Volume 28, Number 1 - Fall 2012

The Advocate

Young Lawyers Section - Maryland State Bar Association

from the chair | Articles | Notices | Riding the circuit | Reports | About

FROM THE CHAIR

I am excited to be the Chair of the Young Lawyers’ section for this Bar year in large part because I have a terrific group of people helping me this year.  Every Bar year the chair decides on a theme and this year I decided on professional development.  There is no profession that the current economic climate has not impacted, including the legal profession. I believe that young lawyers have been hardest hit by the realities of the economic climate.  I have chosen professional development as my theme because I believe that we, as a bar association, have a responsibility to assist those members that are faced with large debts and few meaningful job prospects. 

One of our initiatives for the year will focus on helping young lawyers who may be unemployed or under-employed gain practical legal experience.  As such, on September 20, 2012 we had our first annual pro bono opportunities fair: The Pro Bono Connection.  The fair was co-sponsored by The Pro Bono Resource Center, University of Maryland School of Law, and University of Baltimore School of Law.  It was a great success and I would like to thank our Pro Bono Committee on the first of what will be many successful programs this bar year.

While we also have a number of programs and events that will aid young lawyers in their professional development, details of which can be found on our website at YLS.org, I would like to mention an upcoming program on November 7, 2012 being presented by our Resolutions Committee.  The program gives tips and advice on the best practices and procedures when handling cases at the Office of Administrative Hearings.  The program will provide an excellent opportunity for young lawyers to have their questions answered about holding a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.

Finally, I want to encourage everyone to get involved in the many events hosted by our section.  I, personally, have found the practice of law infinitely more rewarding because of my participation in the bar association and particularly the young lawyers section.  Because we are not a substantive section, we have a range of programs and activities from public service to pro bono to educational to family events.  These events and programs provide a wonderful opportunity to get to know your fellow lawyers, learn more about the legal profession and build relationships that will last throughout your legal career.  I hope you will consider joining us at our next event.  

Sincerely,

Liz
Chair, Young Lawyers Section

ARTICLES

Too Many Wrong Mistakes: What lawyers can learn from the “Dodgers Divorce”

By Laurie M. Wasserman, Esquire

Marriage, money, and baseball have long proved to be strange bedfellows.  Adding a postnuptial agreement to the mix creates a real recipe for disaster.  The well-publicized California case of McCourt v. McCourt is dramatic proof that, to quote Yogi Berra (Baseball Hall of Fame 1973), it is possible to make “too many wrong mistakes.”

“If you build it, he will come.”
     - The Voice, Field of Dreams (1989)

In 1979, Baltimore native Jamie Luskin (daughter of former appliance store owner and self-proclaimed “Cheapest Guy in Town” Jack Luskin) married Boston native Frank McCourt.  They lived in Boston and raised their four sons.  Jamie, having a law degree from the University of Maryland and a business degree from M.I.T, worked as a real estate and (ironically) family law attorney, and Frank started his own commercial real-estate business, The McCourt Company.  Jamie later joined The McCourt Company as her husband’s general counsel.

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Tax Considerations for Maryland Attorneys Who Become Partners

By Eric J. Lawrence

Congratulations! You have achieved your professional goal of becoming a partner in your law firm. Perhaps that achievement came after years of working in an established firm.  Or it may have come when you started your own firm.  Regardless, in addition to the many professional and personal requirements that you have now taken on upon achieving partner status, your individual federal, Maryland, and other state tax requirements and filings will now require additional time and attention.

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The Miller Act: Turning Logic on Its Head in Construction Law

By Glen Neubauer

Navigating the world of small business is tough enough.  If your client is also involved in construction, they will be the first to tell you that small construction companies and contractors have been in a particularly tight spot over the past few years, due to the economy-driven decrease in demand for new construction projects.  In addition, even if a construction company or contractor takes a job, there are risks that a landowner who may lack financial stability will not pay.  For construction companies or contractors fortunate enough to land a coveted “government contract,” while they do not have to worry about their client going bankrupt in the middle of the job, they do have to worry about some seemingly illogical, and potentially very costly, statutory requirements.  

