Board Of Governors
Board Of Governors : Minutes : December 18, 2001

BOARD OF GOVERNORS
MARYLAND STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
STATE HOUSE
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND
SENATE CHAMBERS
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2001
5:05 P.M.


The Board of Governors of the Maryland State Bar Association met at the location, date and time indicated above. There were 35 members of the Board of Governors present, including all of the officers. In addition, Paul Carlin, Executive Director, and key members of his staff, were in attendance.

President Pamela J. White called the meeting to order at approximately 5:05 p.m.

The Minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of November 20, 2001, were read and approved.

1. Pamela J. White gave the President’s Report.

She welcomed the Governors to the historic State house, in continuous use as the seat of government since 1666. She reported that the rich traditions and important roles played by lawyers in Maryland government predated even the original State House; with a stirring reminder of the role of women in the law, she related the triumphs and difficulties of Margaret Brent who was an accomplished woman lawyer in Colonial Maryland and who represented Governor Calvert and his estate from 1648, as the first women lawyer in the colonies.

a. She reported that the Professionalism Course was very successful and thanked profusely Wanda Claiborne, Judge Kathleen O’Farrell Freedman and the volunteer faculty for all of their hard work in organizing and presenting the program; she reported that Judge Battaglia was working to locate an Administrative home for the proposed new Professionalism Course and considering whether the course should be presented to the Judges around the State; she reported that on December 3, 2001, she attended the Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Service Awards Program; she noted that MSBA and MLSC had honored the banks that had agreed to join the IOLTA Honor Roll Program; she noted that she had attended the reception for the Montgomery County Sitting Judges on December 16, 2001; that on December 12, 2001, it was announced that Judges Mary Ellen Barbera, Clayton Greene and Frederick Sharer had been appointed to the Court of Special Appeals, and that she plans to attend the Investiture of Judges Barbera, Greene and Sharer on January 4, 2002 to the Court of Special Appeals; on December 14, 2001, she attended the "swearing in" of Thomas DiBaggio, who was sworn in as the new U.S. Attorney; on December 13, 2001, she attended the reception honoring Robert Dyer for his efforts on behalf of MICPEL

b. She reported that the MSBA had announced its support for the Sitting Judges of Montgomery County in a Press Release issued on November 26, 2001.

c. She reported that Charles E. Kountz, Esquire, Chair of the MSBA’s Lawyer Assistance Program had written a letter to Presidents of the entire local and Specialty Bar Associations offering the MSBA’s assistance in establishing the Lawyer Assistance Program.

d. She introduced Judge Jamey Weitzmen, Gary Bernstein, Esquire and Donna Shearer, Esquire, Chair of the MSBA Criminal Law Section who discussed with the BOG the Pretrial Release Recommendations in the BOG materials. Judge Weitzmen presented the Criminal Law Section Council’s Pretrial Release Recommendations adopted on November 14, 2001 to the BOG. She noted the Report of the Pretrial Release Project Advisory Committee chaired by C. Carey Deeley, Jr., Esquire and the Pretrial Release Recommendations of the Criminal Law Section Council and thanked all of them for their hard work in analyzing this pressing problem. A copy of these Recommendations is attached to these Minutes as Exhibit 1. It was moved, seconded and approved to accept these Recommendations.

e. She discussed with the Board the ABA Commission on Multi-Jurisdictional Practices’ Interim Report which had been released for comment on December 3, 2001. She referred the matter to the MSBA Ethics 2000 Committee for review.

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

a. He reported that the total MSBA membership count as of December 18, 2001, was 19,522 members, including 34 resignations, 5 dropped members, 3 deceased members, 94 new members and 9 reinstatements.

He reported that John J. Enoch and John G. Noppinger qualified for Honorary Membership. The Board approved the resignations noted in the Executive Directors Report. The Board further approved John J. Enoch and John G. Noppinger as Honorary Members of the Association.

b. He informed the Board that all of the Class II Counties had been forwarded information on the procedures for nomination and election to the BOG in November, 2001. There are 17 Governors to be elected from Class II.

c. He requested an extension of the dues deadline to February 28, 2002. After discussion by the Board, it was moved, seconded and approved that the dues deadline for the MSBA be extended to February 28, 2002.

d. He discussed with the Board the costs of implementing a MSBA Online Membership Directory. He noted that the Online Membership Directory was a step towards embracing the internet as suggested by the past President, James Thompson and a step towards branding our members to distinguish them from all other lawyers in Maryland. He noted that Lawrence Hicks of our staff had done an excellent job in preparing a Request for Proposal that was submitted to a number of potential responders. Six companies responded to the Request for Proposals. Those responses were reviewed by the staff who recommended that the MSBA accept the proposal submitted by Heatherstone Digital Solutions.

