At approximately 8:45 a.m. President Richard Sothoron
called the 106th Annual Business Meeting of the Maryland State Bar Association
to order. The following items of business and/or announcements took place
at the meeting:
1. The Secretary read the names of the members of the
Maryland State Bar Association who passed away during the last year.
(List attached as Exhibit 1). The entire body observed a moment of silence
in honor of these deceased lawyers.
2. President Sothoron called for reports of the officers
and the Board of Governors:
A. James P. Nolan gave the Secretary’s report.
The Secretary has kept the minutes of the Business Meeting of the Association
and the minutes of the Board of Governors and the Executive Committee.
He has reported the actions taken by the Executive Committee to the
Board of Governors and has reviewed the agenda for the business meetings
of the Executive Committee, The Board, and the Association. He has
performed other duties as outlined in the By-Laws of the Association
and has frequently conferred with the President, the other officers,
and the Executive Director in the furtherance of the work of the Association.
He requested at this meeting that the assembled body give unanimous
consent that the minutes of the Business Meeting be corrected and approved
by the Board of Governors. There being no objection, the minutes will
be so approved.
B. Harry S. Johnson gave the Treasurer’s report.
As represented in the Maryland State Bar Association’s annual
report for the period 2000-2001, the financial highlights are as follows:
For fiscal year 2000, there is reflected a total revenue of $3,508,197.00
a total expense of 3,484,379.00 and an excess of revenue over expenses
Based upon the aforementioned reports, it appears
the financial status of the MSBA remains excellent. Our auditor’s
report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2001 is anticipated for
delivery to the Board of Governors in September and will be acted upon
at the Mid-Year meeting in 2002.
He also expressed his thanks and congratulations to
President Richard Sothoron; President-Elect Pam White; and Edward J.
Gilliss, Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee.
C. Paul Carlin gave the Executive Director’s
report. He praised Kathy Kelley Howard and John W. Debelius, III, the
Program Chairs, and gave special recognition to MSBA Director of Meetings,
Wanda A. Claiborne. The Association reached new membership highs. In
addition, the membership continues to be extremely well satisfied with
Association services. He indicated that the MSBA was growing during
a time when membership in bar associations in other states is declining.
The Association has held the line on dues increases since 1990 and
has experienced only a modest growth in the size of its staff. The
Association and its staff have provided the administrative services
for all of the meetings of the committees and sections. Mr. Carlin
then introduced the directors on his staff and the staff. They and
Mr. Carlin received a well deserved round of applause.
D. James P. Nolan gave the Secretary’s report
for the Board of Governors. The 2000-2001 Board of Governors has:
- Voted to reject multidisciplinary Practices (MDP’S) in Maryland;
- Voted to approve in concept the Business and Technology Task Force’s
Report recommending a new Business and Technology Dispute Management
Program to handle these cases in Circuit Courts in lieu of separate
- Approved an Associate Membership Committee Report to welcome law
students, paralegals and legal administrators into MSBA as non-voting,
- Approved the Judiciary’s Jury Use and Management Report and
Report on initiating criminal process in Maryland;
- Approved new member benefits at discounted rates through Advanced
Business Systems to provide office equipment, supplies and services
and with CommPartners for telephone conference calls;
- Approved the final 2001 state legislative program;
- Voted to co-sponsor an Addiction Treatment Conference with MedChi;
- After a comprehensive study, directed complaints about Allstate
Insurance Company’s claims settlement practices to Maryland
Attorney Grievance Commission;
- Agreed to work with the ABA on a campaign to promote racial justice
and co-sponsor a national conference on minority lawyers;
- Agreed to provide funding for a reception for the Conference of
Chief Justices at their meeting in Baltimore;
- Approved a new agreement with the Bar Associations Insurance Trust
and Insurance Agency;
- Approved the creation of a Biotechnology Committee;
- Approved support of salary increases for the Public Defenders Service
and the Administrative Judges of Maryland;
- Supported the position that a vacancy created by the death of a
Maryland Judge in the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals should be
filled by a lawyer admitted in Maryland or a Maryland Judge;
- Approved a proposal to ask the Court of Appeals to extend the Professionalism
courses to all Maryland lawyers;
- Approved the Technology Committee’s request to create an
online MSBA Directory and pursue a branding strategy;
Mr. Nolan identified further highlights which were contained
in the annual report distributed to the members. In closing, on behalf
of the Board of Governors, Mr. Nolan congratulated outgoing President
Dick Sothoron for the outstanding job he had performed this year as President
of this Association noting that the Board of Governors had passed a Resolution
praising President Sothoron for a fantastic year as President of the
Association and for promoting by his example and tireless efforts, his
self-proclaimed motto "You have a friend in the MSBA." He welcomed
Pamela J. White as the next President of the MSBA and wished her well
in what will most certainly be a great year for the Association.
