Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin

January, 2005

Gilliss Nominated 2006-2007 President of MSBA
By Janet Stidman Eveleth

Ed Gilliss

EDWARD J. GILLISS
2006-2007 MSBA President-Elect Nominee

Edward J. Gilliss, a partner in the Baltimore County law firm of Royston, Mueller, McLean & Reid, LLP, has been named President-Elect nominee of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) for 2006-2007. He will run for election this June during the MSBA Annual Meeting, along with current Secretary Alison L. Asti, Executive Director of the Maryland Stadium Authority and Treasurer-Elect nominee John Patrick Kudel, a solo practitioner in Rockville and Of Counsel to the Rockville-based law firm of Karp, Frosh, Lapidus, Wigodsky & Norwind, P.A. J. Michael Conroy, a partner in the Montgomery County law firm Pasternak & Fidis, P.C., will be installed as President at the 2005 MSBA Annual Meeting.

A prominent attorney, Gilliss is known for his outstanding contributions to Maryland’s legal community and effective leadership in the Maryland State Bar Association. He brings a wealth of legal and community service experience to this MSBA leadership role. Gilliss exemplifies the highest integrity and ethical standards and is committed to improving the practice of law and bettering the legal profession.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve in this leadership role,” exclaims Gilliss. “The legal profession has been a wonderful career for me and I’ve been lucky to have a healthy work environment, good partners and a diverse practice.” Gilliss, a recognized champion of MSBA, is proud to give back to a profession that “has been good to him” by serving as MSBA’s future president.

“MSBA is a broad-based organization representing the interests of Maryland lawyers that plays a number of valuable roles in the legal community,” Gilliss asserts. “It tackles important contemporary legal issues and advocates on behalf of Maryland lawyers. MSBA serves as a forum for these issues and gives lawyers the opportunity to have a voice in the oversight of our practice, whether it’s with the Court of Appeals, the Attorney Grievance Commission or the Maryland General Assembly.”

“MSBA is the voice for Maryland lawyers, in perception and reality,” emphasizes Gilliss. “While there is ‘no one true voice’ of lawyers, MSBA is the obvious first stop for persons who think there is one voice because it is the largest organization of lawyers, with the most diverse membership, in the state. It functions as a great clearinghouse for the discussion of issues on a statewide basis so lawyers may determine whether there can be a consensus on one view or a single lawyer’s perspective.” Gilliss believes “lawyers can achieve a consensus on many things,” and he views MSBA as “an active and positive platform to press forward positive things about the practice of law.”

Another benefit of MSBA, according to the new President-Elect nominee, is “the opportunity it gives lawyers to interact with other lawyers socially and substantively, through the work of our Sections and Committees. It allows them to work together to better issues that impact the practice of law.” Finally, he applauds the “real quiet benefit of MSBA membership, which is the contact lawyers have with other lawyers who are competent, qualified practitioners. This reinforces everything that is good about our profession.”

A graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, Gilliss was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1980 and joined the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of General Counsel as a staff attorney. In 1982, he became a litigation associate with the law firm Lord, Whip, Coughlan and Green, then joined his current law firm as a partner in 1986.

Gilliss has practiced law with his Towson firm for close to 16 years, handling civil litigation, administrative law and wills and estates. His active civil practice includes litigation of commercial disputes, title insurance, real property and construction matters and personal injury cases. In addition to County administrative law matters, Gilliss also represents restaurants across the State in licensing matters.

In 2001, Gilliss took a hiatus from Royston, Mueller, McLean & Reid to serve as the County Attorney for Baltimore County, at the invitation of County Executives James Smith and Dutch Ruppersberger. In this role, he represented the Executive and the County Council and directed a staff of approximately 30 attorneys. Gilliss was also responsible for litigation in state and federal courts, contracts and advising county agencies.

Gilliss, who has been active in MSBA for the last 25 years, was honored with the Young Lawyers Section’s Distinguished Service Award in 1989. He has been Treasurer since 2003 and a member of the Executive Committee since 2002. He has served four terms on the Board of Governors and been a member of the Budget and Finance Committee for 15 years, chairing this major MSBA Committee from 1998-2001.

MSBA’s President-Elect nominee currently chairs the Investment Committee, headed the Special Committee to study MICPEL in 2001 and led the Continuing Legal Education and Program Committees, too. He is also a faculty member for MSBA’s Professionalism Course and is Chair of the Fellows of the Maryland Bar Foundation.

In addition to his MSBA activities, Gilliss serves on the Executive Council of the Baltimore County Bar Association and is a member of the Attorney Grievance Commission’s Inquiry Panel. He has served as a member of MICPEL’s Board of Trustees and Executive Committee. He also boasts a long list of civic activities, including serving as President of The Towson Partnership, a member of the Towson Business Association and a member of the Executive Board of several local school PTAs.

Gilliss is looking forward to his future leadership role. “I would like my MSBA leadership time to be the same as my time in the MSBA Committee and Section trenches. I have gained a great deal during my 25 years as a MSBA member, and I think my institutional knowledge of MSBA will prove beneficial during my time as President.”

As the head of MSBA, Gilliss pledges “to work hard, seek to achieve a consensus, be a team player and contribute to the legal profession.” He hopes to “make a positive contribution to the practice of law and Maryland’s legal community and add to the positive impression of lawyers and the good things lawyers do.”

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Publications : Bar Bulletin: January, 2005

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