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Photograph by Tricia Oliver
The HOD meeting was held yesterday at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem.

House of Delegates fills two vacancies, endorses REBA lawsuit

The Nov. 19 House of Delegates filled two open positions for at-large delegates and unanimously endorsed filing an amicus brief supporting the Real Estate Bar Association in a lawsuit over the practice of law. The meeting was held at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem.

HOD selected John  J. Carroll Jr. and Alice B. Braunstein to fill open positions as at-large delegates from 13 candidates. In brief introductions, the candidates highlighted their qualifications and addressed their reasons for running.

Braunstein noted that she gave up the chance to repeat as an at-large delegate to serve on the MBA’s Nominating Committee because she felt it was more important to help select future leaders of the MBA. She had previously served as an at-large delegate, a Region 9 delegate and served on the Executive Management Board and Civil Litigation Section Council. She said she was concerned about building the membership of the MBA.

Carroll, who was recently honored with the Massachusetts Bar Foundation’s President’s Award, praised HOD’s role as the governing body of the MBA.

“This house is the conscience of the legal community,” he said.

HOD unanimously voted in favor of filing an amicus curiae brief in support of the Real Estate Bar Association’s lawsuit against an out-of-state company that provides closing services in real estate transactions. REBA President Paul F. Alphen said the lawsuit was filed to protect both consumers and the practice of law from groups looking to replace roles traditionally played by attorneys, such as real estate closings.

Alphen said such attempts by outside groups to supplant roles traditionally played by attorneys are popping up on several fronts. “It opens the door into what is the practice of law,” he said.

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MBA Past President Mark D Mason Nominated to Springfield District Court

Mason served as MBA president during the 2006-07 association year

Governor Deval Patrick recently announced the nomination of Mark D. Mason, an experienced litigator, mediator and arbitrator, to the Springfield District Court.

“The depth and breadth of Mark Mason’s experience make him uniquely qualified to sit on the District Court,” Patrick said.  “Beyond his proven legal skills and excellent reputation, Mason has throughout his career consistently given back to his community and the bar through pro bono representation, leadership, and volunteer work.”

Mason, a graduate of Columbia University and Boston University School of Law, is a partner with the Springfield law firm of Cooley Shrair PC. He represents individuals, small businesses, and large corporations in a variety of matters including business litigation, domestic relations, personal injury and real estate and also frequently serves as a court-appointed master, mediator and arbitrator.

A longtime MBA officer and committee member, Mason served as association president from 2006-07. Mason, who is married, was the first openly gay president of the MBA. He is currently a member of the MBA's Executive Management Board. In the past, Mason has chaired the Post-Goodridge Task Force and co-chaired the Anniversary Fee Task Force in 2003-04. A former chair of the Young Lawyers Division, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and the MBA Task Force on Same Gender Marriage, Mason is also a former secretary of the Judicial Administration Section Council. A devoted violinist, Mason, a resident of Springfield, has performed as a member of the First Violin Section of the Pioneer Valley Symphony since 1992. 

Mason is slated to fill the vacancy on the Springfield District Court created by the retirement of Judge William W. Teahan Jr.

Donate Now to Support Legal Aid Programs in our State

Massachusetts Bar Foundation kicks off its annual fund drive

MBF Picture Strip

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the Massachusetts Bar Association, needs your help to continue its efforts to provide vital financial support to the network of legal resources for low-income individuals and families in our state.
Like many nonprofits, the MBF is currently facing devastating cuts to its core funding for grant making in the Commonwealth. Last year, the MBF awarded over $6.2 million in grants to organizations that provide legal assistance to the poor. Currently, grant revenues are down by 64% compared to last year. The MBF is asking members of the bar to help keep legal assistance alive in our state by making a gift to their annual fund drive today.
The need for financial support has never been greater. Contributions from the private bar can play a major role in helping legal assistance programs withstand the overwhelming financial losses inflicted upon them by these difficult times.
Every donation to the MBF's annual fund drive will make an impact, no matter the size.  For someone in need of legal assistance, it will make a world of difference.


Ways to Donate:



Click here to give a gift on-line via MBF’s secure payment system.

By Phone:
Call us at (617) 338-0647 to make a donation by phone.


By Mail:
To make a donation by mail, click here to download our mail-in contribution form.


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MBA Section News

Participate in the Criminal Justice Section's Open Meeting, Dec. 9

Criminal Justice Section's Open Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston 

NOTE: The date of this open meeting was listed in error in a recent eBlast. The above time, date and location are correct.