3. The President requested a vote on the proposed amendment
to Article 1, Section 4 of the By-Laws permitting membership in the MSBA
of law students, paralegal/legal assistants and law firm administrators
under defined criteria. Notice of the proposed amendment was published
in the Bar Bulletin on January 15, 2001 and March 15, 2001. the President
called for the question; there being no debate on the issue, the vote
was called and the amendment passed.
4. The Honorable Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, gave his
State of the Judiciary Address. Judge Bell congratulated the MSBA and
its leadership. He summarized the Judiciary’s initiatives and accomplishments
during the year since he last addressed us. He noted that the court had
established the Judicial Cabinet to assist him with developing and refining
the policies that affect the judicial system; that he had established
the Maryland Judicial Council to develop and refine policies affecting
all aspects of the judicial system. These bodies have directed their
efforts towards enhancing the fair and expeditious dispositions of cases.
He informed us that family law cases equal a one-half of the Circuit
Court case load and that the concept of a family court had assisted in
providing standardized services in the jurisdictions that have family
courts. He noted that efforts have been made to improve the representation
of children in abuse and neglect cases. He noted that a Business and
Technology Case Management Program was being implemented. He noted the
court was studying how to facilitate the handling of pro bono cases.
Finally, he noted the court was studying the complex issue of balancing
public access to court records with concepts of public privacy.
He also offered high praise to Dick Sothoron for his
outstanding leadership of the MSBA during the past year.
5. Election of Officers. President Sothoron presented
the report of the Board of Governors acting as a nominating committee.
The nominees were: for President-Elect, James P. Nolan; for Secretary,
Cornelius D. Helfrich; and for Treasurer, Harry S. Johnson. No other
nominations by petition were received. As such, the question was on the
election of these individuals to the offices named above. A vote of the
membership was taken and these officers were unanimously elected to those
positions. Whereupon, the Chair called upon Nancy Nolan, Honorable Richard
Sothoron, Jr., Harry S. Johnson, Scott Patterson and Roger Perkins to
accompany Mr. Nolan and Carol Helfrich, Honorable Chief Judge Robert
M. Bell, Honorable Barbara Kerr Howe and Michael Jacobs to accompany
Mr. Helfrich to the rostrum.
6. New Business. No new business was discussed
by the membership.
7. Report of Bar Association’s Insurance Trust. Aaron
Kadish, Chairman of the Bar Association’s Insurance Trust, was
recognized. Mr. Kadish pointed out to the membership some of the outstanding
contributions and financial support provided by the Trust to the Association
and other groups, including its assistance to the Maryland Bar Foundation
and its sponsorship of the new admittees luncheon, Annual Meeting and
the Mid-Year Meeting. He advised the membership that the Trust was in
fine financial condition and that Trust monies help the Association and
its members. He suggested that all of the members should support the
Trust in its efforts since it has a full line of coverage.
8. Awards and Special Presentations.
A. The President’s Best Section Project Awards
were announced. This year the Board of Governors has awarded the Presidential
Best Section Project For Service To The Members to the Young Lawyers
Section for its outstanding work in producing a Job Placement Program
which appears on the MSBA Website. The Presidential Best Section Project
For The Public went to the Business Law Section for its outstanding
effort on the Business and Technology Program in the Maryland Courts.
B. The annual Anselm Sodaro Award for Judicial Civility
was presented to the Honorable Robert H. Mason, Retired Judge of the
Circuit Court for Prince George’s County.
C. Legislative Awards were presented to Delegate Joan
Cadden, Delegate Sue Hecht, Delegate Sharon Grosfeld, Senator Leo E.
