e-Journal

05-21

Take action: Delay effective date of Chapter 524, the "New Adopted Children's Rights Law"

Trustees can be held personally liable for incorrect distributions made to the wrong beneficiary

On Jan. 15, Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law Chapter 524 of the Acts of 2008. This new law changed the clearly understood rule of construction that applied to terms like "child," "grandchild" and "issue" in wills, trusts and similar instruments executed before Aug. 26, 1958. When the Legislature modernized the law in 1958 to presume that adopted persons are included in such terms ― unless the instrument plainly states otherwise ― it made the law effective only to instruments executed after its effective date.

Chapter 524, effective April 15, 2009, provides quite simply, "Section 8 of chapter 210 of the General Laws [which contains the presumption including adopted persons in terms like "child," "grandchild" and "issue"] shall apply to all grants, trust settlements, entails, devises or bequests executed at any time, but this section shall not affect distributions made before May 1, 2009 under testamentary instruments executed before September 1, 1969." Click here for the text of Chapter 524.

Trustees are now working aggressively to review all the pre-1958 trusts they administered to determine whether there are adopted persons who should now be included as beneficiaries entitled to current distributions. This includes not only reviewing trust instruments, but talking with family members and reviewing family relationships. Trustees can be held personally liable for distributions made to the wrong beneficiary after May 1, 2009.

Action requested:
The Massachusetts Bar Association  is working closely with the Boston Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bankers Association in an effort to postpone the effective date of Chapter 524. Senate Judiciary Chair Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton) has filed an MBA amendment to the Senate budget (#126) listed below, that would postpone the effective date until July 1, 2010, to allow for more time to correct the problems created by the passage of Chapter 524. Unfortunately, the amendment does not affect any distributions made from April 15, 2009 until the date the FY 2010 budget might be signed into law (most likely July 1, 2009). We ask that you support Sen. Creem's amendment #126, and to contact your local senators now to urge them to support the amendment on the Senate floor.
Your senator's phone number can be found at:
http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenus.htm



To help understand and learn more about the issue, click here to review the full memorandum on Chapter 524 prepared by Mark J. Bloostein at Ropes and Gray LLP.

For further information, contact MBA General Counsel Martin W. Healy at [e-mail mhealy].

Amendment # 126 introduced by Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem
(D-Newton)

JUD 126
CHAPTER 524 OF THE ACTS OF 2008

Sen. Creem moved that the bill be amended by adding the following new sections:-SECTION __. Chapter 524 of the acts of 2008 is hereby amended by adding the following section:- "Section 2. This act shall take effect on July 1, 2010. SECTION __. This act shall take effect as of July 1, 2010; provided, however, that nothing in this act shall affect the validity of any action taken pursuant to chapter 524 of the acts of 2008 between April 15, 2009 and the passage of this act. 

June conference preview

30th Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference; Health Law Conference; Third Annual Public Law Conference; Annual Solo & Small Firm Law Practice Management Symposium

30th Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference

Course #: LEG09
Tuesday, June 2, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
The Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Ave., Boston
 
  • 9 a.m.: Welcome and Introduction
  • 9:15 a.m.: Tough Decisions in Tough Economic Times
    Increasing numbers of employers have been forced to implement furloughs, layoffs, reductions in force and other cost-cutting measures. Our expert panel will discuss the legal and practical implications for employers and employees and will cover federal and state law related to wages and hours, collective bargaining, plant closings and health insurance continuation.
  • 10:45 a.m.: Break
  • 11 a.m.: Challenges and Strategies for Managing the Diverse Workforce
    The demographics of the workforce are in a constant state of change, and today's workforce is more diverse than ever before. Our expert panel will explore the challenges that employees and employers face as a result of this increased diversity, and will discuss strategies for managing a diverse workforce, including the role that attorneys can play in the process.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Lunch - featuring Keynote Speaker: Jonathan Hiatt, Esq., general counsel, AFL-CIO
  • 2 p.m.: Survey of Employment Law Developments
    This review of the hottest employment law developments from 2008 and early 2009 will feature panel presentations on the recent changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Massachusetts Data Security Act. The panel discussion will also include: discrimination based on disability, age, race, national origin, religion, gender and sexual orientation; harassment of all types; retaliation; constitutional claims; common law/business torts, including non-compete, non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements; wrongful termination; covenant of good faith and fair dealing; interference with advantageous/contractual relations; misrepresentation, deceit, fraud; negligent hire; suspension or retention; defamation and breach of contract; and remedies.
  • 3:45 p.m.: Networking Reception

Click here for a conference brochure, including a complete list of faculty and pricing information. To register, click here.

