The Baltimore County Bar Association is poised to have a great year. We are on sound financial footing, our membership is engaged and, after 10 years on the Executive Council, I am honored to take the reigns of our Association for a year. If this year goes by like the first 10, it will happen in a flash.
I am president this year rather than next because of the passing in 2009 of Anne Talbot Brennan after a lengthy and valiant battle with colon cancer. She practiced with Whiteford Taylor Preston and became managing partner of their Towson office. She was a 2008 Daily Record Leader in Law award winner, an AV rated litigator and a devout parent of two fine young women who attended her alma mater, Notre Dame Preparatory School in Hampton.
This bar year will be dedicated to Anne Brennan’s memory. Since she will not be able to lead us in body, we must engage her spirit in our collective memories. Anne was always fair, patient and kind. She never allowed her successes in practice and personal life to influence her attitude toward those less successful. Never boastful, never self-indulgent, her lack of self-centeredness came to the fore as the cancer ravaged her body, yet she soldiered on bravely, showing all that cancer was something to fight, not fear..
In 2008 she sponsored Gastronomique: A Taste of Life. With 625 people attending, it was the largest event ever held in Baltimore to benefit the Johns Hopkins Colon Cancer Center and the largest event ever held in Maryland to benefit the Colon Cancer Alliance.
After Anne Brennan’s passing her husband Jim founded a scholarship in her name at Notre Dame Prep, to provide a scholarship for a student of Hispanic or African American heritage who shows academic promise and who, without financial aid, would not be able to attend NDP. This fund will be the BCBA’s selected charity this year for the Young Lawyers event or events.
The Young Lawyers will have an open calendar date, budget and an opportunity to decide what they want to do as a group. We are lucky to have several former Young Lawyer chairs on our current executive council who are actively engaging the Young Lawyers as they set their own agenda. But this must be clear to all of the members: It is the Young Lawyers who will decide what they do. The BCBA Executive Council will facilitate their decision, but will not decide for them.
Young Lawyers have a great opportunity for practice building this year through the Appointed Attorneys Program, providing attorneys to represent indigent individuals at District Court Commissioner bail hearings statewide. Please click the link and follow the prompts to sign up: http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/appointedattorneys/. I encourage all young attorneys to sign up for this program regardless of area of practice.
There are some memorable events planned this year. We are each extremely busy, but we must find time to be together as a group. The social aspects of the legal profession can be most memorable and rewarding.
Orioles Night, sponsored by the Professionalism committee; the 200th anniversary of the bombardment of Ft McHenry and composition of the Star Spangled Banner and the Crab Feast are all on the immediate horizon. Concerning the 200th anniversary of the bombardment of Ft McHenry and Star Spangled Banner celebration, all we want is attendance. If some want to do more, sponsors and volunteers to help organize the event are welcome. This should be a true celebration of what it means to be an attorney in Baltimore County and Maryland.
I had a lot more to say at the Stated Meeting but time constrained me to say some of it here. The photo is the last picture of 2000’s version of the Ocean City fishing pier, taken by Layla* and I at dusk Sunday evening as we rode out Tropical Storm Sandy. The pier exploded after dark. Too much water and energy at the ocean and not enough room: Too much to say at the Stated Meeting and too little time to say it.