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MBA members ring in the holidays at two December receptions

Holiday Reception wrap-ups


Many MBA colleagues and friends gathered at the association's Boston headquarters for its holiday reception on Tuesday evening. MBA President David W. White Jr., fellow MBA leaders, MBA Executive Director Marilyn J. Wellington and other MBA staff joined members of the bar association to celebrate the holiday season.



Likewise, nearly 75 MBA members attended a festive holiday celebration at the MBA's Western Massachusetts office in Springfield on Tuesday, Dec. 4. MBA President David W. White Jr., Past President Mark D Mason and Executive Director Marilyn J. Wellington mingled with both longtime and new members from the Western Massachusetts area. The event was sponsored by the MBA Insurance Agency.

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Featured MBA Member Benefit: MBA Insurance Agency

What's in it for you?

MBA Insurance Agency President Terence Welsh and his customer-focused team are prepared to help you develop customized policies to address your professional and personal coverage needs. As an MBA member, you can benefit from insurance designed by lawyers for lawyers. And, you receive exclusive, significant discounts on a variety of plan options. The MBA Insurance team aims to work to provide high quality, competitively-priced products for Massachusetts practitioners, so you can more appropriately focus your energy on the practice of law.

To learn more about the following or other products to meet your professional or personal coverage needs, visit the MBA Insurance Web site or call (617) 338-0581 or (413) 788-7878.

  • Group Term Life Insurance: In addition to a long term policy, new members enjoy FREE coverage for the first six months;
  • Professional Liability: Not only does this provide comprehensive coverage for you as a practitioner, coverage extends to your role as a board member of a non-profit organization, if applicable;
  • Individual Disability: Through Guardian and MassMutual, “own occupation” definition of disability is available. The contract is guaranteed renewable to age 65 and is fully portable;
  • Long Term Care: In addition to coverage for MBA members, it is available to their families on a simplified basis. Also, an unlimited benefits period is a coverage option; 
  • Health Insurance: Offering a range of coverage options from Tufts, Harvard Pilgrim and Blue Cross Blue Shield; and
  • Dental Insurance: Plans are available at competitive prices down to one attorney.

Join the MBA Insurance Agency for a free workshop on Tuesday, Dec. 18

No Health Insurance yet? What penalities will you need to pay beginning Jan. 1, 2007?

Find out at the MBA Insurance Agency's free workshop on Tuesday, Dec. 18 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.
Massachusetts Health Reform requires that all uninsured residents of the commonwealth obtain health insurance. If you are not covered by your spouse's plan or by an employer sponsored plan and have not purchased health insurance on your own, you will lose your personal tax exemption for 2007. The penalties for 2008 are much greater and are certain to get your attention.
The purpose of this seminar/workshop is to give you the necessary information to make informed decisions about your health insurance. If you have employees for whom you provide health insurance, we will let you know what your responsibilities are to them. This luncheon meeting will cover the following:

  • General outline of the rules governing health reform;
  • Your responsibility to obtain health insurance;
  • Sources for coverage - names and numbers;
  • Sample plans and sample rates; and
  • Questions and answers.

Terence J. Welsh, CPCU, AIS
President, MBA Insurance Agency, Springfield
Robert A. Levitt, CLU, CHFC
MB Insurance, LLC, Springfield

There is no cost to attend this workshop. Lunch will be provided.

To register, contact Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or via e-mail by Friday, Dec. 14.

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Dial-A-Lawyer seeks volunteers for winter programs

Got an extra two hours? Donate some time to Dial-A-Lawyer


What is Dial-A-Lawyer?

Beginning in March 1991, Dial-A-Lawyer at the Massachusetts Bar Association became a monthly event. On the first Wednesday of each month, attorneys volunteer at the MBA Boston headquarters by providing free basic legal information by phone to callers between the hours of 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

How can I volunteer?

The MBA Boston office needs lawyers in all areas of practice who are willing to spend up to two-and-a-half hours of their time answering questions from the public, on topics that cover a wide range of legal topics. Past participants speak very positively of their experience helping others and we have many return volunteers. We welcome your participation.
If you would like to volunteer, please complete this form and call, fax, e-mail or mail it to us before Friday, Dec. 21.
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Photograph by Jeff Thiebauth
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP received last year's Access to Justice Pro Bono Award for Law Firms at the 2006 Annual Conference. The deadline for nominations for this year's five Access to Justice Awards is Nov. 15.

Access to Justice Award Luncheon March 6; sponsorship and reservation opportunities available

MBA members are invited to the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon, which will be held on March 6, 2008, at noon at the JFK Library and Museum. At this annual event, the MBA will present several awards to recognize the public service contributions of Massachusetts attorneys and the pro bono efforts and achievements of MBA members.

Individual table reservation and sponsorship opportunities are now available. Click here to download a form. Reservations must be submitted by Feb. 28.

For more information, or to register, contact Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or via e-mail.

Sponsorship opportunities

  • Benefactor: $2,000
    Includes: Luncheon table for 10, 1/2-page ad and firm name listed in the luncheon program, and logo projected behind the podium.
  • Patron: $1,750
    Includes: Luncheon table for 10, 1/4-page ad and firm name listed in the luncheon program, and logo projected behind the podium.
  • Friend: $1,500
    Includes: Luncheon table for 10, firm name listed in the luncheon program and logo projected behind the podium.

