From top to bottom:

Left to right: ABA TECHSHOW Road Show presenters included Dave Bilinsky, Debbie Foster, Jim Colloway, Alan Klevan, Rodney Dowell and Adriana Linares.

Members of the legal community are introduced to hardware, software and Web page solutions for their practices, at the Turbocharge Your Practice With Affordable Technology session at yesterday's ABA TECHSHOW Road Show.

Photographs by Tricia Oliver and Jennifer Rosinski

ABA TECHSHOW Road Show Debuts in Boston

More than 100 take advantage of event at MBA

More than 100 legal professionals made their way to the Massachusetts Bar Association's Boston office yesterday to take part in the first local version of the wildly successful ABA TECHSHOW held annually in Chicago. The MBA and the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association teamed up to present the February 11 program, that showcased national presenters on the most current trends and tactics related to legal technology.
Informational sessions covered topics ranging from efficiencies gained from digital dictation and the benefits of using PowerPoint in the court room to archiving client and case information in Outlook and steps to a more profitable law firm. The day-long program ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with two concurrent tracks of educational sessions.  

The Mobile Office: Take Your Desktop in Your Pocket gave attendees an overview of the latest gadgets and accessories available to take the practice of law on the go. From comparisons between laptop and tablet PCs to security measures that include Lojack for your laptop and encryption, speakers Debbie Foster and Paul Unger provided practical tools to get started.

The other early morning session was New Resources and Personal Knowledge Management, which featured the best new sources of online legal and factual information, as well as how to use RSS feeds, social book marking services and online notebooks.

One of the most popular sessions was Turbocharge Your Practice With Affordable Technology held in the late morning and presented by MBA Law Practice Management Section Co-chairs Alan J. Klevan and Rodney S. Dowell. While attendees took notes on paper, laptops and mobile devices, the pair described free and low-cost technology solutions that included e-faxing, conference calls, file sharing, security and printing.

The other late morning session was Shock and Awe: PowerPoint for Opening Statements and Closing Arguments. Catherine Sanders Reach and Paul Unger shared basic and advanced tips for using PowerPoint to make opening statements and closing arguments more powerful and persuasive.

Lunch was then served while attorneys chose to attend 60 Law Practice Management Tips in 60 Minutes or 60 Essential Web Sites in 60 Minutes. Adriana Linares, chair of the ABA Law Practice Management Section’s Technology Core Group, along with speakers David Bilinsky and Jim Calloway, offered helpful URLs for streamlining functionality in the office and at home.

Following the lunch programs, PDF-ing for Lawyers and Look Who’s Talking! What Lawyers Need to Know about Digital Dictation and Speech Recognition were two sessions offered in the early afternoon.  

One of the last programs of the day was Accidentally Successful: How to Tell if You and Your Firm are Making Money. The session covered helpful law practice management tips that would lead to a more profitable and efficient practice. Speakers highlighted the importance of a sound business plan. Bilinsky explained how important it is for practitioners to develop an “outline of what your practice looks like on paper.” Calloway added how crucial the first meeting with the client can be. “The initial client interview is a time to shape expectations,” he said. Both speakers' suggestions underscored the importance of planning in the success of any law practice.    

The other final program of the day was The Lawyer’s Guide to Managing Client and Case Information with Outlook. The interactive demonstration covered pointers for attorneys on how to effectively archive client and case correspondence using Outlook. “Contacts are the center of your universe in Outlook,” said Linares, who co-led the program with Foster. Linares highlighted the “activities” feature in “contacts” in Outlook 2007, as a helpful way to better track attorneys’ interaction with “contacts” or clients.  
Following the program, the feedback from both participants and speakers on the comprehensive program was equally positive.

Carrying the momentum of the Feb. 11 ABA TECHSHOW Road Show, the MBA will host a free Legal Technology Expo at the Sheraton Framingham on March 20. Click here to register.
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Save the Date: Latest in the Law 2009

Looking to stay up-to-date in your practice area? Check out our upcoming conference at the Sheraton Braintree in May.

