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Under the Arch by David B. Walls, CAE, CMP

David B. Walls, CAE, CMP, is the executive director of the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association. In this capacity, David is responsible for the overall operations of the Association. Former Managing Director for ELM Services, Inc., Mr. Walls has spent almost 20 years in the association, meeting planning and hospitality industries. He earned the prestigious Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation (June 2004) and earned his Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 1991.

The ancient Romans had a tradition

that whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible ––he stood under the arch. At MTLA, we celebrate many tradi-

tions throughout the year. One of the most prestigious traditions is the passing of presidential gavel and bell. This ritual is celebrated annually at the president’s dinner and symbolizes the transition of one president and board to the next. Much like Roman engineers, MTLA’s

“engineers” volunteer their time to sup- port the organization. Members, board members, committee and section chairs each takes their place under the arch, taking responsibility for the success of the

organization. The cover features our lead “engineers,” the 2006-2007 Executive Committee. As the new executive committee and

board of governors begin to build this year’s arch, we once again turn to the organization’s greatest supporters, in- volved members, who provide the tools and labor. The foundation of the arch commenced

with the MTLA golf tournament, July 17th

. Although it was one of the hottest

days of the year, players of all levels battled the heat while they enjoyed the beautiful course and networking opportunities. Turn to page 29 to see some of the “hot- test” golfers of MTLA and the Maryland Defense Counsel. Continuing with a pilot program started last year, the arch grows with our

educational programs, the first of which was on August 10th

. A special thanks to

LAD Reporting for access to their five video-conferencing facilities across Mary- land and Washington, D.C. This access provided members, who didn’t have the time to travel or a large commitment of time, access to a quality program. A list of confirmed dates for this year’s

events can be found on page 59. Mark your calendar today. More and more, you will see the or-

ganization expand on great ideas. The Membership Services committee is work- ing with other committees and sections to make the Web site more accessible and relevant to your daily case decisions. More forms, documents, depositions and tools are coming your way. The BLAST, MTLA’s monthly elec-

tronic newsletter highlighting current cases and articles and MTLA events, will provide more tools and mortar for the arch. The new membership directory, featur-

ing references and resources that you need on a daily basis, is coming your way. If you have not received your copy by the end of September, please contact the executive office. Most important, in order to grow our

membership base, MTLA is launching a Member-Get-A-Member campaign. This program is designed to reward those members who are able to reach out to the legal community and recruit other plaintiff lawyers into the organization. All recruiters will have a chance to win monthly prizes. The member with the most recruits during the program will win a fabulous and exciting grand prize. So, as we all stand under the arch and

begin to lift the capstone, rest assured that the arch will hold because of the dedica- tion of the executive committee, board of governors, committee and section chairs, MTLA staff and most importantly, your fellow members.


Trial Reporter

Summer 2006

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