Image for Botsford
Photograph by SJC Public Information Office
Gov. Deval Patrick swears in Justice Botsford at a ceremony at the John Adams Courthouse on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

MBA congratulates the Hon. Margot G. Botsford on appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court

Joint Bar Committee was one of the last layers of review

The MBA congratulates the Hon. Margot G. Botsford on her appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court. Botsford will bring her keen intellect and superior work history to a post she well deserves.

"Justice Margot Botsford’s appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court will serve to enhance the outstanding reputation of our state's highest court. Justice Botsford is respected amongst peer jurists and attorneys from throughout the commonwealth because of her thoughtful approach to cases, exemplary work ethic and high intelligence,” immediate MBA Past President Mark D Mason said in a statement issued on Friday, Aug. 31. “I am certain Justice Botsford will maintain her unfailing commitment to the administration of justice. The MBA congratulates Justice Botsford on her esteemed appointment.”

Botsford’s appointment follows a thorough review, which included an evaluation by the Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Appointments. The committee of two dozen attorneys from across the state reviews, evaluates, votes and reports on the qualifications of individuals under consideration for judicial appointments – including clerk-magistrates – to all courts of the commonwealth.

“We’re trying to ensure only qualified, competent judges are selected. It’s a role committee members take very seriously,” said MBA General Counsel Martin W. Healy, who serves as the committee’s executive secretary. “Ultimately it benefits the public. These are public appointments with life tenure."

The committee, which began its formal role in 1961, is an independent entity and its votes are kept confidential. The committee considers several aspects of an individual before it takes a vote and submits a report to the governor and/or the Governor’s Council, which must approve and appoint the candidate. Among the qualities considered are integrity, reputation, knowledge and ability in the field of law, professional experience, judicial temperament, financial responsibility and commitment to public service.

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MBA President David W. White Jr. announces Eco-Challenge

Task force to offer green guidelines for practitioners; contest for firms to reduce energy consumption

Switch to energy efficient office equipment, shut down computers at the end of the day and turn off lights when walking out of rooms. That’s the message from MBA President David W. White Jr., who unveiled a yearlong initiative that urges lawyers to change the way they think and act while conducting business in order to conserve energy and resources.

The Lawyers Eco-Challenge - One Planet, One Voice – begins at a time when concern over global warming and for the future of the environment and is at an all-time high. Gov. Deval Patrick declared 2007 “The Year of Energy Efficiency,” has supported the use of renewable energy and asked state agencies to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting their electricity consumption. The challenge also comes on the heels of a Sun MicroSystems survey that says 73 percent of workers want their employers to be green. The MBA hopes its comprehensive program will spur similar proposals in other business sectors.

“Lawyers in Massachusetts will prove to be at the forefront of this important issue,” said White, a partner at Breakstone, White & Gluck PC in Boston. “We are asking people to begin by changing a few habits. It will make a difference.”

White is taking his own advice and has already made changes at his 2 Center Plaza office. Motion detector lights have been installed in the conference room and library, the refrigerator has been replaced with an Energy Star certified appliance, nonessential office equipment has been hooked up to switches that are easily turned off at the end of the day, and all light bulbs are now energy-efficient. All equipment upgrades will be Energy Star compliant.

“It’s easy to turn these words into meaningful action,” said White, who in his hometown, founded the non-profit Westwood Land Trust Inc. and has chaired the town’s Organization for the Preservation of the Environment and Nature.

The Energy and Environmental Task Force, chaired by attorney Nancy Reiner of the Boston-based, international law firm Brown Rudnick, will comprise a dozen attorneys from throughout the state. The task force will be developing “Green Guidelines” for law firms to be published later this fall. Other task force members include John Tener, a partner at Robinson & Cole LLP in Boston and a Newton resident; and Susan Crane, who lives and practices in Sudbury.

“Lawyers will be leaders in the fight against global warming,” said Reiner, a Lexington resident. “That fight starts in the office and at home, with a commitment to reduce energy usage and to recycle to the greatest extent possible.” 

In total, lawyers across the United States go through 24 million trees annually. That’s because each year the average lawyer uses a ton of paper, the equivalent of 24 trees, according to Lawyers Accountable To The Earth, or LATTE, a group formed by task force member and Boston lawyer Jeffrey Glassman.

The task force will also be forging coalitions with business groups and environmental groups throughout the state.

The Eco-Challenge contest will begin in January, challenging lawyers and law firms to demonstrate reductions in energy use. In addition, tips will be regularly posted on the MBA Web site and distributed to members through Lawyers e-Journal.

“It’s important for the MBA, as the non-profit legal association with a mission to support the legal community and the larger community, to lead attorneys across the state in this important effort,” said MBA Executive Director Marilyn J. Wellington.

Image for Tokyo
Photograph by Merrill Shea
MBA Officers and the nine-member delegation from the Tokyo Bar Association

MBA welcomes international guests

Tokyo Bar Association delegates stop at MBA on east coast trip

On Friday, Aug. 31, immediate MBA Past President Mark D Mason, fellow officers and association staff enjoyed a visit from a nine-member delegation of the Tokyo Bar Association.


Friday’s visit was one of several visits to cities throughout the eastern United States.


The delegation arrived midday and enjoyed lunch with MBA representatives. The meeting quickly evolved into a productive exchange focusing on the MBA’s Continuing Legal Education efforts.


“We don’t often have the opportunity to sit with our peers from around the globe,” said Mason as he welcomed the group to the MBA’s Boston headquarters.


