Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007
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Left to right: Hon. Peter W. Agnes Jr., Hon. Carol S. Ball, Hon. Kenneth J. Fishman and Hon. Margaret R. Hinkle, all from the Superior Court, will serve as panelists. Photos courtesy of Harvard Studios.

Join the MBA at its Second Annual Bench-Bar Symposium on Oct. 11

SJC Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, Superior Court judges and seasoned attorneys to headline event

The MBA is proud to present the second annual Bench-Bar Symposium to take place at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston on Thursday, Oct. 11.

The afternoon will begin with Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall's Annual Address to the Legal Community. In her 2006 address, Marshall discussed issues that ranged from judicial management and time standards, to limited assistance representation pilot programs and courthouse security issues.

The program will feature a two-part panel discussion segment based on the crucial issue of jury communication, with questions and answers at the end. MBA President David W. White Jr. will moderate the conversations. Both panels will include two attorneys and four judges, all of the Superior Court – Hon. Peter W. Agnes Jr., Hon. Carol S. Ball, Hon. Kenneth J. Fishman and Hon. Margaret R. Hinkle.

The first panel, which will focus on pre-trial jury issues, will also feature attorney panelists Kathy Jo Cook (Keches & Mallen PC, Taunton) and MBA Past President Edward P. Ryan Jr. (O'Connor & Ryan PC, Fitchburg). Cook is an experienced civil litigator, and Ryan has done both civil and criminal work over the course of his career. Some points of discussion will include:

  • Extracting useful and appropriate information from potential jurors;
  • Open-ended questions vs. one-word answers;
  • The time available for attorneys and judges to implement meaningful voir dire;
  • Attorneys’ access to questionnaires; and
  • Meaningful participation from attorneys in the jury selection process.

The second panel will focus on post-trial jury issues. The two attorney panelists will be MBA Past President Kathleen M. O'Donnell (Marcotte Law Firm, Lowell) and Andrew M. Perlman (Suffolk University Law School, Boston). O’Donnell’s practice concentrates on personal injury and professional liability claims, exclusively for plaintiffs. Perlman teaches courses at Suffolk Law on professional responsibility, civil procedure and federal courts. Some talking points will include:

• Issues and strategies in providing jury instructions;
• Written instructions vs. tape-recorded instructions;
• Rule 3.5 of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct;
• MBA task force conclusions on post-trial jury communication; and
• Juror instruction on the existence of liens, insurance subrogation and set-offs to prevent reduction of damages based on jurors’ assumptions about insurance.

To reserve your space at this free event, R.S.V.P. to membership or call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530.


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