At Azrael Franz, we take great pride in our commitment to organizations through community partnerships, sponsorship and direct participation. We are proud to show our support to the communities we have served for more than 70 years.
This article is the first of a series of articles about organizations with which Azrael Franz is involved.
What MADD Does
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (“MADD”) is a non-profit organization seeking to end impaired driving by spreading awareness and victims’ stories. Besides providing support and assistance to victims, MADD was instrumental in law reform and enforcement with respect to impaired driving. MADD’s successes include lowering the legal blood alcohol limit and increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages. MADD also lobbies for programs to educate the public on and to prevent impaired driving.
Azrael Franz and MADD’s Longstanding Relationship
In 1980, after her 13-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver with prior DUI convictions, Candace Lightner founded MADD. While MADD was initially organized in California, Maryland took up MADD’s cause very soon after its inception. Azrael Franz Partner, Keith Franz, was influential in starting MADD in Maryland and thereafter became MADD’s Maryland branch counsel and adviser. Keith has served as MADD’s representative on the Governor’s Task Force for Crime Victims’ Rights for the last 25 years and Azrael Franz Partner, Jud Lipowitz, is a three-time President of MADD’s Maryland branch and currently serves on the Board of Directors.
Azrael Franz furthers MADD’s mission by advocating for rights of victims affected by drunk driving in the criminal and civil legal system. For instance, in the past, Maryland law did not permit victims to testify or provide statements at the drunk driver’s criminal sentencing to inform the court how the driver’s wrongdoing affected their lives. Keith was instrumental in changing that law and now victims’ voices can be heard and considered by the court when sentencing drunk drivers.
Keith Franz, Jud Lipowitz and fellow Azrael Franz Partner, John Solter, continue to further MADD’s goals as full-time victims’ advocates and resources for those affected by impaired driving. Besides aggressively seeking financial compensation for victims and their families, Azrael Franz works to ensure that the courts know of the harm caused by drunk driving. This may involve communication with the prosecuting attorney and/or attending the driver’s trial and sentencing. Before and after the conclusion of the case, Azrael Franz attorneys are also available to assist the victim and their family with any needed estate planning or other legal matters.
In addition to representing victims, Azrael Franz has provided free educational lectures throughout Maryland to MADD, the Baltimore County Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, and others on the civil and criminal law in DUI and DWI cases and the wrongful death claims that unfortunately arise from drunk driving.
Upcoming MADD Events
On September 21, 2019, MADD will be holding its 10th Annual Walk like MADD, a walkathon at MADD Maryland Caton Waterfront Park in Baltimore. Please join us and supporters and victims in a walk to remember those lost and those affected from drunk and impaired driving.
On November 16, 2019, Azrael Franz is again sponsoring MADD’s annual volunteer luncheon. More details about this event will be posted shortly on MADD’s and Azrael Franz’s websites.
Please join us at one or both of these events. For more information or to donate, go to walklikemadd.org/Baltimore or call (410) 964-5757.