Board Of Governors
Board Of Governors :
Minutes : Mar 20, 2001


5:30 P.M.

The Maryland State Bar Association Board of Governors and officers met at the location, date and time indicated above. There were 30 members of the Board of Governors present, including all of the officers. Guests attending the meeting included William H. Meserole, Jr., President-Elect of the Queen Anne’s County Bar Association. In addition, Paul Carlin, Executive Director, and key members of his staff were in attendance.

President Dick Sothoron called the meeting to order at approximately 5:45 p.m.

1. The Minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of February 13, 2001 were read and approved.

2. Dick Sothoron gave the President’s report.

a. He reported that the travel portion of the MSBA Mid-Year Meeting was very successful. All of the members, their families and guests had a wonderful time. He thanked Kathy Kelly Howard, John Debelius, Lisa Mervis and Rick Jaklitsch for all of their time, effort and work. He noted that the CLE programs were very informative and well attended. He thanked the sponsors who assisted us with the program. He also reported that he and several other MSBA representatives attended the ABA Mid-Year Meeting in San Diego, California.

b. He discussed the notice sent to all MSBA Section Chairs advising them that the MSBA Board of Governors had created two Presidential Best Section Project Awards which will be presented at the June, 2001 MSBA Annual Meeting. One award will recognize the best Section program benefiting its members and the other award will recognize the best Section program benefiting the public.

c. He reported that Chief Judge Robert M. Bell had appointed Buz Winchester, MSBA Director of Legislative Relations, to the Expanded Taskforce on Public Access to Court Records. He noted that while there is hardly anyone more qualified to represent the MSBA’s interests in this matter, the appointment was unilateral and made without input from the MSBA.

d. He reported that Asher M. Rubin, Senior Corporate Counsel for Guilford Pharmaceuticals, Inc., sent a letter to the MSBA requesting the establishment of a Biotechnology Committee. Mr. Rubin noted that there does not appear to be any place within the organizational structure of the MSBA where a biotechnology oriented group will fit. The Board approved establishing a new Biotechnology Committee with between ten and fifteen members. Mr. Rubin will be contacted to discuss the mechanics of how this Committee should be formed and who should be members.

e. He reported on the letter from Chief Judge Robert M. Bell thanking the Association for its assistance at the Conference of Chief Justices. He forwarded a Resolution from the Conference of Chief Justices expressing its most sincere and special thanks to the MSBA for co-sponsoring the reception and dinner at the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse on January 24, 2001.

f. He discussed a letter from Thomas M. Meachum, Chair of the MSBA Appointments Committee, nominating William Riddle of Cecil County to the Maryland Volunteer Lawyer’s Service Board of Directors. After discussion, the Board approved Mr. Riddle’s appointment.

g. He discussed a letter from Randy J. Holland, Judge of the Supreme Court of Delaware, soliciting nominations for the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award in the Fourth Circuit. After discussion, the Board nominated retired Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence F. Rodowsky.

h. He discussed the request of Stephen Harris, Public Defender for the State of Maryland, that the Board support his efforts to obtain parity of salaries between the Public Defenders Office and the Office of the Attorney General. President Sothoron noted that pending House Bill 1340 and Senate Bill 886 deal with the issue of parity. The Board approved a motion to support this request.

i. He called on Gerald W. Heller, Jr. who discussed the draft of a letter to be sent to Chief Judge J. Frederick Motz of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland from the Federal District Court Liaison Committee and the MSBA Litigation Section concerning the proposed policy on public release of juror information. The Board approved sending this letter.

j. He introduced William H. Meserole, Jr., President-Elect of the Queen Anne’s County Bar Association.

