Board Of Governors
Board Of Governors : Minutes :
June 13, 2001

MARYLAND STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2001
CLARION RESORT FONTAINEBLEAU HOTEL
OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND
3:00 P.M.


The Maryland State Bar Association Board of Governors and Officers met at the location, date and time indicated above. There were 21 members of the Board of Governors present, including all of the Officers. Guests attending the meeting included Earl Kelly, reporter from The Daily Record; Richard Vincent, Director of the Lawyer’s Assistance Program; Edward J. Gilliss, Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee; and Brent Bury, Executive Director of MICPEL. 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 3:05 p.m.

The Board approved the Minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of May 11, 2001.

1. Dick Sothoron gave the President’s report.

a. He reported on the ABA’s top federal legislative issues: Federal Judicial appointments, the Legal Services Corporation, the Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary and the need for judicial pay reform. The ABA Fact Sheets on these issues were provided to the Board for review. He also noted that Senator Barbara Mikulski and Representative Robert Ehrlich had sent letters thanking the MSBA for its interest in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals appointment. Those letters were in response to President Sothoron’s letter of April 16, 2001 to them.

b. He reported that he had written a letter dated May 30, 2001, to Chief Judge Robert M. Bell indicating the continued support of the MSBA of Rule 6.1.

c. He reported that Immediate Past President, James L. Thompson, had written a letter dated June 1, 2001 to Sandra F. Haines, the Reporter for the Rules Committee, emphasizing the need for Maryland lawyers to provide pro bono services and the MSBA’s commitment to fulfill that need.

d. He reported that the Trustees of the Maryland Clients’ Security Trust Fund had communicated through Chairman Richard A. Reid to Sandra F. Haines of the Rules Committee, that the Clients’ Security Trust Fund’s staff was not in a position to assist in facilitating the furthering of the goals of Pro Bono and IOLTA by including any portion of the notices concerning Pro Bono and IOLTA in the Fund’s mailings to Maryland lawyers.

e. He reported that Judge Kathleen O’Ferrall Friedman had appeared at the Court of Appeals Hearing on June 4, 2001 to present the Committee on Professionalism’s Report, which was generally favorably received by members of the Court. The Court of Appeals indicated that Judge Lynne A. Battaglia would be the representative of the Court in locating an administrative home for the monitoring of compliance with the proposed professionalism Rule when it is approved in its final form.

f. He noted that Herbert S. Garten, a Past President of the Association, has been nominated to serve on the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation.

g. He discussed the hearing of the Sub-Committee on Jury Reform and Management of the Rules Committee which William D. Roessler and Honorable Lawrence R. Daniels attended on behalf of the Board of Governors.

h. He discussed the MSBA response to the Oliphant cartoon. The Board of Governors authorized the proposed response if it included certain changes, including a reference to the obvious gender bias involved in the cartoon.

i. He reviewed the list of frequently asked questions from the Attorney Grievance Commission.

j. He reviewed a letter from Thomas M. Meachum, Chair of the Committee on Appointments, advising the Board of the nominations of Patrick A. Roberson, Arthur Eric Peltosalo, Ronald Richardson, and Mayda Tsaknis to the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Bureau; and of Kathy Serrette to the Board of Directors of the Pro Bono Resource Center. He further advised that James Rosner, Judge Julia B. Weatherly and Kevin J. Kelehan were nominated to have their terms extended. After discussion, the Board approved all of the nominations as submitted.

k. He personally thanked Carl Silverman for his services as Parliamentarian for the Board of Governors, noting what an immense sense of confidence Mr. Silverman’s competence in the areas of Robert’s Rules of Orders gives to the President of the Association.

l. He noted that the Lawyer Assistance Program had been in existence for 20 years and had provided much valuable assistance to lawyers practicing law in Maryland under the direction of Richard Vincent.

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

a. He reported that the total MSBA membership count as of the date of the meeting was 19,123, including 6 resignations, 3 dropped members, 4 deceased members, 16 new members, and 38 reinstatements. The Board approved the resignations noted in the Executive Director’s Report.

b. He reported that the MSBA Annual Meeting was quite successful. The exhibit room was full of exhibitors who seemed to be drawing large crowds. There were 488 registrations for the Annual Meeting and 44 registrations for Solo Day as of June 12, 2001. 154 people registered for the crab feast and 116 people registered for Casino Night.

c. He reported that he had notified Richard Herbig, President of the Harford County Bar Association, of a vacancy on the Board of Governors. He further reported that he had notified the Presidents of the Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester County Bar Associations of a vacancy for the Second District Representative to the Board of Governors.

d. He reported that MICPEL had moved back to the Maryland Bar Center location from the Candler Building and that the move had gone well. He further reported that the Special Committee appointed by President Sothoron to investigate the relationship between the MICPEL partners had forwarded its report.

e. He reported that the CD-ROM produced by the Leadership Academy on Cyber Safety for Children had been produced and that a significant number of local school districts had ordered copies.

f. He reported that the Association was going to produce an Online Directory, which would parallel the Lawyer’s Manual and further the branding of the Maryland State Bar Association. The Online Directory will involve an opt-out provision for all members of the Association. It is anticipated that it will be up and running within approximately six months.

g. He reported that Legal Mutual premium volume was up 18% from last year.

h. He reported that he is reviewing the approximately 8,000 lawyers in Maryland who are not members of the MSBA to see if they can be enticed into joining the Association. Those efforts seem to be meeting with some success.

