The Board of Governors of the Maryland
State Bar Association met at the location, date and time indicated above.
37 members of the Board of Governors were present. Paul Carlin and selected
members of his staff were in attendance. Streett Baldwin of Ellin & Tucker,
Chartered was in attendance as an invited guest.
President James Nolan called the meeting to order at
approximately 5:40 p.m. He noted the incredible view of the Chesapeake
Bay; thanked Paul Carlin and his staff for arranging such a marvelous
place for a meeting and asked each of the members of the Board of Governors
to introduce themselves.
The Minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of June
12, 2002 and June 15, 2002, as well as the Minutes from the Annual
Business Meeting of June 15, 2002, were approved, after an amendment
correcting the Board of Governors meeting stated as June 7, 2002, to
June 12, 2002.
1. President James Nolan gave the President’s Report.
a. He discussed the various correspondence and articles
in newspapers concerning contested judicial elections and noted that
the Supreme Court decision in the case of “Republican Party
of Minnesota v. White” has changed the ground rules for discussion
in contested judicial elections.
b. He noted the article in the August 10, 2002 Daily
Record concerning the continuing difficulties with funding pro bono
services because of a challenge to the constitutionality of IOLTA
and falling interest rates. He noted that the MSBA has attempted
to ameliorate the effect of the falling interest rates by instituting
the Honor Roll for those banks that have a net interest rate of at
least 2% on IOLTA Accounts.
He discussed a letter from Robert J. Rhudy, Executive Director of the
MLSC, advising of the very real probability that the MLSC will need
to cut back its funding of various pro bono programs because of already
reduced funding from the state, a reduction of interest on IOLTA accounts
and other reasons. Additionally, he agreed on behalf of the MSBA to
attempt to meet with the candidates for Governor to encourage them
to support funding for MLSC in fiscal year 2004 and, further to encourage
bar leaders throughout the state to support sustained state funding
for legal services. Simultaneously, the MLSC will work to increase
public understanding and support for legal services and to help coordinate
governmental relations in support of state funding for legal services.
c. He noted various articles discussing the redistricting
process in Maryland and the court suit resulting therefrom. Of particular
concern in the articles was the contact by members of the legislature
with members of the judiciary while the court suit was pending.
d. He discussed articles in The Sun and The Daily Record,
which appeared on July 30, 2002 noting the passing of Judge Anselm
Sodaro. The articles both indicated that Judge Sodaro was revered
by attorneys who appeared before him because he was renowned for
his civility in dealing with attorneys and litigants.
e. He discussed an article in the July-August, 2002
edition of the Prince George’s County News Journal which contains
a picture of Executive Committee member, Judge Michele Hotten, receiving
a plaque from MSBA President-Elect, Harry Johnson, who was accompanied
by Past-President, Judge Richard Sothoron, at the Prince George’s
County 100th Anniversary Celebration.
f. He noted an article in the June 29, 2002 edition
of The Daily Record about Stephen J. Cullen, Esquire, who on a largely
pro bono basis, assists families who are involved in international
abductions of children.
He thanked Janet Eveleth for all of her help in trying to create a
positive image for lawyers.
g. He discussed the recent ABA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, where
two prominent members of the MSBA received national awards. William
R. Levasseur, Esquire, a current Board of Governors member, was awarded
the Andrew Hecker Memorial Award that is given annually to one of the
Tort and Insurance Practice Section members who consistently demonstrates
He noted that M. Peter Moser, Esquire, of the MSBA, was presented with
the 2002 Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award, which is
designed to acknowledge individuals who demonstrate the highest commitment
to professionalism and the highest standards of legal ethics.
h. He reported that the Multi-Jurisdictional Practice
Report was approved by the ABA House of Delegates. The ABA House
of Delegates also passed a Resolution to create a Task Force to study
judicial elections. ABA President A.P. Carlton has noted that the
public is concerned when the largest contributors to judicial candidates
are lawyers who appear before the Judges. Mr. Carlton is concerned
that the source of funding contributes to the perception that justice
is for sale.
i. He noted that he had attended the Investiture Ceremony
of Judge Jeannie J. Hong, a member of the current Board of Governors,
after her appointment to the Bench of the District Court of Baltimore
City. He noted that not only was she the first Asian Pacific American
Judge in Maryland, but she is the first Korean American Woman Judge
in the United States.
j. He discussed the concept of Professionalism Scoff
Laws i.e. new admittees who seek waivers or deferments from the Professionalism
Course requirement but after their admission, never take the course.
