Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building
361 Rowe Boulevard
|For Immediate Release||CONTACT:||Rita Buettner
(Annapolis, MD — June 1, 2006) Working to create a higher awareness of professionalism within the legal community, the Maryland Judicial Commission on Professionalism has issued its final report. Court of Appeals Judge Lynne A. Battaglia, chair of the commission, presented the report to the Court of Appeals on Wednesday, May 31.
After studying all aspects of professional conduct, the commission developed methods to raise professionalism standards in the legal community. The commission focused on the eight areas of concern identified by the Professionalism Task Force: standards and ideals of professionalism, professionalism guidelines and sanctions for use by judges, discovery abuse, mentoring, updating the existing professionalism course for new admittees, development of a professionalism course for lawyers who exhibit unprofessional behavior, defining the unauthorized practice of law, and the judge’s role in the bar and in the community.
Various recommendations for adoption by the Court of Appeals were contained in the report to include greater sanctions for unprofessional conduct, counseling errant attorneys, and a judicial mentoring program for law students. The recommendations will be discussed in a series of statewide programs that will occur in the fall at which Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Court of Appeals and Judge Battaglia will preside; after the completion of these meetings, the Court of Appeals will address the efficacy of the recommendations.
The Court of Appeals created the Commission on Professionalism in February of 2004. The mission of the 36-member commission was to support and encourage members of the Judiciary to exhibit the highest levels of professionalism; to support and encourage lawyers to exercise the highest levels of professional integrity in their relationships with their clients, other lawyers, the courts and the public; and to fulfill lawyer obligations to improve the law and the legal system.
The report is available online at http://mdcourts.gov/professionalism/index.html.
For more information, please contact the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488.
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