MBA On Demand to roll out January 2010
Unable to attend an MBA conference, seminar or roundtable? Attend the program from the comfort of your home or office with MBA On Demand
MBA On Demand is a new and innovative approach
to continuing legal education and other association
Starting Jan. 4, 2010, the MBA is pleased to provide you with the
following online, recorded CLE programs for purchase:
- 18th Annual Family Law Conference:
State of the Trial Court
Issues of Interstate Custody
The Hague Convention and Issues of International Custody
DOMA: What Hurdles Does DOMA Place in the way of Same-Sex Married
Couples and Those Who are Divorcing? Federal Tax Issues in Family
- Offers and Purchase and Sale Agreements
- Looking for Career Control and Satisfaction? Small
Firms Offer Big Options
- Chapters 93A and 176D Update
- Technology to Turbo-Charge Your Practice
- Keys to Successful Advertising and
- Start Up Basics
- Traps for the Unwary
- Successfully Making the Transition from Law Student to
- View from the Bench: Effective Oral and Written
In the next few months, there will be additional programming
offered at www.massbar.org. A real-time webcast
option will soon be available for members wishing to participate in
a program remotely.
From left to right: MBA President-Elect Denise Squillante, Gov. Deval Patrick's Chief Legal Counsel Mo Cowan, MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus, MBA Acting Executive Director and General Counsel Martin W. Healy.
From left to right: MBA Vice President Richard P. Campbell, MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus, MBA Treasurer Robert L. Holloway Jr., MBA President-elect Denise Squillante.
From left to right: Todd & Weld's Ian Crawford, MBA Secretary Jeffrey N. Catalano, Todd & Weld's Christopher R. O'Hara.
MBA Boston Holiday Reception
View photos of the Dec. 10 event
MBA members celebrated the start of holiday season at the Boston
Holiday Reception on Thursday, Dec. 10.
Click here to view event images.
MBA seeks nominations for 2010-11 officer and delegate positions
Submit nominations to the MBA Secretary by Friday, Jan. 29
The Massachusetts Bar Association is currently accepting
nominations for officer and delegate positions for the 2010-11
membership year. Nominees must submit a letter of intent and a
current resume to MBA Secretary Jeffrey N. Catalano by 5 p.m. on
Friday, Jan. 29, 2010, to be eligible.
To submit a nomination, mail or hand deliver the information
Massachusetts Bar Association
Attn: Jeffrey N. Catalano, MBA Secretary
20 West St., Boston, MA 02111
Or fax the nomination to (617) 542-7947.
If you have any questions about the nomination process, call MBA
Acting Executive Director Martin W. Healy at (617) 988-4777.
Martin F. Kane II, chair, Crisis in Court Funding Task Force
MBA launches task force to address crisis in court funding
The Massachusetts Bar Association has created a task force to
put a human face on the impact that drastic budget cuts are having
on the courts.
The Crisis in Court Funding Task Force will compile stories of
hardship among public users of the court system and will present a
report to the House of Delegates meeting in March. If endorsed, the
report will support calls for the Legislature to adequately fund
the state court system, which had was cut from an initial fiscal
2009 budget of $605.1 million to $559 million in fiscal 2010.
"(The task force) was created to document the real, human impact
of the budget cuts on the courts. The goal is to show how
inadequate staffing levels are affecting the people who come to the
courts as litigants, jurors and witnesses," MBA President Valerie
A. Yarashus said. "While it's incredibly frustrating for us as
attorneys to see delays and long lines, it is often much worse for
members of the public, who have to miss work unnecessarily and see
their cases languish because the court system is underfunded and
The 10-person task force, which is chaired by Martin F. Kane II,
of McGrath & Kane Inc. in Boston, held its first meeting Dec.
16 in Boston. It will contact judges and clerks in courthouses
throughout the state to collect accounts of how the budget cuts are
delaying citizens from receiving access to the justice
A report by the Boston Bar Association analyses the statistics
relating to the cuts. "Our report, by contrast, is intended to
bring out the human side through documenting the real life stories
of how this is played out across the commonwealth," Yarashus said,
noting that, if approved by the MBA's governing body, it will be
used as part of a lobbying effort for adequate court funding during
"Members can expect to hear a targeted call to action at a time
when it is determined to be most effective," she said.
Kane said the problems are readily apparent in courthouses
across the state. Many times, restraining orders are not being
issued in a timely manner, he said.
Kane, whose practice includes working in probate and family
courts, filed one modification in probate court in September and
waited. A month later, he received a call from a secretary who
apologized that a summons hadn't been issued yet, but the office
was down from seven staff to two. A month later, he received
another call explaining that the staff was doing everything it
"Two months to get a summons …" he said.
Court employees who have either been laid off or have had their
workload increased significantly because of layoffs and a
system-wide hiring freeze are clearly suffering, he said, and
lawyers being inconvenienced by the delays caused by the staff
reduction certainly have legitimate complaints. But it is the
people who use the courts who have been the hardest hit, he
"Our charge is clear. We, as lawyers, need to be the voice of the
people and get their story to the House of Delegates with
demonstrative evidence about how the public is being affected," he
Ultimately, that message needs to reach the Legislature and
increase funding for the courts, Kane said.
