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Photograph by Jeff Thiebauth
From left to right: Public Law Section Council Chair Robert L. Quinan Jr. of the Attorney General's Office; Attorney General and conference keynote speaker Martha Coakley; and Program Chair Maria Z. Mossaides, Deputy Director of Administration at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative in Westboro.

Government attorneys receive education, motivation at June 5 Public Law Conference

Nearly 90 public law attorneys gathered in the second floor conference suite in the John Adams Courthouse in Boston for the MBA’s Public Law Conference. Tuesday’s conference included a comprehensive panel of speakers who shared their expertise on topics that intimately impact and involve attorneys at the municipal, state and county level.

Following an interactive morning session on “How To Be a More Effective Government Attorney,” the highlight of the half-day conference came during the luncheon when Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley delivered the conference’s keynote address.

MBA Public Law Section Chair Robert L. Quinan Jr., a colleague of Coakley’s in the Office of the Attorney General in Boston, introduced her as “a passionate advocate for public safety.”

When taking the podium, Coakley was met with much interest as she easily struck a familiar rapport with the audience when heralding the work of public attorneys. “There is no better way to serve the public or be more patriotic,” Coakley said. “Public law is more challenging today, but it is more important than it has ever been,” she added.

She encouraged the group to reinvigorate its role as attorneys and to highly value its collective role in addressing the “gaps” in the system and its influence in changing regulations and laws. “We help the system work,” said Coakley, the state’s first female attorney general.

When commenting on her relatively new role, she encouraged those in attendance to reach out to the Office of the Attorney General. “We are open to new ideas,” said Coakley, who explained that she and her staff are still getting used to the transition since she took office earlier this year.

She welcomed comments and questions following her remarks. When asked how Massachusetts was perceived by other attorneys general across the country, Coakley explained that “the quality of work that is done here is highly respected,” and she credited the path paved before her by former Massachusetts Attorneys General Thomas F. Reilly and Scott Harshbarger.

Coakley’s upbeat remarks concluded the MBA’s first-ever Public Law Conference. Look for more comprehensive coverage of the Public Law Conference in the July/August issue of Lawyers Journal.

MBA seeks volunteers for summer Dial-A-Lawyer programs

Have two-and-a-half hours to spare?

At this month's Dial-A-Lawyer program, which took place on June 6, 13 volunteer attorneys fielded 99 phone calls in just two hours. The MBA's Public and Community Services Department is seeking more volunteers for the summer Dial-A-Lawyer programs, which take place on the first Wednesday of each month at the MBA's Boston office, between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

The MBA 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.

To volunteer for an upcoming Dial-A-Lawyer program, fill out this form and return it to the MBA by Friday, June 15.

Section news: Individual Rights & Responsibilities and Young Lawyers Division

Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council hosts panel discussion on international child kidnapping

The Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council invites you an open meeting on Thursday, June 21 at 6 p.m. (location to be announced). The meeting will feature a multi-faceted panel discussion on the criminal and civil issues that arise in cases of international child kidnapping. 

Adrian Hernandez, a "left-behind" parent, will describe his experiences making the travail through the legal system from the Worcester County Probate Court to Italy under the Hague Convention. The attorneys will provide a summary of the applicable legal structure, including the strengths, weaknesses and available tools, and recount their experiences in this fascinating and unfortunately growing area of law, which can take an attorney form the local probate court to far-flung foreign shores.

The panelists include:

Adrian Hernandez, who has been described as the "perfect victim" because he has pursued his child custody case from Worcester to Italy. He has dutifully obeyed the dictates of the law at every step and, still, his child remains in Italy with his mother;

Timothy Feeley, Esq., an assistant U.S. attorney. Among other duties, he is the immigration coordinator for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts. Feeley has also prosecuted several well-known cases, including Richard Reid, the "shoe-bomber," and has handled the investigation and prosecution of several cases of international child kidnapping; 

Barry Pollack, Esq., a partner in the firm of Sullivan & Worcester, and former assistant U.S. attorney. His current practice includes representing victims in international child kidnapping cases.

The discussion will be moderated by Jack Zanini, Esq., legal counsel and chief of appeals in the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.

If you are interested in attending this meeting, please [e-mail jstevens] by Tuesday, June 19. Attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis due to the limited space available.

Young Lawyers Division holds end-of-year meeting and reception

YLDPhoto1The Young Lawyers Division celebrated its first year as a division with a final meeting at the MBA’s Boston office, and food and drinks at the West Street Grille. 

Young Lawyers Division members: Look for the next issue of Young Lawyers Journal to arrive within the next two weeks.

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U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to take on Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" and the art of judging

The Massachusetts Bar Association, in conjunction with McCarter & English LLP, the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, invites members to the seventh annual Shakespeare in the Law event: a discussion and debate on the art and practice of judging, framed by a one-hour staged reading of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.

Hosted by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the event will be held at Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre on Tuesday, June 12 at 5 p.m. Shakespeare in the Law is directed by CSC Artistic Director Steven Maler and produced by McCarter & English partner Daniel J. Kelly. The MBA serves as a co-sponsor of the event.

