Image for Edward P. Ryan appointed JNC Chair
Edward P. Ryan Jr., newly appointed chair of the Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Appointments.

MBA Past President Edward P. Ryan Jr. appointed chair of JBC

MBA Past President Edward P. Ryan Jr. has been appointed chair of the Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Appointments. The independent and nonpartisan committee is one of the last layers of review in the judicial nominating process and works to ensure that candidates for the tenured positions are both qualified and competent.


The JBC is made up of two dozen attorneys from across the state, including three members from the MBA and three members from the Boston Bar Association. For more information on the JBC, click here.


Ryan is also chair of the MBA Task Force on Fair and Impartial Courts and a member of the association’s Criminal Justice Section Council. He is a managing partner at O’Connor and Ryan PC in Fitchburg.

Image for Mock trial judges
Photograph by Chuck Chaney
Audience members packed Faneuil Hall's Great Hall to watch Sharon High School compete against Salem High School in the Mock Trial State Championship last March.

MBA seeks Mock Trial judges and attorney coaches

Volunteers needed for more than 20 schools across the state.

The MBA invites you to volunteer as an attorney coach or judge in the 23rd Annual Statewide High School Mock Trial Tournament. The program places students in a simulated courtroom situation where they assume the roles of lawyers and witnesses in a hypothetical case. 

This year’s case deals with sexual harassment in the workplace, and specifically, the circumstances experienced by a high school senior placed into a work environment as part of an internship offered through the student’s school. 

The following schools are in need of volunteers:

Western Massachusetts
Academy at Charlemont, Charlemont
Frontier Regional High School, South Deerfield
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter, South Hadley
Ralph C. Mahar Regional School, Orange

Springfield Area
Minnechaug Regional High School, Wilbraham
The Renaissance School, Springfield
Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical High School, Springfield 

Boston / Brookline
Brighton High School, Brighton
Maimonides School, Brookline
The Newman School, Boston 
Winthrop Senior High School, Winthrop

Southeastern Massachusetts / South Shore / Cape Cod
Archbishop Williams High School, Braintree
Carver High School, Carver
Falmouth High School, Falmouth
Mansfield High School, Mansfield
Thayer Academy, Braintree
Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, Whitman 

Central Massachusetts
Fitchburg High School, Fitchburg 
Shrewsbury Senior High School, Shrewsbury

Middlesex / Essex County
Ashland High School, Ashland
Dracut High School, Dracut
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School, Devens
Methuen High School, Methuen
St. John's Preparatory, Danvers
Wilmington High School, Wilmington

Attorney coaches

As an attorney coach, you will be matched with a teacher at a school near where you live or work.  Your role will be to help the team develop its strategy, teach the students about courtroom decorum and provide an attorney’s perspective on the issues of the case. Many attorney coaches meet with their teams once or twice, in preparation for the season (trials begin in late January), although some choose to take a more active role in the day-to-day coaching of the team.

Attorney judges

Attorneys are also needed to volunteer as judges for individual trials. You may volunteer for one trial (a 1.5 to 3 hour commitment) or more. You do not need expertise in a specific area of law to be a Mock Trial judge. Judges are encouraged to attend one of our upcoming judge’s orientation sessions:

Tuesday, Jan. 8, 5 p.m.
MBA, Boston

Wednesday, Jan. 9, 5 p.m.
Bowditch and Dewey, Worcester

Thursday, Jan. 10, 5 p.m.
MBA, Springfield

If you are interested in volunteering your time as a judge or an attorney coach, call (617) 338-0570 or [e-mail mocktrial].

Image for Swearing-in ceremonies
Photograph by Bill Archambeault
SJC Associate Justice Robert J. Cordy addresses new attorneys from the podium of the Great Hall.

MBA officers participate in biannual swearing-in ceremonies

This week, Massachusetts Bar Association officers are participating in the swearing-in ceremonies of approximately 1,500 new attorneys at Faneuil Hall’s Great Hall.

