers of Wills and Orphans’ Court Judges, together with representatives from the Offices of the Comptroller and the Attorney General of Maryland, regarding matters impacting estate administration, probate rules, inheritance and estate tax, guardianship, and other such matters. The Section provided extensive educational opportunities for attorneys, including: CLE programs; monthly study group programs; a biannual newsletter; and the Advanced Estate Planning Institute, as well as the estate planning portion of the Advanced Tax Institute. It also undertook efforts to continue its growth by creating initiatives designed to attract young lawyers.
Trade Commission case, as well as developments in hospital guardianship in October. Events this Spring included “The Role of Public Health Law in Combating the Opioid Epidemic in Maryland,” “Developments in Telemedicine,” a Section Networking event, and a legislative wrap-up.
Family & Juvenile Law Chair: James D. Milko The Section continued to offer in-depth continuing legal education programs, including topics ranging from issues in high value/asset divorce cases to Hot Tips in Family Law. It engaged in legislative review of all proposed legislation in areas relating to family and juvenile law in the Maryland General Assembly for the 2018 Session, including offering various written and live testimony at hearings for various proposed laws affecting Maryland legal practitioners and citizens. The Section continued to publish The Maryland Family Law Advocate, a periodic journal offering high-quality academic articles regarding family and juvenile law topics, and also contributed various articles to the family-law-centric January edition of the Bar Bulletin. It provided mentoring services to any attorney seeking an experienced mentor in the fields of family and juvenile law, and represented the interests of Section members by participating as a stakeholder on various workgroups and committees, including The Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee and The Juvenile Standards and Training Workgroup. This year, the Section initiated a pilot program to take Family & Juvenile Law outreach events to areas of Maryland that are not easily accessible to the I-95 corridor, with the first such outreach event occurring in March 2018 in St. Mary’s County. Additional events are being planned and scheduled in other counties. The Section also presented a seminar at the 55th Annual Conference of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts in Washington, D. C. Health Law Chair: Jenna D. Weinstein In September, the Section held a meeting to discuss personal liability in fraud cases in light of the memo issued by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. It conducted an update on the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal
Immigration Law Chair: Edward W. Neufville III This year, the Section continued to host free monthly educational webinars for Section members, along with its annual Spring CLE event. This year’s event, held in May at the University of Baltimore’s Learning Commons, discussed changes in immigration law adjudication and enforcement enacted by the administration of President Donald Trump. The Section hosted a Business Immigration roundtable at the MSBA Annual Meeting, and provided advice to the MSBA on immigration-related bills being considered by the Maryland General Assembly. Intellectual Property Chair: Royal W. Craig This year, the Section appointed an advisory committee, and published a monthly newsletter with their input. It hosted a Section officer/advisor dinner, along with three Section networking happy hours. The IP Roundtable in January, “Litigators v. Experts: Expert Witness Sinkholes and How to Avoid Them,” featured courtroom drama with real expert witnesses.
Sections In April, the Section hosted an event (along with the MedStar Institute for Innovation) as part of Bright Ideas Baltimore, discussing innovation in healthcare. The Section co-hosted a program with the Virginia and Federal Bars in May at the Alexandria EDVA courthouse, courtesy of EDVA Magistrate John Anderson, about patent cases in their districts. The Section hosted an event at the MSBA Annual Meeting, as well, titled “Tam, Brunetti and the First Amendment: Where Do We Go From Here?”