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NOTICES

Seeking Board of Governors Representative

The Young Lawyers’ Section of the Maryland State Bar Association is seeking applications for the positions of Young Lawyers’ representatives to the 2013-2015 MSBA Board of Governors.  Two positions are currently available for a two-year term.  Any current member of the Young Lawyers’ Section who is interested in the position may submit an application to Marla Zide, Chair, Nominating Committee, MSBA Section of Young Lawyers, 520 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.  All applications must be received at Bar Headquarters no later than the close of business on Thursday, November 15, 2012.  Applications should include a statement of interest, a resume, and a list of Bar activities.  If you have any questions, please contact either Marla Zide at 410-760-9433 or Angela Munro at 410-685-7878 extension 3016.

Seeking Section Officers for the 2013-14 Bar Year

The Young Lawyers’ Section of the Maryland State Bar Association (“Section”) is seeking applications for Section Officer positions for the 2013-14 Bar year.  The positions are Chair-Elect; Secretary; and Treasurer.  Any current member of the Section who is interested in the position may submit an application to Marla Zide, Chair, Nominating Committee, MSBA Section of Young Lawyers, 520 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.  All applications must be received at Bar Headquarters no later than the close of business on Tuesday, January 15, 2013.  Applications should include a statement of interest, a resume, and a list of Bar activities.  If you have any questions, please contact either Marla Zide at 410-760-9433 or Angela Munro at 410-685-7878 extension 3016.

Join the Public Awareness Committee at the Maryland Food Bank

November 17, 2012
8:30am to 12:30pm

The MSBA YLS and Public Awareness Committee is seeking volunteers to assist the Maryland Food Bank with sorting donated food and supplies before distribution, organizing holiday baskets for the needy, and a variety of other activities.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Michael W. Siri.

The Maryland Food Bank’s new facility is located at 2200 Halethorpe Farms Rd. 21227. The facility is located one mile outside the I-695 beltway at Exit 9 Hollins Ferry Road in S.W. Baltimore Co. Exit 9 is a short ramp, so “HUG THE LEFT” so you can turn left. If you bear right, you must cross the bridge, find a safe place to turn around & come back; Fireline is on your right when you are headed in the correct direction. Then look for Hajoca Plumbing, Overflo, and TCI Tire Ctr. on left. Turn LEFT on Halethorpe.

Can’t make it to on November 17, 2012? The MSBA YLS is also conducting a food drive for the month of November.  See list of most needed items below and drop off your collection to MSBA Young Lawyers Fall School Supply Drive, Attn: Angela Munro, MSBA Headquarters, 520 W. Fayette St, Baltimore, MD 21201Alternative arrangements can be made if you are unable to deliver the supplies to MSBA Headquarters.  Collections boxes are available from the MSBA YLS. 

Meat & Protein

• Canned meat, ham
   and chicken
• Peanut Butter
• Macaroni and cheese
• Canned stews
• Canned tuna, salmon
   and sardines
• Nuts and seeds
• Dried canned beans

Breads & Cereals

• Oatmeal
• Breakfast cereal
• Rice and rice cakes
• Pasta

Dairy Foods

• Evaporated milk
• Powdered milk
• Infant formula
• Puddings and custards

Non-Food Items

• Diapers
• Toilet Paper
• Plastic/Paper plates
   and cups
• Sanitary napkins
   and tampons

Fruits & Vegetables

• Canned fruits and juices
• Canned vegetables
• Canned soup
• Sauces/Salad Dressing

YLS Sponsors Wills For Heroes Event

On Saturday, December 1, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Young Lawyers Section will sponsor a Wills for Heroes event to benefit the Baltimore County Fire Department.  The event will be held at 52 Scott Adam Road, Cockeysville, MD 21030.

As many of you already know, Wills for Heroes is a free and easy service that provides Wills, Living Wills, Health Care and Financial Powers of Attorney to first responders and their spouses/partners.  The foundation was started in response to the tragic events of 9/11.  Of the 403 first responders who died that day, most did not have a will in place.  First responders risk their lives each day to make our communities safer.  This program provides free wills and other estate planning documents to our local heroes in about one hour using a program supplied free-of-charge by LexisNexis. 