 You are invited to attend the Criminal Justice Section's Open Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 9. Filmmaker and forensic psychologist Maryanne Galvin will show her latest documentary about psychologists' role in interrogating political detainees. Following the showing, there will be a panel discussion regarding the issues highlighted in this documentary. The panel will include:

  • Maryanne Galvin;
  • Nancy Murray, director of Education, ACLU of Massachusetts
  • Bingham McCutcheon attorney P. Sabin Willett, whose pro bono work in Guantanamo Bay lead to the release of three detainees (he is currently working to release nine more);
  • Dr. Carrie Kennedy, a naval psychologist formerly stationed at Guantanamo; and
  • Robert Kinscherff, lawyer and psychologist, member of the Committee on Legal Issues of the American Psychological Association, recent past chair of the Ethics Committee and current director of Clinical Services for Easter Seals in New Hampshire.

The program will be moderated by John P. Zanini, chief of the Appellate Division in the Suffolk County DA's Office and co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice, Immigration Law, Individual Rights & Responsibilities Sections and the Young Lawyers Division.

If you would like to attend, please R.S.V.P. to MBA Sections Administrator Jean Stevens at jstevens.




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December volunteer opportunities

Give blood, donate books to those in need

The MBA has coordinated opportunities for members who wish to volunteer this holiday season:

American Red Cross Blood Drives

The holidays are a season for giving and a blood donation is a special gift. The MBA is proud to sponsor a blood drive in their Boston office during the month of December.

MBA Boston office:

Wednesday,  Dec. 17, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
20 West St., Boston
To make an appointment, visit http://www.givelife.org or call (800) GIVE-LIFE (sponsor code: 6469)
Walk-ins welcome. Please remember to bring identification with you to your appointment. For more information, click here. Look for information in upcoming e-Journals and e-mails about an MBA Springfield office blood drive.

Presenting donors can enter to win a $50 Mall Gift Card.


YLD Reach Out And Read Flyer 


For more ways to get involved, fill out our online Volunteer Opportunities Menu.
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Law Practice Management Tip of the Week

Thinking of making a legal hardware or software purchase? Go to Litireviews first.

Making a hardware or software purchase for your practice can be time consuming. Getting reviews for the product in question can be downright frustrating. Before making your purchase, however, go to Litireviews, a site dedicated to legal and litigation software, as well as limited hardware reviews. There are presently 207 reviews posted in the year 2008 alone, and this site is constantly updated.

For more helpful tips, join the MBA's Law Practice Management Section. Call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530 to join.

To learn more about the Law Practice Management Section, contact co-chairs, Alan Klevan or Rodney Dowell.
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MBA featured benefit: ABA membership discount

The MBA has partnered with the American Bar Association to provide the following special offers available only to MBA members


Discounted ABA membership

Join both the MBA and the ABA and receive a 50 percent discount on the ABA’s annual dues for the first two years of membership and 25 percent on the third. This discounted ABA membership is available exclusively to MBA members.

To take advantage of this exclusive offer, please contact the ABA Member Service Center at (800) 285-2221 and reference the Massachusetts Bar Association special joint membership deal.


25 percent discount on ABA publications and ABA-CLE products through the ABA Web Store

25 percent discount on ABA publications and ABA-CLE products through the ABA Web Store
Receive a 25 percent discount on ABA publications and ABA-CLE products through the ABA Web Store. This generous discount is applicable to magazines, journals, online courses,  DVDs, downloadable forms and more.

To take advantage of this significant discount, simply visit the ABA Web site at http://www.abanet.org, click on the Web Store tab on the left, select the items that you wish to purchase and enter the source code PAB6EMAB upon checkout. (Offer may exclude iPODS and other digital media devices.)


Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Participate in the "Distressed Property Bootcamp" seminar series

CLE Heading

To register for the following programs, call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530, [e-mail membership] or visit the CLE Web site. To download a PDF of the November/December CLE brochure, click here.  

This week's highlighted programs include:
  • December Seminar Schedule
  • Sixth Annual In-House Counsel Conference
  • Distressed Property Bootcamp Series
  • MBA Co-sponsored Programs
  • Free Casemaker Webinars

Scroll down for program descriptions, dates and registration details.