The Latest in the Law 2009 is a specially-priced, comprehensive conference highlighting the most significant cases and legal developments over the past year. Designed to give practitioners the opportunity to attend all available programming, the MBA is offering 12, distinct, 75-minute sessions over two days to keep you abreast of the latest changes in your current practice areas and beyond.

Day One: Wednesday, May 13

  • Criminal Law Update
  • Personal Injury Law Update
  • Bankruptcy Law Update
  • Business Law Update:  Data Privacy Act Update
  • Real Estate Law Update
  • Malpractice Avoidance and Risk Management

Day Two: Thursday, May 14

  • Probate Law Update
  • Elder Law Update
  • Labor & Employment Law Update:  Family Medical Leave Act Update
  • Juvenile Law Update
  • Family Law Update
  • Traps for the Unwary
Networking reception to follow Thursday's programming.

Attend one or both days to suit your professional needs. To receive the complete set of conference materials, attend both conference days at our special discounted price of $250 for MBA members (a savings of $50).


MBA Members: $150 per day / $250 for both days

To register, call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or click here.

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Boston area lawyers needed for ABA Moot Court Competition

180 volunteer lawyers and judges are needed Feb 26-28

The American Bar Association Law Student Division needs approximately 180 lawyers and judges to serve as oral argument judges for the 2008-09 Boston Regional National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC). This moot court competition will be held from Thursday, Feb. 26 through Saturday, Feb. 28 at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, 24 New Chardon St., Boston.

Volunteer judges will have the opportunity to interact with the finest advocates that the nation's law schools have to offer. With 190 teams competing, the NAAC is one of the largest moot court competitions in the country. Teams from law schools in 15 states are preparing to compete in the Boston Regional.

This year's problem involves two questions. The first is whether congressmen who voted for legislation that the President refuses to obey on the grounds that the legislation is unconstitutional have standing to sue the President for his failure to comply with the legislation. The second is whether a statute setting forth a timetable for withdrawing forces from a previously authorized foreign conflict unconstitutionally infringes on the President's power as Commander in Chief of the armed forces.

The rounds will be held in the late afternoon on Thursday, Feb. 26 and Friday, Feb. 27 and all day on Saturday, Feb. 28. Judges may serve multiple rounds.

  • Round 1Thursday, Feb. 26, 4-7:45 p.m.
  • Round 2Friday, Feb. 27, 4-7:45 p.m.
  • Round 3Saturday, Feb. 28, 9 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
  • Round 4 Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Round 5 Saturday, Feb. 28, 4-6 p.m.

Click here to enter your contact information and preferred round(s) if you would like to volunteer. 
Judges may earn CLE credit if their state CLE Board provides for credit via judging competitions. Please check with your state CLE Board.

For more information, or if you have questions, contact Peggy Pissarreck at (312) 988-5621 or via e-mail.


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News from the SJC / Superior Court

Amendment to Superior Court Rule 9A is effective Monday, March 2; SJC Steering Committee on Self-Represented Litigants presents Final Report and Recommendations to Justices; SJC commemorates 150th Anniversary


Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, recently signed an Amendment to Superior Court Rule 9A, which is effective Monday, March 2.

Click here to view the amendment.

Supreme Judicial Court Steering Committee on Self-Represented Litigants Presents Final Report and Recommendations to Justices

The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court recently received the Final Report and Recommendations of the Court's Steering Committee on Self-Represented Litigants and praised the Steering Committee for its dedicated work and implementation of major initiatives during the past six years.

The Justices are in the process of reviewing the 43-page report with action expected to be taken this spring on several key recommendations.  

The report summarizes the Steering Committee's work in the following six major areas and offers recommendations for future efforts.