Baltimore County. It published three issues of its newsletter, The Maryland Litigator. Negligence, Insurance & Worker’s Comp. Chair: Robert M. Gordon
Labor and Employment Law Chair: Keith J. Zimmerman The Section co-sponsored the Immigration and Employment Law Seminar and Networking Happy Hour at UB Law with the Federal Bar Association in October. It hosted “Paths to Labor and Employment Law” at the University of Maryland Law School in March; a biennial Employment Law Institute in April; and an MSBA Annual Meeting program titled “#MeToo Movement and the New Era of Sexual Harassment Claims” in June. The Section newsletter was also upgraded to an electronic format. Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar Chair: Irnande Altema This Section continued to review and rule on Rule 19-217 applications for supervised law student practice in Maryland courts, and closely examined proposed legislation that may impact law students and lawyers in the state. The Section provided comments on the Maryland Court of Appeals’ Uniform Bar Exam Advisory Committee Report released in October 2017 for consideration by the Board of Governors, after delivering oral and written testimony in a public hearing before the Committee in ApriI. Two new members joined the Section Council. Litigation Chair: Mary Ellen Flynn The Section organized multiple education programs this year, including “Civil Practice in Circuit Court,” “Criminal Practice in Circuit Court,” “Appellate Program on Impact Decisions,” and (as a co-sponsor) a “One Day Boot Camp Trial Training Skills” program for legal aid attorneys. At the MSBA Annual Meeting in Ocean City, it presented three educational programs: “Succession Planning: Not Just for Senior Lawyers,” “Supreme Court Term in Review,” and “Can We Talk” (co-sponsored with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section). It also created an informative guide on using A/V equipment in each of the Circuit Courts throughout Maryland. The Section hosted an Annual Dinner with the Judges, and during the dinner, presented the Harrell Award for Judicial Excellence to Judge Kathleen Cox of the Circuit Court for
The Section hosted a panel discussion for its Fall/Winter event titled “Is the Workers’ Compensation Grass Greener with Medical Marijuana?,” featuring Senator Brian J. Feldman, Chairman R. Karl Aumann, and H. Scott Curtis, Assistant Attorney General and General Counsel for the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Approximately 50 attendees discussed the status of the legalization of marijuana in Maryland, and its potential effects on workers’ compensation. The Section’s Spring event – “What Commissioners Want” – featured a panel of four Commissioners discussing what they are looking for from attorneys during workers’ compensation hearings. The “Hot Tips in Workers’ Compensation” event in May featured a variety of guest speakers and participants discussing the latest on topics such as social media, diabetes, compensable injuries, vocational rehabilitation, and more. Real Property Chair: Stacy L. Manley In the fall, the Real Property Section held its signature event, the Advanced Real Property Institute. Topics at this event included a forecast of capital markets, tax increment financing, unconscious bias, technology traps for the real estate practitioner, and joint venture agreements. The Commercial Real Estate Discussion Group continued to hold its monthly lunch meetings, bringing cutting-edge topics to our fellow practitioners and fostering relationships in the real estate community. The Section sponsored several networking and roundtable discussion events at both University of Maryland School of Law and University of Baltimore School of Law. The Section reviewed legislation affecting various aspects of real
Sections estate law and made recommendations to the General Assembly regarding pending legislation. At the Annual Meeting, the Section hosted two sessions. One explored the differences between the rule of law and the spirit of the law, and how to counsel clients on what is right to do and what to do right. The second session was a discussion of the recent Court of Appeals case Blentlinger v. Cleanwater Linganore, and its impact on development rights and responsibilities agreements in the State of Maryland. Solo & Small Firm Practice Chair: Andrew L. Hartman The Section hosted Solo Summit in November, featuring an expanded full day program, networking luncheon with an address by MSBA President Sara Arthur, and a happy hour. Topics of the Solo Summit included the plenary speaker Jason Moyse on the topic “The T-Shaped Lawyer” in a thought-provoking discussion of the future of the legal profession as it becomes more and more automated. Following the plenary session, we offered four tracks: “Building Business,” “Intersections and Updates,” “Better, Faster, More Competitive,” and “Veterans Pro Bono.” The Section developed a panel discussion for the MSBA Annual Meeting entitled “Judging Judges,” exploring the idea of constructive criticism of the bench somewhere above disgruntled internet postings and less than the Commission on Judicial Disabilities. The section continued its networking and outreach with a mixer at the The Boat House in conjunction with The Young Lawyers Section. State & Local Government Law Chair: Lynn A. Robeson The Section sponsored several educational programs this year. In November, it organized “The Public Information Act— Striking the Balance,” exploring the current uses and abuses of the Maryland Public Information act, featuring discussion of ways to improve access and limit abuses. The Program featured Lisa Kershner, the Maryland Public Information Act Ombudsman. In February, the Section presented “Social Media in the Public Sector – Must We All Be Friends?” targeting First Amendment limits on the use of social media for government officials and employees. “Spring Law Institute” featured guest speaker the Honorable Andre Davis, City Solicitor of Baltimore City, and focused on a variety of emerging issues facing State and Local Governments. The Section organized a program at the Annual Meeting titled “Experimenting with Public Campaign Financing for Local Candidates in the 2018 Election: How is it Going so Far?” The Section continued to publish a quarterly newsletter and keep members informed on developments of legislative initiatives, such as recent amendments to the Maryland Tax Sale Procedures. The MSBA’s Committee on Laws forwards
