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Throughout the 1990s, members of the Maryland Bench and Bar had become increasingly aware of issues and repercussions of unprofessional behavior by lawyers, which spurred the adoption of civility codes and, since 1992, a mandatory course in professionalism for all new admittees to the Maryland Bar.

The (national) Conference of Chief Justices, in 1996, adopted a resolution that called for a study of lawyer professionalism and encouraged the High Court in each state to take a leadership role in evaluating the contemporary needs of the legal community with respect to lawyer professionalism and coordinating the activities of the bench and bar by establishing a Commission on Professionalism.

By an order dated April 25, 2002, a Professionalism Task Force was established to study the concept of professionalism within the Maryland Bench and Bar and to determine whether there was a consensus as to the qualities of professionalism and, if so, to describe its nature and scope.

When the Task Force completed its work, it recommended, among other proposals, the creation of a Professionalism Commission, which was adopted by the Court of Appeals, on November 10, 2003.

The Professionalism Commission was established on February 14, 2004 and explored the recommendations of the Professionalism Task Force, and on May 31, 2006 and May 30, 2007, respectively, filed its Final Report with the Court and a Revised Final Report and Recommendations, to which Addenda addressing civility in electronic communications and mentoring were added on July 18, 2007, and December 10, 2008.

On March 9, 2009, the Court of Appeals established a permanent Commission on Professionalism to guide and support the principles of professionalism for all judges and lawyers throughout Maryland.

The primary tasks of the Commission were to explore, as well as to monitor, the implementation of the professionalism policies adopted by the Court of Appeals, examine ways to promote professionalism among Maryland judges and lawyers, and provide sustained attention and assistance to the task of ensuring that the practice of law remains a high calling, focused on serving clients and promoting the administration of justice, as well as the public good.

The mission of the Commission was to support and encourage members of the Judiciary to exhibit the highest levels of professionalism and to support and encourage lawyers to exercise the highest levels of professional integrity in their relationships with their clients, other lawyers, the courts, and the public to fulfill their obligations to improve the law and the legal system.

On September 12, 2012 through an Administrative Order of the Court, the previous Professionalism Commission was replaced by the Maryland Professionalism Center. The Center in its continuance of the mission of the Commission, provides an opportunity for all newly admitted attorneys to participate in the Mentoring Program. The work of the Center will be expanded in the future to provide more opportunities for experienced lawyers and judges to participate in the development of professionalism in the State.