He forwarded a list of those persons, along with their current status
of admission, to Chief Judge Bell on August 22, 2002. Chief Judge
Robert M. Bell responded indicating that the Court of Appeals would
take the matter under advisement.
k. He discussed the Professionalism Task Force and
its scheduled meetings. It was agreed that the local members of the
Task Force for each county and the Board of Governors member for
each county should attend one meeting and send a brief report to
the MSBA Professionalism Committee discussing each meeting, the issues
raised and how they were dealt with. There are currently meetings
scheduled on September 12, 2002, in Howard County, September 27,
2002, in Garrett County, November 13, 2002, in the morning in Frederick
County, and in Washington County, in the afternoon. MSBA Secretary,
Neil Helfrich, agreed to attend as many of the 23 meetings as possible
since he is a member of the Task Force.
He noted that he and MSBA Secretary, Cornelius Helfrich, had attended
the first Professionalism Task Force meeting in Ellicott City and that
the meeting was well attended. There were lively discussions of various
concepts of professionalism and whether professionalism was improving
or becoming less prevalent.
l. He discussed a letter from Chief Judge Robert M.
Bell to President James P. Nolan, discussing the three new Rules
dealing with pro bono service and requesting the help of the MSBA
in implementing the Rules. The Court of Appeals will appoint a Standing
Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services with eight members of the MSBA,
one from each appellate judicial circuit and one from the State at
large. We were provided with a copy of a summary of the Pro Bono
Rules and letters which were to be sent to each of the local Bar
Presidents and slightly different letters to be sent to each of the
legal service providers.
m. He discussed a request by William C. Mitchell, Jr.,
Esquire, to determine whether or not the time spent on Fee Dispute
Committee business by the various members which is significant, could
be counted towards the aspirational Pro Bono requirements of the
Court of Appeals. It was determined that President Nolan would respond
to Mr. Mitchell and advise him that he would discuss this matter
with Chief Judge Bell at the Bar President’s Conference in
n. He discussed the efforts of the SEC to regulate
lawyers by virtue of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, noting that the ABA
had contacted the MSBA with a request for the MSBA to discuss amending
this Act with Senator Sarbanes. He reported that the MSBA had contacted
Senator Sarbanes who had little interest in changing the language
of the Act.
o. He reviewed the proposed State Ethics Commission
Regulation relating to lobbying, particularly Sections 01.01.A(6)
and 01.01.B. He reported that this draft of the proposed Regulations,
while open to public comment at this time, exempts MSBA volunteers
from being regulated as lobbyists. He further reported that the Board
would follow the progress of this Regulation as it proceeds through
p. He noted that Janet S. Eveleth, Director of Communications
for the MSBA, had issued a news release relating to volunteer attorneys
offering free legal advice to victims of a train accident in Montgomery
County on July 29, 2002. This offer was published in the Baltimore
Business Journal on July 29, 2002. Mr. Nolan noted that the MSBA
received excellent publicity as a result of this effort and thanked
the Young Lawyers Section for all of the hard work it did in responding
so rapidly to this public need.
q. He provided the Committee with a copy of a letter
from John Ki, Esquire, advising the MSBA that there was a newly formed
Bar Association known as the Asian Pacific American Bar Association
of Maryland (APABA-MD) which is an independent non-partisan Bar Association
comprised of Asian-Pacific American attorneys and law students from
Maryland, as well as those who have an interest in advancing the
interests of the Asian Pacific American legal community. The Bar
Association has been invited to send a representative to a gala to
be held on October 3, 2002. That date coincides with the Southern
Bar Presidents Conference. Because all of the other Officers plan
to be out of state that day, Edward Gilliss, Esquire, and Edward
Kim, Esquire, have agreed to attend the gala on behalf of the MSBA.