Basics of Divorce Practice, Course #: FLG09
Monday, Dec. 1 / Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal St., Andover

Landlord Tenant Basics, Course #: PRC09
Monday, Dec. 1 / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Motions to Suppress: Identifying, Developing and Litigating the Issues, Course #: CJB09
Tuesday, Dec. 2 / Catuogno Court Reporting Services Office, 1414 Main St., Springfield

Hot Off the Press: The New Child Support Guidelines, Course #: FLH09
Wednesday, Dec. 3 / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Employer Screening - What’s Legal & What’s Not, Course #: LEC09
Wednesday, Dec. 3 / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Drafting the Simple Will, Course #: PLI09
Monday, Dec. 8 / Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Blvd., Taunton

Distressed Property Bootcamp Series: Session I, Course #: PRD09
Monday, Dec. 8 / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Employment Law for Lawyers, Course #: LEA09
Wednesday, Dec. 10 / MBA, 20 West. St, Boston

The ABC's of Social Security Disability Cases, Course #: CLM09
Thursday, Dec. 11 / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Workers' Compensation Basics, Course #: CLL09
Tuesday, Dec. 16 / Catuogno Court Reporting Services, 446 Main St., Worcester


Sixth Annual In-House Counsel Conference: Doing Business in Troubled Times
Course #: BLD09
Introductory level
Wednesday, Dec. 10, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Newton Marriott Hotel, 2345 Commonwealth Ave., Newton

The theme of the MBA’s Sixth Annual In-House Counsel Conference is “Doing Business in Troubled Times.” The conference will address current developments and hot topics, including recent developments in the Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court, electronic and other discovery issues that affect document retention, and how the new Massachusetts Wage Act impacts businesses. There will be a panel discussion of directors’ duties, including duties that arise when a company is in trouble and what it means for a director to be independent. A panel of intellectual property experts will discuss issues relating to effective management of intellectual property with a limited budget. Finally, there will be a presentation concerning risk management to avoid or minimize the cost of litigation in uncertain times.

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


Distressed Property Bootcamp Series

NOTE: There is a discounted rate if you attend all three seminars in this series. Special pricing includes: Sponsoring section/division MBA members: $180; MBA member paralegals, law students, recent admittees: $80; MBA members: $285; and nonmembers: $420. To register, contact MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530.

Session I - Representing a Buyer Purchasing Distressed Property
Course #: PRD09
Introductory level
Monday, Dec. 8, 5-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Session I of the Distressed Property Bootcamp will feature speakers who have an active practice representing buyers who purchase property at foreclosure sales, REO sales, short sales and lender workouts.  Specific topics to include:

  • Practical tips on representing buyers at each type of distressed property sale;
  • Pitfalls to avoid; and
  • Information about the changing market in this credit crisis.

Session II – Representing a Borrower in Trouble
Course #: PRE09
Thursday, Jan. 8, 5-7 p.m. 
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Topics to include: working with the borrower’s lender, negotiating a short sale for the owner; handling the bankruptcy aspects of a borrower in foreclosure. Of particular interest  will be information on a task force established by CHAPA (Citizens Planning and Housing Association) consisting of lenders, community development corporation's and lawyers which will create a program for those homeowners impacted by foreclosure.

Session III – Title Insurance and Title Aspects in a Distressed Property Closing
Course #: PRF09
Thursday, Feb. 12, 5-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


Effective Lawyering with the Whole Person: Applying Mindfulness Meditation in Law Practice
Tuesday, Dec. 2, 4-7 p.m.
Prince, Lobel, Glovsky & Tye LLP, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 2200, Boston

Lawyers face many stimulating challenges, whether in negotiation, counseling, advocacy, analysis, or office management; however, these activities can also be highly stressful and adversarial. As a result, lawyers suffer from remarkable levels of stress, contributing to personal and professional difficulties, burnout, turnover, substance abuse, and divorce. But does law practice have to be so distressing? Mindfulness meditation, a practice of training the mind's natural alertness and presence, is today being practiced in law firms and law schools as a way of revitalizing careers and managing stress. This seminar will address how mindfulness practice can be useful for attorneys, how it enhances lawyering skills and enables lawyers to overcome the inflexibility of the adversarial mindset, find creative solutions to conflict, build confidence, and overcome knee-jerk reactivity in responding to challenging situations and people.

NOTE: Registration is not through the MBA. Click here to learn more information about this MBA co-sponsored program, or to register.


This fall, Casemaker is presenting a free webinar for MBA members. Want to learn more about the capabilities of newly released beta version of Casemaker Version 2.1 straight from the source? Attend a Web training from the comfort of your home or office.

Click here to access the Casemaker webinar trainings. Currently scheduled webinars include:

  • Thursday, Dec. 11, 1–2 p.m.

For webinar system requirements, click here.

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Lawyers Eco-Challenge Eco-Tip of the Week

Incorporate the weekly Eco-Tip into your office practices and become more environmentally friendly


Sign the MBA Lawyers Environmental Pledge to participate in the MBA Lawyers Eco-Challenge. By signing the pledge, lawyers agree to do their best to adhere to the MBA Green Guidelines   

 EcoTip - Nov. 20

Click here to view more Eco-Tips. 

©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association