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Health Law Conference

Course #: HLH09
Friday, June 5, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

This comprehensive, two-track seminar is designed for the general, litigation, health care consumer advocate and corporate practitioner, whose clients confront health care mistakes and negligence, and Board of Registration and criminal issues. It is also designed for employment and business attorneys who work in the exploding health care market place.

This conference will benefit any attorney whose practice, even tangentially, deals with health care issues.

Track 1 -  Business Issues Facing Health Care Practitioners
Focusing on health care employer traps for the unwary, federal regulations in the health care marketplace, and issues confronting consumers such as health care access, ERISA developments, medical debt and new developments concerning children's health issues.

  • 8:30 a.m.: Registration
  • 9 a.m.: Opening remarks
  • 9:15 a.m.: Unique Employment Issues in the Healthcare Industry
  • 9:55 a.m.: Break
  • 10 a.m.:  Privacy, HIPAA, Proxies and Informed Consent
  • 10:40 a.m.: Break
  • 10:45 a.m.: OPP, ERISA and Immigration
  • 11:25 a.m.: Break
  • 11:30 a.m.: Medical Debt: Avoidance and Management
  • 12:15 p.m.: Luncheon
Track 2 - Liability Issues Facing Health Care Practitioners
Exploring recent developments in medical and dental malpractice law, practice before the Boards of Registration in medicine, dentistry and nursing, criminal liability of practitioners, and obtaining information from the Department of Public Health.

  • 8:30 a.m.: Registration
  • 9 a.m.: Opening remarks
  • 9:15 a.m.: Medical/Dental Negligence               
  • 9:55 a.m.: Break
  • 10 a.m.: Board of Registration in Medicine Issues
  • 10:40 a.m.: Break
  • 10:45 a.m.: Criminal Liability
  • 11:25 a.m.:  Break
  • 11:30 a.m.: Department of Public Health Investigations
  • 12:15 p.m. Luncheon
Click here to register and for conference details, including a complete list of faculty and pricing information.
 
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Third Annual Public Law Conference

Course #: PUB09
Wednesday, June 10, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
 
Attorneys representing governmental bodies and those who litigate matters before agencies of the government in the last few years have faced an ever-changing set of issues related to the public records law and the new data privacy law and related regulations. Balancing interests of transparency and openness in government against individual and institutional privacy concerns is always challenging. In addition, during this same time, various ethics reform efforts have been front-page news throughout the commonwealth, including the work of the Governor's Task Force on Public Integrity. In this context, our Third Annual Public Law Conference will provide current information for both the new and experienced practitioner.

The conference will open with a nuts-and-bolts discussion of the structure and function of the Attorney General's Office, especially as it relates to public attorneys, with representatives of both the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau and the Government Bureau reviewing in detail the work that their teams do.

The mid-morning panels will provide both a current topics update (the new Massachusetts Data Handling/Privacy Law and related regulations) and a skills training session (Initiating and Responding to Public Records Requests).

Finally, luncheon keynote speaker Scott Harshbarger, former Massachusetts attorney general and current senior counsel at Proskauer Rose LLP, will discuss his experience with, and the work of, the Governor's Task Force on Public Integrity, convened in November 2008.

NOTE: Space is limited this year so attendees MUST register in advance in order to be guaranteed a seat at this year's conference.

Conference schedule:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Registration and continental breakfast
  • 9 a.m.: Demystifying the Attorney General's Office: Its Structure and Function
  • 10:15 a.m.: The New Massachusetts Data Handling/Privacy Law and Regulations
  • 11:30 a.m.: Initiating and Responding to Public Records Requests
  • 12:30 p.m.: Keynote luncheon: The Governor's Task Force on Public Integrity
    Featuring: former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger
Click here to register and for conference details, including a complete list of faculty and pricing information.
 
