e-Journal

05-07

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Register for next week's Latest in the Law 2009 Conference

Sign up now for this year's must-attend conference at the Sheraton Braintree on May 13-14

A specially priced, comprehensive conference highlighting the most significant cases and legal developments over the past year, Latest in the Law 2009 is designed to give practitioners the opportunity to attend all available programming. The MBA is offering more than a dozen sessions over two days to keep you abreast of the latest in your current practice areas and beyond.

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

Continuing Legal Education credits are available in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.  New Hampshire attorneys will receive 7.25 credits (including 1 ethics credit) per day. Rhode Island attorneys will receive 7.5 credits (including 1 ethics credit) per day.

Click here for more information, including a current list of programs.
 To register, call (617) 338-0530.


As an added bonus, Braintree businesses have generously donated the following prizes for our onsite raffle:


 

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Legislative News

House budget restores Trial Court funding; Senate version expected soon

Funding for the state's courts has been restored in the House of Representatives' budget proposal at a level that would avoid the need for layoffs or cuts to core services.

The Senate is expected to present its budget soon, and any differences between the two will have to be worked out in conference committee before the budget is sent to the governor for approval.

At the end of April, the House passed an amendment adding back roughly $26 million to the overall Trial Court budget, bringing the total proposed funding to $579 million. The Massachusetts Bar Association has urged the Legislature to fully fund the courts.

Look for updates about court funding in e-Journal.
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Top left:
Patrick S. Tracey of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP of Boston.
Top right:
Patricia A. Gorman, Gorman & Greenberg of Canton.
Bottom left:
Jason M. Cotton, Peabody & Arnold LLP of Boston.
Bottom right:
From left to right: Anton Materna, veterans service officer of Rockland and John Hogan, veterans service officer of Mansfield.

Photos by Kelsey Sadoff.

Community Services Update

Recent Dial-A-Lawyer program answers veterans pressing legal concerns; Updated Elder Law Guide

In an effort to help veterans who are struggling with obtaining and holding onto their federal and local benefits in a deep recession, the Massachusetts Bar Association has offered a free Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer program since 2007 – a program that is devoted exclusively to addressing the legal needs of veterans. At the recent April 30 program, volunteer attorneys offered advice to more than 90 callers.

“The information we give helps direct people to the resources they need so that they can get detailed help,” said volunteer attorney Jason M. Cotton of Peabody & Arnold LLP in Boston. Many veterans and their family members called into the April 30 program will legal concerns revolving around the financial strains of bankruptcy, divorce and alimony.

The Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer is provided as a public service of the MBA with the financial support of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the MBA. The MBA has partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services on the program.

“From the sound of the people I have spoken to – they appreciate the assistance and deserve it,” said attorney Paul J. Carchidi, a sole practitioner in Brockton.

The date for the next Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer has not yet been determined. If you would like to participate in future Dial-A-Lawyer programming, look for notification on the Public and Community Services page at www.massbar.org.
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Elder Law Cover 2009Elder Law Education Program updates Resource Guide

With the assistance of a group of volunteers from the MBA's Probate Law Section Council, the MBA has prepared a revised and expanded edition of "Taking Control of Your Future: A Legal Checkup," a resource guide that was distributed to all participating senior service related agencies and attorney volunteers this year. The guide contains information on a wide range of legal issues affecting the lives of seniors and is updated each year. Topics include:

  • Twenty commonly asked questions in elder law;
  • The rights of a nursing home resident;
  • Aid and Attendance Veterans Benefits;
  • Elder Abuse, Neglect, Financial Exploitation;
  • Reverse mortgages;
  • Medicare/Medicaid changes; and
  • Real Estate Tax Exemptions and Deferrals
Also, this guide is presented with the generous assistance of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Click here to view the updated resource guide.
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New Massachusetts Law Review available

Features comment on indemnification under tort claims act in Maimaron v. Commonwealth

The volume 92, number 1, issue of Massachusetts Law Review features an article on "smart growth," part one of a two-part article on conflict of laws in Massachusetts, an extensive look at copyright in architectural works and a review of Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer's Guide to Effective Writing and Editing.

To view the issue, click here.
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Law Practice Management Tip of the Week

Need to save time and money on postage?

Visit Stamps.com to learn more about how you can purchase and print postage directly from your computer. Advantages include the ability to import delivery addresses directly from Microsoft Outlook and other software programs, weigh your letters and packages on a USB scale, and instantly calculate and print your exact postage. As an added benefit, Stamps.com keeps a detailed record of the postage you print, allowing you to review postage spending, print reports and track packages with a single click. 

