Join us for the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon
Each year, the Access to Justice Section honors several members of the Massachusetts legal community with awards for their pro bono and volunteer work at a special luncheon during the Annual Conference.
Support your colleagues by sponsoring a table at the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon, to take place at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 2 at the Marriott Copley Place Hotel during the MBA Annual Conference 2007. Congratulations once again to the following attorneys, who will be honored at the luncheon:
Executive director, New Center for Legal Advocacy
Legal Services Award
S. Stephen Rosenfeld
Rosenfeld & Rafik PC
Pro Bono Publico Award
Robert A. Sable
Executive director, Greater Boston Legal Services
Legal Services Award
Raymond P. Veary Jr.
Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Pro Bono Award for Law Firms
Juvenile Defense Network
For more information about the Access to Justice Luncheon and Annual Conference 2007, click here. To register for the Annual Conference, call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or register online.
Identity theft information to pass on to your clients
Nationwide jury duty telephone scam reaches Massachusetts
The Office of Jury Commissioner is warning the public to beware of a jury duty telephone scam, after receiving a flurry of reports that this nationwide identity theft con has recently reached Massachusetts. Citizens from around the state have received calls from people claiming to be court officials chasing scofflaws who have missed jury duty. When the target protests that they knew nothing of the supposedly missed jury duty, the caller demands personal identifying information (such as Social Security numbers and dates of birth) to confirm that the target is not at risk of fine or arrest.
“This is a particularly ingenious scam because it preys on people’s fears and indignation at being falsely accused of breaking the law,” said Pamela J. Wood, Jury Commissioner for the Commonwealth. “The scam artist will often pose as a sheriff or court officer, and state that you or someone close to you, such as your child or spouse, has missed jury duty and will be fined or arrested if they don’t report to the court immediately. Because the caller isn’t selling something or directly asking for personal information, the target often doesn’t recognize the scam and is only too eager to offer information to persuade the caller that they’ve made a mistake.” The jury duty scam has been reported in many other states over the past year, but is only now appearing in Massachusetts.
The telephone call is a clear indication that the call is bogus, according to Commissioner Wood. She reports that neither the Office of Jury Commissioner nor the courts ever contact jurors by telephone regarding their jury service. While skipping jury duty will lead to reminder notices and eventual prosecution if not resolved, all communications are sent through the mail. A person who has missed jury duty will be instructed to call the Office of Jury Commissioner, but only after receiving written notice by mail with details about the date and place of their missed jury service.
The Office of Jury Commissioner offers the following guidelines to anyone who gets a call about missing jury duty:
If you receive a telephone call claiming that you or someone you know has missed jury duty, under no circumstances should you give the caller any personal information about yourself or anyone else. Hang up and call the Office of Jury Commissioner at (800) THE-JURY (843-5879), or send an e-mail to [e-mail JurorHelp], requesting confirmation of your juror status. Don’t be victimized by someone trying to take advantage of your sense of civic duty.
For more information on identity theft, how to avoid it, and what to do if you’ve been victimized, the following resources are available:
- Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline: (617) 727-8400
- www.Mass.Gov Home Page (currently features Identity Theft)
Participate in SJC's Judicial Evaluation Program
MBA members are reminded of the SJC's Judicial Evaluation Program
, the purpose of which is to enhance judicial performance and the quality of the judicial branch. The full participation of the bar is crucial to this effort.
Judges of the Superior, District, Probate and Family, Housing and Juvenile Courts in Worcester County will be evaluated starting at the beginning of March by attorneys, court employees and jurors.
Attorneys who have appeared regularly in these courts in the last two years, according to computerized court records, will receive questionnaires. Evaluations are confidential and anonymous, with the results transmitted to the judge, the chief justice of his/her department, the chief justice of the SJC and the chief justice of administration and management.
The more responses received, the more relevant the evaluations will be. If you have questions about the program, contact Mona Hochberg at (617) 557-1156 or [e-mail Mona.Hochberg]
Young Lawyers: enjoy cocktails and basketball at MBA Celtics Night, March 26
Young Lawyers Division members: Join fellow young lawyers as the Celtics take on the Toronto Raptors on Monday, March 26 at the MBA's Celtics Night!
The evening begins with a networking cocktail reception in the Gold Room of the TD Banknorth Garden from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. with the game directly following. Tickets for the game and reception are available now at the low price of $65 and include drinks and hors’ d’oeuvres.
Please contact the MBA Member Services Center at (617) 338-0530 to buy your tickets today.
NBA and NBA member team trademarks, logos, identifications, statistics and game-action photographs, video and audio are the exclusive property of NBA Properties, Inc. and may not be used without the prior written consent of NBA Properties, Inc. © 2005 NBA Properties, Inc. All rights reserved.
March CLE programs just around the corner
To sign up for any of the following programs, call Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or click here to view the CLE listings online.
