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Annual Conference 2007 to take place tomorrow

Join us at the Marriott Copley in Boston tomorrow – Friday, March 2 – for the MBA’s Annual Conference. Aside from a variety of educational programs that will feature expert attorneys and seasoned judges, the MBA will also host its annual Access to Justice Awards Luncheon where attorneys will be honored for their pro bono work. The morning programming will include a plenary session with ABC News Legal Correspondent Manuel Medrano. In the evening, NPR Legal Correspondent Nina Totenberg will deliver the Annual Dinner’s keynote speech and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy will be honored with the MBA’s Legislator of the Year Award.

To download the conference brochure, click here.
To register for the conference, call Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or register online.


U.S. Court of Appeals rule changes and proposed rule changes

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has adopted a rule change to the form and content requirements of Local Rule 28. Effective immediately, in addition to the requirements of Fed. R. App. P. 28, the brief of the appellant must include an addendum containing the judgments, decisions, rulings or orders appealed from, including any supporting explanation, such as a written or transcript opinion. Where the district court or agency whose decision is under review was itself reviewing or acting upon the decision of a lower-level decision-maker, that lower level decision must be included as well.

Click here for the full text of amended Local Rule 28.

In addition, the court is seeking comment on proposed Local Rule 39.0, “Taxation of Reproduction Costs.” Click here for the text of the proposed rule.

The proposed rule merely codifies current court practice which, in recent years, has provided notification to the parties in an "instruction" sheet. Current Local Rule 39 ("Fee Applications") would be re-numbered as Local Rule 39.1.

The Court of Appeals invites public comments on the proposed amendment. Comments should be received by Monday, March 19, and addressed to:

Office of the Clerk
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2500
Boston, MA 02210

Finally, the clerk has adjusted the maximum rates at which costs may be taxed. The schedule of maximum rates at which costs may be taxed is posted on the “Forms & Notices" page of the court's Web site at www.ca1.uscourts.gov.

Volunteer for the MBA's new Lawyer-Teacher Partnership Initiative

The MBA is currently seeking volunteers to participate in the pilot of an exciting new program focusing on law-related education and civics in high schools. The Lawyer-Teacher Partnership program will pair attorneys with teachers of high school law-related courses to strengthen those classes and to expose young people to possible careers in the law. The pilot program for this initiative will begin with an orientation session for volunteer lawyers and their teacher partners in Waltham at Bentley College on Thursday, April 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with a goal of implementing the program in schools during the fall semester of the 2007-08 school year.

During the semester in which the program is implemented, each lawyer will commit to making a minimum of two classroom visits and a minimum of one community-based activity. A community-based activity could include, for example, a field trip to a local court, observation of a legislative session, meeting with agency staff or a law-related service learning project. The lawyer and teacher will commit to ongoing communication during the period of the program. Some of the communication will be directed toward planning for the community-based activity. In addition, the lawyer will agree to accept e-mails from time to time from the class about a legal question that has arisen that the teacher is unable to answer. The lawyers will agree to provide reasonably quick responses to these questions and the teachers agree to avoid overburdening their lawyer partners with questions.

To volunteer for this program, please contact the Community Services Department at (617) 338-0695, or [e-mail communityservices].

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Young Lawyers: enjoy a cocktail reception and a Celtics game for $65, 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 packed with new CLE programs

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.



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Mock Trial invites you to the finals in March

The Massachusetts Bar Association is pleased to announce that, once again, this year's Mock Trial State Championship will be held in historic Faneuil Hall's Great Hall on Thursday, March 29 at 10 a.m. 

Faneuil Hall was constructed in 1742 as an open market and a meeting space for the town government. The large meeting room on the second floor – the Great Hall – became Boston's official town hall. There, in public session, Bostonians debated issues, elected town officials, voted local taxes and spent town monies. It was in Faneuil Hall that the first rumblings of the American Revolution were felt. The Great Hall now will be host to the final two teams in the 2007 Mock Trial Competition.

If you are able to attend the finals, please confirm your attendance, no later than Friday, March 23. Feel free to contact us via e-mail or by phone at (617) 338-0570.

The 2007 Mock Trial Program is proudly sponsored once again this year by the law firm of Brown, Rudnick, Berlack & Israels LLP.  Thanks to the generosity of this firm and of hundreds of volunteer attorneys, judges and teachers throughout Massachusetts, high school students statewide have an opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of the American judicial system and how it can impact their lives in ways they might not otherwise imagine.

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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 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 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., White, Freeman & Winter LLP.

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



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