Board Of Governors
Board Of Governors : Minutes :
January 22, 2002

BOARD OF GOVERNORS
MARYLAND STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2002
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND - COLLEGE PARK, MD
GOLF COURSE CLUBHOUSE
FAIRWAY ROOM
MEETING - 5:00 P.M.


The Board of Governors of the Maryland State Bar Association met at the location, date and time indicated above. There were 32 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. Guests in attendance included Timothy Meredith, Esquire, Cleveland Miller, Esquire and Judge Patrice Lewis.

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

The Minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of December 18, 2001, were read and approved with friendly amendments:

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

a. President White and the Board congratulated former Board member and Executive Committee member, Susan Bayly on her appointment as Governor Parris Glendening’s new Chief Legal Counsel, replacing Judge Mary Ellen Barbera who was sworn in as a Judge on the Court of Special Appeals. The Board accepted, with regret and pride in her accomplishment, Ms. Bayly’s resignation from the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors. President White thanked her for her service and wished her well in her new endeavors. President White noted that Prince George’s County had appointed Judge William B. Spellbring, Jr. to serve out the balance of Ms. Bayly’s term on the Board of Governors, President White nominated Board of Governor member, Master Terry Beck to replace Ms. Bayly on the Executive Committee. The Board of Governors unanimously approved that nomination.

President White requested all Board of Governor members to call their respective Sections and Committees for which they are responsible to request them to submit a succinct description of their projects and accomplishments during this Bar year to Janet Eveleth by February 22, 2002,

President White reported that the room rates at the Las Vegas Flamingo during the MSBA Midyear Meeting had been reduced to $75.00 per night.

President White discussed the MSBA’s efforts in dealing with the new Lobbying Law, including the MSBA Member Alert dated January 2002 President’s Bulletin. A copy of which is attached to these Minutes as Exhibit 1. She noted that because the Maryland Legislature was currently in session, most of the thought and effort had been directed at legislative lobbying. She requested the Governors to contact the Sections and Committees for which they are liaisons to determine what kinds of Executive contacts the Sections and Committees have on a regular or even infrequent basis during the course of a Bar year. This information, when collected, will give guidance to the Board of Governors regarding the magnitude of the impact of the lobbying law vis-à-vis our members and Executive contacts.

She further requested that all members of the Association contact Buzz Winchester for advice on any contact with legislators or their representatives that might be interpreted as lobbying under the broadest definition.

b. She discussed the letter from Glenn M. Cooper, President of the Bar Association of Montgomery County concerning Rule 6.1 Pro Bono Proposal. She noted that she had attended the meeting referenced in Mr. Cooper’s letter and spoke at length concerning the evolution of the MSBA’s support of the Pro Bono Commission Report. Her comments generated numerous questions from the BOG.

c. The Board approved the appointment of Robert T. Gonzales to the Legal Aid Board of Directors.

d. She discussed the aforementioned President’s Bulletin and Member Alert dated January 2002 relating to the new lobbying law. She thanked the Executive Committee for all of its help in reviewing, considering, discussing and evaluating the law; she thanked the law firm of Bowie and Jensen, LLC and particularly Teresa K. LeMaster, Esquire for the prodigious amount of work they have done in analyzing the law and its impact for the Board of Governors. President-Elect, James Nolan, noted that while it was certainly appropriate to thank others for their assistance, it would be remiss if the BOG did not thank President White for her tireless efforts to explore all of the ramifications of this legislation.

e. She discussed a Memo to Paul Carlin, Executive Director, from Susan Erlichman, Director of Operations for MLSC requesting that the MSBA join Amicus Curiae Briefs in two IOLTA suits that it is anticipated will be filed if the Supreme Court agrees to review conflicting Opinions from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The following Resolution was moved, seconded and passed by the BOG.

