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The MSBA spearheaded and is fully supportive of legislative efforts to address the patchwork of procedures that currently govern attorney access to District and Circuit Courts in Maryland. The proposed legislation in HB 1009 would allow attorneys, as officers of the court, to either bypass screening OR, as stated in compromise language, be given the opportunity to pass in expedited security lines OR be allowed to get to the head of the awaiting line of entrants. The text of the bill can be found here.

As with the numerous diverse layouts and configurations of airports all across the country, courts in Maryland are unique. However, a state-wide standard, aided by the use of a newly enhanced state-wide Attorney Security Pass issued by the MSBA, should allow all Maryland attorneys to move through security and enter the courthouse more quickly than currently occurs. If a standard can exist for the multitudes of airports, they can for Maryland’s courthouses, too.

Delegate Erek Barron and Senator Chris West, along with co-sponsors Delegate Shoemaker and Delegate Ivey, have proposed bi-partisan legislation for the Attorney Security Pass, in response to concerns raised by MSBA members and local attorneys.

House Bill 1009 – Adjudicatory Hearings – Attorney Security Passes for Attorneys in Good Standing was heard on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, in the House Judiciary Committee, with Past MSBA President Kathy Howard, John Giannetti of the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association (MCDAA), Delegate Shoemaker (co-sponsor), and Bruce Plaxen of the Maryland Association for Justice (MAJ), testifying in SUPPORT on behalf of MSBA. Testifying separately was Debra Saltz, also of MCDAA.

Seeking to Collaborate with the Judiciary & Sheriffs; Senate Bill 889

During testimony, Delegates Barron and Shoemaker, Kathy Howard, John Giannetti, and Bruce Plaxen, explained the bill and the MSBA amendments, and addressed concerns raised by the Judiciary and the MD Sheriff’s Association. Additionally, Del. Barron and Kathy Howard expressed the Sponsors’ and MSBA’s willingness to continue to work with the Judiciary and Sheriffs to craft solutions tailored to each individual court facility, as appropriate.

Testifying in opposition to HB 1009 were Chief Judge of the District Court John Morrissey, Judge Laura Ripken, Chair, Conference of Circuit Court Judges & Administrative Judge for the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County, and the Sheriffs of Harford County, Anne Arundel County, and the Deputy Sheriff of Baltimore City. The opposition testimony focused on jurisdictional control differences between courthouses and security considerations, not only for the local court but the surrounding neighborhood.

Despite the opposition, MSBA will continue to advocate for passage of this legislation as an important courthouse access improvement for Maryland attorneys through an Attorney Security Pass.

Senate Bill 889 is set to be heard on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 12:00 p.m., in front of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. MSBA President Dana Williams, Executive Director Victor Velazquez, Director of Legislative Relations Richard Montgomery, along with other prominent members of the MSBA, will be onsite to advocate for the bill.

How You Can Help: MSBA encourages its members to call or write to their local representatives in support of House Bill 1009 and Senate Bill 889.

Contact your local representatives by phone or letter to express your support for House Bill 1009 and Senate Bill 889 and a state-wide Attorney Security Pass. Here is a link to find your representative.

MSBA strongly encourages its members to call or write to members of the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee within the MSBA member’s district. Please ask your representatives to vote to SUPPORT HB 1009 and SB 889:

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
Clippinger, Luke

(Chair)

Baltimore City

410-841-3488 301-858-3488 luke.clippinger@house.state.md.us
Atterbeary, Vanessa E.

(Vice Chair)

Howard County

410-841-3471 301-858-3471 vanessa.atterbeary@house.state.md.us
Anderson, Curt

Baltimore City

410-841-3291 301-858-3291 curt.anderson@house.state.md.us
Arikan, Lauren

Baltimore and Harford Counties

410-841-3334 301-858-3334 lauren.arikan@house.state.md.us
Bartlett, Sandy J.

Anne Arundel County

410-841-3370301-858-3370 sandy.bartlett@house.state.md.us
Cardin, Jon S.

Baltimore County

410-841-3054 301-858-3054 jon.cartin@house.state.md.us
Conaway, Frank M., Jr.

Baltimore City

410-841-3189 301-858-3189 frank.conaway@house.state.md.us
Cox, Daniel L.

Frederick and Carroll Counties

410-841-3288 301-858-3288 dan.cox@house.state.md.us
Crutchfield, Charlotte

Montgomery County

410-841-3485 301-858-3485 charlotte.crutchfield@house.state.md.us
Davis, Debra

Charles County

410-841-3337 301-858-3337 debra.davis@house.state.md.us
Fisher, Wanika

Prince George’s County

410-841-3340 301-858-3340 wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us
Grammer, Robin L., Jr.

Baltimore County

410-841-3298 301-858-3298 robin.grammer@house.state.md.us
Griffith, Mike

Cecil and Harford Counties

410-841-3444 301-858-3444 mike.griffith@house.state.md.us
Lewis, Jazz

Prince George’s County

410-841-3691 301-858-3691 jazz.lewis@house.state.md.us
Lopez, Lesley J.

Montgomery County

410-841-3021 301-858-3021 lesley.lopez@house.state.md.us
Malone, Michael E.

Anne Arundel County

410-841-3510 301-858-3510 michael.malone@house.state.md.us
McComas, Susan K.

Harford County

410-841-3272 301-858-3272 susan.mccomas@house.state.md.us
Moon, David

Montgomery County

410-841-3474 301-858-3474 david.moon@house.state.md.us
Pippy, Jesse T.

Frederick and Carroll Counties

410-841-3118 301-858-3118 jesse.pippy@house.state.md.us
Shetty, Emily

Montgomery County

410-841-3181 301-858-3181 emily.shetty@house.state.md.us
Watson, Ron

Prince George’s County

410-841-3448 301-858-3448 ron.watson@house.state.md.us
Williams, Nicole A.

Prince George’s County

410-841-3058 301-858-3058 nicole.williams@house.state.md.us

 

SENATE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS COMMITTEE
Smith, William C., Jr.

(Chair)

Montgomery County

410-841-3634 301-858-3634 will.smith@senate.state.md.us
Waldstreicher, Jeff

(Vice Chair)

Montgomery County

410-841-3137 301-858-3137 jeff.waldstreicher@senate.state.md.us
Carter, Jill P.

Baltimore City

410-841-3697301-858-3697 jill.carter@senate.state.md.us
Cassilly, Robert

Harford County

410-841-3158 301-858-3158 bob.cassilly@senate.state.md.us
Hettleman, Shelly

Baltimore County

410-841-3131 301-858-3131 shelly.hettleman@senate.state.md.us
Hough, Michael J.

Frederick and Carroll County

410-841-3704 301-858-3704 michael.hough@senate.state.md.us
Lee, Susan C.

Montgomery County

410-841-3124 301-858-3124 susan.lee@senate.state.md.us
Ready, Justin

Carroll County

410-841-3683 301-858-3683 justin.ready@senate.state.md.us
Sydnor, Charles E., III

Baltimore City and Baltimore County

410-841-3612 301-858-3612 charles.sydnor@senate.state.md.us
West, Chris

Baltimore County

410-841-3648 301-858-3648 chris.west@senate.state.md.us
Young, Ronald N.

Frederick County

410-841-3575 301-858-3575 ronald.young@senate.state.md.us

 

Visit MSBA.org/advocacy to see all of the ways MSBA is standing up for the legal profession in Annapolis.