3. Paul Carlin gave the Executive Director’s report.

a. He reported that the total MSBA membership count as of the date of the meeting was 18,991, including 48 resignations, 1,033 dropped members, 3 deceased members, 17 new members, and 12 reinstatements. The Board approved the resignations noted in the Executive Director’s Report.

b. He reported that President George W. Bush, in his budget submission to Congress, recommended that the Legal Services Corporation be funded for fiscal year 2002 at the current funding level.

c. He discussed the request for proposal for banking services, which the staff had submitted to a number of banking institutions to check the market for optimal costs for the services received by the MSBA.

d. He reported that he had reached an affinity agreement with Citizens Conferencing to provide teleconferencing services to MSBA members at very reasonable rates. After discussion, the Board approved the agreement with Citizens Conferencing.

4. Jim Nolan gave the Secretary’s Report. He reported that the minutes of the Executive Committee meeting held on March 13, 2001 were substantially contained in the agenda for this meeting.

5. Harry Johnson gave the Treasurer’s report.

a. He reported the following for the MSBA as of February 28, 2001: total dues income of $2,200,085.12; total income of $3,176,583.71; total expenses of $2,027,224.85; and total surplus of $1,149,358.86. He also reported that dues income representing 101.40% of the MSBA budget had been collected to date.

b. He discussed two budget amendment requests approved by the Budget and Finance Committee on February 28, 2001 and recommended by the Executive Committee. The Board approved the requests of the Section of Solo and Small Firm Practice to add $500.00 to its budget for a special project and the Section of Delivery of Legal Services to add $3,400.00 to its budget for programs and meetings.

6. Pam White gave the President-Elect’s Report.

a. She reported that Governor Glendening had made a number of significant judicial appointments of women and minorities to various Circuit and District Courts. She further discussed in brief the judicial selection process in Maryland. She indicated that the Select Committee on Gender Equality will be putting on a seminar in the near future for the Judicial Selection Committees from around the State on the qualities of a good Judge.

b. She discussed and the Board approved co-sponsoring the National Conference for Minority Lawyers that will be held on June 18 and 19, 2001 in Washington, D.C.

c. She discussed the impact of the proposed Conditional Diversion Rules on MSBA members and stated that a special conference will be held on March 26, 2001 to discuss this issue.

d. She indicated that the 2002 Mid-Year Meeting will be held at the Flamingo Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas from February 17-21, 2002.

e. She noted that Baltimore Magazine had featured her cats, Percy, Cat Ripkin, Tucker and Samson in the March 2001 Edition.

7. Reports of Standing Committees.

Buz Winchester, Director of Legislative Relations, reviewed the MSBA Legislative Report to the Board which is attached to these minutes as Exhibit 1.


8. New Business.

a. The Board, through Paul Carlin, will invite Brent Burry, Executive Director of MICPEL, to the next Board of Governors meeting to discuss MICPEL issues.

b. The Board, through Jim Nolan, thanked President Sothoron for all of his efforts on behalf of the Association in connection with the Mid-Year Meeting.

9. Announcements.

a. The Maryland Bar Foundation 2001 Legal Excellence Awards will be presented on March 27, 2001.

b. The Baltimore County Bar Association will sponsor a Retirement Dinner for The Honorable Barbara Kerr Howe on March 28, 2001, at the Holiday Inn Select, Timonium, MD.

c. Dick Sothoron announced that the MSBA, in conjunction with the Prince George’s County Bar Association, will hold an Oyster Roast on Saturday, April 28, 2001, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. at historic Billingsley Manor. In conjunction with the Oyster Roast, there will be boat tours of the scenic Patuxent River and hay rides available.

d. Board of Governors member, The Honorable Toni E. Clarke, was recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in the State of Maryland.

e. President-Elect, Pam White, and Secretary, Jim Nolan, attended the American Bar Association Bar Leadership Institute in Chicago, on March 15-17, 2001. They reported that it was an excellent, informative and helpful program.

f. On March 23, 2001, Judge Barbara Kerr Howe and Pam White will discuss lawyer regulation in Maryland, the Conditional Diversion Rules portion of the Attorney Grievance Process, and the issue of professionalism with the National Conference of State Supreme Court Justices in San Diego.

There being no further business to come before the Board of Governors, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

James P. Nolan

Cornelius D. Helfrich
Assistant Secretary

Board Of Governors : Minutes : Mar 20, 2001