Board Of Governors
Board Of Governors :
Minutes : April 17, 2001



5:30 p.m.

The Maryland State Bar Association Board of Governors and Officers met at the location, date and time indicated above. There were 31 members of the Board of Governors present, including all of the Officers. Guests attending the meeting included M. Howard Metro, President, and Brent Burry, Executive Director of The Maryland Institute for Continuing Legal Education for Lawyers, Inc. In addition, Paul Carlin, Executive Director, and key members of his staff were in attendance.

President Dick Sothoron called the meeting to order at approximately 5:45 p.m.

1. Paragraph 6.d. of the Minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of March 20, 2001, were amended to reflect that the 2002 Mid-Year Meeting would be held at the Flamingo Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, from February 17, 2002 to February 21, 2002. The Minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of March 20, 2001, were then read and approved as amended.

2. Dick Sothoron gave the President’s report.

a. He reported that Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Court of Appeals had thanked the MSBA for nominating retired Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence F. Rodowsky, for the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Fourth Circuit.

b. He reported that nominations for the Judge Anselm Sodaro Judicial Civility Award were due by May 4, 2001.

c. He discussed the appointment process for Federal Judgeships, specifically with regard to Peter D. Keisler, Esquire, who may be nominated to fill a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals caused by the death of Judge Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. He noted that the Fourth Circuit includes the State of Maryland and that Mr. Keisler has never been a member of the Maryland Bar. After discussion, it was moved that the Association should write to Maryland Senators, Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes, and Representatives, Robert Ehrlich and Constance Morella, expressing the sense of the MSBA that a member of the Maryland Bar should be appointed to fill the vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. That Motion passed. It was decided, without Motion, that the Judicial Nominating Committee would evaluate the candidates if they were asked to do so. There was also a discussion regarding President George W. Bush’s indication that he was ending the long standing pre-nomination review process by the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.

d. He reported that the Report on Foreign Legal Consultants would be considered at the next meeting of the Board of Governors.

e. He discussed the upcoming vacancies for the Maryland Delegation to the ABA House of Delegates. He noted that there were three seats to be determined, one of which will be filled by a young lawyer. Three persons have been nominated, none of whom appear to be young lawyers. Those persons are Alan Steele Bowser, Esquire; James P. Nolan, MSBA Secretary; and Tracey E. Skinner, Esquire. The Board was advised that there would be a vote on the vacancies at the May meeting of the Board of Governors.

3. Paul Carlin gave the Executive Director’s Report.

a. He reported that as of April 17, 2001, the total MSBA membership count was 19,065, including 0 resignations, 1 dropped member, 5 deceased members, 9 new members, and 71 reinstatements.

b. He reported that C. Theresa Beck, Edward J. Gilliss and Debra G. Schubert had won the Baltimore County election for the three available Board of Governors seats for the year 2001-2002.

c. He recognized Wanda A. Claiborne on the fifteenth anniversary of her employment with the Association. He noted that through the years, she has grown into her job and accepted more responsibility for important Association activities, such as organizing the meeting for the Professionalism Course for new admittees and the Annual Meeting, which have all been handled extremely well.

d. He reported that the fixed costs for the canceled Technology Showcase for the meeting space had been worked out with the hotel by virtue of a swap of dollars now for subsequent programs later.

e. He reported that the Association’s Electronic Bulletin Boards (EBB) would be handled in-house as of May 1, 2001.

f. He reported that one of the Association’s favorite employees, Theresa Mouring, has become Theresa Michael, as a result of her recent marriage. The Board extended its congratulations to her.

4. Jim Nolan gave the Secretary’s Report. He reported that the Executive Committee meeting scheduled for April 3, 2001, had been canceled. He also reported that the Executive Committee had participated in a conference call on April 6, 2001 and that the subject of the conference call was substantially contained in the Agenda for this meeting.

5. Harry Johnson gave the Treasurer’s Report.

a. He reported the following for the MSBA as of March 31, 2001: total dues income of $2,214,177.08; total income of $3,248,628.71; total expenses of $2,327,852.38; and total surplus of $920,776.33. He also reported that dues income representing 102.06% of the MSBA budget had been collected to date.

