Henry E. Dugan, Jr., a partner in the Baltimore County law firm of Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC, has been named President-Elect nominee of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA). He will run for election this June during the MSBA Annual Meeting, along with Treasurer John Patrick Kudel, a solo practitioner in Rockville and Of Counsel to the Rockville-based law firm of Karp, Frosh, Lapidus, Wigodsky & Norwind, P.A., and Secretary-Elect Michael J. Baxter, a partner in the Baltimore City law firm of Baxter, Baker, Sidle, Conn & Jones P.A. Thomas D. Murphy, a Principal with the Rockville-based Law Offices of Murphy & Mood, P.C., will be installed as President at the 2010 MSBA Annual Meeting. Dugan is slated to be President in 2011-2012.
A prominent litigator, Dugan is a skilled trial attorney with a long-standing commitment to civil justice. He brings a wealth of legal expertise and community service experience to this MSBA leadership role and is a recognized leader in Maryland’s legal community. Dugan is known for his high integrity, professionalism and legal ethics and believes in “helping people who need help.” He is elated about this future leadership opportunity and looks forward to giving back to his profession and advancing the practice of law.
Dugan is committed to the law and sees lawyers as important members of society who make a big difference in the lives of others. “What we do as lawyers is incredibly important. We are servants of the people,” he proclaims. “Lawyers are involved in everything everybody does everyday. We make civilization possible and we should never lose track of this; attorneys touch every aspect of people’s lives.”
The President-Elect nominee also champions MSBA and the important role it plays in the state’s legal community. “Our Association promotes reform in the law, facilitates the administration of justice, upholds the standard of integrity, honor and courtesy in legal profession, encourages legal education and cultivates a spirit of cordiality among members of the Bar,” he asserts. “This is the fundamental part of our purpose, as spelled out in our bylaws. This is what MSBA is all about.”
“Membership is of such value to individual attorneys,” declares Dugan. “MSBA is important on several levels. Individual voices sometimes cry out in the wilderness, but the voice of 23,500 movers and shakers is something to be taken into account. Individual members of our Association have the ability to have this kind of voice in what we are doing as a society.” This strong voice “is MSBA’s single most important role.”
Plus, MSBA gives individual lawyers the opportunity to “make an individual imprint on society as a whole,” he avows. “Within our organization there are so many opportunities, so many Sections and Committees through which each of us can contribute in our tiny area of law, in our own way.” Dugan commends MSBA’s members for the immense contribution they make to society.
Dugan had a rather auspicious beginning as a lawyer. At the age of 13, he started studying to become a member of a religious order, the Brothers of Christian Schools. He eventually took temporary vows and attended LaSalle College in Philadelphia, then joined the order to teach school. But he felt another calling. He adored U.S. President John F. Kennedy and U. S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy and, like them, wanted to make a commitment to society. Thus, Dugan made the leap to law.
“I specifically went to law school to become a politician,” he notes. But timing is everything, and Dugan neared graduation at a time when one politician after another was being indicted on corruption charges in Maryland. So after graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law, Dugan served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jerrold V. Powers, Court of Special Appeals Maryland, from 1973-1974. While there, a malpractice argument came down which Dugan found intriguing. “I found a field where an attorney can make a contribution in a very difficult area of law by representing people who have been injured.”
In 1975, he joined the Attorney General of Maryland’s Office as an Assistant Attorney General, before becoming a private practitioner concentrating in plaintiff’s malpractice. He joined the law firm Dugan, Jakubowski, Babij & Spector, LLC (now Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC), where he handles medical malpractice, product liability and serious personal injury cases. In addition to Maryland’s Bar, he is admitted to the U.S. District Court, District of Maryland; the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit; and the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, as well as the District of Columbia and West Virginia Bars.
Dugan currently serves as MSBA Secretary and is a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors. He chaired the Long Range Planning Committee’s Subcommittee on Access to Justice last year and now heads its Subcommittee on Member Development. Dugan is a member of the Association’s Laws and Judicial Appointment Committees and is a Life Fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation.
MSBA’s President-Elect nominee is also a member of the Bar Association of Baltimore City; the Baltimore County Bar Association; the Maryland Association for Justice; the American Bar Association; the American Association for Justice; the American Judicature Society; the American Board of Trial Advocates; and the American College of Trial Lawyers.
As future President, Dugan plans to be proactive and hopes to “take advantage of the brain power of our 23,500 attorneys. We have many dedicated members who give so much and many more who are not being tapped,” he stresses. With today’s technology, Dugan wants to “enhance the input of members to get them involved in every area of the law. There is not an area of the law that cannot be improved!”
He will also tap the wealth of talent and potential of MSBA’s young lawyers. “They are the future of our organization and of our country,” he stresses. Dugan is looking forward to the array of challenges that await him as future President and wants to be remembered as a “good chief servant of the servants.”