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Photograph by Chuck Chaney
ABC Legal Correspondent Manuel Medrano addresses conference attendees at a morning plenary session.

MBA’s AC07 educates and honors members of the profession

“The Annual Conference brought together attorneys, judges and community leaders from across the diverse Massachusetts community in a celebration of unity in the law,” declared MBA President Mark D Mason. 

This year’s streamlined, one-day conference was packed with programming concentrating on the most relevant topics for MBA members practicing in Massachusetts. AC07 also featured 34 distinguished guest speakers, including ABC News Legal Affairs Correspondent Manuel Medrano and National Public Radio Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg.

Medrano recounted his experiences as a litigator with the U.S. attorney’s office for Los Angeles and emphasized the importance of diversity in the legal profession. Totenberg, who has been recognized by the American Bar Association eight times for excellence in reporting, delivered the keynote address at the conference’s Annual Dinner. Her remarks focused on the consequences of the Lewis Libby trial and the manner in which current and past administrations have handled “national security” and leaks of that information to journalists.

Throughout the day, conference offerings consisted of CLE programming applicable to all types of attorneys and areas of law. The always popular Recent Development sessions were married with “Hot Topics” sessions—new additions to the MBA conference which tackled issues such as career development and client relations.

"This year's new streamlined format, offering our most substantive and popular programs in a one-day conference, brought a renewed energy, and more members than ever, to the Annual Conference," said MBA Executive Director Marilyn J. Wellington.

Additionally, AC07 attendees interacted with exhibitors offering the latest tools, resources and services to assist attorneys in sharpening their practice. Technology vendors were front and center, showcasing their law-related products.

“The renewed energy and enthusiasm seen by the legal community on March 2 reflects the renewed energy and enthusiasm seen throughout the MBA,” said Wellington.  “The new MBA is shining through in all that we do and lawyers and judges throughout Massachusetts are joining in by participating in programs like this year's Annual Conference."

Look for full coverage of conference events in the April issue of Lawyers Journal. To view more photos from the event, visit our photo gallery.

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Young Lawyers: enjoy a cocktail reception and Celtics game for just $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.

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Photograph by Jeff Thiebauth
Over 450 supporters marched in last year's "Walk to the Hill."

Join your colleagues for Walk to the Hill for legal aid, March 15

MBA and BBA co-sponsor annual event

On Thursday, March 15, the Massachusetts Bar Association will once again co-sponsor a Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid to advocate for increased funding for civil legal services throughout the commonwealth.

The 8th annual Walk to the Hill takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Great Hall at the Statehouse. Members of the bar will lobby legislators to increase legal services funding to better meet the need for assistance. Last year, more than 450 attorneys participated in Walk to the Hill and visited more than 70 members of the Legislature.

The annual event is co-sponsored by the MBA, the Boston Bar Association and the Equal Justice Coalition.

Increased funding for legal services and access to justice for all of our citizens continues to be a priority of the MBA. Due to a shortage of legal resources, civil legal aid programs are forced to turn away a majority of eligible callers who are seeking assistance in matters such as child support and custody, domestic violence, housing, employment and health care.

The event allows attorneys to speak with their legislators about the critical need for legal services for the indigent.

For more information on the Walk to the Hill or legal aid, call the Equal Justice Coalition at (617) 720-8444, ext. 129.

Immigration Law Committee hosts telephone seminar on April 5

ICE, I-9s, States’ Employer Sanctions – What Every Immigration Lawyer Needs To Know
Course #: CJF07
Thursday, April 5, 2-3:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Topic: How to prepare for ICE raids and possible criminal prosecution.

  • What rights do employers and employees have?
  • When is the right time to involve employment and criminal counsel?
  • Cooperating with the government – how far to go?
  • How to handle workers you think are unauthorized
  • What are the company’s potential penalties?
  • Lesson learned from the Swift & Company raid.

Speakers: Cynthia J. Lange, Michael Aitken, Bruce Morrison, Gerri Ratliff and Lynn Shotwell. Additional speakers to be announced.

The cost to attend is $15. Payment can be made in advance by contacting Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or online at www.massbar.org. Walk-ins on the day of the seminar are also welcome.

