Meeting tonight at 5:00 pm Ceremonial Courtroom! Please find Agenda and Minutes from the last meeting below.



September 7, 2016

Minutes – From May 11, 2016 General Meeting (below)

Treasurer’s Report – Donna Beard

President’s Report – Tony DiPaula

Committee Reports:

  • Continuing Legal Education 
    Co-Chairs: Hon. Mimi Cooper & Liz Thompson
  • Social Activities 
    Co-Chairs: Brian Young & David Ryden
  • Admissions and Membership
    Chair: Paul Ishak New Member Introductions: Scott Conwell, Stacy Siegel, Albert Peisinger, MiaBeth Marosy, Andrew Chabalowski, Martin Wolf, Angela Diehl, Alex Allman, Lauren Rutkowski, Gavin Patashnick and Paul McEndree.
  • Judicial Nominations
    Chair: Michael Leaf – Resumes up on website and survey to go out.
  • Bench-Bar Liaison 
    Co-Chairs: Kim Fleming & Rick Herbig
  • Audit 
    Chair: Vacant
  • Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws
    Chair: Judge Susan H. Hazlett
  • Nominations
    (Appointed by President in April)
  • Awards 
    Co-Chairs: Rick Herbig and Cami Rogers
  • Young Lawyers
    Chair: Brenden Hodge
  • Activities and Public Outreach
    Chair: Diane Adkins Tobin
  • Special Committees:
    • Sponsorships
      Chair, Krystle Acevedo

Old Business –

New Business – Hon. David Carey to Introduce New Bar Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Vido.

Announcements –

Adjournment – Happy Hour at __?




May 11, 2016

The Meeting was called to order at 5:12 pm.  Fifty-One (51) members were counted present, forty-nine 49 signed in.

Minutes from the Feb. 3, 2016 General Meeting were distributed via email, reviewed, and approved.

Treasurer’s Report – Adam Hyman distributed the financial report; it was reviewed and approved.

President’s Report – President Yolanda L. Curtin opened with a moment of silence in remembrance of beloved member Charles Wagner who passed away on May 1, 2016.  Reviewing the past year, Judge Curtin then shared her goals of greater attorney communication, being involved in more worthy causes, and making changes to increase membership. Among other items and events, the CLE program has been incredible, the new website was up, (please try it in Google Chrome- it works best there).  Civics and the Law was a huge success; feedback included statements that the program made the students “think more” and that they actually “liked lawyers!”  In regard to a judicial vacancy, the HCBA was active behind the scenes, legislation passed and by July 1 there should be an announcement. We plan to have applicant resumes posted on the website.  We also went through an extensive by-laws review with the goal of improving the association for all. That matter will be discussed and voted on tonight.

Committee Reports:   

Membership – On behalf of Chair Paul Ishak, Liz Thompson introduced four applicants: Ariel Shaynack, George Bush, II, Perry Lericos, and Ryan Anderson.  All were approved.

CLE – Co-Chair Liz Thompson reported that the committee has been extremely active this past year.  There were 3 CLEs since the last meeting.  The Judge Murphy and three judge panel programs were huge successes and they will likely be done again. They are planning another survey since the last one was so helpful.  Goal is to reach out to Baltimore and Cecil Counties for joint events.  District Court Law Clerk Denise Williams was very helpful but has moved on.

Social – Co-Chair Brian Young reported the Bowling tournament was a great success – they even had to add a lane.  The winner will be announced at the Holiday Party.  Planning a baseball game for the summer.  Attendance is up on events, so they may be adding more.  Please join the committee to help plan and attend.

Nominating Committee for Judicial Appointments – President Elect Carl Schlaich discussed that with the new by-laws will come modernization for this committee, input may be taken via emailing rather than paper ballots. Still all in planning stages.

Bench/Bar – Kim Fleming reported that they have a meeting every two months. Please email her with concerns or issues to be addressed with the bench.  Next priority is to improve the working relationship with the clerk’s office.  Rick Herbig is Co-Chair.  Veterans Court is also still in the works.

Audit – Ian Fallon is conducting an audit.

