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State budget awaits governor’s signature

The state budget is on Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk awaiting his signature. Included in the budget is $9.5 million in funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. In a recently announced revised appropriation, the governor indicated his willingness to reduce MLAC’s funding to $8 million.

It is imperative that you contact the governor to encourage him to preserve MLAC’s funding at the $9.5 million that was enacted by the Legislature.

The governor’s office can be reached by phone at (617) 725-4000 or via Twitter.


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Reminder: Membership dues renewal right around the corner

Renew your MBA membership by mail or online

The MBA reminds you that the 2008-09 membership year is drawing to a close, and membership renewal notices for the 2009-10 year will be distributed soon. As in years past, the MBA offers members two renewal options:

  • By mail: Renew your MBA membership through the mail with a check or credit card payment. Look for your dues renewal form to come in the mail in mid-July.  
  • Online: Look for a renewal notice via e-mail in mid-July with instructions on how to renew your membership online. We understand how valuable your time is and are happy to offer you this time-saving, green alternative.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the MBA.

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Interested in serving on the Lawyers Journal editorial advisory board?

Lawyers Journal is seeking volunteers to be considered for its editorial advisory board. As part of its continuing efforts to respond to member feedback regarding communication, the MBA is launching a redesigned Lawyers Journal in September. In addition to the new and improved design, the MBA will establish an editorial advisory board for its monthly periodical.

Board members will be asked to meet/teleconference monthly to assess the paper’s success in serving members, advise MBA staff on improvements, and suggest topics and authors for articles.

If you are interested in being considered for the board, contact Lawyers Journal Editor Bill Archambeault at [e-mail editorialboard] by Tuesday, June 30, noting your practice area, office location and interest in serving on the board.

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Law Practice Management Tip of the Week

OMG this is Gr8!: Predictive Texting

Not everyone has a PDA. And not everyone with a PDA has access to that PDA all the time.  Some folks, even, have, and prefer to have, those old-fashioned cell phones with the 12-digit keypads. Remember those?

Despite the ubiquity of e-mail access and QWERTY keyboards, either on-device or on-screen, there are times when a full keyboard is not available for mobile access. And, what do you do then? Toggling through the number pad to type out messages can sink your speed. Is there a way to approximate the speed with which you type on a QWERTY keyboard using text?

There sure is. Predictive texting is a method for text that allows you to type full words without toggling through each of the letter choices represented by each number. For example, instead of hitting 2 twice, then 8 twice, then 7 three times, then 6 twice, in order to spell “burn”, instead use predictive text, and hit 2-8-7-6; if “burn” does not appear following your typing (although it should), toggle through the word options until you find what you are looking for.

Predictive texting is easy to use, and many newer keypad cell phones default to the option. If you haven’t used predictive text before, turn the option on, or try it for the first time. A few run-throughs should be all that you need to get it down.

Whether you’re texting your kids to find out when they’ll be getting out of soccer practice, or texting your office staff to let them know that you are running late for a client meeting, predictive text can speed your process and save you time.


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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ABA Death Penalty Representation Project

The MBA is co-sponsoring this two-part program on Thursday, July 16 at the John J. Moakley Courthouse in Boston

Join the  ABA Death Penalty Representation Project for a special two-part event on Thursday, July 16, from 3-5 p.m. at the John J. Moakley U.S. Courthouse, One Courthouse Way, Boston, to learn how you can represent a death-sentenced prisoner and manage the costs of representation in today's uncertain economy. U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner will host the event.

Part I: Nuts and Bolts of Capital Represenation ( 3-4 p.m.)
Ever wondered what is involved in representing a Death Row inmate? Curious about whether you have the skills to handle a case, and how the experience will benefit you, your practice and your firm? This interactive session will provide you with a brief introduction to the world of capital representation. You will learn basic information about training, timing, other members of your team, ethical issues, investigations, and working with your death-sentences client. You will also learn about the different types of death penalty work that the project has available for volunteers.

Part II: Managing the Costs of Volunteer Death Penalty Work (4-5 p.m.)
Volunteer law firms that successfully handle death penalty appeals bring an infusion of skills and financial resources to the case. Although this work remains some of the most rewarding pro bono work available, some law firms may be wary of  the costs associated with handling a death penalty case. This session will provide important information about how firms can keep out-of-pocket expenses at a manageable level, offer significant training opportunities to firm colleagues and provide meaningful legal services to death-sentenced prisoners who are without counsel.

Join Boston area attorneys as they talk about their experiences as volunteer death penalty lawyers. We will have a frank and honest discussion with volunteers and project staff about the costs of death penalty work and why your held is still so urgently needed for those on Death Row.
A complimentary reception following the program will provide additional time to ask questions of volunteer attorneys and staff members from the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project.
This program is sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

For more information, or to register, call Katie Hughes at (202) 662-1738 or click here. Click here for additional program information.
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Featured member benefit: ABA Recession Recovery Teleconference Series

Take part in session four on "Staying Positive in a Down Economy"

Tuesday, June 30, 1-1:30 p.m.
Teleconference and live audio Webcast

Whether you're helping your friends or yourself, this teleconference will help you restore morale both at home or in the office. Learn techniques to help your laid-off lawyer friends and colleagues find the motivation they need to get out of their PJs in the morning.

Nationally recognized speakers will address how to:

  • Stay positive and motivated;
  • Alleviate stress/depression in a down economy;
  • Help others while helping yourself through pro bono and public service;
  • Set up a schedule and a transition team to call and check in on them.

Michael Brandwein is an internationally recognized expert on communication and leadership and the author of Learning Leadership in Lincolnshire, IL.

Gina Y. Walcott is the executive director at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Inc. in Boston.


ABA member rate: Free
Non-member rate: $9.95

Click here to register for this event.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Mark your calendars with summer CLE programs

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 June/July CLE brochure, click here.  

This week's highlighted programs include:
  • Summer CLE programs
  • Casemaker Webinars

Scroll down for program descriptions, dates and registration details.


Drafting the Simple Will
Course #: PLY09 / Tuesday, July 14, 4–7 p.m.

Elder Law Basics

Course #: PLW09 / Wednesday, July 15, 4–7 p.m.

Estate Planning Solutions to Problems Luncheon Roundtable
Course #: PLZ09 / Wednesday, July 15, noon-1 p.m.

District Court Survival Guide – Civil Practice

Course #: CLDD09 / Monday, July 20, 4–6:30 p.m.

Trial Practice Luncheon Roundtable Series: Pre-trial Preparation and Jury Issues Luncheon Roundtable
Course #: CLFF09 / Tuesday, July 21, noon–2 p.m.

Fundamentals of Civil Motion Practice
Course #: CLBB09 / Tuesday, July 28, 4–7 p.m.

Basics of Divorce Practice
Course #: FLR09 / Wednesday, July 29, 4–7 p.m.

Basics of Developing an Estate Plan
Course #: PLX09 / Thursday, July 30, 4–7 p.m.

Immigration Law Essentials

Course #: IME09 / Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2–6 p.m.

Handling Depositions with Confidence

Course #: CLCC09 / Monday, Aug. 10, 2–5 p.m.

District Court Survival Guide — Criminal Practice

Course #: CLEE09 / Monday, Aug. 17, 4–6:30 p.m.

Trial Practice Luncheon Roundtable Series: Trial Issues Luncheon Roundtable
Course #: CLGG09 / Thursday, Aug. 20, noon–2 p.m.

Preparing to File a Lawsuit

Course #: CLHH09 / Monday, Aug. 24, 4–7 p.m.


Want to learn more about the capabilities 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. Click here to reserve your place at a Webinar.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 14, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 21, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 28, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 4, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 18, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 1, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29, 11 a.m.
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MBA section news

Business Law Section Council open meeting

Tuesday, June 30, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The Business Law Section Council invites you to attend the next open meeting on Tuesday, June 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.

Guest speaker Jim Ayraud, CEO and founder of Next Level, Inc., a successful sales management consulting firm, will discuss how to market your law practice more effectively.   

Ayraud has more than two-plus decades of sales, sales management, brand marketing and sales training experience and is recognized in the Boston area as one of the top sales management consultants, with a proven track record of success with current and past clients. When asked about his clients, Ayraud always says that they have three things in common: commitment, accountability and rigorous focus on their goals.
To R.S.V.P., contact MBA Sections Administrator Jean Stevens at [e-mail jstevens] .


©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association