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Photograph by Jeff Thiebauth
Springfield District Court Judge Nancy Dusek-Gomez, right, makes a point during the district court judicial panel as Eastern Hampshire District Court Judge M. John Schubert Jr., left, listens.

General Practice conference attendees gain practical advice

The General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Conference offered a full day of practical advice to attendees June 7 at the Sheraton Monarch Place Hotel in Springfield.

 “What I’m trying to hammer home is that the Mass. Bar is committed to bringing programs across the state,” said MBA Vice President Denise Squillante, the conference’s program chair and moderator.

Carmina D. Fernandes, a lawyer in Ludlow, said the conference was “fantastic.”

“As a solo practitioner, you dabble in a little bit of everything and get information on a lot of things in one day,” she said.

The conference offered programs including “Quick Tips on Hot Topics in Managing your Office” and “How to Stay Out of Trouble in Solo Practice,” to two judicial panels and breakout sessions in the areas of civil litigation, family law, business law and real estate.

“Our mission is really multifaceted,” said GPSSF Section Co-Chair Patrick Francomano, of the Law Office of Patrick Francomano in North Attleborough. “We want our membership to realize that we’re here to support them.”

Lawyers Weekly offers special subscription price for MBA members

Subscribe to Lawyers Weekly and benefit the Mass. Bar Foundation

The MBA is pleased to introduce an offer from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, a longstanding partner of the MBA in the legal community and a leader in legal publications for 35 years. Lawyers Weekly has long supported the MBA and provided our members with money-saving sponsorships and offers.Lawyers Weekly

This latest offer from Lawyers Weekly will not only provide you with a 25 percent discount to the newsstand rate, but will support the critical work of the MBA’s philanthropic partner, the Massachusetts Bar Foundation.

For each yearly subscription purchased by an MBA member at the discounted rate of $330 per year, Lawyers Weekly has generously agreed to donate $50 to the Massachusetts Bar Foundation.

To take advantage of this offer, call Lawyers Weekly at (800) 451-9998. Be sure to mention the MBA and the code D7FMBA to receive the special subscription rate.

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Boston hosts National Conference for the Minority Lawyer, June 28-29

Topics will include race and the Roberts Court and affirmative action in law firms

The American Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association are pleased to invite you to attend the ABA's National Conference for the Minority Lawyer: A Unique Program for Litigators, Business Lawyers, In-House Counsel, Solo Practitioners and Government Lawyers on Thursday, June 28, and Friday, June 29, in Boston.

The ABA Section of Business Law and the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession have joined together to bring you this important event. This conference will offer a combination of practical training sessions and cutting-edge, substantive CLE programs designed specifically for minority business lawyers, litigators and government lawyers.

The following members of the MBA were involved in the planning of the conference and/or will be featured speakers:

  • Kay H. Hodge, chair, ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, and partner, Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP, Boston
  • Harry T. Daniels, partner, WilmerHale, Boston
  • Josephine McNeil, director, Citizens For Affordable Housing in Newton Development Organization Inc., Boston
  • Eneida Roman, Roman Law Offices, Boston
  • Agnes Bundy Scanlan, Goodwin Procter LLP, Boston
  • Richard A. Soden, partner, Goodwin Procter LLP, Boston

For registration information and more details about the conference, visit the ABA's Web site.

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Springfield CLE program on jury selection to feature networking reception and judge panelists

Join Judge Carhart, Judge Ponsor and several experienced attorneys and trial consultants to learn how to use new methods and modern technology in jury selection. A networking reception at the Springfield Marriott will follow.

Innovative Jury Techniques
Course #: CLX07
Wednesday, June 20, 4–6:30 p.m. (with reception to follow)
Springfield Marriott, Springfield

As we face increasingly media- and Internet-savvy jurors, it is important for trial attorneys to understand the new and innovative ways which are available today to pick juries and present cases in the strongest possible light.

This program, with a panel of judges and lawyers, will focus primarily on three subject areas:

  • Picking juries, including the use of questionnaires; questions for judge-conducted voir dire; how to effectively present attorney-conducted voir dire; and the use of jury consultants in the selection of jurors.
  • The use of mock juries, live focus groups, Internet-conducted focus groups and summary jury trials in cost-effective ways to aid in sharpening issues for trial or settlement.
  • Methods of presenting evidence in mediation, summary judgment and to today's jurors, including: the use of software such as Sanctions; Trial Director 5.1 and Microsoft Suite; animation; videotaped views in lieu of actual views; digitalization of depositions and manipulation and projection of trial exhibits.

Paul S. Weinberg, Esq., program chair
Weinberg & Garber PC, Northampton

Hon. Judd J. Carhart
Associate Justice, Massachusetts Superior Court

Hon. Michael A. Ponsor
District judge, U.S. District Court

Dennis R. Anti, Esq.
Morrison Mahoney LLP, Springfield

Thomas B. Lesser, Esq.
Lesser, Newman, Souweine & Nasser, Northampton

Ian A. McWilliams, CLVS
President, New England Trial Services, Brockton

Diane Y. Levesque
Trial consultant, New England Trial Consulting, Dover, N.H.