Mr. Carlin noted that the base cost of the program was $39,750.00. He further noted that it was advantageous to the Association for the members to have the ability to change their online membership directory information themselves and have those changes reviewed by staff members rather than having the members send the information to a staff members who would then input the information. He noted that the cost of implementing that "self-change" program would be $3,900.00. A license for Cold Fusion would cost $1,000.00. This is a process by which an administrative password security system could reside on a server authorization sub-domain. The administrator’s authorizations will be stored using the Cold Fusion client valuables preventing people from examining the administrators’ cookie files. Software to write Cold Fusion for 2 users is $1,000. He further reported that is would cost $1,600.00 to train the MSBA staff to administer this program. The total cost of this program, he reported, would be $47,550.00.

It was moved and seconded to approve the expenditure of $47,550.00 to implement the MSBA Online Member Directory. That Motion passed.

3. Report of the Secretary.

a. It was reported that Executive Committee meeting scheduled for December 4, 2001 had been canceled.

4. Harry Johnson gave the Treasurer’s Report.

a. He reported the following for the MSBA as of November 30, 2001: dues collected of $1,992,846.00, total dues income of $2,177,687.00, total income of $2,457,881. He also noted total expenses of $1,247,748.00, leaving unexpended funds of $1,210,133.00.

b. He noted that this year’s current assets were up significantly from last year’s current assets because the Finance Committee decided not to move any funds from the current asset category to the investment category at their its meeting shortly after September 11, 2001. He reported that the decision will be reviewed at the Budget and Finance Committee meeting in January, 2002.

c. He noted that the Budget and Finance Committee, at its December 12, 2001, conference call meeting, had approved a request by the Section of Business Law to increase its budget by $738.00 as a result of a recent amendment to its By-Laws reflecting an increased number of council members. It was moved, seconded and approved to increase the budget of the Section of Business Law by $738.00.

5. Reports of the Standing Committees.

a. Timothy Meredith, Esquire, Chairman of the Laws Committee reported to the Board outlining the manner in which the Laws Committee coordinates with Buz Winchester, the MSBA’s lobbyist to review new legislation and determine which legislation needs special attention by the MSBA. Proposed legislation meeting that standard is then analyzed and the Laws Committee makes recommendations to the BOG regarding what position the MSBA should take vis--vis that particular piece of legislation. Mr. Meredith noted that after the BOG has considered a piece of legislation, they then vote on what position the MSBA should take. That vote then becomes, as it were, the marching orders for Buz Winchester.

It was moved and seconded that the Legislative Program for 2002 be approved. That Motion passed.

President White thanked Mr. Meredith and Mr. Winchester for their hard work on behalf of the Association.

6. New Business.

a. Robert Bowie, Esquire and Buz Winchester discussed the ramifications of the new Lobbying Law with the BOG. Mr. Winchester noted that he had written to Robert A. Hahn of the State Ethics Commission requesting its input on varying lobbying scenarios that may occur involving MSBA members. Mr. Winchester reported that the President and he have a meeting in early January, 2002 with representatives of the Ethics Commission to discuss how the new law will apply to the MSBA.

7. Special Order of Business - Election of Officers (Executive Session). The BOG, acting as a nominating committee, went into executive session and nominated the following candidates for MSBA office during 2002-2003: For the office of President-Elect, Harry Johnson, from Baltimore City, Maryland, for the office of Secretary, Cornelius Helfrich from Bel Air, Maryland, for the office of Treasurer, Michael Conroy from Montgomery County, Maryland.

8. Announcements.

a. It was reported by President White that sponsors were being acquired for the MSBA Mid-Winter Meeting in Las Vegas, NV, from Sunday, February 17, 2002 to Thursday, February 21, 2002.

There being no further business to come before the Board of Governors, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Cornelius D. Helfrich
Secretary

 

 

Board Of Governors : Minutes : December 18, 2001