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Photograph by Christine Peterson
MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus presents the Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award to Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall.

On 10th anniversary, Chief Justice Marshall recognized with Hennessey Award

View photos and video of Marshall's annual address to the legal community and the presentation of the Hennessey award

On her tenth anniversary leading the Supreme Judicial Court, Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall received the Massachusetts Bar Association's Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award.

Marshall was recognized with the award at the Fourth Annual Bench-Bar Symposium, which was held Oct. 21 at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston. The honor has been bestowed only five times, including when it was originally given to SJC Chief Justice Hennessey in 1988.

Marshall is the first woman to serve as chief justice and just the second to serve as an associate justice. Former Gov. William Weld appointed Marshall to the SJC in 1996, and in 1999, she was appointed chief justice by former Gov. A. Paul Cellucci in 1999 and began her term on Oct. 14, 1999.

Cellucci, now special counsel to McCarter & English LLP in Boston, told the audience he based his decision on intellect, courage and leadership.

"I had the great honor of elevating Margaret Marshall to be chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court," he said. "The head of our state's judicial branch has to be an exceptional person."

Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Christine M. Durham, who succeeded Marshall as president of the Conference of Chief Justices, also applauded Marshall.

"She is alive to the promise of the American justice system," Durham said, " … and she is alive to defending and preserving it."

In presenting the award, MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus said, "She has surpassed all of our highest expectations," noting in particular Marshall's commitment to access to justice.

Click here to view photos from the Fourth Annual
Bench-Bar Symposium.

Click here to view Chief Justice Marshall's
annual address to the legal community.

Click here to view the presentation of the
Chief Justice Edward F. Hennessey Award to Chief Justice Marshall.

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Featured member benefit: MBA Classifieds

Looking to share your office space? Need to hire a law clerk? Interested in selling your home? Post a FREE online ad today.

The MBA has launched online MBA Classifieds as a NEW member benefit, providing members the opportunity to post and view employment/internship opportunities, office share/rental options, as well as lawyer-to-lawyer services and other specialized categories on the MBA Web site.

For a limited time, the MBA is offering free online classified postings to members for a 30-day listing.

Take advantage of this special offer today and see how your MBA membership more than pays for itself in these difficult times.

Click here to post or view an MBA classified ad.



Access the Superior Court’s electronic docket

Get the most up-to-the-minute information about your state litigation cases by using the Superior Court's electronic docket. All lawyers in the commonwealth can sign up for free access to the Superior Court Docket. This Web site is invaluable for checking the docket for your cases, including filing deadlines, hearing dates, a list of docketed pleadings, and for doing research on parties, including other cases in which they may be involved. In some cases, you can also read the court order on motions.

Published October 29, 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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Get involved in Mock Trial

Volunteer as an attorney coach or judge in the 2010 Statewide High School Mock Trial Tournament

The MBA invites you to volunteer as an attorney coach or judge in the 2010 Statewide High School Mock Trial Tournament. The MBA is particularly pleased to be celebrating the 25th year of the program this year. It is truly a testament to the dedication of the many lawyers and teachers who volunteer their time that this program continues to thrive.

Open to all public and private high school students in Massachusetts, the Mock Trial Program is a rich curriculum that promotes the development of fundamental knowledge, sound judgment and critical thinking skills. In Mock Trial, students are placed in a simulated courtroom situation where they assume the roles of lawyers and witnesses in a hypothetical case.

As an attorney coach, you will be matched with a teacher coach at a nearby school and will serve as the team's legal advisor. Some attorney coaches attend two to three team meetings throughout the year, to assist the team in developing their basic strategy and courtroom techniques, while others play a more active role in the team - accompanying them to each trial. While the actual time commitment varies from team to team, most teams will begin working with their attorney coach when the case is released in early November of 2009. We are currently seeking volunteers to assist schools in the following towns:

  • Andover
  • Ashburnham
  • Boston
  • Braintree
  • Cambridge
  • Dorchester
  • Dracut
  • Holliston
  • Lawrence
  • Malden
  • North Chelmsford
  • Orange
  • Springfield
  • Tewksbury
  • Wellesley
  • Wilbraham

As a Mock Trial judge, you will attend an orientation session in early January 2010 and will be scheduled to preside over one or more trials in a courtroom near your home or office. Judges are especially needed during the preliminary rounds of the competition which run from late January until mid-February. Each trial lasts approximately 2.5-3 hours. You may volunteer to judge as little as one trial, although many judges prefer to judge more.

For more information, contact Mock Trial Central at (617) 338-0570 or [e-mail mocktrial]

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Featured pro bono opportunity: Victim Rights Law Center

October is Pro Bono Month. The MBA urges members to expand their pro bono efforts to help those who need legal services. Click here to view a list of companies and MBA programs in need of volunteers. To view MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus' letter to membership about Pro Bono Month, click here.


