Board Of Governors
Board Of Governors : Minutes : February 12, 2002

MEETING - 5:25 P.M.

The Board of Governors of the Maryland State Bar Association met at the location, date and time indicated above. There were 25 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.

President Pamela J. White called the meeting to order at approximately 5:25 p.m.

The Minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of January 22, 2002 were approved.

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

a. The Board was provided with a copy of an Article concerning the nomination of Harry S. Johnson, Esquire, to the office of President-Elect for the MSBA which appeared in the Baltimore Afro-American on January 19, 2002; copies of an Article published in the January 31, 2002 edition of The Sun discussing pay raises for Judges; copies of an Article from The Daily Record, on January 23, 2002, discussing the increase in the small claims limit for District Court and an Article from The Daily Record on February 6, 2002, discussing bills to limit the judiciary’s ability to revise sentences, notice of the adoption of two new Pro Bono Rules and a request for public comment on Public Access to Court Records and an Article from the Carroll County Times dated January 28, 2002, discussing Gender Bias. She provided copies of Chief Judge Robert M. Bell’s letter to Maryland attorneys explaining the adoption of the new Maryland Rule 16-608 requiring all Maryland admitted attorneys to report annually their compliance with our State’s interest on lawyers Trust Accounts. She reported that she had testified before various committees of the General Assembly as to pending bills on Judicial Compensation, The Board of Law Examiners, the Client Security Trust Fund, and Election of Judges.

b. She reported on the ABA Midyear Meeting, noting that she and others attended, as a part of the ABA Midyear Meeting, the National Conference of Bar Presidents meeting; had heard Justice Anthony M. Kennedy address the American Bar Association on his proposal for a dialogue for freedom to be conducted in various high schools around the country. Louise Gonzalez, the MSBA Delegate to the ABA noted that the Annual Meeting of the ABA would be held in Washington, D.C. this year and that the pricing format had been changed substantially from the substantial registration fee which included everything except a few special ticketed events, to a modest registration fee coupled with an ala carte cost for CLE programs. Ms. Gonzalez noted this change should make the meeting more accessible and less costly for Maryland attorneys.

c. Ms. White reported that she corresponded with and attended the Court of Appeals’ public conference on the proposed Amendments to Rule 6.1. She addressed the Court supporting the MSBA’s position in favor of the Pro Bono Commission’s recommendations for revisions of Rule 6.1. She noted that there was much discussion, debate and many votes by members of the Court of Appeals as they worked their way through the process of making the decision to revise or not to revise Rule 6.1. In general, the Court of Appeals approved the Pro Bono Commissions recommended revisions to Rule 6.1 with certain amendments, including an aspirational goal of 50 hours of pro bono service, with a substantial portion of those hours devoted to representation of indigent parties, and the deletion of the proposed $350.00 "buy-out" provision. Rule 6.1 as revised after several Motions, was passed on a four to three vote. Rule 16-901 as amended will create Local Commissions to administer local pro bono programs that will not include judicial members. The proposed Rule 16-902 relating to Appellate Pro Bono Commissions was not passed but was, in essence, folded into the revised Rule 16-901. As amended, Rule 16-903 creating a Statewide Standing Committees including judicial members and monitoring provisions for reporting was passed. The President thanked Janet Eveleth of the MSBA staff for pulling together Bar Bulletin Clippings describing all of the various efforts that the Association has made over the last two and one-half years to disseminate to MSBA members the progress of the discussion on the proposed revisions to Rule 6.1.

d. She discussed a request for an Advisory Opinion from the State Ethics Commission concerning the nexus between the new Lobbying Law and members of the MSBA, specifically the President thereof, and whether or not the MSBA should be regulated as Lobbyists under the new Public Ethics Lobbying Law. She reported that Kathleen Meredith, Esquire, would assist to consult to the State Ethics Commission on the development of regulations to implement the new Public Ethics Lobby Law.

e. She discussed the opportunity to appoint MSBA representatives as consultants or liaisons to the Rules Committee and its subcommittees.

f. She reported on the new Report of the Committee on Access to Court Records and the general observation of that Committee that electronic access to court records should be as easy as paper access to court records.

g. She noted that on February 13, 2002, Maryland Public Television would re-broadcast the program, Color at the Bar, at 10:30 p.m., a program relating the history of African Americans in the Maryland Bar.