6. Pam White gave the President-Elect’s Report.

a. She reported that 60 people had attended the meeting at Westminster Hall on March 26, 2001, where the theory and the mechanics of diversion in the new Disciplinary System were discussed.

b. She further indicated that there were plans being made to provide a similar presentation to the local and specialty Bar Presidents at the Local and Specialty Bar Conference in the Fall.

c. She reported that the Mid-Year Meeting would be held from February 17, 2002 through February 21, 2002, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Flamingo Hilton. It was moved and passed that the travel portion of the Mid-Year Meeting be held on the time, dates and in the place mentioned.

d. She thanked the Governors and the staff of the Association for the many kindnesses that had been extended to her during her recent bereavement.

7. Reports of Standing Committees.

a. Pam White discussed the Report to the Court of Appeals of Maryland on a Course on Professionalism and Ethics for Experienced Attorneys. The Report is attached to the Minutes as Exhibit 1. Ms. White noted that Judge Kathleen O’Ferrall Friedman had done an excellent job of working with the diverse interests of lawyers, Judges and the public to formulate the consensus that resulted in the attached Report. Ms. White noted that attendance at the course was required of both lawyers and judges, subject to certain exemption requirements. The Report indicates that educating lawyers about their professional ethical obligations prevents unprofessional conduct from developing into a matter for the Attorney Grievance Commission and enhances public confidence in the legal profession. The implementation plan for a mandatory professionalism and ethics course answers the questions raised by the Court of Appeals. The Report sets forth an efficient and effective administration scheme at a reasonable cost, allows lawyers a realistic opportunity to comply with the requirements of the Rule, and provides a fair process to decertify a lawyer who does not comply. After discussion, the Board unanimously approved the Report.

b. Buz Winchester, MSBA Director of Legislative Relations, discussed the results of the regular session of the 2001 Maryland General Assembly which concluded on April 9, 2001. He also reviewed the MSBA Legislative Report to the Board of Governors dated April 17, 2001, which is attached to these Minutes as Exhibit 2.

c. He reported that several members of the Legislature deserved special recognition. Those members included Delegate Joan Cadden, Delegate Sue Hecht, Delegate Sharon Grosfeld, Senator Leo E. Green and Senator Brian E. Frosh. After discussion, it was moved and approved that each of the forenamed Legislators receive an Award of Appreciation from the MSBA for their outstanding efforts on behalf of the public and the lawyers of Maryland.

8. Report of Special Committees.

a. The report concerning the MSBA Branding project was reviewed and discussed. The concept is that, as a member benefit, the MSBA will establish an on-line directory of MSBA dues-paying members. The directory will be designed to be useful to the public in locating lawyers who may assist them in resolving legal issues, and to further promote membership in the MSBA and its Sections. It was moved and passed that the Board approve the Report of the Technology Committee on Branding. President Sothoron commented on the excellent work performed by Michael Oliver, Chair, and the Technology Committee in producing this comprehensive report.

b. The Board discussed the possibility of working with Martindale-Hubble, a lawyer directory service, to establish a hot link between the MSBA on-line directory and its on-line Directory.

9. New Business.

a. M. Howard Metro and Brent Burry reported to the Board that MICPEL is successfully reorganizing and moving forward. They are excited to be moving back to Bar Headquarters. President Sothoron appointed a Special Committee to examine the relationship between the MSBA and its other partners in MICPEL to determine how best to assist MICPEL in its mission.

b. The Board reviewed a memo from Paul Carlin to all MSBA Section Chairs, Vice-Chairs and Section Committee Chairs, reminding them of the MSBA agreement with MICPEL to present future CLE programs through MICPEL.

10. Announcements.

a. Dick Sothoron announced that the MSBA, in conjunction with the Prince George’s County Bar Association, will hold an Oyster Roast on Saturday, April 28, 2001, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., at the historic Billingsley Manor. In conjunction with the Oyster Roast there will be boat tours of the scenic Patuxent River and hay rides available.

b. The Maryland Bar Foundation will hold its Annual Meeting on April 26, 2001, at the Center Club, at 6:00 p.m.

c. The MSBA Section on Litigation and the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association held a program on "An Insider’s View of Trial and Jury Deliberations of an Auto Tort from Opening to Verdict" on Saturday, March 31, 2001.

d. The MSBA Section on Litigation will present a program on "Discovery Disputes - The Court’s View" on Thursday, April 19, 2001, at 6:00 p.m. in the Montgomery County Courthouse in Rockville, Maryland.

There being no further business to come before the Board of Governors, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

James P. Nolan

Cornelius D. Helfrich
Assistant Secretary


Board Of Governors : Minutes : April 17, 2001