Greetings from Ocean City! I am reporting live from the Clarion hotel, which is the host of the 2015 MSBA Annual Meeting. This is my first trip to the Annual Meeting and I am already having a blast, especially because I have my family here with me.
As with any planned trip away from home with my family, it always begins with a little chaos. Before jumping in the car for the trek to the beach, there is a laundry list of things to get done — packing our bags, taking care of the animals and, most of all, making sure there are no fires to put out at the office.
Packing is always something I dread the most. Because this is my first year, I asked a work colleague how people generally dressed at the Annual Meeting. He told me that beach attire is fine; it is Ocean City, after all. As I packed the night before my trip, however, I recalled that this same colleague told me that another function was black-tie only (it wasn’t), so I packed my entire wardrobe to be safe.
The morning of our departure, I had one small task: find our cat Gracie and get her to the vet’s for boarding. Easy enough, right? Wrong. From the moment I woke up, she knew something was fishy and quickly vanished. Employing a combination of cat treats, begging and tactics from the “Art of War,” I was able to corner Gracie and get her to the vet’s.
On to the office to make sure everything was copacetic before my beach venture. I knew I had to be efficient if I wanted to leave in the early afternoon, so I got right down to business, dealing with items that needed my immediate attention and filling my briefcase with matters I could handle in Ocean City. I managed to leave the office at noon on the dime and ran home to scoop my wife and son.
We arrived in Ocean City around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, checked in at the hotel, and I made my way over to Liquid Assets for The Daily Record-sponsored Young Lawyers Happy Hour while my wife and son hit the beach. At Liquid Assets (which is an outstanding establishment), I met work colleagues, attorneys from around the state, law school classmates and even some Generation J.D. bloggers for the first time. (Nice to meet you, Michael Siri and Divya Potdar!)
From there, I enjoyed a nice dinner with my wife and son and made my way back to the hotel, where they were showing the movie “Big Hero 6” (my son’s current favorite) at the beach.
After getting my son ready for bed, I dove into the schedule for the Annual Meeting to make some final tweaks to my itinerary for the rest of the week. The MSBA really puts on an outstanding program, so I thought I’d highlight all the events that caught my eye.
As mentioned above, you can’t beat the Young Lawyers Happy Hour, which is also sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section of the MSBA. It’s a great way to start off the week. Follow that up with the Welcoming Reception at the Clarion and finish off the night with the Seafood Feast at Phillip’s.
Throughout the week, make sure to stop by the Exhibit Hall where the exhibitors who sponsor the Annual Meeting have tables set up with information about their products and services, as well as some awesome swag.
Early risers can take part in Yoga on the Beach, but things really start kicking off at 8 a.m. with the first set of educational programs. From casino regulations to jury consultants, there is something for everyone throughout the day on Thursday. My personal highlight was the “Technology in the Courtroom” program sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section.
There are tons of activities in the latter half of the day, including an ice cream social and an afternoon at Seacrets, but I am most looking forward to the University of Baltimore School of Law Alumni Reception, where I hope to see some familiar faces from law school (University of Maryland’s law school has a reception, too). Thursday is capped off with the President’s Reception, which I hear is a great event.
Friday kicks off with the Young Lawyers Section Sun Run, which I unfortunately cannot do because of my bum foot. The day continues with several great educational programs, including “Cybersecurity and Data Privacy” and the “United States Supreme Court Year in Review.” In the evening there is a poolside kids party and dancing, drinks and desserts on the Deck.
Saturday caps things off with the annual Business Meeting, which all members are encouraged to attend. Here, the District Court of Maryland Judge Pamila J. Brown will be installed as the new president of the MSBA. Congratulations, Judge Brown!
As you can see, the Annual Meeting is an action-packed conference, where there are plenty of opportunities to network, learn about new developments in the law, catch up with old friends and spend some quality time with your family. I am already looking forward to coming back next year!
If you are in Ocean City this week and you see me around, say hello! I’m the guy limping around with a walking boot. For the Twitter- and Facebook-savvy, you can keep up with the Annual Meeting with the hashtag #MSBAannmtg, and I’ll be posting things up on Twitter as well.