Special Needs Trusts and Public Benefits
Course #: FLH07
Tuesday, March 6, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St. Boston
Special needs trusts have become an essential planning and protection tool for the disabled and elderly. Join us and learn about the following topics:
- The different types of special needs trusts and the features of each;
- The dos and don’ts of creating special needs trusts for different situations;
- Discussion of income, estate and gift tax issues regarding special needs trusts;
- How to recognize the different benefit programs for the elderly and disabled that require special needs trusts; and
- Public benefit program eligibility criteria and distribution requirements that affect benefit payment levels.
Competition for English Ltds.: Reform of Corporate Law in Europe
Luncheon rountable – lunch provided
Course #: BLG07
Tuesday, March 13, noon-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St. Boston
If you are an attorney who practices in the field of European corporate law and mergers and acquisitions, you won't want to miss this informative and timely luncheon roundtable on the formation of entities in Europe and specifically limited corporations under the revised German corporate code. Join us for a discussion on the current reform project regarding the German law on limited liability companies (GmbH-Gesetz) and its impact on mergers and acquisitions practice. These recent changes to German corporate law have provided an alternative to forming English Ltds. and attendees will walk away with the knowledge necessary to form entities in Europe.
Fundamentals of Effective Direct and Cross-Examinations
Course #: CLM07
Tuesday, March 13, 4-7 p.m.
Western New England College School of Law, Springfield
Hear firsthand tips from top attorneys to help you be more effective in the courtroom. Learn the essential issues and techniques of preparing your witness for direct examination and for the other side’s cross-examination. Specific topics include:
- When and whether to cross;
- How to effectively examine your own witness;
- Techniques relevant to specific forums (e.g. jury trials, bench trials, administrative tribunals, arbitrations); and
- A view from the bench.
MBA and Suffolk University co-sponsor upcoming conferences
Strategies for Trying Nursing Home Cases; Women in the Courtroom
Strategies for Trying Nursing Home Cases: Problems & Pitfalls
Friday, March 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston
This conference brings together experts from law, medicine and the nursing home industry to examine the unique procedural, evidentiary, trial themes and strategic factors involved in this growing area of litigation.
Nursing home claims center on the tension between profits and complying with a complex array of state legislation and regulation. This conference compares and contrasts key considerations from the plaintiff and defense perspectives, emphasizing practical strategies for prosecuting and defending against nursing home cases.
This Thomas F. Lambert Jr. Tort Law Conference considers both the practical importance of tort law and its broader impact on the legal system and society and is designed to appeal to trial lawyers and defense counsel representing longterm care facilities and managed care, legal academics, insurance underwriters, healthcare professionals, risk managers, and nursing home and insurance administrators. You will learn about cutting-edge theories of tort liability, ideas for creating remedies, and the latest thinking regarding damages.
For more information or to register, visit www.law.suffolk.edu/als or call (617) 573-8627.
Women in the Courtroom: Addressing the Challenges Facing Women as Litigators
Thursday, March 15, 8-10 a.m.
Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston
The Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association – in conjunction with the MBA and other co-sponsoring organizations – is pleased to present a seminar and panel discussion addressing the challenges facing women who try cases. Please join us as our panelists discuss and answer questions about their experiences as women in the courtroom, including:
- How do women communicate with jurors?
- The perception of women in the courtroom;
- Can women litigators be as aggressive and confrontational as male litigators;
- The role of women in law firms and management;
- Business development as a woman; and
- Balancing being a litigator with personal life.
Guest speakers include Hon. Martha Coakley, Massachusetts attorney general; Hon. Barbara J. Rouse, chief justice, Superior Court of Massachusetts; Lauren Stiller Rikleen, Esq., author of "Ending the Gauntlet: Removing Barriers to Women’s Success in the Law"; Marsha Kazarosian, Esq., president, MATA; Julia Huston, Esq., president, WBA; and Kimberly Winter, Esq., MBA.
Registration is required. To pre-register by Friday, March 9, visit www.massdla.org.
This event is FREE to members of the sponsoring organizations. For nonmembers, the registration fee is $50 per person, by check made payable to the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association.
Co-sponsors: Defense Research Institute, Massachusetts Bar Association, Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys and Women's Bar Association
Reserve tickets for MBA Theater Night’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” Wednesday, March 14
The MBA is now offering its latest Theater Night event on Wednesday, March 14: a pre-show reception at 6 p.m. and tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performance of the musical comedy “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at the Opera House in Boston. Tickets are $100 each, and include a networking reception and a ticket to the show. Call the Member Service Center at (617) 338-0530. There is a limit of eight tickets per person.
Save the dates for upcoming spring CLE conferences
28th Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference; Lawyers in Transition Conference; General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Conference
Look for details about MBA spring conferences in upcoming issues of e-Journal, Lawyers Journal and monthly CLE brochures.
Lawyers in Transition Conference
Thursday, May 3
Bentley College, Waltham
28th Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference
Wednesday, May 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Featuring Keynote Speaker: Hon. Nancy Gertner, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Conference
Thursday, June 7
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, Springfield
Family Law Conference
Friday, Sept. 28 - Saturday, Sept. 29
Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club, Lenox