Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin

September, 2004

~Enhanced audio CD and DVD seminar library places continuing legal education in easier reach for attorneys~
By Janet Stidman Eveleth

This fall, the Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL) is expanding its audio-visual media library to enhance continuing legal education (CLE) offerings for Maryland attorneys. Catering to the convenience of attorneys, MICPEL is launching a new line of audio-video products so attorneys have greater electronic access to important legal information. This valuable CLE attorney resource will unveil a series of new audio CDs and DVD seminars so practitioners may take advantage of distance learning and enjoy MICPEL’s extensive menu of selections in the comfort of their offices, cars and homes.

MICPEL has catered to the CLE needs of Maryland lawyers for 28 years, offering special programming and publications to sharpen their legal skills and keep them abreast of the latest legal trends and new laws. In light of today’s high-tech market, it is focusing on advanced technology to better service practitioner needs in the electronic age. Through distance learning, MICPEL gives attorneys electronic access to CLE programs and publications, enabling them to conveniently participate in programs and conduct transactions from their offices.

At this time, MICPEL is perfecting its low-tech offerings while it develops high-tech methodology so it may eventually provide practitioners with a comprehensive CLE e-commerce system. “We are capitalizing on advanced technology so attorneys will find it more affordable and easier to use,” states MICPEL Executive Director Brent Burry.

“Our goal is to serve the needs of Maryland lawyers,” emphasizes Burry. “Across the country, most Bar Association affiliated CLE programs are experiencing a decrease in attendance at seminars. I think this is a function of modern-day law practice. Time is at a premium for lawyers, and attending a CLE program can be a true sacrifice.”

Thus, MICPEL is catering to the needs of Maryland attorneys by developing technology to give practitioners greater electronic accessibility to its array of resources so that they may select and participate in programs at their convenience in their offices or cars and on the weekend. “It’s a handy way to get the latest, updated legal information whenever and wherever it best suits the attorney,” Burry adds.

“It is amazingly affordable, too,” Burry continues. “The old-fashioned seminar attendance involved costs for the seminar as well as related out-of-office travel expenses. Through electronic access, you have the added convenience of cost-savings and no lost billable time while out of the office.”

MICPEL’s new products continue to offer excellent educational value to all MSBA members, and MCLE credit, where desired, is built into the system. MSBA members still receive a $30 discount on all live MICPEL programs as a membership service, and young attorneys who are members of MSBA’s Young Lawyers Section receive an additional $20 discount. MSBA Section members receive an additional $20 member discount when they attend a live program sponsored by their Section.

In addition to expanded electronic offerings, MICPEL recently released a number of new publications to assist Maryland lawyers in the everyday practice of law. The new third edition of Pleading Causes of Action in Maryland, unveiled at MSBA’s Annual Meeting, covers most types of initial pleadings encountered in the practice of law. A MICPEL bestseller, this publication serves as the starting point for drafting virtually all pleadings in Maryland.

Another valuable resource, the 2004 Supplement to Civil Pattern Jury Instructions, contains commentary and notes on the use of numerous instructions as well as updated, relevant case laws and statutes. The popular Gordon on Maryland Foreclosures Manual, debuting in its fourth edition, serves as the authority on the state’s mortgage foreclosure process. This “bible” on foreclosure, according to Burry, is easier to use and features all sample forms, pleadings and exhibits, now on CD instead of floppy disk.

The second edition of Maryland Product Liability Law is now available, too. Updated after 14 years, this new and expanded reference document focuses on the black letter law of product liability actions and trials of these cases. Plus, Contract Drafting and Review for the Maryland Lawyer “fills a real gap,” Burry notes, by helping transactional lawyers look at pertinent issues. This manual contains a comprehensive list of considerations and practical issues in contractual agreements.

At the present time, MICPEL is preparing for the second phase of its technological advancement and Marketing Coordinator Alana Smith and Program Attorney Tony DePastina are working with the University of Baltimore to perfect its new methodology. “In the near future, we will have online capability,” concludes Burry, “and our text, video and audio will all be available electronically.”

Created in 1976 by MSBA, the University of Baltimore School of Law and the University of Maryland School of Law, MICPEL serves as the Maryland State Bar Association’s CLE arm. Over the years it has constantly modified its array of CLE programs and publications to meet the changing needs of the legal profession.

MICPEL continually adapts to the legal market’s changing dynamics and offers a delivery system that utilizes various technologies, user-friendly programming formats and other contemporary innovations to advance everything from electronic communication to distance learning. It is and has always been a valuable CLE resource for all Maryland lawyers. For additional information, visit MICPEL’s website,, or contact them at



Publications : Bar Bulletin: September, 2004

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