Thursday, May. 28, 2009
MBA members volunteer their time at the semi-annual Western Massachusetts Dial-A-Lawyer program held on May 20.
Photos by Jennifer Rosinski.
Semi-annual Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer program receives 443 calls
More than 30 MBA attorneys volunteered to answer legal questions
Volunteer lawyers from the Massachusetts Bar Association answered 443 calls over four hours from residents of Western Massachusetts on May 20 during the semi-annual Dial-A-Lawyer program held at Western New England College School of Law.
Attorneys answered questions on a wide range of legal concerns, with family, probate and real estate law being the most popular inquiries. Many of the calls were related to the current economic downturn. The number of callers asking about bankruptcy, foreclosure and divorce nearly doubled, according to attorneys who typically handle those calls.
“This is the first time where it’s been non-stop all divorce,” said Diana Sorrentini-Velez, who practices family law at Cooley Shrair PC in Springfield. “In my experience, divorce tends to follow the market.”
Now in its 15th year, the Western Massachusetts Dial-A-Lawyer provides free legal advice to residents of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties. The service is provided as a public service of the MBA.
“The phones literally ring off the hook,” said Christina Turgeon, who operates her own bankruptcy law practice in Springfield. “There are a good number of calls where a lawyer is not needed, they just don’t know where to go.”
Of the 443 calls, more than 200 were answered on the spot. The other callers were referred to agencies, organizations or attorneys who can help further.
The MBA’s Dial-A-Lawyer program is co-sponsored by Western New England College School of Law, The Republican, El Pueblo Latino and the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys.
The MBA thanks the following attorneys who participated in the May 20 Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer program:
- Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, Springfield
- John F. Burke Jr., Morrison & Mahoney LLP, Springfield
- Alfred P. Chamberland, Law office of Alfred P Chamberland, Easthampton
- Elizabeth N. Clarke, South Deerfield
- Colleen C. Currie, Colleen A. Currie Attorney at Law, Northampton
- Justin Howard Dion, Bacon Wilson PC, Springfield
- Mary K. Eaton, Eaton & Rescia LLP, East Longmeadow
- Zoe Falken, Zoe Falken, Esq., Holyoke
- Michele Feinstein, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin PC, Springfield
- Terry M. Ford, Law Office of Frank R. Saia, Springfield
- Ellen Weiss Freyman, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin PC, Springfield
- John E. Garber, Weinberg & Garber PC, Northampton
- Claudette-Jean, Girard, Monson
- Joshua P. Grey, Health New England, Springfield
- Elizabeth D. Katz, Ostrander Law Office, Northampton
- Mary Jo Kennedy, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP, Springfield
- Roger P. Lipton, Green, Miles, Lipton, White & Fitz-Gibbon, Northampton
- Carolyn L. McCaffrey, Frank P. Fitzgerald PC, East Longmeadow
- Amy J. Megliola, Siddall & Siddall PC, Springfield
- Susan A. Mielnikowski, Cooley Shrair PC, Springfield
- Kelly B. Neubauer, Jackson & Torrone, Holyoke
- Thomas D. O'Connor Jr., Springfield
- Mark J. Pasquariello, Adams
- Christopher D. Reavey, Franklin/Hampshire Juvenile Court-Hampshire County, Hadley
- Timothy A. Reilly, Law Office of Timothy A. Reilly, Springfield
- Kara A. Rescia, Eaton & Rescia LLP, East Longmeadow
- Katherine A. Robertson, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP, Springfield
- Daniel Mark Rothschild, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP, Springfield
- Robert T. Santaniello, Santaniello & Santaniello, LLC, Springfield
- Denise M. Shear, Ostrander Law Office, Northampton
- Michael Siddall, Siddall & Siddall PC, Springfield
- Diana Sorrentini-Velez, Cooley Shrair PC, Springfield
- Eileen Z. Sorrentino, Eileen Z. Sorrentino Collaborative Atty & Mediator, Chicopee
- Stanley A. Szlachetka, Fratar, Kern & Kelly LLP, Chicopee
- Peggy Ann Torello, Attorney At Law, Greenfield
- Christina M. Turgeon, Law Offices of Christina M. Turgeon, Springfield
- Jeffrey S. Weisser, Connor, Sandman & Weisser, Agawam