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Yarashus celebrates launch of 2009-10 term as MBA president

Surrounded by family and friends, Yarashus praised for effectiveness, professionalism

About 200 bar leaders, colleagues and family members celebrated the beginning of Valerie A. Yarashus' term as 2009-10 president of the Massachusetts Bar Association on Sept. 24 at the Top of the Hub in the Prudential Center in Boston.

"The common characteristics of the great ones are a depth of personal character and exquisite judgment," said Leo V. Boyle, Yarashus' partner at Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow PC in Boston, in introducing her. "That is where Valerie excels. She is a rock to many people."

Yarashus credited her success to the guidance of her mentors and the support of her colleagues and family; she also thanked the staff of the MBA. She noted that nearly 100 years ago, 30 lawyers met to form the MBA as an all-inclusive bar association - at a time when the profession was anything but - including African-American, Jewish and women lawyers.

"Together, we are stronger than we are alone," she said.

In recognition of the MBA's centennial celebration next year, as well as the organization's 50-year members honored at the event, Yarashus drew a direct line between the MBA's past, present and future.

"Like the founders of this wonderful organization, these 50-year honorees have given themselves to causes larger than themselves," she said. "They've carried those values with them for the last 50 years, and now, our job is to carry those forward for the future."

Click here to view event photos.
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SJC Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall to be presented the prestigious Edward F. Hennessey Award Oct. 21

Fourth Annual Bench-Bar Symposium to also feature Marshall's Annual Address to the Legal Community

The Massachusetts Bar Association will honor Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall for her decade of exemplary service as chief of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court with the prestigious Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award at the Fourth Annual Bench-Bar Symposium on Oct. 21.

The 4:30 p.m. event at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston will also feature remarks from MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus and Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Christine Durham, president of the Conference of Chief Justices.

Marshall will also deliver her Annual Address to the Legal Community. A reception will follow the award ceremony and address. As a reminder, please bring your bar card for easier entry.

To register, click here.



Need more time?

Do you find yourself facing Monday morning with a huge to-do list and feeling like you have to get everything done at once? Are you overwhelmed by having to be the rainmaker, lawyer, administrator and chief cook and bottle washer at your small firm? Time-blocking may be what you need to get you back on track and keep you there. Barbara Nelson of Successfully Solo explains how time blocking works in this recent blog post of hers:

  1. You get more done in significantly less time by focusing. Multi-tasking is inefficient; it takes 50 percent more time to do something when you are multi-tasking;
  2. Grouping like tasks together saves time. Moving from one like task to another is more efficient than switching gears;
  3. You're more likely to do something if it's on your calendar. Schedule and protect time with yourself on your calendar for everything you want to be sure to do;
  4. Creating a schedule that is more or less consistent each week makes it easier for you and everyone else to know when you are available or not;
  5. If you're interrupted and your priorities are challenged, it's easier to recover and get back on track if you schedule your time and move things deliberately to account for the time you lost;
  6. "Power hours" reserved and fiercely protected for billable work will have a huge impact on your productivity and results.
  7. Include personal goals on your calendar: going to the gym, family time, etc.; and
  8. Match your most productive time with your tough tasks. Are you best in the morning? Need to be behind closed doors by 4 p.m.?

To execute, start by thinking through the different types of roles you play and things you do―then reserve blocks of time for them. The blocks remain consistent week to week; the tasks you do in the block will change. So, I might have a consistent block for marketing, but in that block I might be working on a brochure, creating a presentation, calling people to follow-up, etc., based on what my marketing plans are for the particular week. You might also have blocks that occur monthly, like a "review bills" block. Some suggested blocks, include:

  1. Power hour(s) - focused client work, usually billable;
  2. Phone/e-mail; and
  3. Social networking.

Click here to see a sample time-blocking calendar.

Barbara Nelson provides expert business coaching to a select group of solo and small-firm attorneys who are ready to take their practices to the next level. Barbara isn't a lawyer. She's a business advisor who believes that most people just don't have the time or focus to see the possibilities that are open to them right now.  Barbara's style is direct, to the point, and somewhat irreverent- a good match for her attorney clients. She can be found at: http://www.successfullysolo.com.