  • Expanding access to legal representation through limited assistance representation (sometimes referred to as "unbundling" of legal services);
  • Judicial guidelines and training;
  • Resource and referral guide for self-represented litigants;
  • Guidelines and training for court staff;
  • Technology initiatives; and
  • User friendly courts.
Click here to view the Self-Represent Litigants Final Report.

Superior Court commemorates 150th Anniversary

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Massachusetts Superior Court in 2009, Chief Justice Barbara J. Rouse recently announced that the Superior Court is planning a multifaceted, statewide commemoration throughout the year with activities and programs designed to raise the public's awareness of the work of the judiciary.  

A highlight of the yearlong programming will be a statewide symposium that will explore the Superior Court's origin, the impact of themes such as judicial independence in notable cases, and future challenges facing the court.

Click here to view the detailed listing of the programs and activities in each county, that will be announced as the dates for the events are confirmed.

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation and judges of the Superior Court have provided funding for the planned activities.


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Law Practice Management Tip of the Week

Looking to save time? Rethink the way you fax.


Having a stand-alone fax machine is another opportunity to spend money and wait for an equipment breakdown. With so many web-based fax resources, it makes no sense to waste time getting out of your chair to wait for your 20-page fax to be transmitted. Think of the extra time wasted if the fax doesn’t go through! And then, after receiving your fax, you have to take the time to file it correctly!

Electronic faxing is an affordable and efficient way to manage your faxing needs. Besides being able to process the fax from your desk, thereby saving time walking to and from the machine, your incoming faxes may automatically be received as a .pdf document, thereby making filing a breeze. Don't forget the paper you are saving.

FaxCompare is a Web site which reviews the major eFax companies and provides an apples-to-apples comparison of them. Check out each listing and see which vendor provides the best value for your firm. Competition in this arena is good, and that translates to better deals for you.

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 J. Klevan or Rodney Dowell.
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Featured member benefit: The Complete Lawyer

View the January and February newsletters.

MBA members now have the opportunity to view The Complete Lawyer's first two issues of 2009. This helpful newsletter provides practical advice for the busy practitioner.


What are realistic survival strategies that lawyers and law firms can use in these challenging economic times?  In this edition of The Complete Lawyer, “What Do Savvy Lawyers Do In An Uncertain Economy?” we examine the problem from both a firm and individual perspective.

To view the January issue, click here.


There’s nothing like a recession to spur the need to market and hone your business development skills. In this edition of The Complete Lawyer, “How Do Top Rainmakers Make It Happen?” topics include: marketing strategy, public relations, writing, speaking, networking and direct sales.

To view the February issue, click here.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Participate in the upcoming Bankruptcy and Foreclosure seminar

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 February/March CLE brochure, click here.  

This week's highlighted programs include:
  • Probate and Guardianship Reform: Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code
  • District Court Survival Guide — Criminal Practice
  • Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples
  • How to Probate an Estate
  • Expanding Your Practice in a Shrinking Economy: Emergency Criminal Advice for the General Practitioner
  • Elder Law Basics
  • Bankruptcy and Foreclosure
  • Hot Off the Press: New Child Support Guidelines
  • Casemaker 2.1 Webinar
  • MBA Co-sponsored Program

Scroll down for program descriptions, dates and registration details.

Probate and Guardianship Reform: Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code 

In response to the highly anticipated Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code's recent enactment, the Massachusetts Bar Association has scheduled several seminars around the state to discuss how the UPC's important changes will impact the probate process. Our expert faculty include Joint MBA/BBA UPC drafting committee members Mark A. Leahy, Esq., and John J. Ford, Esq., as well as Thomas J. Carey Jr., Esq., and Frederick L. Nagle Jr., Esq., who were both instrumental in advocating on behalf of the MBA for passage of this legislation.

