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Photograph by Jeff Thiebauth
Legislator of the Year Michael A. Costello, State Representative from Newburyport, gets a pat on the back from his mother before accepting his award.

Several hundred members of the legal community attend MBA Gala Dinner

White praises Gala Dinner keynote speaker Clarke, Legislator of the Year Costello for their defense of constitutional rights

More than 700 attorneys, MBA members and guests attended the MBA's Gala Dinner at Boston's InterContinental Hotel on Nov. 1. The MBA thanks the Gala Dinner Committee, along with the individuals, organizations and law firms that purchased tables for the dinner. As a result of our members' efforts and dedication, the tables at the dinner have been sold out. To view the full list of table sponsors, click here.

MBA Gala Dinner keynote speaker Richard A. Clarke, the nation’s former counterterrorism chief, delivered an urgent call for a return to the rule of law in the wake of weakened civil liberties in the name of the War on Terror.

MBA President David W. White Jr. set the stage for Clarke’s speech in his introduction.

“Six years ago, we were all a little more innocent, and life seemed a lot more secure,” White said. “I’ll confess, in the anger and outrage that followed the destruction of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon, I thought maybe I should be willing to surrender a little bit of my freedom if it meant my children would be a little safer.”

But as the United States turned its attention to invading Iraq, White said, the government undertook extraordinary policy changes, including labeling captured enemies as “enemy combatants” and holding them indefinitely, without charge and limited or no access to lawyers or the courts.

Zucker Wagner“We became lawyers not just to make a living, but to uphold broader principles of the law,” White said. “Our founders recognized, in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, that these rights are not given to us – we have them innately: they belong to us.”

“Richard Clarke is here tonight because he recognizes, and I am quoting from his book, “That we must… defend the Constitution against those who would use the terrorist threat to assault the liberties the Constitution enshrines.”

White also presented the MBA Legislator of the Year Award to Rep. Michael A. Costello, D-Newburyport.

Group of four“Rep. Costello is proud to be a lawyer, and prouder still to serve his constituents,” White said. “He has had an unfailing commitment to the needs of the judiciary and a keen interest in the concerns of practicing lawyers. In particular, Rep. Costello has vigorously fought for adequate funding for our court system. He has also been active in the recent fight to attain rate increases for bar advocates, public defenders and district attorneys, and he has joined with us in opposing reinstatement of capital punishment.”

White described how Costello has been a leader in the fight for reforming mandatory minimum sentencing, post-incarceration supervision, Criminal Offender Record Information laws and prison inmate training programs.Young Lawyers Group

“Perhaps the most vital role Rep. Costello plays in the Legislature is that of defender of the Constitution. He is often a lone voice of reason when the Legislature is discussing bills that, while perhaps well-intentioned, have the potential to diminish our constitutional rights.”

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Legal Technology Expo, Nov. 29

MBA and Lawyers Weekly sponsor trade show

The Massachusetts Bar Association and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly will host a free, all-day Legal Technology Expo at the Needham Sheraton Hotel, Thursday, Nov. 29.

The trade show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the hotel on Cabot Street, just minutes from Route 95. Vendors will present attorneys with displays and short seminars called “Tech Talks” that feature the latest technology innovations to aid in the practice of law. Exhibitors include:

  • AlphaNet Solutions Inc., an information technology professional services firm;
  • Paper Trace, a document storage service company;
  • Turbo Law provides document software for attorneys;
  • New England Trial Services provides video production and presentation services; and 
  • Videre Conferencing offers video, audio and Web conferencing.

Attendees can sign up for free trial subscriptions of Lawyers Weekly USA and a $5 coupon toward a purchase of $25 or more at the MBA Bookstore.

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

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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.

Deadline to nominate a colleague for an Access to Justice Award extended to Nov. 15

MBA members are invited to the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon, which will be on March 6, 2008 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 tickets and tables of ten are available for purchase.

The MBA is seeking nominations for its five Access to Justice Awards, which will be presented at the MBA’s Access to Justice Awards Luncheon on March 6, 2008.

The new deadline for submissions is Thursday, Nov. 15.

These awards offer a unique opportunity to recognize the efforts and achievements of our MBA members. To ensure that award recipients truly reflect the best of the legal profession, the MBA encourages nominations from its members, from Massachusetts regional and minority bar associations and from local public service organizations. The MBA urges you to nominate your colleagues, and pass on the award information to your peers.


The Access to Justice Awards are:

Legal Services Award
An attorney employed by a public or nonprofit agency to provide civil legal services to low-income clients, and who has made a particularly significant or meaningful contribution to the provision of low-income legal services, above and beyond the requirements or his or her position.

Pro Bono Award for Law Firms
A law firm of two or more attorneys, with one or more offices in the commonwealth, whose pro bono activities are particularly noteworthy in relation to the firm’s size and which has performed significant or meaningful pro bono activity or which has been particularly instrumental in developing, implementing and/or supporting a pro bono program or pro bono services within Massachusetts.

Pro Bono Publico Award
An individual who has been instrumental in developing, implementing and supporting pro bono programs for the Massachusetts Bar Association or for a local county bar association, or a pro bono program of a law firm, or has developed a pro bono program sponsored or organized through an agency in the commonwealth, or has performed significant or meaningful pro bono activity.

Defender Award
An attorney who is employed or retained by a public or nonprofit agency to provide criminal legal services to low-income clients, and who has made a particularly significant or meaningful contribution to the provision of low-income legal services above and beyond the requirements of his or her position.

Prosecutor Award
A state or federal prosecutor who has distinguished himself or herself in public service and whose commitment to justice and serving the communities where he or she lives or works is particularly praiseworthy.

Nominations for all of the MBA Access to Justice Awards must be submitted in writing no later than Nov. 15, to: Access to Justice Awards, Massachusetts Bar Association, 20 West St., Boston, MA 02111-1204; [e-mail jstevens] or fax to (617) 338-0550.

For more information, contact Ellen Zucker, chair of the Access to Justice Section Council, at (617) 345-3367.

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Tufts’ Fletcher School offers Global Master of Arts Program for busy attorneys

Nov. 27 informational session to be held at MBA’s Boston headquarters

The MBA is offering members the opportunity to learn about a unique professional development opportunity on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University is offering a Global Master of Arts Program geared for busy midcareer professionals with an interest in international affairs who are unable to enroll in a full-time, residency-based program.

Attorneys, like many busy professionals, often stop short of pursuing additional graduate programs due to their intense professional commitments that leave little time to devote to studies. However, Tufts University’s GMAP takes into account the schedules of busy attorneys in order for them to pursue an international affairs degree program.

By combining the rigor of The Fletcher School’s cross-disciplinary curriculum with a flexible format, midcareer professionals are trained to find more innovative solutions to international challenges, all without leaving their current positions.

Associate Dean and Director of GMAP Deborah Nutter will lead an informational session on this program at the MBA Boston headquarters on Nov. 27 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Interested attorneys should call (617) 338-0530.

For more information, visit http://fletcher.tufts.edu/gmap/default.shtml.

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MBA members: Get your discount Celtics tickets today

Special discount for MBA members – save $5 off Celtics tickets. Watch Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and the Celtics take on the Portland Trailblazers at the TD Banknorth Garden.

Boston Celtics vs. Portland Trailblazers
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m.
** Ticket cost: $60 each (reg. $65) – Sec 8, row 26

To order your tickets now call (617) 854-8064 or e-mail MBA discounts. Deadline to order is Friday, Nov. 23.

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