Image for Criminal Sentencing
Photograph by Jeff Thiebauth
Panelists at the Oct. 23 Sentencing Symposium in the Statehouse Great Hall, discuss potential improvements in sentencing reform.
From Left to Right: James Alan Fox, Mary Price, Mary Elizabeth Heffernan, William J. Leahy, State Sen. Robert W. Creedon Jr., Roger Goodman, State Rep. Eugene L. O’Flaherty, and David W. White Jr.

MBA President announces Drug Policy Task Force

Formation announced at Oct. 23 Sentencing Symposium

MBA President David W. White Jr. announced the formation of a Drug Policy Task Force during a Sentencing Symposium hosted by the MBA at the Statehouse Tuesday, Oct. 23. The task force will examine current drug policy and consider reforms.

“We look to build a coalition from a broad spectrum of the Massachusetts health care, business and law enforcement communities. The coalition will take a hard look at the difficult questions of drug addiction and punishment of drug-related crimes,” said White, who offered welcoming remarks at the symposium.

“This is one part of our effort to improve sentencing in Massachusetts. Reforms of the current sentencing system will reduce crime, rebuild families and communities and save money,” White said.

White’s announcement came at the end of the two-hour symposium in the Statehouse Great Hall, where key leaders suggested the state could see meaningful sentencing reform for the first time in years. Two panels of legislators, advocates and attorneys discussed the political, financial and ethical issues surrounding the state’s sentencing structure and Criminal Offender Record Information system.

“I’m more optimistic than ever that we can have a useful discussion,” said panelist Sen. Robert S. Creedon Jr., Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

Several panelists, including Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral, said mandatory minimum sentences make it difficult to treat inmates with drug addictions and to offer rehabilitation and training programs.

“The sheriffs, we are on the forefront of re-entry programs, but we are stymied by mandatory minimums that don’t allow us to classify people for acceptance into some of our programs,” Cabral said.

The other panelists were:

  • James Alan Fox, PhD, The Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, Boston
  • State Rep. Roger Goodman, vice chair, House Judiciary Committee, Washington
  • Mary Elizabeth Heffernan, Esq., Undersecretary of Criminal Justice, Executive Office of Public Safety
  • John J. Larivee, chief executive officer, Community Resources for Justice, Boston
  • William J. Leahy, Esq., chief counsel, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Boston
  • Hon. Robert A. Mulligan, Chief Justice for Administration and Management
  • State Rep. Eugene L. O’Flaherty, House Chairman, Joint Committee on the Judiciary
  • Mary Price, Esq., vice president and general counsel, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Washington, D.C.

White testifies about death penalty before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary

Following the symposium, White testified before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary about the MBA’s objection to reinstating the death penalty in Massachusetts. Symposium panelist Leahy and Boston Bar Association President Anthony Doniger, among others, joined White to testify.

White testified on behalf of the MBA, outlining the association’s position against reinstating the death penalty because it would cause economic hardship for the state. It costs more money to execute a person than to sentence them to life imprisonment without parole. Because of that, reinstating the death penalty would mean higher taxes and redirecting millions of dollars toward executions.

“As other states have already found, the death penalty process imposes a staggering drain on economic resources. Virtually every Massachusetts citizen would feel the effects of the high cost of trying death penalty cases,” White said.

Image for AJ Nominations
Photo courtesy of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Nominate a colleague for an Access to Justice Award

Awards to be presented at March 6 luncheon

Although the Nov. 1 Gala Dinner is sold out, the MBA invites members and friends to sponsor and attend the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon, which will be on March 6 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.

Nominations must be submitted to Jean Stevens by Thursday, Nov. 1. For full descriptions of the awards, click here.

