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Staying up to date with advances in the law and connecting with colleagues are critical components of a successful legal practice. The MSBA’s Legal Excellence Week offers a chance to do both, providing Maryland attorneys incomparable opportunities to learn and connect with their peers.  This year, participants could attend virtually, in person, at Live! Casino & Hotel in Arundel Mills, or a combination of both. 

Legal Excellence Week combines the MSBA’s Fall Summits and biggest CLE Institutes into four days of legal education and networking. Each day of Legal Excellence Week featured accredited CLE programs on various topics, for a total of over 40 hours of CLE credits, networking events, and questions and answer sessions. 

The week kicked off on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, with Attorney General Brian Frosh discussing Trends in Real Estate Law: Views from the Office of the Attorney General as part of the Advanced Real Property Institute (ARPI). ARPI also featured multiple skilled faculty members discussing topical issues in complex real property law, including: Trends in Real Estate and Construction Law; Commercial Lending in the Post-LIBOR World, Best Practices for Environmental Due Diligence Based on Recent Cases, New ALTA Forms Overview, and Ethical Issues in Real Estate Transactions. The MSBA presented Document Drafting & Guardianships for the Elder Law Lawyer on Tuesday as well, during which experienced faculty discussed drafting techniques for a variety of legal documents used in representing the elder law client and the basics of guardianship. 

On Wednesday, the faculty of the Family Law University addressed mental health issues related to family law matters, including those impacting clients, opposing parties, children, and attorneys. Topics included: Coercive Control: Why They Stay; A Therapeutic Model to Reduce Anxiety and the Effects of Trauma for Children of Separated Families; Trauma to Go: Bringing Your Work & Stress Home; Identifying and Addressing Mental Health Issues in Clients; Intimate Partner Violence and Mediation; and Treatment Monitors.

The Corporate Counsel Institute, also held on Wednesday, offered guidance on: Employment Law Issues Arising from the Pandemic & Related to Managing a Remote Workforce; Optimizing Communication as In-House Counsel; Maximizing the Value of Captive Insurance; RFP’s, Client Audits, Compliance and Vendor Risk Management Issues: Best Practices for Law Firms; and Speaking the Language of Your CFO: Building a Business Case as a Legal Leader. 

Wednesday closed with the YLS Summit featuring a fireside chat with the Honorable Angela Eaves and leadership guidance from Aneil Mishra

Thursday offered a variety of programs, including the Criminal Law Update, during which seasoned attorney Nancy Forster led a review of recent case law from the Maryland Court of Appeals, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

During the Advanced Estate Planning Institute, also held on Thursday, knowledgeable faculty discussed: Trust Administration from the Perspective of the Corporate Trustee; The Intersection of Estate Planning and Family Law;  Lucky Number 7: Traps for the Unwary in International Estate Planning; and The Nuts and Bolts of Formula Clauses: Planning, Drafting, Reporting, and Defending Them. The faculty also provided a Maryland legislative update. 

The 3rd Annual Stanton J. Levinson HOA Institute, which was held on Thursday as well, dealt with homeowner and condominium association issues arising in bankruptcy cases, including: An Update on Dischargeability and Nondischargeability of HOA/Condo Association Assessments; HOA/Condo Assn. Remedy of Purchasing Residential Housing Unit at Sheriff’s Sale on Execution on a HOA/Condo Association Judgment; Debtor’s Power Under the Bankruptcy Code to Institute a Fraudulent Conveyance Action in Bankruptcy Court; Caselaw Review of Recovery of Residential Housing Unit by Fraudulent Conveyance Action – from both the HOA and Debtor’s Perspective; Treatment of Secured and Unsecured HOA/Condo Assn. Claims in Bankruptcy Cases; Objections to HOA/Condo Assn. Claims Filed in Bankruptcy Cases; and Objections filed by HOA/Condo Assns. to Confirmation of the  Debtor’s Proposed Chapter 13 plan.  

Legal Excellence Week wrapped up on Friday, with the MSBA’s Solo & Small Firm Summit,  featuring keynote speaker Lanny Davis, Esq., who served two presidential administrations, explaining how to handle publicity strategically in your cases while maintaining attorney-client privilege in Why Attorneys Need to Learn to Talk to the Media. Other top faculty discussed: The Intelligent Practitioner: Modern Communication for Success and Problem Solving; Choosing a Tech Stack and Secure Processes for Your Firm to Make Life Easier for You, Your Staff, and Your Clients; and Financial Management for Law Firms. 

During the Ethics, Civility & Professionalism Symposium, which ran currently to the Solo & Small Firm Summit, Bar Counsel Lydia Lawless and other skilled faculty discussed the impact of implicit bias, how a transactional attorney should answer the question of “who’s my client” in multi-party deals, and new and common challenges faced by estate planning attorneys in their day to day practice. 

Friday closed with an entertaining session from Joey Novick, The Improvisational Lawyer, demonstrating how improv skills can help attorneys succeed in trials, mediations, and business transactions.

Many of the programs offered during Legal Excellence Week will be available on-demand in the MSBA’s CLE catalog. Additionally, all Legal Excellence Week weekly pass holders can access all of the programs offered at Legal Excellence Week on-demand for 90 days after the event!