Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin

Editor: W. Patrick Tandy

January, 2004

By Janet Stidman Eveleth

J. Michael Conroy, Jr., President of the Montgomery County law firm of Conroy, Ballman & Dameron, Chtd., has been named President-elect nominee of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) for 2005-2006. He will run for election this June during the MSBA Annual Meeting, along with current Treasurer Edward J. Gilliss and Secretary-elect nominee Alison L. Asti. Cornelius Helfrich, a solo practitioner from Harford County, will be installed as MSBA President at the 2004 MSBA Annual Meeting.

A prominent Maryland attorney and bar association leader, Conroy is known for his effective leadership in the legal community. A consummate legal professional, the MSBA’s future president has long been applauded for his dedication to pro bono and public service in the community. He has been recognized for his commitment to diversity and is very proud to be part of the “honorable” profession of law.

The President-elect nominee has always been a champion of MSBA and Maryland lawyers. Conroy believes the strong support MSBA gives to members, as well as the valuable leadership it gives to the legal community, inspires “Maryland lawyers to do great things.” As President, he plans to accentuate MSBA’s hallmarks of professionalism and uphold the Association’s tradition of effective service and assistance to members.

J. Michael Conroy, Jr.

“MSBA’s greatest asset is its energy,” reports Conroy. “MSBA is an effective source of strength because it is willing to work on anything of importance to its members. Lawyers must deal with new issues like bureaucratic requirements and economic concerns on an almost daily basis. MSBA tackles these on its members’ behalf. Given the opportunity, the MSBA takes up the gauntlet and confronts issues on their behalf. It puts together a program, educational structure or whatever is needed to assist members.”

Conroy is excited about his future MSBA leadership role and the challenges it presents. “The opportunity to follow in the footsteps of MSBA’s truly accomplished, terrific presidents is a huge and humbling honor. I enjoy leadership roles and consider this opportunity a tremendous privilege,” he declares. “I hope to bring leadership to our association and take on and be in the forefront of a tough challenge, should one arise. I would like to give back and assist this exceptional organization as it continues its good works.”

Conroy brings a diverse legal background and many good works of his own to his future role as MSBA President. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame in 1967, Conroy served in the United States Army and the Reserves from 1968 to 1974. He earned his Juris Doctorate and Master of Laws in Taxation from the Georgetown University Law Center and was sworn-in to Maryland’s Bar in 1972. He engaged in private practice for several years before joining the Office of the Public Defender for the State of Maryland in Montgomery County in 1976. Returning to private practice in 1980, Conroy has been a partner in the law firm Conroy, Ballman & Dameron since 1987.

For 31 years, Conroy has practiced law in Montgomery County, most often as a trial practitioner in the construction, banking and brokerage industries and in the real estate transactional area. He has been involved in over 300 criminal and civil trials, appellate work in federal and state courts, the arbitration and mediation of commercial and residential matters and administrative hearings involving regulatory bodies and agencies. In addition, he handles the defense of lawyers, employment matters and administrative hearings involving regulatory bodies and agencies.

Conroy has also been extensively involved in bar association work at the local and state levels since his admission to Maryland’s Bar. He served as President of the Montgomery County Bar Association (MCBA) in 1994-95, headed the Montgomery County Bar Foundation (MCBF) from 1995-96 and continues to be active on many of the county bar’s committees. In addition, he is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the District of Columbia and Virginia State Bar Associations.

MSBA’s future President has also been actively involved in MSBA since the early ‘70s. Currently MSBA Secretary, Conroy also served as the Association’s Treasurer and has been a member of the Executive Committee for three years. He has been a member of MSBA’s Board of Governors on four different occasions, is a member of the Litigation and Taxation Sections as well as numerous committees and presently chairs the Special Committee on Increasing Bank Interest Rates on IOLTA Accounts.

Conroy is a Life Fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation, a MICPEL instructor and a member of the Judicial Compensation Commission for the State of Maryland. He received a National Institute of Trial Advocacy Certification in 1973, has been honored with President Citations from both the MCBA and the MCBF for leadership in the legal community and received the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association’s Award for Commitment to Diversity in 1996. In the greater community, Conroy is actively involved with the Ronald McDonald House for Oncology Services, the Catholic Youth Organization and numerous educational organizations.

Conroy is thrilled, humbled and honored to lead this dynamic organization in the future. “MSBA has so much to offer today’s lawyers,” he emphasizes.  As an example, he cites the strides MSBA has made in the area of mass communication. “Email Lists on the website, like the one in the real estate area, are prime examples of significant MSBA services now available to all members at a most reasonable price.”

Additionally, he considers the Solo Conference “a marvelous value and benefit to attorneys” and believes MSBA’s plethora of meetings and events present excellent networking opportunities for members. “The functions members attend give them the opportunity to get to know their peers,” he adds. “Networking benefits lawyers and serves as a learning experience. They discover how things are going in other areas, often confirming their own experiences.”

The 2005-2006 MSBA President is already contemplating his year as President. “I’d like to make our members’ professional lives better than when I started. Whether this means continuing existing and improving programs or developing new ones to serve new member needs, I hope we can make a difference and enhance the lives of our members.”

Above all, Conroy would like to be remembered for doing a good job, continuing MSBA’s outstanding reputation and improving the lives of MSBA’s members.



Publications : Bar Bulletin: January, 2004

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