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Annual Solo & Small Firm Law Practice Management Symposium:
Keeping Competitive in Uncertain Times

Course #: GPF09
Thursday, June 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Courtyard Marriott Marlborough
75 Felton St., Marlborough

This symposium was designed with efficiency, profitability and overall practice fulfillment in mind. Learn tips and tricks to make you and your firm more successful, and learn how you can become a better attorney in your specific practice area. In addition, join us for a networking lunch ― a unique opportunity to speak with experienced general, solo and small firm practitioners and law practice management leaders.

This two-track conference, offering 10 educational sessions, is packed with ideas from the foremost practitioners, networking breaks to meet other attendees and faculty, and vendors to show you the latest legal products.

TRACK 1: Get a Life: Tips for a More Fulfilling Law Practice

  • 10 a.m.: 10 Tips to Manage Your Time and Increase Profits
  • 11 a.m.: The Non-Billable Hour: Can I Make Money with Flat Fee Billing? Finding Your Bottom Line: Why Budget?
  • 11:45 a.m.: Networking Break
  • Noon: Who Am I? Marketing and Branding Yourself in the Web 2.0 World
  • 1 p.m.: Networking Lunch
  • 2 p.m.: Protect Your Assets: Secure Your Data and Recover Quickly When Disaster Strikes
  • 2:45 p.m.: Networking Break
  • 3 p.m.: The Best of the ABA TECHSHOW 2009 - Tips, tricks and Web sites from the world's leading legal technology conference (45 Tips in 45 Minutes)
TRACK 2: Staying Successful in a Down Economy

  • 10 a.m.: Real Estate Practice During Uncertain Times
  • 11 a.m.: Selected Topics in Bankruptcy
  • 11:45 a.m.: Networking Break
  • Noon: Selected Topics in Family Law
  • 1 p.m.: Networking Lunch
  • 2 p.m.: Personal Injury Practice Tips
  • 2:45 p.m.: Networking Break
  • 3 p.m.: District Court Criminal Practice
Click here to register and for conference details, including a complete list of faculty and pricing information.
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Law Practice Management Tip of the Week

Rosier Outlook: Microsoft Outlook e-mail tricks and treats

If you’re using Microsoft Office Outlook for your e-mail, it’s a virtual certainty that you’re not using all of the robust features offered through the product. Of course, it’s also a virtual certainty that you will never have enough time to learn of all of those robust features anyway. However, if you’re using Outlook only to send and receive e-mail, there are some easy-to-use additional features that you can apply to your use of the program in order to increase your efficiency and to control your e-mail flood. Some of these quick fixes involve creating e-mail signatures, sending e-mails directly to created folders outside of your inbox and setting and resetting your junk e-mail folder options.

You can learn about these features, and many others, at the clearinghouse for all things Microsoft Office (including Microsoft Outlook), the Microsoft Office Online Home page. From the Home page, you can search for specific topics, wend your way through how-to presentations and find particular product pages. Use your product Home page to maneuver through the learning options for your version of Outlook. Favorite your product page. Make it a point to learn one more new thing about Outlook every month. You use e-mail everyday, all day long. A minimal time investment in training can produce big net results over time.

There are also a couple of other Web hotspots you can check out, too, if you wish to improve your fluency with Outlook. The official Outlook team blog is a great resource. Adriana Linares (who was one of the speakers at the American Bar Association’s very first TECHSHOW Roadshow, which was hosted by the MBA this February) frequently presents Outlook tips (in a winning style, by the way) at her blog, I Heart Tech.

And, when you learn to embrace Outlook, you’ll heart tech, too.

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: TurboLaw® Time and Billing

Haven't tried Time and Billing yet? Sign up for a free, 30-day trial of this easy-to-use software and find out how it can change your practice

The MBA has proudly partnered with TurboLaw to introduce TurboLaw Time and Billing®, which is exclusively available to MBA members.

Click here for a free 30-day trial.