The ceremonies are held twice annually, in December and June, and are actual sessions of the court presided over by a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court and conducted by Maura S. Doyle, clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County.

This month’s ceremonies, ranging over a four-day period from Nov. 26 to Nov. 30, revolve around applicants who received official result letters from the July 2007 bar examination. Individuals who passed both the written and character portions of the exam received notification of their success in early November.

According to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, of the 1,909 first-time bar examination takers, 1,690 – an impressive 88.5 percent – passed this year’s exam. The percentage is down only slightly from the 88.9 percent (or 1,659) who passed the July 2006 exam.

This week, MBA President David W. White Jr., President-elect Edward W. McIntyre and Secretary Robert J. Holloway Jr. attended ceremonies and offered opening remarks in conjunction with Boston Bar Association officers.

The ceremony officially commences with a motion made by the Board of Bar Examiners to admit new attorneys to the bar. Additional ceremony components include the administration of oaths by Doyle and concluding remarks by the presiding justice.

The official ceremony is complete after participating new attorneys sign the Roll of Attorneys and are presented their licenses, enabling them to begin immediate practice as a Massachusetts attorney.

There are an additional two ceremonies scheduled in Springfield on Dec. 7.

Image for Featured Benefit

Is your law firm set up to handle credit card payments?

Paying for professional services by credit or debit card is rapidly becoming an expectation of clients. The ability to accept credit card payments improves cash flow and reduces collections. Improve the way you do by business by setting up a law firm merchant account and using credit cards to your advantage.

Affiniscape Merchant Solution (AMS) offers a credit card payment processing solution tailored to law firms that safeguards and separates client funds into trust and operating accounts.

MBA members are entitled to exclusive discounts, including:

  • Reduced processing fees for certain transactions;
  • Waived application and programming fees; and
  • A "pay as you go program," which eliminates a contract term and waives cancellation fees.

If you are considering accepting credit cards or would like to confirm that you are processing credit card transactions correctly, call (866) 376-0950 or click here for more information.

Image for Holiday Party

Celebrate the holidays with the MBA

MBA hosts holiday receptions Dec. 4, 11

Join fellow MBA members and staff at the MBA's annual holiday parties in Boston and Springfield.

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 73 State St., Springfield
R.S.V.P. to MBA Western Mass. Office Manager Christine Baronas via e-mail or by phone at (413) 731-5134.

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5-8 p.m.
20 West St., Boston
R.S.V.P. to MBA Member Services via e-mail or via phone at (617) 338-0530.

Upcoming CLE conference and roundtable schedule

CLE Heading

To register for any of the following programs, call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530, [e-mail membership] or visit the CLE Web site.


Fifth Annual In-House Counsel Conference

Course #: BLD08
Introductory level
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Newton Marriott, 2345 Commonwealth Ave., Newton

The theme of this year’s conference relates to the fundamentals of in-house counsel practice. This fifth annual conference will address a variety of matters that arise on a day-to-day basis for in-house counsel. The topics for discussion at this year’s conference include:

  • Litigation and risk management;
  • Intellectual property management;
  • Contract administration;
  • Labor and personnel issues; and
  • Compliance issues.

Robert J. Kerwin, Esq., program co-chair
Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers PC, Boston

David A. Parke, Esq., program co-chair
Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP, Springfield

For more information, or for a complete list of faculty, visit the MBA Calendar.

Luncheon Roundtables

To register for any of these seminars, call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530, [e-mail membership] or visit the CLE Web site.  

I-9 Forms and No-Match Letters – Issues in Employment Immigration
Luncheon Roundtable (lunch provided)
Course #: LEB08
Intermediate level
Tuesday, Dec. 4, noon–2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Matthew Lee, managing partner of Tocci, Goss & Lee PC will discuss the employer’s burden to comply with I-9 Employment Verification procedures required of all W-2 employees on the first day of employment. The I-9 Employment Verification regulations are a mandatory tool for employers to verify that their new employees are authorized to work in the United States. Further, Lee will discuss post-hiring issues, such as the receipt of a Social Security Administration (SSA) “mismatch letter” informing the employer that an employee’s social security number does not match SSA records and how an employer should deal with similar inconsistent post-hiring  information. He will discuss the new SSA “mismatch letter” regulation in detail.


