Committee Chairs should email email@example.com for any requests related to the management and support of their committee. This email address is sent to several team members at the same time to ensure the email is acted upon promptly.
Below are examples on when to use firstname.lastname@example.org and answers to some basic questions.
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How do I update/change my Committee web page, including uploading documents?
Email email@example.com for all website update requests for your Committee. These changes include, but are not limited to, changes to the Committee roster, bylaws, newsletters, announcements, minutes, etc. The page will be updated within 3 business days of receiving the request.
How do I get a roster of my Committee?
Rosters may only be requested by Committee chairs or by a designee if a Chair has been copied on a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Based on typical staff workload, such requests are typically fulfilled within 3-business days. Rosters are sent via en Excel compatible Google sheet. If you need a different format, let us know. A standard roster includes the following fields of information:
How do I access minutes, or other locked content on my Committee page?
Committee members must login to access any locked content on the site, including minutes. To login, you will need to enter the email address associated with your MSBA Member account and use the one-time use passcode to enter the site. If you have any issues with logging in, please use the chat feature in the bottom right-hand corner on each page of the site.
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How do I schedule my Committee meetings?
First, please check the MSBA calendar to see if your contemplated date is free from conflicts at https://www.msba.org/calendar/. We also recommend checking the calendar for government and religious holidays, and avoid scheduling on these days. All Committee meetings/events are required to appear on the MSBA calendar. After checking the calendar, please email email@example.com with the date, time, location, and any AV needs. Please allow 3 business days for the meeting information to be added to the website and calendar.
How do I request to add a restaurant to approved MSBA list?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with this request. Include the name, address, phone number, and website URL of the restaurant in your request. We will contact the restaurant and set up whatever authorizations & general process required.
Is there an approved list of restaurants for meetings/events?
Yes. Click here to find an approved list of restaurants
Who orders food for meetings held at the MSBA Fayette Street location?
MSBA staff will order the food for meetings so long as sufficient notice has been provided. The MSBA preferred vendor is Jay’s Catering, however alternative arrangements can be made when requesting a meeting be held at the MSBA. Please include any dietary restrictions with the initial request.
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When is the Annual report content due?
The deadline is the end of March. Lisa Muscara will also email section chairs at the end February with a reminder.
Advocacy & Communication
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How does the MSBA decide which bills to act upon?
The legislative activity of the MSBA is broadly governed by the MSBA State Legislative Program, which can be found on the Advocacy page of the website. The MSBA Legislative Office creates a weekly agenda of bills relating to the practice of law and the administration of justice to be considered by the MSBA Committee on Laws (Laws Committee). After the Laws Committee reviews those bills, the Laws Committee will make recommendations to the Board of Governors to support, support with amendments, oppose, monitor, or take no position.
In what forms may Committees express a position on bills?
Committees may sign up to a have representative testify in-person or may submit written testimony to the Standing Committee of the General Assembly to which the bill is assigned. Committees of the General Assembly do not accept written testimony via email. MSBA Committees should email their written testimony to the MSBA Legislative Office and we will deliver it to the appropriate Committee for you.
Are MSBA Committees allowed to take positions on bills?
Yes, although MSBA Committees are generally less active legislatively than Sections, Committees are allowed to take positions on any proposed legislation they deem to be within their area of interest, UNLESS the Board of Governors is taking a contrary position on the bill. The MSBA Legislative Office refers bills to Sections that are legislatively active, and occasionally to certain MSBA Committees, related to their respective practice areas. Should a Committee decide to take a position on a piece of legislation, the Committee must communicate any proposed position on a bill to the MSBA Legislative Office to make certain that there is no conflict with a position of the Board of Governors.
Is it permissible to submit bill testimony after the date of the bill hearing?
Yes, although it is best to have the testimony submitted on-time, which is no later than 11:00am on the day of the hearing.
Are there any types of bills upon which Committees are not allowed to express a position?
Yes. Generally, there are issue areas where virtually any bill introduced is likely to be outside the purview of the MSBA advocacy role in Annapolis. As examples, invariably controversial bills, such as those related to gun control or abortion would fall into this category.
Are Committees allowed to take positions on a bill that conflict with the position of a Section or other MSBA Committee?
Yes, as long as neither the Committee or Section is seeking to take a position that conflicts with a position of the Board of Governors. Generally, we try to avoid having Committees or Sections expressing conflicting opinions on a piece of legislation before the General Assembly. However, there are situations where such conflict cannot be avoided. When Committee or Section conflict arises, the MSBA Legislative Office will work with Committee Chair and Section Legislative Liaisons to determine whether amendments can be developed that address the concerns of the Committee or Section(s) involved.
Board of Governors
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How do I inform leadership of committee progress?
It is anticipated that an ongoing dialogue with the President and Executive Director is taking place. Committee reports and/or minutes should be sent to the President and Executive Director at President@msba.org. As a result of reporting, a Committee Chair or designee may be asked to provide a memo to the Board of Governors or an in-person report during one of the board meetings. You will be notified in advance.
How do I make general membership aware of something being addressed by the Committee?
Email President@msba.org and we will ensure that the appropriate team members are engaged to communicate via weekly email newsletter, the Bar Bulletin or other appropriate communication vehicles.