Public Outreach – Chair Diane Adkins Tobin thanked coaches, scorers, and judges for volunteering for the Mock Trials competition.  There is always last minute juggling with the schedule so thank you to everyone for their patience and accommodation.  Two Harford County Schools got to quarter finals.  Thank you to Co-Chairs Donna Beard & Maria DeLacy.  In regard to the Civics and Law Academy, a big thank you to Judge Curtin who was the keynote speaker and spoke on citizenship.  The students loved it. Thank you to Tony DiPaula and all the event presenters, it was a lot of fun.  We will definitely do it again next year.  The Committee is looking for other outreach opportunities.  Please give Diane feedback – what else would you like for us to be involved in?

Law Library – no report.

DUI Mock Trial – Chris vanRoden reported that the program continues, although scheduling can be difficult.  Patterson Mill was a new location and they were well received.  Judge Waldron will continue even after retirement.  Mike Mathias reported that planning is in process and that they will be contacting people soon to volunteer.

Goldilocks – no report.

By-Laws – Chair Craig Deran reported that his committee reviewed a proposed draft of new by-laws put together by a subcommittee of the Executive Council consisting of Judges Hazlett and Butanis, and attorneys Keenan, Young, and Comeau. Proposed by-laws will be addressed in “Old Business” below.

Technology Committee – Co-Chair Rob McCord reported that they are in discussions about having a Facebook page, Liz Thompson volunteered to monitor.

Nominations for Elections – There were no contested vacancies. Motion approved to appoint the following members: Anthony DiPaula, President, Carl Schlaich, President-Elect, Brian Young, Secretary and Donna Beard, Treasurer.  For the Executive Council, Elizabeth Thompson and Brenden Hodge.

Nominations for Awards – no report.

Young Lawyers – Chair Brenden Hodge reported that he is focusing on membership recruitment; he would like to do a membership drive.

Old Business – The By-Laws

Judge Curtin reminded the group that the proposed by-laws had been emailed to all members for review and opened the floor for questions.

Q: For President Elect, does that person always automatically move up to President? Could it be structured like an election?  A: Yes, but if the President -Elect does not want to move up to President, then the President can ask to stay another year.  It was recommended that a line be added here to clarify.

Q: Any lawyer in MD can now apply? Could a group from outside Harford County take over? A: Many other associations have opened up membership in this way. The old set up pre-dates the judicial nominating committee rules we now have.  We could use new blood.

Q: But shouldn’t you have to live or work in Harford County? A: In reality, most bars are more open.  The idea is to enlarge our community and do things.  A: If someone from PG County wants to join, and give us money they will do so only if they are interested.  A: We are expecting mostly Baltimore and Cecil County attorneys. A: For CLEs, it could be free to members and non-members could pay.  This will help with our costs. The Women’s Bar does this.

Q: But it will have an effect on judicial nominations and balloting.  A: Baltimore County does not even send out ballots anymore.  A: Those are a vestige of the past.

Comment: Our voting system for the judicial candidates does not carry a lot of weight.  It becomes a popularity contest.  Lesser known applicants are cheated out because they get “unqualified” only because people do not know them. We should change it so it means something.

Comment: Currently the by-laws require polling members on qualified or not qualified.  The new by-laws are not clear on this.  The Executive Council and the Nominating Committee will get together then figure out if there will be polling. A: There will be a judicial nominating committee as always.  The Executive Council will get to decide the evaluation process.  Will it be resumes, ballots, interviews?

Q: Why the change overall? A: In regard to judicial nominating, the terminology – not qualified, qualified, highly qualified – what do these mean? MSBA uses “recommended”.  There will be a process here. Comment: Every association uses different terminology. A: Change overall because we wanted to allow the Executive Council flexibility to act without waiting for by-laws changes.  Some things were so narrow they no longer functioned.  We wanted a more living structure. We wanted a framework. A:  We plan to study other methods.

Q: Maybe we can say only Harford County people, either by work or residence, can be officers or on the Executive Council.  Otherwise it may become where local members would have no say.  General agreement voiced.

With no more discussion, Judge Curtin called the vote and paper ballots were distributed.  Vote came back 39 in favor, 4 against.  The new by-laws were approved.

While votes were being tabulated by Carl Schlaich and Jayne Haiber, “thank you” gifts were presented to outgoing officers and Executive Council Members.

Announcement: Liz Thompson is looking for volunteers for “Wills for Heroes.”  Currently have 45 first responders.  Each appointment will be one hour.  Still need witnesses, notaries, etc.

Meeting adjourned – 6:20 pm

New President, Anthony DiPaula, hosted a reception at his office.