3. Jim Nolan gave the Secretary’s Report. He reported that the Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on June 6, 2001 were substantially contained in the agenda for this meeting.

4. Harry Johnson gave the Treasurer’s Report.

a. He reported the following for the MSBA as of May 31, 2001: total dues income of $2,033,463.43; total income of $3,408,178.06; total expenses of $2,798,572.08; and total surplus of $609,605.98. He also reported that dues income representing 102.6% of the MSBA budget had been collected to date.

b. He reviewed a request for approval of a Budget Amendment to create an Information Technology Assistant position. It was clear, after discussion, that the Association needed an additional technically oriented person. It was anticipated such a person could be employed for approximately $30,000.00 per year, plus the appropriate benefits. The hiring of such a person was approved. It was moved that the Budget for the year 2001-2002 be amended to provide a salary for the new technical person. It was anticipated that the 2001-2002 budget would be enhanced by approximately 2% additional income. After discussion, the Budget was so amended.

c. He reported that our Executive Director, Paul Carlin, became aware of an impending requirement for disclosure of certain financial information by attorneys as required by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Mr. Carlin requested the assistance of several of the MSBA Sections to review and report on the application and effect of the Act on our members. The Section members reviewed the matter over the weekend and reported their findings to Mr. Carlin who posted them on the MSBA Web Site the following Monday. That Monday afternoon, Mr. Carlin received a telephone call from the Southern Bar Leadership Conference inquiring whether the MSBA had any information on the Act and how it affected our members. Mr. Carlin was able to refer them to our Web Site. The Board was pleased that Mr. Carlin, his staff, and our Sections were so far ahead of the curve on this important issue.

5. Pam White gave the President-Elect’s Report. She reported that the registrations for the Mid-Year Meeting trip to Las Vegas were going well and exhorted us to visit the exhibitors and patronize them where possible.

6. Report of Special Committees.

a. Edward J. Gilliss presented the report of the Special Committee to study MICPEL. A copy of the full Report dated June 13, 2001 is appended to the Minutes of this meeting. In general, the report envisions a very positive future for MICPEL and commends Executive Director Brent Bury for the effectiveness of his ongoing review of the personnel and operations at MICPEL. Mr. Gilliss noted that there is a long-range planning meeting scheduled on July 27, 2001 to facilitate and review the evolution of MICPEL.

7. Announcements.

a. The Third Annual Maryland Legal Services Partnership Conference will be held on June 26, 2001, at the Baltimore Hilton & Towers, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

b. It was reported that Chief Judge Robert M. Bell will be honored at the Pro Bono Resource Center Access to Justice Tribute Dinner which will be held at the Center Club, 100 Light Street, Baltimore, at 6:30 p.m. on June 26, 2001.

c. The MSBA will hold its Annual Crab Feast on Saturday, July 28, 2001, at the Herrington Harbour Marina Resort, Rose Haven, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, from 12 Noon to 4:00 p.m. The final word on the Crab Feast from Chairs Dick Sothoron and Jim Nolan was, "It’s gonna be a sell-out."

d. Judge Sothoron thanked his wife, Paula, Jim Thompson, Pam White and Paul Carlin for all of their assistance during his year as President. Pam, in turn, thanked Judge Sothoron for a wonderful year as President and particularly for producing the one surviving "Shirelle" and reintroducing the Association to togas.

There being no further business to come before the Board of Governors, the meeting was adjourned temporarily.

Respectfully submitted,

James P. Nolan
Secretary

Cornelius D. Helfrich
Assistant Secretary

The Board of Governors reconstituted itself as the Annual Meeting of the members of the Maryland State Bar Foundation.

Robert Gonzales gave the Board a brief history of the Board’s role with the Maryland Bar Foundation. He explained that the Foundation is financially sound and that it had made several grants during the last year. The purpose of this meeting was to elect directors and to transact any other necessary business. Mr. Gonzales, Chair of the Nominating Committee of the MBF, gave the report of the Committee, which included Prince George’s County Judge William D. Missouri and Charles M. Preston. They nominated Paul D. Beckman to a second three-year term, Judge Richard H. Sothoron, Jr. to a three-year term and Joseph K. Pokempner to a three-year term. These nominees were elected as directors. The directors as a whole will select the officers of the Foundation for the next year at the Foundation meeting, which was scheduled to take place on June 14, 2001.

There being no further business, the meeting of the Maryland Bar Foundation was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

James P. Nolan
Secretary

Cornelius D. Helfrich
Assistant Secretary

The Board of Governors of the Maryland State Bar Association then reconvened for the presentation of special thanks to President Richard H. Sothoron, Jr. and the Annual Dodo Speech. Jim Thompson, Immediate Past President of the MSBA and most recent inductee to the Dodo Society, explained the history and migration habits of the Dodo bird to members of the Board. He then proceeded to outline Dick’s qualifications to be a Dodo. He presented Dick with his caricature depicting various memorable moments during his presidential term, as well as other gifts and souvenirs to commemorate his new status. Jim congratulated Dick on his fine work as President of the MSBA. Dick thanked the Board and the MSBA Executive Director and staff for their efforts over the past year.

There being no further business to come before the Board of Governors, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 3:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

James P. Nolan
Secretary

Cornelius D. Helfrich
Assistant Secretary

 

Board Of Governors : Minutes : June 13, 2001