Board Of Governors
Board Of Governors : Minutes :
June 16, 2001

MARYLAND STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
BUSINESS MEETING
Saturday, June 16, 2001
CLARION RESORT FONTAINEBLEAU HOTEL
OCEAN CITY, MD
8:45 A.M.


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 of $23,818.00.

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 court division;
    • Approved an Associate Membership Committee Report to welcome law students, paralegals and legal administrators into MSBA as non-voting, associate members;
    • 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 legislative session.

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 Clinical Programs;

(7) Herbert S. Garten, Special Pro Bono Project Award: Stanley S. Herr;

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 Montgomery Gazette;

(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 the membership.

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.

Respectfully submitted,

James P. Nolan
Secretary

Cornelius D. Helfrich
Secretary

Board Of Governors : Minutes : June 16, 2001