"RESOLVED, that the MSBA Board of Governors approves participation by the State Bar in amicus curiae briefs to be filed in Washington Legal Foundation vs. Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation and Washington Legal Foundation vs. Legal Foundation of Washington and authorizes General Counsel to execute on behalf of the Board a proper engagement letter authorizing attorneys designated by the National Association of IOLTA Programs, Inc. to represent the Bar before the United States Supreme Court."

f. The Court of Appeals has referred the MSBA’s course proposals for all attorneys to Judge Battaglia, to address the course and how it might be built on the experience of the MSBA with the new admittees’ course, and to explore professionalism more broadly and encompass considerations of Judicial Education on professionalism subjects. Judge Battaglia, and Judge Katy Friedman for the Professionalism Committee, are beginning to explore the development of a Professionalism Commission. The mission of such a Commission might include such specifics as course funding and alternatives to professionalism courses, initiatives on the subject for judges, and town hall meetings across the state to explore attorney concerns about ethics--even the impact of the new lawyer disciplinary rules.

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

a. He reported that the total MSBA membership count as of January 22, 2002, was 20,426 members, including 38 resignations, 1 dropped member, 9 deceased members, 934 new members and 18 reinstatements.

b. He discussed a letter from Robert W. Guth, President of the Howard County Bar Association, noting a quirk in the By-Law calculation for representation on the Board of Governors for certain counties entitled to multiple Governors. Because of the ebb and flow of entitlement to representation on the Board of Governors, it occasionally happens that a county entitled to two Governors winds up with both Governors in the same class so that their term expires at the same time thus preventing continuity of representation for the county. A pragmatic solution resolved the difficulty. The Howard County Bar Association and Prince George’s County Bar Association were willing to swap Board of Governors seats. The Board approved changing both Class II Governors to one Class I and one Class II in both counties. That resulted in the correct number of Governors overall and continuity of representation in each county. The Board of Governors approved this change.

c. He discussed an Affinity Agreement with MICPEL whereby MICPEL would provide up to a 28% discount on the price of all CLE courses to MSBA members and bear all of the cost of producing and mailing materials for its programs and publications. In return, the MSBA would provide MICPEL an exclusive endorsement to be its CLE provider and agree to allow MICPEL to use MSBA name and logo in its marketing efforts. The MSBA further authorized MICPEL to solicit MSBA members by mail, direct promotion and advertisements for registration to its education courses; the MSBA agreed to provide its mailing lists, free of charge, to MICPEL, noting that all of the rights to and ownership of the membership mailing lists remain with the MSBA. MICPEL was required not to disclose or permit the use of the membership list to any third party but was authorized to allow a mailing service to use the list to mail to MICPEL’s targeted audience. The Affinity Agreement was a one-year agreement which would continue from year to year unless either party terminated the agreement on 60 days notice. It was moved, seconded and approved to authorize Mr. Carlin to enter into the Affinity Agreement on behalf of the MSBA.

d. He discussed with the Board the recent letter soliciting non-renewing members to renew their membership.

e. He discussed his letter to Susan Gillette, Esquire, Counsel for the University of Maryland at Baltimore concerning the investment fee being charged against the interest earned on the Maryland State Bar Association’s contribution to a Quasi Endowment Fund for capital repairs at the Maryland Bar Center. Mr. Carlin’s point was that the monies are to be placed in an interest bearing account and will earn approximately 4.5% per year with no investment consideration or discretion being exercised by the University of Maryland at Baltimore in managing the fund and that under those circumstances, charging a 2% fee to essentially put the money in an account and reconcile the statements from time to time seemed excessive.

f. He discussed a letter dated December 14, 2001 to Judge Glenn T. Harrell, Jr. presenting a historical background for the Association’s feeling that the Clients’ Security Trust Fund and the Attorney Grievance Commission should contribute to the costs of producing the Lawyers Manual. Parenthetically, Mr. Carlin noted that there were 25,000 copies of the Lawyers Manual printed, representing 20,750,000 pages.

g. He discussed a letter to Brent Burry, Esquire, Executive Director of MICPEL, discussing the Royalty Agreement between the Association and MICPEL as it relates to the Publication Pattern Jury Instructions.

h. He noted that the new, more attractive version of the Lawyers Manual had been distributed. He thanked Rozanne Batton and Patrick Tandy of the MSBA staff who did much of the software preparation in-house and saved the MSBA approximately $20,000.00.