r. He reviewed a letter from the American Red Cross
indicating that it was planning to issue payments to each of the
Estates of those killed as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The Executive Committee agreed that the notice of the availability
would be placed on MSBA’S website, published in the Bar Bulletin
and discussed at its October Bar Presidents’
s. He indicated that the MSBA would be appointing a
Committee on Rules of Practice to advise the Governors on various
Rules changes so that the proposed changes can be considered in a
timely manner. The thought is that there will be a group of non-committee
members, more in the nature of advisors to the Committee, who have
expertise in particular areas of the law or trial practice to whom
the Committee can turn for guidance as these new Rules are proposed.
The goal of all of this is for the MSBA to have considered well in
advance the various Rule changes that are being proposed and to have
the opportunity to convey its suggestions prior to the Rule being
drafted and submitted for comment at the end of the process.
t. He noted that Delegate Montague had introduced a
Bill to prohibit a lawyer from directly or indirectly offering employment
or discussing opportunities for employment with the lawyer or the
lawyer’s law firm with any Judge, if that Judge has any present
relationship to any case in which that lawyer or the lawyer’s
law firm has entered an appearance or has a financial interest.
u. He noted that MSBA had honored the victims of the
September 11 attack with a moment of silence at 10:00 a.m. on September
2. Paul Carlin gave the Executive Director’s Report.
a. He reported that the total MSBA membership count
as of September 24, 2002, was 19,845 members, including 178 resignations,
3 dropped members, 19 deceased members, 303 new members and 106 reinstatements.
He reported on 15 members who had requested honorary memberships. Those
1. Robert R. Bair
2. Hon. Walter E. Black, Jr.
3. William W. Cahill, Jr.
4. Hon. Dulany Foster
5. Vernon G. Frame
6. Hyson S. Freiman
7. D. Sylvan Friedman
8. Thomas L. Hennessey
9. Don F. Ryder, Jr.
10. William R. Sackville
11. Jerome R. Sereboff
12. Morton Shapiro
13. Robert M. Thomas
14. Hon. Eugene M. Lerner
15. Samuel J. Miller, Jr.
Honorary membership for the above listed 15 persons was moved, seconded
b. He reported on the Second Annual Directors’ Retreat.
He noted that a number of items were discussed with the Directors
in a rather free-flowing exchange of ideas. One of the issues discussed
at some length was computer security, particularly from viruses received
when humorous e-mails are forwarded to various staff members. He
further noted that Director, Patricia Yevics, is planning several “Distance
c. He informed the Board of Governors that the Executive
Committee had recommended the Gavel Awards be made on an ad hoc basis
rather than annually.
d. He reported that the Executive Committee had approved
the hiring of a Marketing Coordinator as a non-exempt employee.
e. It was moved, seconded and approved that Colonel
David S. Gordon and William F. Bauer, III, who have been called to
active duty, receive an exemption from paying dues from July 1, 2002
through June 30, 2003 and further that a refund be made of any dues
paid by them for this year.
f. He discussed various personnel changes at the MSBA,
including the resignation of his Secretary, Karen Keen, and the hiring
of Toni Martsoukos. He further noted that Jenny Henderson had resigned
and Patrick Tandy had replaced her.
g. He noted his letter to Wilhelm H. Joseph, Executive
Director of the Legal Aid Bureau, supporting its application to the
Federal Administration on Aging for funding to continue operating
a Maryland state wide legal services hotline to serve seniors.
h. He discussed his letter to Christopher Eddings,
Publisher of The Daily Record, supporting its Leadership In Law Awards
i. He provided a list of all Past Presidents of the
j. He provided a listing of upcoming Board of Governors’ meetings.
k. He provided a copy of a direct mailing to Maryland
lawyers who were not members of the Association asking them to join
the MSBA. He noted that there are approximately 5,000 in-state and
5,000 out-of-state non-members.