Individual reservation opportunities

  • Individual tickets: $100
  • Tables of 10: $1,000

For additional marketing opportunities, contact Business Activities Manager Joe Caci at (617) 338- 0516 or via e-mail.


CLE introduces new series for divorce lawyers

Register for all three courses and receive a discount

CLE Heading

To register for the following programs, call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530, [e-mail membership] or visit the CLE Web site.


Evidence for the Civil Litigator

Course #: CLE08
Introductory level
Thursday, Jan. 10, 4–7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

This seminar is designed to provide practitioners with a survey of how to deal effectively with the myriad of commonly recurring evidentiary problems. The course will focus on how to introduce and block the admission of proffered evidentiary material. Topics will include:

  • Business record exception to the hearsay rule;
  • Medical record/bills pursuant to M.G.L. c.231, §79G;
  • Common law and statutory privileges, including husband/wife disqualification;
  • Chalks, diagrams, photographs and related issues with real and demonstrative evidence;
  • Offers of proof;
  • Opinion and expert evidence; and
  • Criminal evidentiary issues relating to the new Crawford decision.

Adequate time will be allowed for interaction between faculty and attendees.

For more information, or for a complete list of faculty, visit the MBA Calendar.

New Series

Business Basics for Divorce Lawyers: A Series of Three Basic Programs for the Beginning Divorce Lawyer

Practically every divorce is a financial transaction. The parties’ assets must be valued in order to be fairly divided. If the assets include a small business or real estate, experts must provide opinion of value. If a party is self-employed, the tax returns may be a window into the person’s actual income. Tax returns also reveal identity of assets and history of lifestyle.

Beginning divorce lawyers often assume that valuation and taxes only matter in complex cases. This series of programs will simplify the mysteries of tax and valuation at the most basic level. It will help you communicate with your expert and work confidently with your business owner client.

NOTE: Attendance at the three sessions is encouraged, but not required. Discounted rates for attending two or more sessions.

Part I: Understanding Real Estate Appraisals
Course #: FLJ08
Introductory level
Thursday, Jan. 31, 4–7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Attendees will learn basics of real estate appraisal, including:

  • The comparable sales approach to value;
  • The cost of construction approach to value;
  • Value deviations, net versus gross;
  • Special and historic properties;
  • Discounts for divorce valuation purposes (capital gains and commissions);
  • How to read an appraisal;
  • Direct and cross-examination of the real estate expert (using appraisal reports and expert credentials); and
  • Ethical duties of the expert appraiser and special concerns about the jointly engaged expert.

Part II: Understanding Business Valuation
Course #: FLK08
Introductory level
Thursday, Feb. 7, 4–7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Attendees will learn basics of valuation, including:

  • The capitalization of income approach to valuation;
  • The present value of future income approach to valuation;
  • Standards of value – fair market value, strategic value, value to holder or “divorce value;”
  • Marketability, minority, key man and other discounts;
  • Income and capital gains tax discounts;
  • Discovery; working with your expert; and
  • Ethical concerns – ethical duties of the expert appraiser, concerns about the jointly engaged expert and malpractice concerns when one party owns an interest in a small business.

Part III: Reading and Using Tax Returns in Divorce Cases
Course #: FLL08
Introductory level
Monday, Feb. 11, 4–7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Attendees will learn:

  • What discovery do I need?
  • What can I find in a tax return and where do I find it?
  • What is the basic structure of the returns?
  • What do all those forms mean?
  • How can I use the return to locate assets?
  • How can I use the form to calculate income?
  • What can I learn from comparing returns over a period of years?
  • When should I hire a forensic accountant? 

The course will also include basic review of divorce tax principles including:

  • A comparison of alimony and child support tax treatment;
  • Consequences of mischaracterization of support;
  • Tax treatment for personal loans;
  • Capital gains and losses;
  • Transfers of a residence;
  • Earned income credit;
  • Head of household filing status; and
  • Dependency exemption.
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December volunteer opportunities

Give blood, sort toys or donate blood to help those in need

MBA has coordinated opportunities for members who wish to volunteer this holiday season:

American Red Cross Blood Drives

The holidays are a season for giving and a blood donation is a special gift.  The MBA is proud to sponsor blood drives in both their Boston and Springfield offices during the month of December.

MBA Boston office:

Wednesday,  Dec. 19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
20 West St., Boston
To make an appointment, visit http://www.bloodpartners.org/massbar or call (800) GIVE-LIFE.
Walk-ins welcome. Please remember to bring identification with you to your appointment.

Salvation Army Toy Sorting

Today (Dec. 13)  and Tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 14)
Various 2 hour shifts available each day between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
147 Berkeley St., Boston
For more information or to sign up for a shift please call Wendy Dyckman at (617) 338-0543.

Greater Boston Food Bank Can Drive

From now until Monday, Dec. 17, the MBA will collect non-perishable items at two locations:

MBA's Boston office, 20 West St.
MBA's Western Mass. office, 73  State St., Springfield

For more ways to get involved, fill out our online Volunteer Opportunities Menu.

©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association