Green and Senator Brian E. Frosh for their support during the past
D. The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland (PBRC)
Awards were presented. The Chair recognized Sharon E. Goldsmith, Executive
Director of PBRC. The following awards were presented by Mrs. Goldsmith,
Chief Judge Bell, and Karren Pope-Onwukwe, Esq:
(1) Individuals: Frank Mastro, Emily Vaias and Stephen H. Sachs;
(2) Lee A. Caplan Dedicated Service Award: Carl R. Gold;
(3) Judiciary: Judge of U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of
Maryland, accepted by Judge James Schneider;
(4) Law Firms: Howrey, Simon, Arnold &White;
(5) Non-Legal or Organizational Involvement: Family Services Program
- Administrative Office of the Courts;
(6) Pro Bono Program Award: University of Baltimore School of Law
(7) Herbert S. Garten, Special Pro Bono Project Award: Stanley S.
E. The Gavel Awards were presented by President Sothoron and Janet
Eveleth of the MSBA to the following for outstanding legal reporting:
First Place Winners were:
(1) Caitlin Francke, The Baltimore Sun;
(2) Larry Rulison, The Baltimore Business Journal;
(3) Mary Robbins, Columbia Flyer;
(4) Rob Terry, Washington Techway Magazine;
(5) Suzanne Collins, WJZ Television Channel 13;
(6) Robert Lidke, Harford Cable Network;
Second Place Winners were:
(1) Joe Surkiewicz, The Daily Record;
(2) Mark Celender, The
(3) Cooky McClung, The Kent News;
(4) Dick Gelfman, WJZ Channel 13 Television;
(5) Joan Rydell, WBFF Fox 45 Television.
F. The Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service presented their partnership
award to the Wicomico County Bar Association for their outstanding
success in supporting the MVLS The Award was presented by Bonnie Butler,
the President of MVLS and accepted by Barbara Trader.
G. The Solo and Small Firm Section’s Annual David Hjortsberg
Award was presented by David Harvis of the Howard County Bar Association
to Stephen Seltzer. This award honors the late Mr. Hjortsberg who was
praised as a gentle man who treated all with civility and respect.
H. The Leadership Academy Fellows were recognized and thanked by Chair
Charles B. Day for their enthusiasm and dedication.
I. Brent Burry, Executive Director of MICPEL thanked all the many MICPEL
volunteers. (Attached as Exhibit 2).
J. As a point of personal privilege, President Sothoron asked all
the MSBA Past Presidents present to come to the front of the ballroom,
at which time he read and presented a Proclamation of Recognition from
the Mayor of McKeesport, PA to the Executive Director Paul Carlin,
a native McKeesporter.
9. President-Elect, Pam White, and Executive Director Paul V. Carlin
assisted in presenting Richard Sothoron with several gifts from the Board
of Governors in appreciation of his outstanding service as President
of the MSBA from June, 2000 through the Annual Meeting in June, 2001.
They presented Judge Sothoron with a beautiful picture of Fox Hounds
and a very tasteful silver bowl. He received a standing ovation from
10. The President’s Address. Pamela J. White gave the President’s
address. She recognized the past Presidents of the MSBA and recognized
the members of her family and some special friends. She discussed "Good
Lawyers" and their qualities: "Competence, compassion, civility,
unquestioned integrity, commitment to community and public service, and
an over arching respect for both the Rule of Law and the role of lawyers." She
illustrated these concepts by examples of lawyers and Judges who lived
them: Albert C. Ritchie, Charles Dorsey, Judge Rita C. Davidson and Chief
Judge Robert C. Murphy. She promised to support efforts to enhance pro
bono activities by Maryland lawyers and to increase professionalism of
Maryland lawyers. She noted that gender-related issues as well as racial
and ethnic issues still exist within the legal profession. She noted,
in conclusion, that "a good lawyer’s reputation for trustworthiness
must be one of unquestioned integrity." (Copy of Address attached
as Exhibit 3).
Following the address of the President, the meeting was adjourned at
approximately 11:20 A.M.
James P. Nolan
Cornelius D. Helfrich
Of Governors : Minutes :
June 16, 2001