Sponsoring sections: Civil Litigation, Criminal Justice, Young Lawyers Division

Co-sponsors: Western New England College School of Law and the Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire county bar associations

To sign up for this program, call Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or register online.

Greater Boston Legal Services seeks pro bono assistance for low wage workers

June 29 training focuses on immigrant taxpayers and Mass. Department of Revenue

Greater Boston Legal Services, in partnership with the Massachusetts Immigrant Refugee Advocacy Coalition, is asking the private bar to join its efforts to ensure that every low-income worker being audited by the Department of Revenue has legal representation. Many of our clients are workers who file their tax returns with individual tax ID numbers, which the DOR is not yet equipped to handle. In addition, the DOR is asking for proof of income beyond the workers' W-2 records, and we believe such requests are beyond the scope of their reviews.

These workers are being audited in unprecedented numbers and GBLS is asking the private bar for pro bono assistance in representing them. GBLS is presently the only state agency representing these workers and it needs to expand capacity.GBLS logo

Volunteer attorneys will be trained on the law and asked to negotiate for additional time with the DOR, as well as assist the clients in obtaining the requested documentation and/or to provide reasons to the DOR why the additional requested documents are beyond the scope of their audits.

Training will be held at the Boston Bar Association, 16 Beacon St., Boston, on Friday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to noon. To  register for the training, contact Adriana Lafaille at (617) 350-5480 x216 or via e-mail. Click here to download a short registration form.

For additional information, e-mail Luz Arevalo at GBLS.

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AG Coakley calls on attorneys for foreclosure legal assistance effort

Free training sessions for prospective foreclosure defense volunteers on June 20, 21

Attorney General Martha Coakley has made it a priority to address the statewide crisis of home foreclosures. Although the effort is still in the planning stages, the attorney general and other state officials anticipate working with the Massachusetts Bar Association and other partners across the commonwealth in launching a hotline for indigent homeowners facing foreclosure. The hotline will pair individual homeowners with a lawyer who can provide legal assistance.

The other partnering organizations are expected to include:

  • Asian American Lawyers Association
  • Berkshire County Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association  
  • Ensuring Stability through Action in our Community (ESAC)
  • Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center
  • Hampden County Bar Association
  • Hampshire County Bar Association
  • Lawrence Neighborhood Legal Services
  • Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys
  • Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association
  • National Consumer Law Center
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Worcester County Bar Association

All attorneys are encouraged to get involved and participate. Training sessions will be conducted by a nationally renowned group of educators and held at the Office of the Attorney General, 100 Cambridge St., Boston on Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21. Training is free for any attorney who agrees to handle at least one case.

For training and other information related to this effort, click here or contact BBA Director of Community Affairs Paul Dullea at (617) 778-1934.

CLE in your community

Next week features programs in Boston, Taunton and Worcester

For more information, or to sign up for the following programs, call Member Services at (617) 338-0530, download the latest CLE brochure as a PDF file or visit the CLE Web page.

Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law
Course #: HLC07
Tuesday, June 19, 4–7 p.m.,
Suffolk University Law School, Boston

This program will offer legal, business and consumer perspectives on Massachusetts’ landmark health care reform law, which was adopted by the Massachusetts Legislature last year and is nearing full implementation when the individual mandate goes into effect on July 1, 2007. The seminar will provide an overview of the legislation, an update on current implementation progress, and a discussion of the business, consumer and public policy implications.

Casemaker Training
Course #: CASEQ07
Wednesday, June 20, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester

Casemaker training returns for summer sessions. This training session will be held in a computer lab setting that will provide the participants with the use of a computer and online access to Casemaker.

NOTE: Because space at Casemaker trainings is limited, online enrollment is not available. To register for a Casemaker training session, call Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or toll-free at (877) 676-6500.

Recent Developments in Family Law
Course #: FLM07
Wednesday, June 20, 4–7 p.m.
Holiday Inn, Taunton

At this program, our distinguished speakers will review important recent cases and legislation as well as address some of the challenging issues facing family law practitioners today. Key issues to be addressed include: child support; division of assets; custody and visitation; alimony; standing; unmarried couples; and jurisdiction, including PKPA, UIFSA and UCCJA/MCCJA.

Enter MBA raffle to win Red Sox tickets

The MBA is currently offering tickets to see the Boston Red Sox play the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park on Saturday, July 21 at 3:55 p.m. Tickets to the game are priced at $45. Due to high demand, the MBA will use a raffle method to distribute the tickets to members.

To enter the raffle, call our Member Services Center before Monday, June 18 at noon. After Monday at noon, we will no longer be accepting entries and will draw the names. All winners will be contacted directly by Member Services by Wednesday, June 20 for payment. 

To enter your name in the drawing, contact the Member Services Center at (617) 338-0530. There is a four ticket limit per person and each member is allowed only one entry in the raffle.

©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association