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Publications : Bar Bulletin

Editor: W. Patrick Tandy

May, 2004



By Pat Yevics

The Fifth Annual Solo Day at the MSBA Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, June 18, 2004, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. This year’s program is going to be one of the best yet. The topics will offer you (as solo and small firm practitioners) tips on every aspect of your practice to help you not only be more efficient but to enjoy the practice of law even more.

As many of you know, Solo Day began five years ago as an opportunity for solo and small firm practitioners to attend the Annual Meeting for a one-day registration fee. Solo Day is held on Friday so that solos miss no more than one day from the office, and it runs concurrently with other education programs at the Annual Meeting. All topics are chosen specifically to assist solo and small firm practitioners.

This year’s program is designed to help practitioners with fees, personnel, technology, professionalism and enjoying the practice of law. Not bad for $50.

The program starts with two of the section’s most popular “techies” – Jonathan Bromberg and Steve Tyler. Along with MSBA’s John Anderson as moderator, they will show you websites that will change the way you practice and live – a great way to start the day.

The next session, “Getting Paid and Not Burned,” will feature a panel of outstanding practitioners. This session will help you prevent fee problems before they start as well as how to avoid problems when collecting fees.

This year you will once again have a hard time trying to decide which of the three breakout sessions to attend. There will be a session on the top 10 personnel issues you need to know as a small firm employer. The Negligence, Insurance & Worker’s Compensation Section will hold another great breakout session with a mock direct and cross examination of a neuropsychiatrist in a mild traumatic brain injury case. The “trial” will be presided over by the Hon. Eric M. Johnson, Circuit Court for Montgomery County. The third breakout session will be a panel on professionalism and civility; the panel will include the Hon. Lynne A. Battaglia, Administrative Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland. Now you have the opportunity to ask what the bench can and should do to promote professionalism and civility.

This year we have two outstanding speakers to close out Solo Day. Jonathan Shapiro is a solo practitioner from Virginia and was John Mohammed’s lawyer. Shapiro handles difficult and high-profile cases, many of them capital cases. Hear how he deals with the unusual stress that comes from these cases and how he continues to find satisfaction in being a solo practitioner.

Finally, learn how laughing will help you be healthy, wealthy and wise. Mark Mayfield is one of the best speakers on the seminar circuit. He has spoken at and received high marks from many bar associations, including Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Indiana. Having heard him at the National Association of Bar Executive Conference, I have found him to be both funny and practical. He will show you how to use laughter to handle the stress of being a solo practitioner. This is a session you do not want to miss.

New this year, the Lawyer Assistance Program is sponsoring “The Wellness Spot,” an expanded version of the popular sessions that first started at the Solo and Small Firm Conference. Throughout the day, there will be professionals providing blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, chair massages and acupuncture demonstrations. There will be information on nutrition, stress relief and mental health services. In additions we hope to start the day with an aerobics demonstration. Or if you are really up to it, you can do the Sun Run with me early on Friday morning.

So come on down to the ocean for Solo Day or for the entire Annual Meeting (if you attend the entire Meeting, you can also attend Solo Day). Either way, we look forward to seeing you “down da ocean, hon!” For more information or to register, go to



Publications : Bar Bulletin: May, 2004

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