To find out if Stamps.com can save you time and money, visit the Web site and click on the free savings calculator to compare the costs of using Stamps.com against the fees associated with maintaining a postage meter or visiting the post office. Stamps.com may just be the postage solution you need.

This tip is courtesy of Alan E. Brown, Esq. of Morrison Mahoney LLP.

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: Casemaker

Casemaker 2.1 released

Casemaker, a comprehensive research tool, not only provides Massachusetts resources (caselaw, statutes and regulations plus additional special materials), but it also provides users access to caselaw and statutes for all 50 states and the federal system. Casemaker's “CaseCheck” feature provides quick links to cases referenced in your search, while its "Supercode" feature provides updates on the currency of statutes. These features are available in all of the state databases and the federal database.

The recent upgrade to Casemaker 2.1 makes available breadcrumb navigation, for a smoother site interface. For those wishing to attend a Casemaker 2.1 training, webinars are available.

 

Currently scheduled Massachusetts webinars include:

 

  • Friday, May 15, 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, May 20, 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 3, 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 16, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2 p.m.

  Click here to access the Casemaker webinar trainings.

 

 

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News from the Courts

Supreme Judicial Court’s Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee seeks input on Trial Court judges

The Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee is asking attorneys to respond to questionnaires evaluating the performance of Trial Court judges.

Judges of the Superior Court in Middlesex and Suffolk Counties will be evaluated starting the week of May 18 by attorneys, court employees and jurors.  

The Supreme Judicial Court's evaluation program is the best opportunity for attorneys to voice their opinions of the members of the judiciary. Attorneys who have appeared repeatedly in these courts in the last two years, according to computerized court records, will receive questionnaires. Attorneys will either receive a copy of the questionnaire in the mail or via e-mail with an invitation to use the evaluation Web site with a username and password.

As required by statute, the evaluations are confidential and anonymous. The results will be transmitted to the judge, the Chief Justice of Superior Court, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, and the Chief Justice of Administration and Management.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Participate in the upcoming Child Support Guidelines 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 May/June CLE brochure, click here.  

This week's highlighted programs include:
  • Expanding Your Practice in a Shrinking Economy: Emergency Criminal Advice for the General Practitioner (LIVE)
  • Expanding Your Practice in a Shrinking Economy: Emergency Criminal Advice for the General Practitioner (SIMULCAST)
  • The New Child Support Guidelines
  • The Rx Files: Medicine for Lawyers—Part V: Forensic Pathology— Cause of Death or Injury
  • District Court Survival Guide: Civil Practice
  • The Supplemental Needs Trust Team: Pulling Together the Essential Components (Andover)
  • The Supplemental Needs Trust Team: Pulling Together the Essential Components (Springfield)
  • Latest in the Law 2009 Conference
  • Upcoming Lawyers in Transition Luncheon Roundtables
  • Save the Date: Health Law Conference
  • Save the Date: Third Annual Public Law Conference
  • Save the Date: Annual Solo & Small Firm Law Practice Management Symposium: Keeping Competitive in Uncertain Times
  • Casemaker Webinars

Scroll down for program descriptions, dates and registration details.

CLE Programs

Expanding Your Practice in a Shrinking Economy: Emergency Criminal Advice for the General Practitioner (LIVE)
Tuesday, May 12, 4–6 p.m. / Catuogno, 1414 Main St., Springfield
 
Expanding Your Practice in a Shrinking Economy: Emergency Criminal Advice for the General Practitioner (SIMULCAST)
Tuesday, May 12, 4–6 p.m. / Catuogno, 446 Main St., Worcester

The New Child Support Guidelines
Monday, May 18, 4–7 p.m. / Registry of Deeds, 90 Front St., Worcester
 
The Rx Files: Medicine for Lawyers—Part V: Forensic Pathology— Cause of Death or Injury
Monday, May 18, 4–6 p.m. / MBA, 20 West St., Boston
 
District Court Survival Guide: Civil Practice
Tuesday, May 19, 4–6:30 p.m. / Western New England College School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield

The Supplemental Needs Trust Team: Pulling Together the Essential Components
Wednesday, May 27, 4–7 p.m. / Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal St., Andover

The Supplemental Needs Trust Team: Pulling Together the Essential Components
Thursday, June 18, 4–7 p.m. / Western Mass. Legal Services, One Monarch Place, Suite 400, Springfield

UPCOMING CONFERENCE

Latest in the Law 2009  
Wednesday, May 13 & Thursday, May 14, 8:30 a.m.5:30 p.m. / Sheraton Braintree Hotel, 37 Forbes Road, Braintree

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 over a dozen sessions over two days to keep you abreast of the latest in your current practice areas and beyond.