Working through a translator, the group offered its thanks to the MBA. “We hope that we can be of help to you too in the future,” said Toshiko Terada, translator for and member of the Tokyo Bar Association.


The visit was planned following original correspondence between Tokyo Bar Association representative Tojiro Ishii and Mason a few months ago.


At Friday’s meeting, MBA CLE Manager Elizabeth Varney shared the specifics of the MBA’s CLE Department and its program offerings for MBA members and others in the Massachusetts legal community.


Following Varney’s presentation, the Tokyo delegation shared their concerns about the Japanese legal community. They explained that 10 years ago, only about 15,000 attorneys practiced in Japan. Now that the bar exam is more lenient and the passing rate has increased from three to 15 percent, the total of practicing attorneys will soon reach 30,000.


The trip to the United States is to gather information on best practices for CLE, among other topics.


“We are concerned because with more people passing the exam, the quality of attorneys may go down,” relayed Terada, who then explained that the group wants to be smart and offer programs such as CLE to deal with the issue.


The afternoon meeting came to a close with presents exchanged by both parties.

Image for Plymouth-Worcester Courts
Photograph by SJC Public Information Office
An outdoor shot of the Plymouth Trial Court, which opened last month. The new building is 189,000 square feet and contains ten courtrooms.

New courthouses open in Plymouth and Worcester counties

Plymouth jurors report this week; Worcester Trial Court begins to phase in operations this week

The new, state-of-the art Plymouth Trial Court will open in August with a phased-in move for the Plymouth Superior Court, Southeast Housing Court, Plymouth District Court, Plymouth Juvenile Court and the Plymouth Probate and Family Court. The Plymouth Trial Court Law Library will also be located in the building.

The spacious new courthouse features 10 courtrooms, a law library, modern information technology and digital recording capability, handicapped accessibility and secure detention areas.


Contact information:

52 Obery St., Plymouth, MA 02360

New main number: (508) 747-8400*


New Housing Court numbers:

Telephone: (508) 747-8550

Fax: (508) 747-2017


Worcester Trial Court to open this week

The stunning new Worcester Trial Court, a comprehensive regional justice center housing the Worcester District Court, Housing Court, Juvenile Court, Probate and Family Court and Superior Court, will open during the month of September, according to the schedule below.


The largest courthouse in the commonwealth, the new Worcester Trial Court contains 26 courtrooms and features digital audio recording capability, modern information and telecommunications systems, handicapped accessibility and secure, separate lock-up facilities for both adults and juveniles.    


Move schedule:   

Juvenile Court and Housing Court: Sept. 7–9

Superior Court: Sept. 14–16 

District Court: Sept. 21–23

Probate and Family Court: Sept. 28–30

Jurors to report: Sept. 25


Contact information:

225 Main St., Worcester, MA 01608

New main number: (508) 831-2000*


 * Current telephone and fax numbers will continue to be in service for 12 months at both Plymouth and Worcester trial courts.
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Upcoming CLE courses highlight topics for litigators and small firm practicioners

Learn tips to boost your business at Atticus programming; pick up tips on construction, zoning and privilege laws at CLE seminars

For more information, or to sign up for the following programs, call Member Services at (617) 338-0530, download the latest CLE brochure as a PDF file or visit the CLE Web page.


Atticus Practical Solutions Series

Atticus and the Massachusetts Bar Association present a one-day seminar on smart, efficient business strategy for solo and small firm attorneys at three different venues and dates across Massachusetts:




Worcester: Tuesday, Sept. 18: DCU Center, 50 Foster St.

Boston: Wednesday, Sept. 19: MBA, 20 West St.
Taunton: Thursday, Sept. 20: Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Blvd.


The full day (8:30 a.m.4:30 p.m.) program includes morning and afternoon sessions that cover topics ranging from time management and rainmaking, to increasing profitability and assembling a strong legal staff.


Half-day tuition is $75, while the full-day tuition is $145. Non-MBA member rates include $150 for half-day and $220 for the full-day.



Current Issues in Zoning Enforcement and Licensing
Course #: PRA08
Introductory level
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 4–7 p.m.
Western New England College School of Law, Springfield 

This seminar will provide practical advice and insight about the areas of zoning, sanitary, health and fire code and municipal licensing. Panelists will contrast enforcement actions in each area with a brief background of the legal structure of municipal zoning, licensing powers in Massachusetts and other codes.


It’s Confidential – Privilege Law in Massachusetts
Course #: CLC08
Intermediate level
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 4–6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Privilege issues arise in an array of situations in both civil and criminal cases: at trial, in a deposition, responding to a discovery request or when planning strategy. In order to preserve a privilege, a proactive approach is often necessary. This seminar will focus on a variety of privileges, including the attorney-client, spousal, parent-child, peer review, doctor-patient, common interest and joint defense privileges. Our experienced panel will explain the concept of each privilege and provide practical tips for successfully asserting and defeating privilege claims.

Basics of Massachusetts Construction Law
Course #: BLA08
Introductory level
Thursday, Sept. 20, 4–7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston 

This program will provide an overview of Massachusetts construction law. This will include information about construction law concepts; an overview of construction project claims; a discussion of the special methods of collection relative to the construction industry (namely mechanic’s lien and bond claims); and demands for direct payment. The seminar will also discuss the fundamentals of construction defect litigation, including a review of the economic loss doctrine and warranty claims.


©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association