3. Cornelius Helfrich gave the Secretary’s Report.
a. He reported that the Minutes of the Executive Committee
meeting held on September 10, 2002, were substantially included in
the Agenda for this meeting.
b. He gave the report on the Board of Governors Entitlement
Certification with a very brief discussion of the methodology of
the calculation. The Board of Governors Entitlement Certification
for 2003 Board of Governors Representation was moved, seconded and
4. J. Michael Conroy gave the Treasurer’s Report.
a. He reviewed the June 30, 2002 and 2001 MSBA Financial
Statements and Audit Report prepared by Ellin & Tucker, Chartered.
Mr. Conroy then relinquished the floor to Streett Baldwin, CPA who
discussed the contents of the Report of the Association as of June
30, 2002. In summary, the Association had a very good financial year
and has received a clean report from the Auditors. Approval of the
Auditors Report was moved, seconded and passed by the Board of Governors.
Mr. Baldwin recommended the creation of an Audit Committee.
b. He reported the following for the MSBA as of August
31, 2002: total dues income of $2,050,712.24; that the total income
was $2,160,554.65; that the total expenses were $516,513.41, leaving
an unexpended, budgeted amount of $1,644,041.24.
5. Harry S. Johnson gave the President-Elect’s
a. He indicated that he had provided the BOG with a
copy of his July 19, 2002 letter to the Honorable Dennis W. Archer,
President-Elect of the ABA, inviting him to attend the 2003 MSBA
Annual Meeting in Ocean City, MD. It is significant that each of
them will be the first African-Americans to assume the Presidency
of their respective Associations. Veronica Munoz, a Special Presidential
Assistant at the ABA, responded to Mr. Johnson advising him that
it was too early to fill in Mr. Archer’s schedule.
b. He reported that he and Chip Wanek from Towson Travel
had gone to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to investigate potential
sites for the MSBA Mid-Year Meeting in 2004. He recommended that
the Mid-Year Meeting be held at the Melia Caribe Tropical. After
discussion of the pros and cons of this site, it was moved, seconded
and approved that the MSBA Mid-Year Meeting in 2004 be held at the
Melia Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
6. Reports of the Standing Committees.
a. Buz Winchester, MSBA’s Director of Legislative
Relations, reported that he had separately distributed by e-mail,
the MSBA’s preliminary State Legislative Program for 2003.
b. Mr. Winchester reported that the Court of Appeals
unanimously invalidated retroactive provisions in two statutes passed
in 2000. He reported that that action is consistent with the position
that the MSBA has taken on the retroactive application of statutory
7. Report of Special Committees.
a. President Nolan noted that the Bar President’s
Conference would be held on October 24, 2002 to October 26, 2002
in Easton, MD and that an excellent and informative, interactive
program was planned.
8. Report of Sections.
a. Michael Stover, Chair of the Young Lawyer’s
Section, gave the report of the Section. He reported on discussions
with the Deans of the two local law schools about approaching the
two Gubernatorial candidates to see if they have an interest in addressing
the Baltimore and Maryland legal communities in either a debate or “meet
the candidate” type format. Mr. Stover was unsure if Lt. Governor
Kathleen Townsend would agree to do this, but stated that Congressman
Robert Ehrlich had already agreed to participate.
b. Mr. Stover reported that the Disaster Relief Committee
of the YLS of the MSBA had been nominated for a Daily Record Leadership
in Law Award 2002. He also advised that MSBA President Jim Nolan
has been nominated for the award.
c. Mr. Stover mentioned the Young Lawyers’ Section
“Justice for All” Gala scheduled to take place on November
2, 2002 at the American Visionary Arts Museum from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.
a. The Board was provided with a copy of an Article
on Andy Posil, the son of MSBA Parliamentarian, Carl Silverman, that
appeared in the June 19, 2002 edition of the Towson Times.
b. It was noted that the MSBA has published a new assisted
living guide to help the public with long-term care decisions which
are available through the UM Law School at the cost of $1.00 each.
c. President Nolan thanked Past President Pamela White,
for all of the assistance that she has given to him in the transition
from her regime to his term.
There being no further business to come before the Board
of Governors, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:15 p.m.
Cornelius D. Helfrich