"What they need to hear is how the cuts affect Jane and John Q.
Public," he said.
If you have anecdotal stories
from clients to share about understaffed courts or unreasonable
delays, please e-mail MBA Legislative Activities Manager Lee
Constantine at [e-mail lconstantine].
10th Annual Walk to the Hill
Join the MBA at the 11th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid, Jan. 27
The 11th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid
will kick off at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27 in the Great Hall of
the Statehouse, where attorneys and legal advocates will highlight
the importance of these programs. The need to maintain funding is
just as great for fiscal year 2011 as it was last year.
"Our message to legislators will again be twofold:
maintain funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
(MLAC) line item at $9.5 million and include this issue as a
personal legislative priority," said Pattye Comfort,
director of the Equal Justice Coalition.
Massachusetts Bar Association President Valerie A. Yarashus will
speak about the urgency for more funding. Yarashus will be joined
by Boston Bar Association President John J. Regan. A legal aid
client will also share how the program has helped their family
resolve a legal issue.
The past year's economic troubles have taken a toll on civil
legal aid in Massachusetts, according to Comfort. Income from the
Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program has plummeted
63 percent since fiscal year 2008 and is not expected to increase
in fiscal year 2010. Compounding this loss is the decrease in the
civil legal aid line item ― from $11 million in fiscal year
2009 to $9.5 million in fiscal year 2010.
Walk to the Hill is one of the largest lobbying events at the
State House, and last year drew a crowd of more than 750 ― the
highest turnout in the event's history.
Details of the event include:
- Registration: 11-11:30 a.m.
- Speaking Program: 11:30 a.m.-noon.
- Legislative visits: Noon-1 p.m.
Lunch will be served.
For more information, click
here. To view a funding fact sheet, click here.
Marketing against ROI
ROI is "Return on Investment". It is a measure of how successful
your investment is in any given venture. In the context of attorney
marketing, you want to be able to measure how well a particular
investment (marketing strategy) is. Is that yellow page ad
generating business? Is that new Web site bringing new clients?
That's easy to measure by simply asking your clients where they
first found your information.
Every summer, my firm invests in marketing through participation
in area elder fairs and also cultural fairs. I routinely go out to
engage the public, to meet with them at these events and speak with
passersby and answer their legal questions, for free. I have not
yet gotten a single client that has told me they've hired me from
seeing me at those events. But yet I keep doing it year after year.
Am I a fool? Perhaps. Am I wasting my money? No.
Malcolm Gladwell has a classic discussion of why Coca Cola
dominates market shares over Pepsi. It is not because Coca Cola
tastes better because when given the "Pepsi Challenge," most people
actually prefer the taste of Pepsi over Coca Cola. The reason why
Coke dominates is because of its brand. Its brand is so pervasive
that you would be hard pressed to find anyone on earth that won't
recognize the name.
All things being equal, when a new client sees your ad and they
see your competitor's ad, you want them to pick you. People choose
products that they know, whether it's a conscious or subconscious
choice. The more they've seen something, the more likely they'll
pick it. So, why do I continue to do those fairs during the summer?
Because though they don't know it, people recognize me and when
they see an ad of mine down the road, they pick me not because my
ad is so much better or because I am more qualified, but because
they recognize me as a brand.
Go out and engage your client base. Make your name and your
This tip is courtesy of Gabriel Cheong,
attorney at law, owner of Infinity Law Group.
Published December 17, 2009
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 Andrea
MBF's 45th Anniversary Gala Dinner registration is now open
Please click here to
here to browse the MBF's online Silent Auction.
CLE Conference News
Register by Dec. 18 to receive discounted rates to the "How to Start and Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice" conference and reception, Jan. 28
In-house counsel seek helpful tips
on "Tools for Effective Legal Management" at the MBA's Seventh
Annual In-House Counsel Conference on Dec. 9
Over 40 attorneys attended
the MBA's Seventh Annual In-House Counsel Conference on Wednesday,
Dec. 9 in Boston. The theme of this year's conference was "Tools
for Effective Legal Management."
Topics including developments on the business litigation session,
licensing agreements, data security, enlisting outside counsel,
conflicts of interest and bankruptcy headlined the well-attended
conference held at the MBA Boston office. Conference chairs
included Peter D. McDermott, David A. Parke and James C. Donnelly
Business litigation session judges Judith Fabricant, Stephen E.
Neel, and Margaret R. Hinkle led a panel discussing developments in
the session, including its 2010 pilot project planned to reduce
time and resources in the discovery process.
