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Access to Justice Section announces award recipients

Members to be honored at Access to Justice 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. The following attorneys will be recognized at the Friday, March 2 Access to Justice Luncheon. Congratulations to the following attorneys:

The Legal Services Award will be given to two attorneys: Robert A. Sable, executive director of Greater Boston Legal Services for 15 years, and Richard McMahon, the executive director of the New Center for Legal Advocacy in Bristol County. Sable and McMahon have dedicated their entire careers to legal service work, together combining for more than 60 years of efforts.

S. Stephen Rosenfeld, aside from his most well-known position as Governor Dukakis’ chief of staff, has established a career in private practice, public service and teaching. The MBA will honor him with the Pro Bono Publico Award for his tireless advocacy for individuals’ rights to adequate health care.

The recipient of this year’s Defender Award is Wendy Wolf. A public defender in Cambridge, Boston and Dedham for more than 20 years, she has spent much of the last decade representing juveniles. For the past four years, Wolf has also formed and administered the Juvenile Defense Network, which provides support for lawyers in juvenile courts across the state.

Attorney Raymond P. Veary Jr. will receive the Prosecutor Award in recognition of his work at the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. Described as a “prosecutor’s prosecutor,” Veary has successfully prosecuted a significant number of homicide cases in Bristol County. Recently, he headed the county’s homicide unit and served as a leader in the prosecution of gang activity.

Boston law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP will receive the Pro Bono Award for Law Firms. Located in Boston for only five years and beginning with just 17 attorneys, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has expanded to 35 attorneys, with each attorney’s annual pro bono involvement averaging more than 50 hours per year.

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Photograph by Bill Archambeault
Christy Hepburn, of Macero & Associates PC, Boston, far right, answers calls with other volunteer attorneys at the Dial-A-Lawyer program on Feb. 7 at the MBA’s Boston offices. Pictured, from left to right, are: Philip Howe of Lecomte, Emanuelson & Doyle in Quincy; David Russman of The Russman Law Firm in Boston; George Megaloudis of Roach & Wise LLP in Boston; Sharon V. Jones of Sharon V. Jones, Attorney at Law in Boston; David Barber of the Law Offices of David Barber in Watertown; and Hepburn.

Dial-A-Lawyer volunteer attorneys field 129 calls in two hours

The phones were ringing off the hook at the Feb. 7 Dial-A-Lawyer program, which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month at the MBA’s Boston office. Attorneys answered 129 calls: the highest number of calls taken at the Boston Dial-A-Lawyer program within the past year. Callers’ questions ranged from identity theft and insurance to contracts and civil rights. The most common topic was family law, which represented about 19 percent of the calls. Landlord/tenant, labor, probate and real estate law questions comprised another 32 percent of the calls.

More than 35 callers reported that they heard about the MBA’s Dial-A-Lawyer program through Tuesday night’s Fox 25 News broadcast, where MBA Treasurer Robert F. Lucas was interviewed about the program on the station’s evening news broadcast.

To see a video clip of the interview, click here.

Dial-A-Lawyer was made possible with the commitment of the following volunteers:

David Barber
Law Offices of David Barber, Watertown

Jennifer Barnazani-Ludlum
McRoberts, Roberts & Rainer LLP, Boston

William T. Boyle
William T. Boyle Attorney at Law, Lowell

John Donnelly
Office of the Attorney General, Boston

Christy Hepburn
Macero & Associates PC, Boston

Philip Howe
Lecomte, Emanuelson & Doyle, Quincy

Sharon V. Jones
Sharon V. Jones Attorney at Law, Boston

George Megaloudis
Roach & Wise LLP, Boston

David Russman
The Russman Law Firm, Boston

J. Daniel Silverman
J. Daniel Silverman Attorney at Law, Wakefield

Stephen Viegas
Law Office of Stephen G. Viegas, Reading

The Public Services Department is always looking for volunteer attorneys to field calls. If you are a member of the MBA in good standing, have a wide variety of legal experience and are interested in volunteering, please call (617) 338-0556, or [e-mail LRS].

Co-chairs announced for new General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section

This week, Patrick Francomano and Susan A. Huettner were appointed as co-chairs of the MBA's newest section: the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section, which was approved at the Jan. 25 House of Delegates meeting. 

Francomano, of the Law Office of Patrick Francomano, has been an active member of the MBA for more than 15 years. He has served as a member of the Law Practice Management Section Council and on various MBA committees, including the Solo/Small Firm Committee and the Lawyers in Transition Committee. A graduate of the New England School of Law, he practices in North Attleboro.

Huettner practices in Falmouth at the Law Office of Susan A. Huettner PC. Huettner has been an active member of the MBA for more than a decade, serving on the Family Law and Law Practice Management Section Councils and several different MBA committees, as well as the House of Delegates. Huettner received her bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and her J.D. from Indiana University.


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(Left to right): Jim Braude addresses the audience at the "Excellence in the Law" dinner; the Hon. Edward M. Ginsburg receives his award from MBA President Mark D Mason. Photos by Merrill S. Shea.

Excellence in the Law recognizes outstanding attorneys, judges

The Massachusetts Bar Association and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly co-sponsored "Excellence in the Law" on Thursday, Feb. 1 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Westin, Boston Waterfront. This year’s event honorees included:

  • Lawyers Weekly’s Lawyers of the Year 2006;
  • The five Diversity Heroes profiled in last week’s Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly;
  • The Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in the Judiciary Awardee Hon. Edward M. Ginsburg (ret.); and
  • MBA Excellence in Legal Journalism Awardee Jim Braude of New England Cable News and WTKK-FM.

MBA President Mark D Mason presented the Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in the Judiciary Award to the Hon. Edward M. Ginsburg and the MBA Excellence in Legal Journalism Award to Jim Braude.

Mason described Ginsburg as "an icon in probate and family law and our profession as a whole" who has "redefined retirement for a judge." Ginsburg founded the Senior Partners for Justice, an organization that has enlisted more than 200 volunteer attorneys to represent clients who would otherwise be pro se litigants. Before his appointment to the judiciary, Ginsburg was a private practice attorney for almost 20 years. He is also an adjunct professor at Boston College and Suffolk Univeristy Law Schools, serves on the Lawyers Weekly board of editors, sits on the educational committee of the Flaschner Institute and remains an active MBA member, even in his retirement.

Jim Braude currently hosts "NewsNight" on New England Cable News; however, he began his career as a legal services lawyer in New York’s South Bronx representing low-income people in housing and prisoners’ rights matters. He was the founder and first president of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, a union representing staff in more than 30 states. Upon moving to Boston, he served on the board of the Mass. Law Reform Institute and the MBA’s Delivery of Legal Services (currently Access to Justice) Section Council. "[Jim] informs and challenges his viewers to expand their thinking and analysis of current events," Mason remarked. "Jim's footprint in the Boston and New England media markets is vital."

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.
Sheraton Boston
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

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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.

MBA and Suffolk University co-sponsor "Strategies for Trying Nursing Home Cases: Problems & Pitfalls" conference March 9

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.


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Special Offer: Tickets to see the Dallas Mavericks

Don't miss seeing Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard and the Mavs take on the Boston Celtics at the Garden on Friday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m.

$75 - Section 9, Rows 18-21 ($85 at box office)
$60 - Sections 6, 7, 17 or 18, Rows 1-21 ($70 at box office)
$30 - Section 319, Rows 8-14 ($35 at box office)

Avoid premium and box office fees. [E-mail jpaine] or call (617) 854-8064 to reserve your seats today.

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