We are looking for twenty attorneys and two notaries (who can, but do not have to be, attorneys), who would like to spend their day giving something back to these brave men and women and their families.

You do not need to practice Trusts and Estates law to volunteer!  (But if you do, please let us know!)  A mini-course will be given the morning of the event to familiarize you with all that you need to know.  We will also have several attorneys who are well-versed in estate planning to answer any questions that may arise.  You MUST have your own malpractice insurance in order to draft the estate documents!! This will not be provided for you.

For more information on this program, please visit the Wills for Heroes Foundation website.  To sign up or for more information about this event, please contact Sarah D. Cline.  Volunteers are selected on a first-come-first-served basis, so be sure to respond immediately!

Special thanks to our event sponsor Pessin Katz Law, P.A.!

RIDING THE CIRCUIT

2ND CIRCUIT

Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties
Molly Knoll, Circuit Representative

The Kent County Bar Association continues its monthly meetings with Judge Kehoe scheduled to speak at the October meeting.  Queen Anne’s County recently held its elections and will now suspend activities until the first of the year.  Talbot, Caroline and Cecil County Bar Associations have nothing planned in the near future.  Young lawyers in the area should look forward to upcoming Happy Hours in Easton and Centreville — more information is on the way.

7TH CIRCUIT

Calvert, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Charles Counties
Monise Stephenson and Daniel Renart, Circuit Representatives

The Prince George’s County Bar Association has been, and will continue to be, very busy this fall.  We recently held a number of very informative seminars, including Law Practice 101, Client to Courthouse—Representation and Preparation for Trial, on September 6 and a Brown Bag Lunch with Judge Hassan El-Amin on September 20, and a Membership Meeting on October 2 introducing new judges/masters.  Please check the website for future events.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

STORYBOOK PROJECT

Co-Chairs: Regine Francois and Moges Abebe

The brainchild of the MSBA Leadership Academy class of 2009-2010, this project consists of volunteers entering Jessup Correctional Institution (JCI) once a month, armed with children’s books and digital audio recorders, and recording incarcerated fathers reading books to their children.  The volunteers then mail each book, along with a CD of the father reading it, to their children.  The project aims to lessen the harm that children suffer due to the incarceration of a father by strengthening family bonds and engendering in families a love of reading. To get involved or to donate gently loved books, contact the co-chairs of the Storybook Project Regine Francois and Moges Abebe.

PRO BONO COMMITTEE

Co-Chairs: Renée Hood and Patrick McCormally

To kick off the bar year, the MSBA Young Lawyers’ Section Pro Bono Committee co-sponsored the First Annual Pro Bono Connection with the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, the University of Baltimore School of Law, and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law on September 20, 2012.  Beginning with two pro bono trainings in the mid-afternoon, the event kicked into full gear for the Pro Bono Fair and Reception in the early evening.  Over 130 young attorneys and law students mixed, mingled, and learned about pro bono opportunities from fifteen legal service providers over drinks and appetizers and MSBA YLS Council Members were on hand to provide career counseling and answer questions at the Speed Mentoring table.  The atmosphere was electric!  Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the event, with special recognition going to our co-sponsors and the legal service providers in attendance.

In recognition of National Celebrate Pro Bono in October, the MSBA Young Lawyers Section Pro Bono Committee volunteered during the Baltimore City Pro Bono Day walk-in legal clinic on Saturday, September 27, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Legal Aid Bureau, 500 E. Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD, 21202.

Looking for more ways to jumpstart your career through pro bono legal service? Check out the statewide calendar for National Celebrate Pro Bono events (October), sign up for a no-cost training in exchange for a pro bono commitment, or contact YLS Pro Bono Committee Co-Chairs Renée E. Hood or Patrick McCormally for more ideas.  Get involved today!


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The Maryland State Bar Association, Inc.
520 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Phone: 410.685.7878  Fax: 410.685.1016  www.msba.org