hundreds of bills each session for review and recommendations by the Section Council. This year, the Council made recommendations on bills governing the citing of wireless facilities, legislation allowing governments to enact regulations for maintenance of property containing overhead transmission lines, and legislation requiring county permission before citing a Maglev train through its jurisdiction, to name just a few. Taxation Chair: Gerald W. Kelly, Jr. The Section organized and staffed U.S. Tax Court and Maryland Tax Court pro bono programs for pro se litigants before those courts. It also provided pro bono training sessions through MVLS, which assigned attorneys to cases involving low-income clients facing issues with the Comptroller of Maryland and/or the Internal Revenue Service. The Section hosted a number of events, including Tax Professionals Networking Night, which brought together tax professionals from academia, the bench, government, and private practice; a symposium at the University of Baltimore for a panel discussion concerning the impact of the new federal tax legislation on Maryland taxpayers; and a program with the Bankruptcy Section at the 2018 MSBA Annual Meeting on the interplay between bankruptcy and tax law with regard to resolving tax issues. It established a committee to support the publication of Maryland Taxes, the definitive resource on Maryland tax law, and created a digital archive of the Section’s historical documents with the assistance of volunteer high school students. At the annual Shulbank Memorial Dinner, the Section’s Tax Excellence and J. Ronald Shiff Memorial Pro Bono Awards were presented. The Section also awarded its second annual scholarship to a law student interested in practicing law in the State of Maryland. It continued its educational efforts with the publication of Tax Talk and the Maryland Tax Practitioner’s Handbook, and provision of CLE through seven study groups in various areas of tax law, with speakers from the government, private practice, and academia. Veterans’ Affairs & Military Law Chair: Hugh McClean The Veterans’ Affairs and Military Law Section celebrated 10 years of teaching and training advocates, veterans, attorneys and others to provide legal assistance to veterans. It hosted the Patriot Ride in April to raise funds for pro bono legal representation for veterans. It presented the Sherman Award to Judge Phil Nichols in recognition of his work with veterans and their families. The 10th Annual Veterans Conference and Training was held in June.
Committees MSBA’s Standing and Special Committees guided the Association through a year of remarkable growth and change.
MSBA STANDING COMMITTEES The Budget & Finance Committee worked to develop a five-year approach to budgeting, taking into account potential factors affecting the MSBA over the next several years. The Judicial Appointments Committee interviewed and evaluated applicants for judicial vacancies at trial and appellate levels throughout the State. The Laws Committee was active in Annapolis. It reviewed bills filed during the State legislative session, recommended positions to the Board of Governors consistent with the MSBA’s legislative program, and implemented a new bill-tracking system to simplify the distribution of bills to Committees, Sections, and members. It notably assisted in the passage of the rape survivor legislation, and submitted amendments to support the passage of a bill to authorize a court to order that a person in need of mental care be placed in an appropriate facility on a certain date. The Lawyer Assistance Program Committee expanded its services, offering comprehensive lawyer assistance to help members facing issues with alcohol, drugs, mental health, stress, family, and wellness. It received more than 100 referrals to assist judges, attorneys, and others in the legal community who have trouble in their professional or personal lives annually. The Committee also offered orientations and trainings to law schools and the legal community. Additional funding allowed an expansion of the Bates-Vincent Foundation, which supports loans and grants to those in need of treatment who do not have the financial means to obtain it. The Local and Specialty Bar Liaison Committee hosted the 58th Annual Conference of Bar Presidents in October. The program structure was changed this year and included participation by all attendees in the Board of Governors meeting, during which the board voted on the new MSBA logo and brand identity. This provided an opportunity for attendees to experience first-hand the inner workings of the Board of Governors. The Committee also held concurrent workshops throughout the day, and a dynamic plenary session about the “Uberization” of the business model and how bar organizations need to be prepared to address vast changes within the legal profession.
The Professionalism Committee established the Charles Dorsey Award to recognize the professionalism of a member of the bar or bench. The Program Committee organized the programs for the Midyear and Annual meetings.
MSBA SPECIAL COMMITTEES The Editorial Advisory Committee oversaw production of the Maryland Bar Journal and the Bar Bulletin, providing members beneficial information regarding the legal profession.
This year, the Leadership Academy public service project has addressed internet misuse/abuse and cyber bullying. The Fellows attended schools throughout the State of Maryland to educate students about the laws against bullying and the consequences. The Marketing Committee oversaw the MSBA’s renewed focus on communication and member focus, seen through a new website, new logo, new digital marketing, greater presence on social media, improved periodicals, and enhanced public relations. The exciting changes in the MSBA are just beginning!
It is the mission of the MSBA to effectively represent Marylandâ€™s lawyers, to provide member services and to promote professionalism, diversity in the legal profession, access to justice, service to the public and respect for the rule of law.
One of the things that I appreciate about the MSBA is the ability to integrate lawyers who have very different kinds of experiences… Whether you’re working for government, a small firm, individually, or for a very large firm, MSBA is one of the few places where all of that comes together. - Robert Fontaine
Principal Counsel, Office of the Attorney General, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency