Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Jun. 11, 2009
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MBA committee and section news

"Workplace Bullying" open meeting; Workplace fraud discussion with Joint Task Force on the Underground Economy; Immigration Law Section hosts free roundtable discussion; Over 50 MBA members attend federal court program

Workplace Bullying:
Current Law, Proposed Legislation, and Practical Strategies in the Interim

Wednesday, June 17, noon-1 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

In these difficult economic times, workplace bullying is a growing problem.  Although Canada has a law prohibiting workplace bullying, there are no such laws in the United States and few legal remedies to cover the myriad situations that arise.  Professor David Yamada, director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University Law School, will present his proposed legislation to remedy this gap, which is likely to be introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature this year.  MIT Ombudsperson Mary Rowe, Ph.D., and Harvard University Ombudsman Lydia Cummings, who are highly experienced in addressing both the theory and reality of workplace bullying, will provide practical approaches to this difficult problem.

Topics include:

  • What are the common types of workplace bullying? 
  • What potential causes of action exist in Massachusetts, and what are the standards? 
  • How will proposed legislation address the problem without being overbroad? 
  • How can employers avert workplace bullying? 
  • What procedures should govern the investigation of workplace bullying? 
  • What remedies can be used when workplace bullying is established?

Labor & Employment Section
American Arbitration Association
Labor and Employment Relations Association, Boston Chapter

R.S.V.P. to [e-mail jstevens].


Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Suzanne M. Bump, Director of Labor George E. Noel and Joint Task Force on the Underground Economy members to discuss workplace fraud

Friday, June 19, 10 a.m.-noon
Lecture Hall C202, Second Floor C Building, Bunker Hill Community College
250 New Rutherford Ave., Boston
The general public, businesses, labor organizations and community groups are invited to attend and participate. The Joint Task Force on the Underground Economy welcomes your testimony about workplace fraud and employee misclassification. How has your workplace, business or community been impacted? If you wish to testify at this event, please bring copies of your written remarks for the Joint Task Force to keep.
If you cannot attend, but would like your testimony to be included at this meeting, please send it in advance. All testimony relevant to the work of the Joint Task Force can be sent on an ongoing basis to Heather Rowe, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Occupational Safety, Charles F. Hurley Building, 19 Staniford St., 2nd floor, Boston, MA 02114 or send to [e-mail heather.rowe].
R.S.V.P. attendance or participation by close of business Thursday, June 18, to Linnea Walsh at [e-mail linnea.walsh].
For more information on the Underground Economy Task Force efforts should visit

Immigration Law Section hosts free roundtable discussion

Massachusetts Hot Topics: Latest Trends and Issues

Tuesday, June 23, noon-1:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Immigration Law Section Co-chair Roy Jack Watson Jr., Esq., will moderate a panel of attorneys who have just returned from attending the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Annual Conference. The panelists will discuss the highlights of the many substantive topics discussed at the conference, as well as provide information from government panels on the latest changes and new programs they expect to roll out in the immediate and short-term future. Speakers invited include Hon. William P. Joyce (ret.) of Joyce & Associates PC in Boston and Brian T. O'Neill, Esq., of the Law Office of Brian T. O'Neill in Boston.

R.S.V.P. to MBA Senior Program Manager Marc A. D'Antonio at [e-mail MDantonio].


Over 50 MBA members attend federal court program in Springfield

Seasoned attorneys who regularly appear in federal court, as well as those who want to expand their practice in that forum, attended Tuesday evening’s “Demystifying the Federal Courts: Western Style Justice” sponsored by the Civil Litigation Section Council. Section Chair Kimberly Jones, Esq., said, “Those in attendance had an opportunity to become acquainted with Judge Michael A. Ponsor, Magistrate  Kenneth P. Neiman and Division Manager John C. Stuckenbruck. They offered insight, information and guidance to the successful navigation of a civil action in federal court.”

Program Chair Keith A. Minoff, Esq., added, “A program like this was long overdue. Many attorneys seem to avoid federal court simply because they are unfamiliar with the judges and procedures. Ponsor and Neiman did a great job of explaining how they do things and lowering the anxiety level. Stuckenbruck also offered helpful tips on electronic filing procedures. Several attorneys, including some seasoned ones, commented to me afterwards that they found the program quite informative and were impressed with the new courtrooms, not to mention the building itself, which is pretty spectacular."

The program concluded with a guided tour led by Ponsor showcasing the new federal courthouse.


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