America just celebrated 239 years of independence. I believe we live in the greatest country in the world. The State of Maryland is known as “America in miniature”, and we are privileged to live in such a beautiful, bountiful state. Montgomery County is one of the most well educated, affluent counties in the country. Nonetheless, we have many schools whose populations qualify for free meals and those students return to school hungry after weekends. There will always be people in need.
The system of justice in the United States allows for peaceful resolution of civil and criminal matters without members of society resorting to self-help. Lawyers are the instruments that enable the public to utilize the system of justice efficiently and ethically. Accordingly, lawyers bear a tremendous amount of responsibility to be professional in interactions with the Courts, other counsel and clients.
I am proud to be a lawyer. I am proud of our bar members who choose to give back to their community. I never tire of learning of the unsung heroes among us and the heartfelt efforts they undertake to help others in need. As lawyers we have certain skills that enable us to help people in special ways that many other people cannot. Lawyers often get a bad rap. If persistence on my part and if the media chooses to share the good news I send them, perhaps we will help to improve the image of lawyers in the eyes of the public. Please send me information regarding your good works or the actions of other lawyers, so they may be recognized.
With the needs of the public and our Court system in mind, please consider the following plea. About 70% of the caseload in our Circuit Court consists of family law cases. Many of the parties are unrepresented which causes significant challenges for the Court as well as the parties. Please contact Maria for the BAMC Lawyer Referral Service at 301-424-3454 to see how you can assist us in the new Lawyer Referral Service “office” that has been set up in the courthouse for the benefit of the members of the public who qualify. Pro-se litigants are being directed to LRS after scheduling conferences, and we could use your help!
Now for some general good and welfare, updates etc.
I am truly pleased to report that as I get to know the intricacies of the many moving parts of our Bar Association, from the staff, to the Executive Committee, the Chairs and Co-Chairs of the Committees and Sections, to the members of the bench, to the bar members…..I am deeply impressed by the genuinely selfless people we are blessed to call our peers and colleagues.
Allow me to summarize some of the events I have witnessed or been a part of during my term as your President:
• The Battle of the Barristers at Smokey Glen which showcased the musical talents of many bar members, and the generosity of the dunkees who helped raise funds for the Bar Foundation
• The Bar Leaders Dinner at Normandy Farms honoring Bill Davis
• Confirmation of chairs or co-chairs and members of all committees and sections, as well as held an orientation meeting for all chairs
• End of year WBA party hosted by Mary Ellen Flynn
• Maryland State Bar Association Annual Meeting in Ocean City Maryland
• Creating an Improved Tomorrow (C-IT) Final Presentation, Essay Awards, Mock Trial Judge Eric Johnson presiding, thank you to Steve Chaikin, Erik Arena, Damie Adegbuyi & Daniel Lemke
• Courthouse Tour for school students organized by Patricia Via & Steve Chaikin
• Sipping and Painting, the Red Brick Courthouse, some talented bar members & spouses participated!
• Leadership Academy Graduation, successful elder law project at Leisure World & Asbury
• Summer Scholars Happy Hour
• Bar Foundation Fall Outing Committee meeting, save the date October 12, 2015
• Summer Pipeline Scholars Mid-Summer Gathering
• Attended Lt. Governor Rutherford’s Heroin Task Force Regional Summit for Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, intent to follow up on legislative matters, MCPS curriculum, Prescription drug monitoring program
• FURTHER, consistent with my focus on supporting the Governor’s Heroin Task Force:
• Presented to the Montgomery County Public School Board regarding BAMC’s Opioid Heroin Initiative and
C-IT program in our schools
• Multiple meetings with the Collaboration Council for Montgomery County, County Council members, County Exec office members, State’s Attorney John McCarthy and assistant state’s attorneys, school principals, Drug Court volunteers, parents of overdose victims, addiction treatment services personnel from DHS
• Participated in quarterly meeting of area hospital CEO’s arranged by Magistrate James Bonifant who is a Medstar Board member. Judge Rupp informed the attendees about the history of the Drug Court, its methods, 163 graduates who average 2 years in the program to graduate, with only a 20% recidivism rate. Dr. Renee Benzel, PhD in Pharmacology discussed the history of opioid prescriptions and alternative painkillers that should be encouraged instead of addictive painkillers that can lead to heroin use
• Held a meeting with BAMC members to determine areas of focus of the BAMC Opioid Heroin Task Force Initiative, specifically;
a) Speakers Bureau to reduce stigma, increase awareness schools, teams, religious entities, community groups
b) C-IT: program within schools coupled with faculty, parents, admin
II. Legislative: work with our elected officials to draft legislation regarding
a) Expansion of the Good Samaritan Law,
b) Sentencing of those who distribute for remuneration,
c) More effective utilization of the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP)
a) PDMP, local hospital policy regarding prescriptions for pain management
b) Rehab, treatment, insurance issues, non-opioid rehab drugs such as vivitrol
IV. Drug Court:
a) Perpetuate our Drug Court model.
Lynn Caudle Boynton