MSBA Day 2023: Register Today
The MSBA and A2JC look forward to seeing you in Annapolis on January 24, 2023, for our fourth annual MSBA Day. We are delighted to return in person as we bring together Maryland leaders, elected officials, and MSBA members and sections to learn about and advocate for key priorities for the legal profession.
Join us as we connect with Attorney General-Elect Anthony Brown, Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Chair Will Smith, House Judiciary Committee Chair Luke Clippinger, and other legislators throughout the day. Click HERE to register today, as space is limited for this complimentary member benefit.
2023 Legislative Preview
With the start of Maryland’s legislation session this month, the MSBA is actively working with its leadership, sections, and membership on legislative priorities and advocacy strategies. The topic of circuit court judicial election procedure will be in focus again this year, as it is anticipated that the Judiciary’s Judicial Selection Workgroup will submit recommendations on whether or not changes should be made to the current process prior to the start of the legislative session. The MSBA currently serves on the Judicial Selection Workgroup and looks forward to a comprehensive, holistic approach that promotes diversity, professionalism, access to justice, and respect for the rule of law, and ensures that the most qualified judicial candidates are selected.
The MSBA anticipates additional legislation regarding implementation, revenue allocations, public safety, and criminal law updates related to the recent legalization of cannabis from the November referendum. Lawmakers will also consider statute of limitations reform, expungement reform, increased authority for the Attorney General’s office from Attorney General-Elect Anthony Brown, and continued funding for Maryland’s access to counsel in evictions program. Public safety bills related to police reform and public access to records are also expected, as well as handgun permits and “sensitive places” prohibitions given the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision and recent related Maryland cases. The General Assembly may consider additional reproductive health care legislation in January, following the passage of several related bills in 2022 and the Dobbs decision.
2023 MSBA/A2JC Priorities
1. SUPPORT FOR THE PROFESSION
Eliminate Contested Judicial Elections
The topic of circuit court judicial election procedure will be in focus again this year. For over 30 years, the MSBA has opposed the contested election of Maryland’s circuit court judges principally on ethical grounds, as partisan politics have no rightful place in our judicial selection process. It is anticipated that the Judiciary’s Judicial Selection Workgroup will submit recommendations on whether or not changes should be made to the current process to the General Assembly by January 2023. The MSBA currently serves on the Judicial Selection Workgroup and looks forward to a comprehensive, holistic approach that promotes diversity, professionalism, access to justice, and respect for the rule of law, and ensures that the most qualified judicial candidates are selected.
2. CONTINUED SUPPORT OF MLSC AND FUNDING OF CIVIL LEGAL AID
Increase Civil Legal Aid Funding
A2JC and MSBA will continue to support increased funding for civil legal aid and the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC) to provide civil legal aid to low-income Marylanders. 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.
Secure Long-Term Funding for Access to Counsel Program
Since 2020, A2JC and MSBA, along with coalition partners, secured over $40 million in funding for the access to counsel in evictions program through the Governor’s Office and the General Assembly. A2JC and MSBA remain committed to securing long-term funding for the access to counsel program to fully launch by 2025, to continue to provide service in future years.
3. CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Comprehensive Expungement Reform
The MSBA remains committed to providing subject-matter expertise to the General Assembly, as it has done in previous sessions, related to expungement reform. The State Bar’s unique perspective and the knowledge of our legal practitioners will allow the MSBA to lead a comprehensive approach to Maryland’s expungement policies in the 2023 session and beyond.
The MSBA seeks your continued participation and voice in the association’s advocacy efforts and invites you to email us at email@example.com to identify relevant bills or issues and to provide insight on pending legislation. The MSBA will keep you updated throughout the legislative session with weekly updates and bill tracking through our Advocacy webpage.