Letter From The President Of The Maryland State Bar Association

2009-11-02 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

The Year Of The Member

In the next year we as lawyers, and we as a bar association, face many challenges - the economic downturn, unemployment and underemployment of attorneys, unmet legal needs - the list goes on - but working together, as a united force, we will successfully address the challenges that await us.

MSBA is the voice and the public face of Maryland lawyers.We champion the legal interests of lawyers and the legal interests of Maryland citizens before the legislature, the judiciary, the government and the general public. We promote professionalism and civility in the practice of law, and we also sponsor public service programs.

We are a valuable, and effective, lawyer resource to our members who need MSBA today more than ever!

I recently attended a ceremony where Judge Andy Sonner very befittingly received the J. Joseph Curran, Jr. Public Service Award. During his acceptance speech, Judge Sonner spoke of a visit to the World War II museum. He spoke of how the World War II leaders who've led famous battles, Nimitz, Bradley, Stillwell and others, were reluctant to take sole credit for battle victories. Their success came only with the vital support of many.

And so it is with the bar association. A bar leader can only do an effective job with the support of many others. As your bar leader, I can only lead your association with your support and that of MSBA's leadership and our valued staff.

Throughout this coming year, I know that I will have the support of a great number of you, the members of the MSBA. That is a great part of this bar association, and something I have witnessed for the past 24 years - our members coming together to help each other.

Over the course of this year, with the vital support of many, we will provide assistance to our members who have been affected by the global economic downturn. Some of our new programs and initiatives have already begun. At the same time, we will ensure that our ongoing successful programs from the past continue into the future.

For example, our pro bono programs like the foreclosure program and all of our other worthy programs will continue. When Chief Judge Bell very appropriately called upon Maryland attorneys to assist those Marylanders whose homes were in foreclosure, MSBA worked with our Pro Bono Resource Center and MICPEL to ensure nearly 900 attorneys answer Judge Bell's call to service. These attorneys volunteered for, and received, appropriate training and are now out in the field actually helping hundreds of homeowners who are in need, facing the loss of their homes. This is what our bar does - helps those in need.

But with the economy there has been a great effect not just on the clients we represent, but also on attorneys - our members. Many of our attorney members have become either unemployed or underemployed. So, this is the year of the MSBA member.

While the MSBA has always served as a key lawyer resource to our members, now, more than ever, the MSBA will be there for you.You have always stepped up to the plate when called upon. Whether it was to provide pro bono service, low bono service, teach seminars, write articles, or mentor others, you have time and time again answered the call.

While we will not be able to change the economy, we are going to do everything in our power to soften the blow dealt by the economy. As someone once said, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

We will be part of the solution.


Thomas C. Cardaro