On Tuesday, April 6, conferees from the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate agreed to strike amendments from the State's Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Bill that would have withheld $500,000 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the University System of Maryland until the School of Law reports on its Clinical Law Program. The conferees are meeting to reconcile differences between the House- and Senate-passed budgets.
In place of the amendments, the Assembly adopted narrative language that requires the Law School to report on its Environmental Law Clinic's cases from the past two years, but does not withhold funding. Previous amendments under consideration by the General Assembly would have withheld up to $750,000 until the Law School reported on individual cases, clients and expenditures for matters actively in litigation by its Environmental Law Clinic.
"The Law School appreciates the willingness of the Assembly to replace restrictions on university appropriations with a 'narrative' that requests non-privileged information about some of our cases, but without withholding funding. We are very thankful for the support we have received for our Clinical Law Program, both from leaders of the legal profession in Maryland and national leaders in legal education," said Dean Phoebe Haddon. "Although I remain convinced that the obligation to report on cases in active litigation interferes with the judicial process, I recognize the hard work that has led to this point."