Advocacy Efforts – Taxation of Legal Services
As you may know, the legal profession in Maryland, including law firms, practitioners, and the public were at risk due to the potential passage of House Bill 1628 – Taxation of Legal Services. The MSBA immediately took action in opposition of this Bill. This included making our entire membership aware, engaging legislators including the Bill sponsor, embarking on a media outreach campaign including print, online and TV, joining the Maryland Chamber of Commerce & 60+ professions in holding a press conference in opposition, and rallying support of firms and practitioners from across the state.
Annapolis heard our voices. Last Monday, MSBA President Dana O. Williams, other MSBA leadership, and members testified against HB 1628. They gave the Ways & Means Committee a brief but comprehensive explanation of the negative impact of taxing legal services, in terms of its impact upon access to justice, the administrative burden on solo & small firm practitioners, the potential competitive disadvantage for large law firms, and a multitude of consequences affecting contingency fee agreements and injury awards. President Williams’ comments were quickly picked up by the Washington Post and other media outlets. The Post reported a blast of thousands of emails to legislators in opposition to the proposed bill, many undoubtedly from our membership. By Wednesday, the Revenue Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee killed HB 1628.
Advocacy Efforts – Courthouse Access
In addition to these efforts, the MSBA recently testified in support of a statewide Bar card standard to access courthouses and will continue to advocate for expediting access to courthouses all across the state for Officers of the Court.
Big picture – each year, the MSBA monitors hundreds of Bills & advocates on behalf of the profession. The ability to make a difference in Annapolis is just one of the many reasons we need all attorneys to belong to our MSBA to ensure we remain a strong and vibrant association with all attorneys belonging.
COVID-19: MSBA Continues to Monitor the Situation
The MSBA holds several hundred special purpose events, learning sessions and meetings each year. We are monitoring the current health situation including the actions being taken by Governor Hogan and his administration. At this time, we are reviewing each in-person activity on a case by case basis.
All of our in-person CLE is available via Livestream. If you are registered but would prefer not to participate in a group setting, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to change the registration and receive instructions on accessing the livestream.
We are suspending the next couple of scheduled Connections events slated for Harford County, Cumberland and a few others. These sessions, which have been very well attended all across the state, are likely to resume in the near term.
Thank you for your continuing membership and engagement in your…MSBA.
As always, any questions or comments, please email us at email@example.com.