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

As an added bonus, Braintree businesses have generously donated the following prizes for our onsite raffle:

For a full conference schedule and list of faculty, click here.

SAVE THE DATES: JUNE CONFERENCES

30th Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference
Tuesday, June 2, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. / The Colonnade Hotel, Boston, 120 Huntington Ave., Boston

Health Law Conference

Friday, June 5, 9 a.m.–1:30 p.m. / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Third Annual Public Law Conference

Wednesday, June 10, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Annual Solo & Small Firm Law Practice Management Symposium: Keeping Competitive in Uncertain Times
Thursday, June 11, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. / Courtyard Marriott Marlborough, 75 Felton St., Marlborough

Upcoming Lawyers in Transition Committee Luncheon Roundtables

Think You're Overqualified? Job Search Strategies for the Experienced Practitioner
Wednesday, June 3, noon-2 p.m. (lunch provided) / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Career Reentry Primer
Wednesday, June 17, noon-2 p.m. (lunch provided) / MBA, 20 West St., Boston

CASEMAKER WEBINARS

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 these Webinars available in May and June.

  • Friday, May 15, 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, May 20, 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 3, 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 16, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2 p.m.

 

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MBA Committee and Section News

Participate in an interpreter services survey; Criminal Justice Section Council meeting; Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining Open Forum; Demystifying the Federal Court: Western-Style Justice

The Access to Justice Section Council encourages MBA members to participate in an ongoing survey on interpreter services. The survey will help identify how interpreter services can provide more efficient services for low-income participants in the court system.

Click here to participate in the survey.

Please share this survey with colleagues and associates who may have valuable input to share.
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Criminal Justice Section Council

Tuesday, May 12, 5 - 6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next Criminal Justice Section Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 12, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. The guest speaker at this meeting will be Middlesex County District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr., who will speak about several initiatives and issues that his office is supporting. Leone will also take questions from attendees.

All Criminal Justice Section members are invited to attend. R.S.V.P. to [e-mail jstevens], as space is limited.

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Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining
Open Forum

Thursday, May 14, noon-1 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Current Topics at the NLRB:
Independent Contractors, Unlawful Employer Rules and Other Topics


On May 14, from noon to 1 p.m., at the MBA on 20 West St., Boston, Region 1 National Labor Relations Board Regional Director Rosemary Pye, regional attorney Ronald Cohen, assistant to the regional director Elizabeth Gemperline, deputy regional attorney Robert Redbord and deputy regional attorney Scott Burson will discuss a recent significant D.C. Circuit case on independent contractors, FedEx; a recent significant First Circuit case on the maintenance and enforcement of overly broad employer rules, The NLS Group; NLRB election activity in Massachusetts; and other hot topics.

This is a free program sponsored by the Labor & Employment Section. 

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Demystifying the Federal Court:
Western-Style Justice

Course #: CAA09
Tuesday, June 9, 3–5:30 p.m.
U.S. Courthouse, 300 State St., Springfield


Are you a practitioner who practices, or may have occasion to practice, in the Federal Courts? This FREE program will offer a unique opportunity to get practical information from the bench about litigating a civil case in the Federal Court, as well as provide a guided tour of the new federal courthouse in Springfield.

Faculty:
Keith A. Minoff, Esq., program chair
Robinson Donovan PC, Springfield

Hon. Michael A. Ponsor
U.S. District Court, Western Division

Hon. Kenneth P. Neiman
Chief Magistrate Judge, Western Division

John C. Stuckenbruck
Division Manager, U.S. District Court

Sponsoring section:

Civil Litigation

Click here to register for this free program.
   

 

 
 

 

 
 

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Lawyers Eco-Challenge Eco-Tip

Incorporate the 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's Green Guidelines, Office Management and/or Green Guidelines, Landscape Management.

Eco-Tips are now sent out on a bi-weekly basis. The next Eco-Tip will be included in the May 21 edition of e-Journal.
May 7
Click here to view more Eco-Tips.
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