MSBA’s public advocacy is a collaborative effort involving several MSBA sections, committees, and members, and includes drafting and review of bills, providing testimony to legislative committees, and producing educational programs. During the 2024 Maryland Legislative Session, MSBA will continue to prioritize advocacy that protects the legal profession, preserves the integrity of the judicial system, and ensures access to justice for Marylanders.
MSBA’s 2024 legislative priorities include three primary issues:
- Judicial Security
Increased safety and security of judges, attorneys, and other court personnel throughout Maryland is essential to protect the profession and the public and to allow members to work without fear. The judiciary serves a vital function of upholding the rule of law and serving as a pillar of our democracy and freedom. Attorneys who regularly engage in high-conflict matters are also at great risk of physical harm and threats, as well as emotional safety risks.
MSBA supports legislation and state and local funding to address both immediate and long-term judicial and attorney security needs, including:
- Protecting personally identifiable information of judges and their immediate families;
- Courthouse construction projects, improved infrastructure, and technology modernization;
- Additional security measures in courthouses, surrounding outdoor areas, commissioners’ offices, and judicial offices and homes;
- Increased security staff and related trainings;
- Threat assessment and response funds; and
- Ongoing assessments and reporting of the current and future security needs of the judiciary.
- Increased Civil Legal Aid Funding:
Since 2020, MSBA and its partner, the Maryland Access to Justice Commission (A2JC), have worked with coalition partners to secure millions of dollars in funding for the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC), the largest funder of civil legal aid in Maryland. We will continue our push to educate legislators on the value of civil legal aid and increase the amount of civil legal aid funding. Civil legal aid makes it possible to access legal information, advice or representation when faced with a civil legal problem. It helps Marylanders navigate non-criminal legal issues affecting their livelihoods and families. MSBA and A2JC also remain committed to securing a continuous and stable source of state funding to fully implement Maryland’s Access to Counsel in Evictions Law for the next several years.
- Juvenile Justice Reforms:
MSBA remains committed to providing expertise to the General Assembly as the legislature considers modifications to recent juvenile justice laws. Further legislation may be needed to clarify and improve reforms, including consideration of the following: repeat juvenile offenders; legal process for Children In Need of Supervision (CINS), including application process and oversight; process for intake, arrest, and release of a juvenile for an alleged crime; and resources and ongoing support for juvenile offenders. MSBA’s practitioners with insights about the complexities and details of this work can contribute to meaningful change in this field.
- Join us for MSBA Day 2024 on February 13, 2024, where we advocate on behalf of the legal profession in Annapolis, along with our partner A2JC. Learn more about important legislation, meet face to face with top elected officials, and amplify the voice of the legal profession.
- Join an MSBA Section or Committee to review legislation and consider advocacy issues impacting the legal profession.
- View MSBA issues and bill positions on our Advocacy page.
The MSBA conducts the most effective advocacy with your support. Please join us as a member and use your voice to reach out to us about the issues that matter to you and to the legal profession.