For more roundtable information, or to register, visit the MBA Calendar.




Image for AJ Nominations
Photograph by Jeff Thiebauth
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP received last year's Access to Justice Pro Bono Award for Law Firms at the 2006 Annual Conference. The deadline for nominations for this year's five Access to Justice Awards is Nov. 15.

Access to Justice Award Luncheon March 6; sponsorship and reservation opportunities available

MBA members are invited to the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon, which will be held on March 6, 2008, at noon at the JFK Library and Museum. At this annual event, the MBA will present several awards to recognize the public service contributions of Massachusetts attorneys and the pro bono efforts and achievements of MBA members.

Individual table reservation and sponsorship opportunities are now available. Click here to download a form. Reservations must be submitted by Feb. 28.

For more information, or to register, contact Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or via e-mail.

Sponsorship opportunities

  • Benefactor: $2,000
    Includes: Luncheon table for 10, 1/2-page ad and firm name listed in the luncheon program, and logo projected behind the podium.
  • Patron: $1,750
    Includes: Luncheon table for 10, 1/4-page ad and firm name listed in the luncheon program, and logo projected behind the podium.
  • Friend: $1,500
    Includes: Luncheon table for 10, firm name listed in the luncheon program and logo projected behind the podium.

Individual reservation opportunities

  • Individual tickets: $100
  • Tables for 10: $1,000

For additional marketing opportunities, contact Business Activities Manager Joe Caci at (617) 338- 0516 or via e-mail.


Image for Co-sponsored programs

MBA and FCBA present New England Telecom Update, Dec. 13

To register for this program, visit the FCBA on-line registration form, or contact Doug Denny-Brown at (781) 613-6103 or via e-mail.

2007 New England Telecom Update and FCC Overview of New Privacy Rules
Thursday, Dec. 13, 3−6:30 p.m.

Nixon Peabody LLP, 100 Summer St., Boston

The New England Chapter of the Federal Communications Bar Association will present an overview of pending issues and items in New England impacting the telecommunications marketplace. This event is co-sponsored by the MBA.

The first hour will include a presentation of the FCC’s newly adopted Customer Privacy Network Information rules, their application to all providers – including VoIP and federal enforcement activities related to privacy – along with a question and answer period. The second hour will see a panel discussion with a discussion of current telecommunications issues pending in the New England states. Please plan on staying for a holiday networking event immediately thereafter graciously sponsored by Nixon Peabody LLP.

For more event information, contact Stacey Parker or Michele Thomas at (973) 451-8399,

Program registration fees will be accepted at the door and include:

  • $15 for FCBA and MBA members
  • $25 for nonmembers
  • State and federal employees may attend gratis

To register in advance, send payment by check (made out to the FCBA) to:

Doug Denny-Brown
c/o RNK Communications
333 Elm St., Suite 310
Dedham, MA 02026

Image for Ethics benefit

Need help with an ethics issue?

Free ethical advice is an invaluable benefit of MBA membership

The MBA Committee on Professional Ethics will help you resolve specific ethical concerns that arise in your practice. To take advantage of this service, please email your request, including a brief summary of the facts raising the ethical issue, your interpretation of the issue, and whether the request is urgent in nature to MBA Sections and Ethics Administrator Jean Stevens.

The Committee also publishes opinions interpreting the Rules of Professional Conduct, on topics such as conflicts of interest, solicitation of business, issues relating to confidentiality and more. To access this library, click here.

**In accordance with the rules that govern the Committee on Professional Ethics, advice may not be rendered in instances where the matter is pending before a court or tribunal, contains a question of substantive law or unauthorized practice of law, pertains to a hypothetical scenario, or questions the conduct of another attorney.

©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association