TurboLaw® Time and Billing is a simple, easy-to-use time and billing program that generates powerful results for you and your firm. Professional looking bills and statements make a positive impression on your clients and ensure that bills are paid promptly. And with comprehensive time and expense-tracking tools, you'll never miss out on billable time or expenses.

There's no complex manual to study, no intimidating screen with hundreds of options - just a simple, streamlined program that you can master in minutes.

David Sharrow"Turbo Law's Time & Billing software is one of the best that I've encountered. Having worked at big firms with sophisticated accounting systems, when I started my own practice, I was looking for a package that was cost-effective, simple to use, yet had powerful invoicing and reporting features. Time and Billing has made the entire process from entering time and expenses through invoicing and through acknowledging receipt of payment a simple task. Thanks to the Massachusetts Bar Association for pointing me in their direction!"

-- David Sharrow, MBA member, Law Cooperative LLC, Carlisle

Discounted rates
One license
$30 per month
Additional licenses
$20 per month
Click here for more information.

Valid MBA membership required.  
TurboLaw® Time and Billing is only available to MBA members.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Participate in the upcoming "Supplemental Needs Trust" 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:
  • The Supplemental Needs Trust Team: Pulling Together the Essential Components (Andover)
  • The Supplemental Needs Trust Team: Pulling Together the Essential Components (Springfield)
  • Death and Dying: Legal Issues in End-of-Life Health Care Decision-Making
  • Upcoming Lawyers in Transition Luncheon Roundtables
  • Save the Date: 30th Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference
  • 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

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

Death and Dying: Legal Issues in End-of-Life Health Care Decision-Making
Tuesday, June 2, 4–7 p.m. / Western New England College School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield

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

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, 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 June.

  • Wednesday, June 3, 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 16, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2 p.m.

 

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Become an officer or director of the Young Lawyers Division

Applications due Monday, June 1

The Young Lawyers Division of the Massachusetts Bar Association is seeking candidates for its board of directors and applications are due Monday, June 1. The board of directors comprises four officers (chair, chair-elect, treasurer and secretary), 12 directors-at-large, and a director from each of the 12 regions (Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Worcester, and Barnstable/Dukes/Nantucket). The YLD is accepting applications for all positions, except the position of chair.

This is a great opportunity to become involved in the Young Lawyers Division. The board meets once a month to discuss and organize volunteer projects, continuing legal education seminars and outreach to the community. The meetings are held at MBA headquarters at 20 West St. in Boston, however, there is also a convenient teleconference option for those not able to attend in person.

This is a great opportunity to network with fellow young lawyers and help us energize the Young Lawyers Division.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the YLD Board of Directors, complete an application and submit it with your resume by Monday, June 1

For an electronic version of the application, click here.
 

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MBA Committee and Section News

Business Law open meeting; Law Practice Management Section Council open meeting; Demystifying the Federal Court; and Workplace Bullying

 

Business Law Open Meeting

Tuesday, May 26, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The Business Law Section members are invited to attend a Business Law Open Meeting on Tuesday, May 26th from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West Street, Boston.  The scheduled speaker will be F. Beirne Lovely, General Counsel for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.  

R.S.V.P. to [e-mail jstevens] indicating your attendance at this meeting.

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Law Practice Management Section Council Open Meeting

Tuesday, May 26, 5 - 7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


All Law Practice Management Section members are invited to attend the Law Practice Management Section Council Open Meeting on Tuesday, May 26 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. Due to the overwhelming response to his many presentations, Mark Kupsc, president of Hytech Management, is going to briefly discuss the Data Privacy Act and how to protect your practice by using Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat to secure all information leaving your office.  Kupsc will discuss how both programs can ensure compliance with just a few easy keystokes.    

R.S.V.P. to [e-mail jstevens] indicating your attendance at this meeting.

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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. Kenneth P. Neiman
Chief Magistrate Judge, Western Division

Hon. Michael A. Ponsor
U.S. District Court, 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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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?

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

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

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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 biweekly basis. The next Eco-Tip will be included in the June 4 edition of e-Journal.

May 21
Click here to view more Eco-Tips.
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