The Maryland State Bar Association represents over 40,000 attorneys and is the state’s leading voice for the legal profession. The MSBA frequently engages in public advocacy efforts to protect and further the interests of the legal profession, by working with the General Assembly, maintaining positive relationships with Executive Branch and Judiciary officials, filing amicus curiae briefs, and more. The MSBA actively shapes practice-related legislation in Annapolis by testifying before state legislative committees, drafting and amending legislation, and providing expertise and comment to lawmakers.
Recent Legislative Successes
The MSBA will continue to lead the profession on important issues, as it has in recent years. Past successes have included:
- Defeating proposed taxation on legal services
- Obtaining COVID-19 vaccine priority for Maryland’s lawyers
- Securing over $40 Million in Civil Legal Aid Funding with the Maryland Access to Justice Commission for access to counsel in evictions programs through the Governor’s Office and the General Assembly
- Protecting judicial independence by providing strategic advice to legislators on Judicial Transparency Bills
- Successfully securing passage of several bills that positively impact businesses around the state
- Modernizing Estates and Trusts practice through expansion of remote will execution and other remote estates and trusts work
- Providing testimony and advice on hundreds of bills that impact the profession and specific practice areas.
2023 Legislative Preview
With the start of Maryland’s legislation session just a few weeks away, 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.
The MSBA seeks your continued participation and voice in the association’s advocacy efforts and invites you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
Coffee and Conversations Series
Through our virtual Coffee and Conversation series, the MSBA discusses key priorities, challenges, and advocacy opportunities for the legal profession with Maryland leaders. Join us as we connect with legislators, Judiciary partners, the Executive Branch, newly elected officials across the state, and more. Register at our website to view the sessions live or on-demand. You can also find all prior sessions, including recent conversations with Senator Will Smith, Judge Stacy Mayer, and Christopher Mincher on our YouTube channel.
Register HERE to join us virtually tomorrow morning as we speak with the next State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, Ivan Bates.