Have you ever noticed the connection between community and generosity?
Most of us put our time, talent and resources into what matters to us the most. When you choose to be generous to someone, you are following your heart. Every time you give to a person, you feel closer to them. Voluntary sharing is contagious. Nothing warms my heart more than when a person emulates the positive actions of another person. That kind of generosity creates community.
I always knew it was here, but as your President, I have witnessed many indications of the very healthy and caring community BAMC has built and nurtured over the years. I hope each of you choose to participate as a giver and as well as a beneficiary of our special BAMC community. Our bar community consists of many people with unique skills and experience that they share in ways that few people know about, they simply choose to do these wonderful things. Since time is their stock in trade, their generosity flies in the face of the negative image often attributed to lawyers. We can and we do make a difference!
We had our first bar luncheon September 1, and State’s Attorney John McCarthy provided a fascinating summary of the multitude of widely contrasting issues his office faces every day. He has endless energy, and he is a committed 24/7 public servant, as are the members of his office. His office interacts with schools, students, police and senior citizens constantly in an effort to keep them well informed and therefore protected.
Another selfless public servant and an impressive member of BAMC, Kathleen M. Dumais, will be speaking at our bar luncheon on October 6. Kathleen is a State Delegate from District 15 (since 2003), Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee; Senior Counsel at Ethridge, Quinn, Kemp, McAuliffe, Rowan & Hartinger, and has been active in BAMC, MSBA and WBA, to name a few of her many accomplishments. Kathleen has long been a great resource for the bar and it is my hope we can support her as well as she focuses on the following issues in the upcoming session:
1. Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council (JRCC): JRCC was established to review sentencing and corrections policies to fairly reduce the incarcerated population, reduce spending on corrections and reinvest funds in policies and programs designed to reduce recidivism, facilitate reentry, provide drug and mental health treatment while increasing public safety.
2. Public Safety & Policing Workgroup: purpose is to review police accountability in wake of concerns about police shootings and alleged misconduct.
3. Good Samaritan Law: purpose is to expand/clarify the immunity to a person who seeks or provides assistance for a medical emergency after using drugs or alcohol. She worked with John McCarthy on this subject last session.
Please be sure to attend this luncheon. In order to be helpful to any of our elected officials, we need to act now rather than once the session begins.
Good and Welfare of our Bar by our Bar for our Bar community and our community at large:
You may have noticed a feature on BAMC’s facebook page about Bob Michael, a well-respected Rockville litigator, who makes time to fly Wounded Warriors to Walter Reed, you will learn more about that at our November 3 bar luncheon. You may also see him featured in the Sentinel.
I recently learned that Michael Bell also provides flights for Wounded Warriors as well, I hope to learn more about that soon!
MSBA featured Sarah Cline of Shulman Rogers and her work with Wills for Heroes, provision of wills for first responders…great stuff, hats off to Sarah!
Offit Kurman has held suit drives to assist women returning to the work force and is now preparing cards for care packages for people suffering from cancer. More voluntary sharing of resources…
Meanwhile, our many committee and section chairs and co-chairs have been working diligently to make this an outstanding year for all of us. Please pay attention to their columns, take note of the CLE’s they have organized, they have done this for you!
Please register to walk or run in the 4th Annual Inspiration Walk in honor of Special Olympics which is Sunday October 4th, at Georgetown Prep, at www.somowalk.org or you could buy a t-shirt to help the booster event at www.booster.com/2015iwalk. I participated in this event last year and it was a nice walk with friends and family on a beautiful day. The Community Outreach Committee also facilitates our coverage of volunteers for serving the homeless at Shepherd’s Table the second Friday of the month. One of my fondest memories of my former firm, Ethridge Quinn, was a Friday when all of the partners, associates and most of our spouses all served at Shepherd’s Table together, under Dan Shaivitz able supervision. I highly recommend it as a means of spending quality time with your coworkers or peers while helping others at the same time. Finally, assisting with pet adoptions at the Rockville Petco on Saturdays from 1-4, I am afraid I will come home with one more pet, but will take the risk! Thank you to Revee Walters and Emily Gelmann for their continued commitment to these great causes! EGelmann@steinsperling.com or RWalters@offitkurman.com.
Allison Rind and David Shapiro have once again organized the 24th Annual Golf, Tennis Charity Classic & Silent Auction, which is Monday October 12th at Manor Country Club. Don’t play golf or tennis? Come eat, drink and shop the silent auction with your fellow bar members. You may find a private wine tasting or a vacation among the offerings! At the very least, you will find good company (and community). The funds raised support our many Bar Foundation committee community outreach projects.
The BAMC Heroin Opioid Task Force has made great progress on the education component, specifically the C-IT program, which will be featured at 5 high schools. There will be a Speaker’s Bureau that will go to other schools. There are also Drug Court, Legislative and Medical subcommittees. All are hard at work, contact me at email@example.com if you would like to participate.
Other events in the works include but are not limited to (your feedback may mean they do or do not happen!):
• November 12, 2015 – Happy Hour at Bar Louie’s with Barrister Musicians
• January 2016 – BAMC’s mortgage on the building will be paid off, so we may have a party in honor of that, thank you to all of you for your generosity in making this possible. We’d also like to recognize the Strategic Planning Committee (and David Pordy in particular) for having accomplished its goals so competently.
• January or February 2016 – another Sip n Paint class
• April 22, 2016 – Annual Meeting & Law Day Celebration
• May 2016 – Barrister’s Bash at Smokey Glen
This is your Bar Association, your community. I was truly pleased to hear from members, chairs and co-chairs who had ideas and suggestions for us. Please do not hesitate to make a constructive suggestion any time. Educational, charitable and social ideas will be well received.
I'm sure there are many more people, members, firms that are contributing to the community and like ways. We would love to know about the good things you do, please share so we can celebrate you and support you. Enjoy what I hope is a typical beautiful Maryland fall.
Lynn Caudle Boynton