In addition, with new Massachusetts data regulations on the near
horizon, data security laws and privacy regulations were of
particular interest to conference goers. MBA's Business Law Section
Co-chair Stephen Y. Chow of Burns and Levinson led the panel
addressing risk management issues associated with the
well-publicized regulations that go into effect March 1,
Rounding out the December conference was the bankruptcy panel led
by MBA Business Law Co-chair Robert J. Kerwin of Tarlow, Breed,
Hart & Rodgers PC and Francis C. Morrissey of Morrissey &
Kerwin summarized the day-long event. "We want to get to the
issues that are keeping people up at night. I think that Jim
Donnelly, Dave Parke and Peter McDermott did a wonderful job at
organizing an event that accomplished that goal."
According to conference attendee Kai May, in-house counsel for
Osram Sylvania, the event was worthwhile. He noted that as both an
in-house counsel and compliance officer, "the topic pertaining to
internal investigations, conflicts and fraud was very useful to me.
I was able to gain very good, practical knowledge."
Featured member benefit: My Resources page
Log-in to the MBA Web site and check out the new way to customize and find relevant practice tools and information.
Click here to view your "My Resources"
MBA section news
Law Practice Management open meeting; Intellectual Property Practice Group meeting; Taxation Law open meeting
Law Practice Management open
Friday, Dec. 18, Noon-1:30
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
The Law Practice Management Section
Council has scheduled its first open meeting for Friday, Dec. 18 at
the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. The topic will be on a Paperless
Office with panelists Rodney S. Dowell of Mass. Law Office
Management Assistance Program in Boston and Alan J. Klevan of
Klevan & Klevan LLP.
Future open meeting topics will
include Marketing for No Money and the New Privacy Regulations.
More information will be posted on the MBA's Law Practice Management Web page.
Intellectual Property Practice
Thursday, Jan. 14, 5:30-7
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
The second meeting of the Business Law
Section's Intellectual Property Practice Group will be held on
Thursday, Jan. 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St.,
Boston. There will be a short presentation on "Trademark
Basics," followed by a roundtable discussion. More information
regarding the presenters to come.
Taxation Law Section open
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 5-6:30
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
The Taxation Law Section and the State
Tax Practice Group will sponsor the Taxation Law's first open
meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20
West St., Boston. Our guest speaker will be Kevin Brown, general
counsel of the Department of Revenue, who will discuss the new
combined reporting requirements, including the statute and
regulations, the technical corrections, and several outstanding
issues. Since many Massachusetts tax attorneys have limited
experience with combined reporting (new for 2009), this is a great
opportunity for an introduction. To join the State Tax Practice
Group contact Rick Stone, chair of the State Tax Practice Group, at
(617) 848-9360 or [e-mail rick].
Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule
Register by tomorrow to receive discounted rates on the "How to Start and Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice" conference and reception
To register for the
following programs, call MBA Member Services at (617)
[e-mail membership] or visit the
CLE Web site. To download a PDF of the
December/January CLE brochure, click
This week's highlighted programs include:
- Expanding Horizons for
- Distressed Property Bootcamp Session I:
Representing a Buyer Purchasing Distressed
- How to Use the Mortgage Discharge Statute to
Improve Your Real Estate Practice
- Handling Depositions with
- Statute of Limitations Issues in Estate and Trust
- Cost Effective E-Discovery for Small
- Asset Protection Planning for (Happily) Married
- The Massachusetts Data Privacy
- How to Start & Run a Successful Solo or
Small-Firm Practice Conference and reception
- Save the date: MBA Annual Conference 2009
Scroll down for program descriptions, dates and
JANUARY CLE PROGRAMS
Expanding Horizons for Senior
Monday, Jan. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St. Boston
Distressed Property Bootcamp Session I - Representing a Buyer
Purchasing Distressed Property
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 5-7 p.m.
Western New England College School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham
How to Use the Mortgage Discharge Statute to
Improve Your Real Estate Practice
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 4-7 p.m.
Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Blvd., Taunton
Cost Effective E-Discovery for Small
Thursday, Jan. 14, Noon-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Handling Depositions with Confidence
Thursday, Jan. 14, 4-7 p.m.
Registry of Deeds, 90 Front St., Worcester
Statute of Limitations Issues in Estate and Trust
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Asset Protection Planning for (Happily) Married
Wednesday, Jan. 27, Noon-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
The Massachusetts Data Privacy
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place, One Monarch Place,
How to Start & Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm
Register by tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 18 to receive
discounted rates. After Friday, Dec. 18, prices will increase by
Thursday, Jan 28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Lombardo's, 16 Billings Street, Randolph
**The General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section Council
will host a member reception immediately after the
conference. Meet the section council chairs and members in an
informal setting while networking with colleagues with similar
interests. This event is FREE for MBA members and all attendees at
the "How to Start & Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm
Practice" Conference. You do not need to register for the
conference to attend.
CONFERENCE SAVE THE DATE
MBA Annual Conference 2010: Achieving a
Competitive Advantage in Changing Times
Thursday, March 11 - Friday, March 12
Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston
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- Tuesday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m.
- Tuesday, Dec. 22, 11 a.m.
- Tuesday, Dec. 29, 11 a.m.