There is no need to R.S.V.P. to this event. If you have additional questions about the event, contact Daniel Kelly at (617) 449-6526.

The cast will include the following judges, public officials and attorneys from across the state:

Federal judges of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

  • Hon. Nancy Gertner
  • Hon. Nathaniel Gorton
  • Hon. Patti Saris
  • Hon. Dennis Saylor
  • Hon. Mark Wolf
  • Hon. Douglas Woodlock
  • Hon. Rya Zobel

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court judges

  • Hon. Robert Cordy
  • Hon. Judith Cowin

Massachusetts attorneys

  • Wayne Budd, Esq., former U.S attorney, MBA past president
  • Jennifer Braceras, Esq., U.S. civil rights commissioner
  • Martha Coakley, Esq., Massachusetts attorney general
  • Bill Lee, Esq., managing partner, WilmerHale
  • John Montgomery, Esq., managing partner, Ropes & Gray

Justice Breyer will host and preside over the discussion following the play. Jan Crawford Greenburg, ABC News legal correspondent and author, and Daniel J. Kornstein, attorney and author of "Kill All the Lawyers; Shakespeare's Legal Appeal," will moderate the discussion.

Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and join the debate and discussion that will follow the play. Topics will include:

  • The judicial selection process;
  • Whether political or social predispositions can affect a judge's decision;
  • The fairness of labeling a judge as "conservative" or "liberal"; and
  • How far a judge can go when he or she believes that strict enforcement of the law will produce an unfair result.

The Federalist Society is an academic oriented organization comprising law students, attorneys, professors and judges committed to creating awareness and discussion of timely and timeless issues affecting the law and society. The Society is dedicated to ensuring that traditional legal principles - limited constitutional government, the separation of powers, individual freedom and responsibility, and the rule of law - remain part of the legal debate.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, a program of the Citi Performing Arts Center, brings "A Midsummer Night's Dream" free to Boston audiences this summer at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common, July 24 through July 29. This production is CSC's 12th annual "Free Shakespeare on the Common" offering; last year's "The Taming of the Shrew" drew more than 90,000 people. Since its inception, CSC has played to over 800,000 people.


MBA and MATA announce job fair and reception

Join the MBA and MATA on Thursday, June 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Boston's Suffolk University Law School for a job fair and affiliated bar reception. At the job fair, attendees will meet attorneys from small to mid-sized firms and learn about current career opportunities in the legal profession. Additionally, the reception will offer attendees a chance to meet and mingle with representatives from numerous affiliated bars in Massachusetts and discuss the benefits of membership in these associations.

There will also be a reception from 6 to 7 p.m. with refreshments and appetizers. If you are interested in attending this free program, please [e-mail jobfair0628].

Affiliated bars:

  • Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys
  • Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys
  • Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association
  • Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys
  • Massachusetts Lesbian & Gay Bar Association
  • Women's Bar Association

CLE in your community

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.

Bankruptcy and ethics programs to take place in Springfield, Boston

Bankruptcy Basics – A Beginner’s Perspective After BAPCPA
Course #: BLI07
Tuesday, June 12, noon–1:30 p.m.
MBA Western Mass. office, 73 State St., Springfield

Practitioners are continuing to understand how the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (“BAPCPA”) affects their practice. This roundtable discussion will examine the highlights of the new act, as well as discuss practical solutions to issues facing new bankruptcy practitioners. Attendees will become more informed about pitfalls and common mistakes to avoid in order to better serve their clients.

Staying Professional in the Practice
Course #: YLG07
Thursday, June 14, 4–7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The seminar will focus on educating practitioners and providing practical suggestions on how to develop systems and safeguards to help avoid the pitfalls associated with ethical considerations; integrity issues; conflicts of interest; and attorney-client privileges in day-to-day relationships with clients. Our expert panelists will outline the standards by which an attorney's conduct will be judged, and suggest practical ways to minimize susceptibility to malpractice and ethics complaints.

CLE kicks off summer Casemaker sessions in Andover, Chicopee

Course #: CASEE07
Wednesday, June 13, 23:15 p.m.
Massachusetts School of Law, Andover

Course #: CASEP07
Thursday, June 14, 45:15 p.m.
Elms College, Chicopee

Casemaker has had many new features added, including: CaseCheck, an enhanced case law search results function, database availability for all 50 states, nationwide collections of combined Supreme Court and ethics opinions and more. This training session will be held in a computer lab setting that will provide 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.

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Purchase luxury suite packages for TD Banknorth Garden concerts and events

The Boston Celtics are now offering MBA members and law firms the chance to purchase private luxury suite packages for select TD Banknorth Garden concerts and other events. These packages are great for employee recognition, holiday parties and client entertainment. 

Luxury suites include the following:

  • 12 suite tickets;
  • Ability to purchase additional tickets in suite; and
  • In-suite television monitors. 

Food and beverage packages are also available.

Click here to view the luxury suites and the current shows.

For more information on Celtics luxury suite packages, contact Boston Celtics Account Executive Brian Burnard at (617) 854-8061 or via e-mail.

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