The Access to Justice Section Council is currently accepting nominations for this year's awards. 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 five awards are:

  • Legal Services Award
  • Pro Bono Award for Law Firms
  • Pro Bono Publico Award
  • Defender Award
  • Prosecutor Award

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

Image for CLE Conferences
Photograph by Kelsey Sadoff
May-Britt Kollenhof-Bruning, co-founder of Juripax B.V., speaks to 15 attendees at the Online Dispute Resolution Luncheon Roundtable held at the MBA's Boston office on Oct. 18. ODR promotes "more reflective and less emotional" communication in conflict resolution cases.

Upcoming CLE conference and seminar schedule


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

General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Conference

Course #: GPA08
Thursday, Nov. 8, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Holiday Inn, Taunton

The MBA’s General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section is excited to announce the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Conference, to take place on Nov. 8 at the Holiday Inn in Taunton. This popular conference will feature a networking opportunities, prize giveaways and exciting new panels organized in collaboration with many other MBA section councils. Panel discussions include:

Employment Law for Lawyers (8:35–9:45 a.m.)
Come test your knowledge at this highly interactive, practical seminar where panelists will provide both the employer-side and employee-side perspective on the most common employment law mistakes made by lawyers – and how best to avoid them.

Trial Practice Breakout Sessions (9:50–10:50 a.m.)
This session is designed to cover either evidence issues in civil trial practice,OR the top 10 criminal cases you need to know. The panel will provide practitioners with a survey on how to deal effectively with the myriad of commonly recurring evidentiary problems in both domestic relation cases and highlight new developments and changes in criminal law in Massachusetts.

Technology Challenge:  What I Can Do for Your Law Office (11 a.m.–noon)
This will be a unique opportunity to see some of the most popular legal case management software presented side by side and determine what may be the best fit for you and/or your firm.

Networking lunch (noon–1 p.m.)
Featuring keynote speaker Rodney S. Dowell, Esq.
Director, Law Office Management Assistance Program, speaking on "The Business of Lawyering: Great Resources for Solo and Small-Firm Practitioners"

Judicial Panel - District Court (1–2 p.m.)
Listen to an informative, interactive discussion among prominent district court judges who will provide you with practical insight and guidance on District Court practice. Attendees will learn about the latest trends, recent developments, and essential tips in preparing and presenting your case.

What Every Practitioner Needs to Know on Divorce, Deeds, Inheritance and Trusts (2–3:20 p.m.)
This session is designed to help the practicing solo or small firm practitioner successfully navigate through the complexities of divorce practice including its impact on issues relative to deeds, inheritance and trusts.

Judicial Panel - Probate and Family Court (3:35–4:30 p.m.)
Learn from our distinguished panel of judges from the Probate and Family Court as they highlight current and emerging issues in family law and offer tips on practicing in their courts. Topics will include pretrial practice; what judges look for in complex asset cases or novel issues; and tips on how to balance public record information with privacy concerns.

Sessions offer attendees a valuable opportunity to learn from expert faculty. Conference faculty members include: 

  • Hon. Elizabeth O’Neill LaStaiti, Bristol Probate & Family Court
  • Hon. Michael J. Livingstone, Plymouth Probate & Family Court
  • Hon. Joseph I. Macy, District Court
  • Hon. Prudence M. McGregor, Bristol Probate & Family Court
  • Hon. Bernadette L. Sabra, District Court
  • Hon. Robert A. Scandurra, Barnstable Probate & Family Court
  • Denise Squillante, Esq., MBA vice president, Law Office of Denise Squillante, Fall River

Special thanks to General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section co-chairs Patrick Francomano and Susan A. Huettner, who helped to organize the conference.

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

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.



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

Current Issues in Medicare and Medicaid

Course #: HLA08

Introductory level

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 4–7 p.m.

Western New England College School of Law, Springfield 


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

Sixth Annual Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy Conference

Course #: BLC08

Introductory level

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 4–7 p.m.

Western New England College School of Law, Springfield


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


What’s Fair?: Valuations after Bernier v. Bernier

Course #: FLB08

Intermediate level

Thursday, Nov. 15, 4–7 p.m.

