More than 140 bar leaders and their guests convened October 26-27, 2018, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, for the 59th Annual Conference of Bar Presidents and the 11th Young Lawyers Summit. Every fall, the two-day program, hosted by the MSBA, invites bar presidents, presidents-elect, and their executive directors to share their knowledge, experience, and camaraderie in a casual setting.

During his welcoming remarks, MSBA President Judge Keith R. Truffer delivered a “State of the MSBA” report, outlining the many changes that have taken place since the Board of Governors approved a set of 24 forward-thinking foundational recommendations intended to set the future stage for MSBA in May 2017. Those initiatives include, among many other things, an emphasis on mobile-first technology, policy review, revamped publications, more robust CLE offerings, a statewide expansion of the Lawyer Assistance Program, and a clearly defined strategic vision over the next decade.

“This is an exciting time for our association,” said Truffer. “We are moving forward vigorously, and we want to work with every single bar leader here today, and throughout the state. It is integral to our mission, to your mission, that we work together.”

In addition to breakout sessions for Large, Medium/Small, and Specialty Bars, this year’s conference included plenary sessions addressing cybersecurity, civility, and avoiding bar communication pitfalls. Attendees mingled with members of the MSBA Board of Governors and 2018-2019 Leadership Academy Class of Fellows, and many went all-out for Friday evening’s Broadway-themed costume dinner and dancing.

Held in conjunction with the 11th Young Lawyers Summit, which brought together young attorneys from across the state representing various practice areas. Key discussion points included lawyer wellness and the valuable career development opportunities afforded by MSBA involvement.

On Saturday morning, the MSBA Local & Specialty Bar Liaison Committee presented its Best Public and Best Bar Project Awards to the following:

  • The Bar Association of Frederick County, Best Service to the Bar Project Award, for its Family Law Section Expert Symposium Project;
  • The Bar Association of Baltimore City, Best Service to the Public Project Award, for its Young Lawyers’ Division Law Day Celebration; and
  • The St. Mary’s County Bar Association, Special Small Bar Association Best Service to Public Project Award, for helping senior citizens to prepare their advanced medical directives on Law Day.

In addition, MGM National Harbor Gaming Consultant Michael Pappas offered an insider’s perspective into the state’s gaming industry; WBAL-TV Chief Investigative Reporter Jayne Miller discussed “Fake News, Real Issues, and the Social Media Explosion”; and former Maryland State Delegate Timothy F. Maloney delivered an entertaining legislative update.

First held in 1959, the Conference of Bar Presidents is the oldest event of its kind in the nation.

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