“I am very honored to serve as the 116th President of the Maryland State Bar Association,” proclaimed Thomas C. Cardaro, as he assumed the office of MSBA President on June 13, 2009, at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Ocean City. “I look forward to leading our nearly 24,000 members, representing all segments of the Bar, over the next year,” the new President announced to the audience of 200+ attorneys and judges gathered at MSBA’s Business Meeting. “I faithfully promise to do everything in my power in order to effectively carry out my duties as your President.”
THOMAS C. CARDARO
“This is the year of the member,” Cardaro asserted. “In the next year, we as lawyers, and we as a Bar Association, face many challenges – the economic downturn, unemployment and underemployment of attorneys, unmet legal needs – the list goes on, but working together, as a united force, we will successfully address the challenges that await us. MSBA is a valuable and effective lawyer resource, and today our members need us more than ever!” He promises members that MSBA will be there for them.
Cardaro, a partner in the Baltimore City law firm of Cardaro & Peek, LLC, will serve a 12-month term and will be joined by newly-elected officers: President-Elect Thomas D. Murphy, a partner with the Law Offices of Murphy & Mood, P.C., in Rockville; Treasurer 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.; and Secretary Henry E. Dugan, Jr., a partner in the Baltimore County law firm of Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC.
“The economy has had a great effect on not just the clients we represent, but also on attorneys – our members,” Cardaro asserted. “So, this is the year of the Bar member. While the MSBA has always served as a key lawyer resource to our members, now, more than ever, the MSBA will be there for you – our members.”
“You have always been there for us. You have always stepped up to the plate when called upon. Whether it was to provide pro bono service, low bono service, teach seminars, write articles, or mentor others, you have, time and time again, answered the call,” stated Cardaro, citing the large number of attorneys who recently volunteered for the Foreclosure crisis. “Now,” he pledges, “many of you need our help, and the MSBA is there for you!”
Under Cardaro’s leadership, MSBA is assuming a proactive role, “developing services and skill-oriented programs designed to meet the immediate needs of members, especially those who have been hit hard by the economic downturn.” The Association’s new President pledges that “MSBA will be there as a key lawyer resource with new support services and enhanced programs to carry members through these tough times.”
To accomplish this, Cardaro has developed a new member support service called “RPM.” In light of the economic downturn, his strategy to help lawyers will focus on Retraining, Practical Skills and Matching. First, he wants MSBA to assist in the “Retraining of lawyers who want a new skill set to transfer their skills into areas of law other than what they may have previously practiced.”
Next, Cardaro wants MSBA to provide Practical skills for attorneys who are, for the first time, opening a practice and need practical advice on such things as trust accounts, purchasing insurance and signing a lease. Finally, MSBA will Match attorneys, whether they are “unemployed or underemployed,” offering their valuable resources to support “unmet legal needs.”
“We have already instituted several parts of RPM,” reports Cardaro. As an example, he points to the “entire section of MSBA’s website which is now devoted to assistance for underemployed, and especially unemployed, attorneys.” This valuable benefit, called “The Economic Resource Guide,” is a new electronic package of lawyer economic resources that “addresses the specific economic pressures lawyers now face.”
“MSBA has designed this service for lawyers who have lost their jobs… are in fear of losing their jobs….. or are having other practice issues,” explains Cardaro. “It provides information to help lawyers survive, and even thrive, in these difficult times.” Plus, next month MSBA “is rolling out a new online resource offering detailed information on how to start a law practice and how to close a law practice and, in the near future, MSBA will start sending out weekly technology tips and advice.”
In addition, MSBA launched the first in its series of “Suddenly Solo” programs to give practical guidance to “members suddenly thrust into the world of opening their own practice.” In November, MSBA will host a “Reinventing your Practice” Conference geared toward attorneys “who want to be retrained in a different area of practice, or who at least want to explore whether they want to consider going into a different area of practice. MSBA will continue to develop programs and services as it identifies additional needs of our members.”
In conclusion, Cardaro thanked MSBA members for giving him the “opportunity to provide these services and to serve as your President. It is a privilege and an honor.”