For more information on how to join the Immigration Law Committee, contact Member Services at (617) 338-0530. 

Roy Watson Jr., Esq., Bedford, committee chair


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, contact the Community Services Department at (617) 338-0695, or [e-mail communityservices].

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Limited time offer: MBA Theater Night tickets are 15 percent off

This week only, reserve your MBA Theater Night ticket for the low price of $85. Tickets to the Wednesday, March 14 event, which usually sell for $100 each, can be purchased this week for only $85. Each ticket includes a 6 p.m. pre-show reception at the MBA's Boston office and admission to the 7:30 p.m. performance of the musical comedy "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" at the Opera House.

To purchase tickets, call the MBA Member Services Center at (617) 338-0530. There is a limit of eight tickets per person. This limited time offer expires on Friday, March 9.


Young Lawyers Division, Civil Litigation and Business Law Sections sponsor three upcoming CLE seminars

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.

Competition for English Ltds.: Reform of Corporate Law in Europe
Luncheon roundtable – 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. 

Personal Injury Basics
Course #: CLN07
Thursday, March 15, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Gain valuable experience and knowledge at this timely seminar addressing both simple and complex personal injury claims. This program examines the basic concepts of personal injury law and offers an intriguing, insightful analysis of personal injury claims from a variety of viewpoints. Our expert panel will address the following topics and more:

  • Initial screening - what makes a good case?;
  • Strategies for defending cases;
  • How to handle discovery disputes;
  • How insurance companies evaluate cases;
  • What jurors find persuasive;
  • How to maximize damages without overselling; and
  • Getting the insurance claims perspective.


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Photograph by Chuck Chaney
The Hon. Jay D. Blitzman, chair of the new Juvenile Justice Practice Group, spoke at last week's Annual Conference 2007 about recent developments in Juvenile Law.

Juvenile Justice Practice Group to hold first meeting March 12

The Criminal Justice Section has been asked by MBA President Mark D Mason to address issues related to juvenile justice. Towards this end, the Juvenile Justice Practice Group, chaired by Hon. Jay David Blitzman, has scheduled its first meeting of this year on Monday, March 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. All current members of the Criminal Justice Section are invited to attend and participate in this meeting. 

Please [e-mail jstevens] indicating whether you are interested in becoming a member of this practice group and whether you will be attending the meeting on March 12. A proposed agenda for the meeting is listed below. 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Jean Stevens
Sections Administrator/Ethics
(617) 338-0641


Proposed Agenda

I. Introduction and welcome

II. Non-inclusive topics for consideration

  • Juvenile C.O.R. I. reform
  • MacArthur Foundation Children in Legal System Research
  • Adequate attorney compensation in child welfare, delinquency, Y.O. cases
  • Mental health service for adolescents
  • Disproportionate Minority Contact (D.M.C.)

III.   Legislative initiatives

  • Data collection - Senator Barrios' bill
  • Mental health reform - Representative Kahn's bill
  • C.H.I.N.S. reform


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Calling all Casemaker users – take five minutes to help the MBA improve Casemaker

If you are a frequent user of the Casemaker research engine, now is your chance to help determine the future of Casemaker’s features. The MBA, in conjunction with Lawriter LLC, is conducting an online survey to determine MBA members’ preferences for the application of new features within the Casemaker database.

Your responses to this survey are essential. Your input will allow us to enhance Casemaker’s features based on the research needs of MBA members.

The survey will only take a couple of minutes to complete and is available at the top of the Casemaker Massachusetts Library Web page. The link appears in a gray box above your search options.

We appreciate your input into this process. If you have any questions or encounter any problems, [e-mail jcorreia].


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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, 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 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.

MBA and Suffolk University co-sponsor upcoming conferences on March 9, 15

"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. It 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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Special Celtics offer for MBA members

MBA members can receive 50 percent off seats for the Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors on Monday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. Choose from $55, $47.50 or $37.50 (reg. $110, $95 or $75). Use these great seats for clients or a fun family outing.

To order, call Jillian Paine at (617) 854-8064 or [e-mail massbardiscounts] 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.

©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association