MBA, 20 West St., Boston


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


Image for Fall River Court Groundbreaking
From left: Superior Court Chief Justice Barbara J. Rouse, District Court Chief Justice Lynda M. Connolly, State Representative Robert Correia, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, State Senator Joan M. Menard, Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan, State Representative Michael J. Rodrigues, Fall River Mayor Edward M. Lambert, Jr., Division of Capital Asset Management Commissioner David B. Perini, and Governor’s Council Member Carole A. Fiola. Photo courtesy of the SJC Public Information Office.

Groundbreaking ceremony held for new Fall River Trial Court

On Oct. 22, prominent leaders from Massachusetts’ state and local government, gathered in Fall River to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Fall River Trial Court at 186 South Main Street.  The new Fall River Trial Court will house the Fall River District Court and Bristol County Superior Court criminal sessions. Event speakers included:

  • Chief Justice Robert A. Mulligan, master of ceremonies, Administration and Management, Superior Court, Boston
  • Chief Justice Lynda M. Connolly, District Court, Boston
  • Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, Supreme Judicial Court, Boston
  • Chief Justice Barbara J. Rouse, Superior Court, Boston
  • Representative Robert Correia, Seventh Bristol, Fall River 
  • Mayor Edward M. Lambert, Jr., Fall River  
  • State Senator Joan M. Menard, First Bristol and Plymouth 
  • Commissioner David B. Perini, Division of Capital Asset Management
  • Representative Michael J. Rodrigues, Eighth Bristol, Fall River

The new five-story Trial Court building will contain nine courtrooms filled with natural light, a law library, administrative offices, jury rooms, and an office for the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.  It will feature modern security and technology systems and will be fully handicapped-accessible.

“I am confident that the spectacular new courthouse to be erected in downtown Fall River will embody and reflect the values of equal justice under the law and will stand as an appropriate monument to the community,” said Chief Justice Marshall.  “It is a symbol of the continuing rejuvenation of our judicial branch.”

The new Fall River Trial Court is the first courthouse in the Commonwealth to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accreditation. The design incorporates high efficiency lighting with an emphasis on maximizing the use of natural daylight.  The heating and cooling systems, and other mechanical and electrical systems throughout the building, also will be highly efficient. 

The new Fall River Trial Court is scheduled for completion in fall 2009.

Image for Celts ad

MBA members: Get your Celtics luxury boxes and club seats

Luxury Suites

Trying to secure tickets for Celtics Opening Night or plan a work function? See your event of choice from the privacy of a luxury suite at the TD Banknorth Garden. Luxury suites are great for entertaining clients, holding a sales meeting and having a family night out. Luxury Suite benefits include:

  • In-suite catering options;
  • Theater-style seating on your own terrace;
  • Two plasma televisions;
  • Private restroom;
  • Entrance to the arena two hours before game time; and
  • Free admission on the day of event to the Sports Museum.

Suites accommodate 18 or more people and various catering options are available. Click here for suite pricing and schedule. Suites are limited; contact Brian Burnard via e-mail or at (617) 854-8061 today to make your reservation.

Season tickets in the Club Seats

Lower level seats may be sold out, but club seat locations near center court are now available. Enjoy the game from the comfort of the Premium Level with service at your seats, access to the Premium restaurants and more. Club benefits include:

  • Sideline locations available;
  • Service at seats;
  • Access to Premium Level restaurants;
  • Opportunity to purchase tickets for other events before they go on sale to the general public;
  • Golf privileges at exclusive private courses; and
  • Playoff tickets.

Available Locations:

Option 1:
  • Club 113, Row C, Seats 1-2 (favorable aisle)
  • Total cost for 33-game plan for 2 seats: $17,952
  • View from seats
Option 2:
  • Club 107, Row D, Seats 10-11
  • Total Cost for 33-game plan for 2 seats: $12,542
  • View from seats

For more information or to reserve your spot in the club seats or luxury boxes, please contact Brian Burnard in the Premium Sales Department at (617) 854-8061.

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