John Patrick Kudel, a small law firm practitioner with Kudel, McGann and Del Pino, LLC, in Rockville and Of Counsel to the Rockville-based law firm of Karp, Frosh, Lapidus, Wigodsky & Norwind, P.A., 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 Secretary Michael J. Baxter, a partner in the Baltimore City law firm of Baxter, Baker, Sidle, Conn & Jones P.A., and Treasurer-Elect Debra Schubert, a solo practitioner in Baltimore County. Henry E. Dugan, Jr., a partner in the Baltimore County law firm of Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC, will be installed as President at the 2011 MSBA Annual Meeting. Kudel is slated to be President in 2012-2013.
A well-respected Montgomery County attorney, Kudel is recognized for his professionalism, integrity and civility in the practice of law. This consummate bar leader is devoted to the legal profession and committed to bettering the lives of Maryland lawyers. Kudel is a champion of MSBA as well as the state's local and specialty bar associations and looks forward to working with all Maryland lawyers as MSBA's leader in 2012.
When he becomes President, Kudel believes he "can make a difference. I have always been a person in a leadership role and I am excited about the opportunity to serve as the leader of MSBA." While he has a few ideas percolating, this future bar leader does not plan to change things because "MSBA runs very well as an organization." Still, he hopes to make MSBA just a little better for all of its members.
"MSBA is an effective lawyer resource in Maryland's legal community," proclaims Kudel, MSBA's Treasurer for the last five years. "We fulfill so many important roles!" One of MSBA's most vital, in his opinion, is its role as a liaison with the state's many local and specialty bar associations, a link Kudel plans to strengthen as MSBA President.
"Borrowing on the expression 'all politics is local,' I have always thought that it all begins at the local level in the legal profession, too," states Kudel. "We need to encourage local and specialty bars to work together to improve the lot of lawyers, and MSBA can serve as the conduit."
Plus, the Association's President-Elect nominee characterizes MSBA as an invaluable investment for all Maryland lawyers. "Just look at what you get with MSBA membership – the support, the services, the benefits! The direct MSBA benefits alone are quite a bargain at $125 a year," he exclaims. "Just look at Fastcase, the free legal research that an attorney gets simply because he or she is an MSBA member…I don't think you can put a price tag on that."
At the age of 12, Kudel entered a law firm with his parents, met his first lawyer, asked his Dad what a lawyer did, and when he answered "a lawyer helps people," Kudel decided he was going to be a lawyer. Early on, MSBA's President-Elect nominee charted his course as a career prosecutor, devising a strategic plan. Wanting to "see the other side" to acquire experience in criminal justice and law enforcement, he served as a file clerk for the FBI, joined the Washington, D.C., police force as a cadet at 19 and when he turned 20, became a police officer.
Kudel served with the Narcotics & Internal Affairs Division of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department in 1972, prior to law school. He worked as a Special Investigator for the Office of the State's Attorney for Montgomery County's Major Frauds Unit while attending American University's Washington College of Law, earning his J.D. in 1980. Kudel continued there until joining the Law Offices of Kevin P. Fay, P.A., in Rockville in 1981, Goldberg & Axel, P. A., a year later, then Shure, Shure & Kudel in 1985. He hung out his shingle in 1987 and recently changed his affiliation to the small firm partnership of Kudel, McGann and Del Pino, LLC, while continuing to serve as Of Counsel to Karp, Frosh, Lapidus, Wigodsky & Norwind, P.A., since 2000.
MSBA's President-Elect is an active member of the Association who has served as its Treasurer since 2005. Kudel is a member of MSBA's Budget & Finance Committee, a volunteer faculty member for the professionalism course and has served on MSBA's Board of Governors since 2002. He is looking forward to assuming the helm of this "dynamic" Association in 2012.
A past president of the Bar Association of Montgomery County, Kudel is a Fellow with the Maryland Bar Foundation and a member of the Maryland Trial Lawyers, the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys and American Bar Associations. He serves on the Attorney Grievance Commission's Attorney Inquiry and Peer Review panels and the Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission for District 11 and was a member of the Court of Appeals Character Committee for nine years. He is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the District of Maryland.
As MSBA's leader, Kudel would like to be remembered "as a President who loved the legal profession, loved the practice of law and did whatever he could do to improve the quality of the lives of MSBA members."