Michael L. Dailey, Esquire
Schmidt, Dailey & O’Neill, LLC
My year as MDC President is quickly coming to an end and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the other Officers, President Elect Nikki Nesbitt, Secretary Chris Boucher and Treasurer Marisa Trasatti; immediate Past President, Toyja Kelly; the entire Board; and our Executive Director, Kathleen Shemer for all the hard work and commitment throughout this year to coordinate our efforts in Annapolis to support the defense communities interest, and in putting together amazing programs such as our annual Trial Academy. I wish Kathleen Shemer a Happy Twenty Fifth Anniversary as our Executive Director and thank her for her tireless efforts to keep the MDC running strong and growing!
This year’s Trial Academy provided more interaction and practical trial experience for the attendees, as they participated in small group break-out sessions and had the opportunity to examine witnesses and receive immediate feed-back from experienced attorney coaches. I want to thank the Honorable Paul W. Grimm, Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland Southern Division, for agreeing to be our Trial Academy Keynote Speaker. Judge Grimm provided insight and perspective on the challenges that face all trial attorneys in their efforts to rehabilitate witnesses. Thank you to Program Chairs Taren Stanton, Rachael Hirsch and Thomasina Poirot for putting together a challenging program that I believe will shape our future academies. This is a huge time commitment and you all did a great job. Also thank you Kathleen Shemer for coordinating the new location this year at University of Baltimore Business Center (and then getting a second date when our original date got canceled due to snow!).
I am proud of the efforts made by our substantive law committees to expand their rolls and participation, and we welcome the addition of a new subcommittee, lead paint, chaired by Susan Smith and Lisa Morgan. I hope that all who practice in the lead paint arena contact Susan and Lisa and join the committee and share ideas and practice notes that will help each of you in your practice. This is also a good time to remind all of our members and committee chairs to think about what they can do to expand their committee’s activities and recommend that if you have not already implemented regular committee meetings, you start doing so now and please contact me with any help you need to get started.
Finally, I want to extend our thanks and gratitude to all of our members who represented the defense bar’s interests before the Maryland legislature this session, including Nikki Nesbitt, Chris Boucher, Gardner Duvall, Ileen Ticer and our lobbyist, John Stierhoff. I also want to thank John’s Paralegal, Angel Lavin, who kept us all informed of any bills that affect the defense community and Angel did an amazing job again in coordinating this year’s successful legislative dinner.
Congratulations to our Immediate Past President, Toyja Kelly, who was elected as DRI’s Secretary Treasurer for 2015. Please join DRI at the Annual Meeting as it returns to Washington, DC this year. The DRI Annual Meeting will take place October 7–11, 2015, at the Marriott Wardman Park in DC and for anyone who has not had the opportunity to attend in the past, I strongly urge you to attend. It’s a great way to meet defense attorneys from across the country who practice in your field, foster networking relationships, and attend excellent seminars presented by national speakers and leaders.