Published January 10, 2009


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 Andrea Goldman or Rodney Dowell.
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MBA section news

Practice and procedure under the NLRA

Practice and procedure under the NLRA

Thursday, Oct. 8, noon-2 p.m.     
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Co-sponsors: MBA Labor Relations Open Forum and ABA P&P Subcommittee

The MBA Labor & Employment Section Council invites all section members to attend the Labor Relations Open Forum on Thursday, Oct. 8 at noon at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston, held in conjunction with the ABA Regional Subcommittee on Practice and Procedure under the NLRA (for the six New England states). The meeting will include two segments, and all are invited to attend one or both:

  • Noon-1 p.m.: Practitioners will discuss procedural concerns or questions that have arisen in their practices before the Board over the past year, in Region One or elsewhere.
  • 1-2 p.m.: A list of issues from noon session will be discussed after Regional Director Rosemary Pye joins us and some of these questions will potentially be presented nationally to the NLRB's General Counsel and Board members at the ABA's  L&E mid-winter meeting. Also, there will be a presentation by Regional Director Rosemary Pye, and some of her management staff concerning new regional office or general counsel initiatives, including a discussion and Q&A session.

A discussion of possible topics for presentations at the ABA mid-winter meeting and other committee and open forum activities will be held.

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

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for the "The Impact of Technology: What Are Jurors Thinking?" 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 September/October CLE brochure, click here.

This week's highlighted programs include:
  • Eighth Annual Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy Conference
  • Death and Dying: Legal Issues in End-of-Life Health Care Decision-Making
  • The Impact of Technology: What Are Jurors Thinking?
  • Save the date: Fourth Annual Bench-Bar Symposium
  • Save the date: 19th Annual Family Law Conference
  • Save the date: Seventh Annual In-House Counsel Conference
  • Save the date: How to Start and Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice
  • Save the date: MBA Annual Conference 2010
  • Casemaker Webinars

Scroll down for program descriptions, dates and registration details.


Eighth Annual Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy Conference
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 4-7 p.m.
Western New England College School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield

Death and Dying: Legal Issues in End-of-Life Health Care Decision-Making

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 4-7 p.m.
Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP, 1500 Main St., Springfield

The Impact of Technology: What Are Jurors Thinking?
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 4-5:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


Fourth Annual Bench-Bar Symposium
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 4:30 p.m.
John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square
, Boston

19th Annual Family Law Conference
Friday, Nov. 6 - Saturday, Nov. 7
Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham

Seventh Annual In-House Counsel Conference
Wednesday, Dec. 9
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

How to Start and Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice
Thursday, Jan. 28
Lombardo's, 6 Billings St., Randolph

MBA Annual Conference 2010
Thursday, March 11 - Friday, March 12
Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston


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.

NOTE: You must log into Casemaker to register for these Webinars.
Space is limited. Click here to reserve your place at a Webinar.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 10, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 17, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24, 11 a.m.
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News from the Courts

Natick District Court relocated to Framingham

The Natick District Court will relocate at the close of business tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 2. It will open on Monday, Oct. 5 at its new location within the courthouse also used by the Framingham District Court, 600 Concord St., Framingham. The temporary relocation is an expense reduction measure in response to the statewide economic decline which has severely impacted the commonwealth's FY10 budget.

The main number for the Natick District Court will be (508) 620-9110 and the clerk's fax number will be (508) 620-9118. The Probation office fax will be (508) 620-9119. The new mailing address is 600 Concord St., Framingham, MA 01701.



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Featured member benefit: Geek Officecalls

Computer crashed? Blackberry troubles? Don’t know where to turn?

Consider our Massachusetts Bar Association member benefit, Geek Officecalls, for issues ranging from data recovery, server upgrades, Internet connectivity, office moves and more.

The MBA has partnered with Geek Officecalls to provide members with unsurpassed computer support at a special discounted price. Call the friendly professionals at Geek Officecalls at (781) 863-8111 or toll free at (800) 574-GEEK and mention your MBA membership to receive special savings of $15 per hour off the regular hourly rates.

No long contracts, no big commitments, just call as needed!

Special MBA member business rates:


MBA Member Rate
Regular Rates
On-Site Service
$110/hour + $50 on-site visit fee

1 hour minimum
(half-hour increments)
$125/hour + $50 on-site visit fee

1 hour minimum
(half-hour increments)
Remote Service

half-hour minimum

half-hour minimum





Visit the Geek Officecalls Web site for more information. Since 2001, Geek Officecalls and Geek Housecalls have served over 15,000 local customers.

*Valid MBA membership required.

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