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 4-7 p.m., MBA, 20 West St. Boston
(Course #: PLN09)
Tuesday, March 3, 4-7 p.m.,  Western New England College School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Rd., Springfield
(Course #: PLO09)

Monday, March 9, 4-7 p.m., Mass. School of Law, 500 Federal St., Andover
(Course #: PLP09)

 Just added:

 Monday, March 16, 4-7 p.m., Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Blvd., Taunton
(Course #: PLQ09)

Join us for a review of the newly enacted Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code, which modernizes and reforms probate and guardianship law in the commonwealth. The code will simplify, clarify and codify probate law and procedure, promote speedy and efficient estate administration, make effective the intent of decedents and provide effective protection for incapacitated people while minimizing their loss of liberty.

While the UPC does not go into effect until July 1, 2011, guardianship provisions become effective on Wednesday, July 1, 2009. Join us now to learn the most significant changes that will affect your probate practice. Attendees will learn about:
Estate Planning and Intestate Rules
  • Spousal intestate share modernized;
  • Child’s intestate share and omitted child shares; and
  • Will formalities and memorandums.
Estate Administration Options

  • Open estate in seven days with informal probate;
  • Formal probate for contested estates;
  • New accounting and estate closing options; and
  • Intervivos and testamentary trusts changes.

Guardianship Modernized

  • Incapacity defined;
  • Limited guardianships;
  • Conservator for property and guardian of the person;
  • Protective orders; and
  • New reports and accounts required.


Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples, Course #: PLK09
Thursday, Feb. 19, 4-7 p.m. / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

District Court Survival Guide — Criminal Practice, Course #: CLQ09
Monday, Feb. 23, 4–6:30 p.m. / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

How to Probate an Estate, Course #: PLL09

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 3–7 p.m. / Western New England College School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Rd., Springfield

Expanding Your Practice in a Shrinking Economy: Emergency Criminal Advice for the General Practitioner, Course #: CSF09

Tuesday, February 24, 4–6 p.m / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Elder Law Basics, Course #: PLJ09
Thursday, Feb. 26, 4–7 p.m. / Massachusetts School of Law, 400 Federal St., Andover

Bankruptcy and Foreclosure, Course # PRG09
Thursday, Feb. 26, 4–7 p.m. / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Hot Off the Press: New Child Support Guidelines, Course #: FLP09
Tuesday, March 24, 4–7 p.m. / Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Blvd., Taunton


Want to learn more about the capabilities of the beta version of Casemaker 2.1 straight from the source? Attend a complimentary Web training session to review the enhancements and new functionality of Casemaker 2.1 from the comfort of your home or office.

Space is limited. Reserve your place now at the last Webinar available in February.
Thursday, Feb. 26, 1 p.m.


Contemporary Alimony Considerations
Thursday, March 12, 4-7:30 p.m.
Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston 


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MBA Section News

Join in the Immigration Law and Transgender Clients Open Meeting; Labor & Employment Section Council Meeting; Employment Law Open Forum

  Immigration Law and Transgender Clients

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 5-7 p.m.
Course #: IMA09
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

This workshop will provide both law students and attorneys practicing immigration law the tools for effective representation of transgender individuals in the immigration context. Experienced panelists will discuss the legal issues faced by transgender non-citizens, including Transgender Law 101 and DOMA implications for family-based immigration for transgender clients. This program is sponsored by the MBA's Immigration Law Section and Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association.
To R.S.V.P., contact Member Services at (617) 338-0530.

Labor & Employment Section Council Meeting

 Tuesday, Feb. 17, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

All Labor & Employment section members are invited to attend.
To R.S.V.P., contact MBA Sections Administrator Jean Stevens at jstevens.

Employment Law Open Forum

Tuesday, Feb. 24, noon-1 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Come join us for a roundtable discussion about Reductions-in-Force. We will discuss selection criteria, how to communicate the news to the workforce, employee's ability to negotiate severance, WARN act issues, and many other best practices and issues that arise in the RIF context.

To R.S.V.P., contact MBA Sections Administrator Jean Stevens at jstevens.





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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.

Feb. 12

Click here to view more Eco-Tips.

©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association