3. Report of the Secretary.

a. Mr. Helfrich reported that the Minutes of the Executive Committee meeting held on January 8, 2002, was substantially included in the Agenda for this meeting.

4. Harry Johnson gave the Treasurer’s Report.

a. He reported the following for the MSBA as of December 31, 2001: dues collected of $2,213,394.74, total income of $2,580,870.34. He also noted total expenses of $1,479,805.29, leaving unexpended funds of $1,101,065.05.

5. Reports of the Standing Committees.

a. Buz Winchester, MSBA Director of Legislative Relations, and Timothy E. Meredith, Chair, gave the report and recommendations of the Committee of Laws. A copy of the written recommendations is attached to these Minutes as Exhibit No. 2. All of the recommendations of the Committee were approved by the Board as presented, except House Bill 21. Consideration of House Bill 21 was postponed until the next Board of Governors meeting. Judges Davis-Loomis, Eaves and Sothoron and Mr. Conroy abstained on the votes on Senate and House Joint Bill 5; Judges Davis-Loomis, Eaves and Sothoron abstained on the vote on Senate Bill 150.

6. Reports of the Sections.

a. Judge Patrice Lewis, discussed the Criminal Law Section’s position of the U.S. Justice Department’s newly released Administrative Rules permitting the government to listen in on conversations between lawyers and clients in federal custody, including people who have been detained but not charged with any crime, if there is "reasonable suspicion" that an exchange of information may occur about future acts of terrorism. Judge Lewis noted that there are procedural safeguards in place that, if the government has probable cause to believe criminal activity is occurring or is about to happen, it can ask a Judge to authorize the type of monitoring/surveillance proposed and thereby satisfy the Fourth Amendment.

It was moved and seconded that the MSBA support the ABA in its opposition to the new Department of Justice Rules that would permit the government to listen in on conversations between lawyers and clients in federal custody, if there is "reasonable suspicion" that an exchange of information may occur about future acts of terrorism.

After extensive discussion, the Motion passed on a split vote.

7. New Business.

a. Cleaveland D. Miller, Esquire, Chairman of the Board of the Legal Mutual Liability Society discussed with the Board the genesis of the Legal Mutual Liability Society and noted that it is quite financially healthy; that the number of insureds increased by 25% this year and now numbers roughly 2,000 insureds. He further noted that the Legal Mutual Liability Society had hosted a National Conference of other Bar Association Insurance Companies. President White thanked Mr. Miller for his hard work on behalf of Association members.

8. Special Order of Business.

a. President White introduced Judge Martha Rasin, former Chief Judge of the District Court; President White noted that on October 1, 2001, the Board of Governors had voted to honor Judge Rasin for her service to the citizens of the State of Maryland as Chief Judge of the District Court. Judge Rasin was presented with a plaque from the Board of Governors.

Judge Rasin addressed the Board and thanked them for the plaque noting that the MSBA Bar and the Chief Judge of the District Court’s goals concerning the efficient administration of justice are quite similar. She then discussed the Bill to permit the use of Commissioners when District Court Judges were not available to issue Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and indicated that, the goal of that Bill was to provide service to the citizens of Maryland at a time when they most need it.

9. Announcements.

a. President White noted that the MSBA Midyear Meeting will be held this year in Las Vegas from February 17 - 21, 2002, at now reduced Flamingo Hotel Room rates of $75.00 per night.

b. The Prince George’s County Bar Association Centennial Celebration will be held on May 17, 2002, from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the Mt. Airy Mansion in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Light fare will be provided and black tie is optional. Judge Sothoron noted that the Celebration is expected be a sell-out.

There being no further business to come before the Board of Governors, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Cornelius D. Helfrich
Secretary

 

Board Of Governors : Minutes : January 22, 2002