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

a. He reported that the total MSBA membership count as of February 12, 2002, was 20,449 members, including 19 resignations, 1 dropped member, 5 deceased members, 33 new members and 13 reinstatements.

b. He discussed the relationship between MICPEL partners and a program sponsored by the American BAR Association and University of Baltimore as a CLE Program. He also reported that payments were being received from MICPEL pursuant to various contracts and agreements previously discussed in prior Executive Committee meeting Minutes. He noted that MICPEL has begun to pay $1,000.00 per month toward its label charge bill and $3,000.00 per month toward its obligation resulting from the publication of the Pattern Jury Instructions.

c. He discussed a letter from Judge Glenn T. Harrell, Jr. concerning the Client Security Trust Fund and its online information maintained by the Judicial Information System and the MSBA’s efforts to have our directory online. He noted that he was going to meet with Judges Harrell and Bell on February 14, 2002 to further explore the Client Security Trust Fund involvement with the online directory.

d. He noted that there was 120 persons registered for the MSBA Mid-year meeting in Las Vegas, that the hotel had lowered its nightly room rate to $75.00 per night and that the hotel was sold out for Sunday night.

e. He discussed a letter to Robert W. Guth, Esquire, and the Honorable Michelle D. Hotten, Presidents of the Howard County Bar Association and the Prince George’s County Bar Association respectively, informing them that the Board of Governors had approved the swap of one Class II seat from Howard County to Prince George’s County. As a result of that swap, Howard County will nominate one person for Class I, a one-year term and one person for Class II, a two-year term. Prince George’s County will nominate one person for Class II for a two-year term. Karen Pascuito, Esquire, will finish her term as a Class I Governor and Chris Dunn, Esquire, will resign in June, 2002.

f. He reported on nominations for the 2002 Board of Governors nominations for Class II. There are single vacancies in the Fourth and Ninth District and three vacancies in the Sixth District.

3. Report of the Secretary.

a. Mr. Helfrich reported that the Minutes of the Executive Committee meeting held on February 5, 2002, was substantially included in the Agenda for this meeting.

4. Harry Johnson gave the Treasurer’s Report.

a. He reported that the January 31, 2002 Financial Statement was not finished but reported the following as of January 31, 2002: dues collected of $2,238,158.00, representing 99% of the budgeted receipt of dues. He further reported that as of February 11, 2002, the Association had received an additional $10,291.00 in dues representing 99.5% of the budgeted receipt of dues.

b. He reported on requested budget amendments which had been approved by the Budget and Finance Committee on February 6, 2002, including an amendment to provide the Section on Delivery of Legal Services an additional $4,000.00; to provide the Special Committee on the Leadership Academy Public Service Project with $3,000.00 and a contribution to the National Bar Association Mid-year Conference in the amount of $1,500.00. All of these Budget Amendments were passed. It was noted that the donation to the National Bar Association Mid-year Conference requires that the MSBA be listed as a sponsor.

c. He discussed the Summary Report on the results of the MSBA’s Investment Portfolios. In general, he noted that the Association has a very conservative investment policy and that it has withstood the recent market decline rather well.

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 set forth on the attached Exhibit No. 1, except the following: Senate Bill 720 and House Bill 916 were opposed as written but approved if amended to change the word "shall" in line 16 to "may" and lines 15 through 18 on page 3 were deleted. Senate Bill 73/House Bill 160 was passed including amendments to delete Section B, change Section E to place the burden of notifying the victims on the State’s Attorneys Office, that a Task Force be appointed to study the entire issue of Revisery Power of the Courts so that any Bill passed is based on empirical knowledge and not anecdotal evidence and, that Section C be modified to require that the changes be "on the record." Senate Bill 336 and Senate Bill 688/House Bill 602 were tabled, Senate Bill 393 and House Bill 206 which are parallel but not identical Bills were changed to monitor on a 13 to 7 vote.

Judges Sothoron, Spellbring and Hennegan abstained on the vote on Senate Bill 347.

6. Reports of the Sections.

a. Governor Ankur Dalal, Esquire, reported on the proposed agreement between the MSBA and on behalf of its Young Lawyers Section and the Emergency Management Agency concerning Disaster Relief Services and specifically immunity for lawyers providing services as a result of an emergency. It was moved and seconded that the Agreement be approved. The Motion passed.

7. Announcements.

a. President White requested that Section Chairs forward Minutes electronically to Patricia Yevics at the Maryland Bar Headquarters.

b. She reported that the Tuesday, March 12, 2002,Board of Governors Meeting will be held at the Center Club with Board of Governors spouses, partners and significant others. Invited to attend. There will be a further report on the precise time of the meeting and parking procedures.

There being no further business to come before the Board of Governors, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:01 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Cornelius D. Helfrich

Board Of Governors : Minutes : February 12, 2002