Victim Rights Law CenterMission: One victim, one lawyer ― this recipe can alter the course of a rape victim's life forever. Rape and sexual assault often devastate a life, shattering a victim's social, economic and emotional well-being for years, even decades, to come. The mission of the Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC) is to provide individual legal representation to prevent such harm and help victims stabilize their lives in the aftermath of an assault, thereby promoting healing and long-term social and economic security. Our vision is to build a national cadre of pro bono and legal services attorneys committed to seeking such justice for every sexual assault victim in the United States.

Volunteer activities: Pro bono attorneys advise victims of their civil and criminal options and represent victims as needed.

Populations: Male and female survivors of sexual assault.

Legal areas: The Rape Survivors Law Project (RSLP) is the pro bono initiative of the VRLC. To date, the RSLP has engaged over 270 attorney and paraprofessional volunteers. Through the RSLP, pro bono attorneys and paraprofessionals assist sexual assault victims with a variety of civil legal needs including privacy rights, restraining orders, housing, university judicial proceedings, immigration, and negotiations with employers and school administrators. In addition to representing victims with these legal needs, our volunteers assist VRLC staff with research projects, as well as drafting amicus briefs and legislation regarding the rights of sexual assault survivors.

Categories: Mental health issues, immigration, housing and homelessness, employment, education, criminal law, crime victims, confidentiality, benefits

Requirements: Participate in two-hour training conducted by VRLC.

Support: In addition to our training, VRLC will provide supervision and support for pro-bono volunteers and a practice manual.

Contact: Lindy Aldrich, staff attorney, (617) 399-6720 x10, 115 Broad St., Third Floor, Boston, 02110, [e-mail laldrich]

Web: http://www.victimrights.org

Click here to view the May 2008 Lawyers Journal profile on Victim Rights Law Center.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for the "Streetwise: A Beginner's Guide to Handling Motor Vehicle Accidents" 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 October/November CLE brochure, click here.

This week's highlighted programs include:
  • Streetwise: A Beginner's Guide to Handling Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • 19th Annual Family Law Conference
  • Drafting the Simple Will
  • Representing the OUI Client
  • Author's Panel
  • 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.


Streetwise: A Beginner's Guide to Handling Motor Vehicle Accidents
Thursday, Nov. 5, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

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

Drafting the Simple Will
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 4-7 p.m.
Western New England College School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield

Representing the OUI Client

Thursday, Nov. 12, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Author's Panel
Thursday, Nov. 12, 5-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


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, 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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Reminder: Register for 19th Annual Family Law Conference, Nov. 6-7

This year's conference theme is "Federal Law in Family Law Matters."

The Massachusetts Bar Association's Family Law Section Council invites you to its 19th Annual Family Law Conference from Nov. 6-7 at the Chatham Bars Inn, 297 Shore Road, Chatham. This year's conference theme is "Federal Law in Family Law Matters."

Conference Schedule:

Friday, November 6
6 p.m.: Welcome/Reception
Co-sponsored by Barnstable County Bar Association

Saturday, November 7
7:30 a.m.: Breakfast & Registration
8:30 a.m.: Welcome & State of the Trial Court
9 a.m.: Session I - Issues of Interstate Custody
10:20 a.m.: Break
10:30 a.m.: Session II - The Hague Convention and Issues of International Custody
Noon: Lunch
1 p.m.: Session III - DOMA: What Hurdles Does DOMA Place in the Way of Same-Sex Married Couples and Those Who Are Divorcing?
2:20 p.m.: Session IV - Federal Tax Issues in Family Law
3:45 p.m.: Closing Remarks

Click here for a complete conference schedule.


MBA member 2008-09 admittees, paralegals and law students: $125
MBA Family Law Section (sponsoring) members: $180
Barnstable County Bar Association members: $200
All other MBA members: $200
Nonmembers: $250
Judges (to cover cost of lunch): $25

Room Rentals:

The MBA has set aside a limited number of rooms at Chatham Bars Inn at the special rate of $299/night. For room reservations and information, call (800) 527-4884.


For more information, or to register, call Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or click here.

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Photographs of the 2009 Access to Justice Award recipients by Merrill Shea.

Nominate a colleague for an Access to Justice Award

Submit nominations by Tuesday, Nov. 10

The MBA is seeking nominations for its five Access to Justice Awards, which will be presented at the MBA's Access to Justice Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 12. The luncheon will be held at the Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston.

These awards offer a unique opportunity to recognize the efforts and achievements of our MBA members. Often, the people who shoulder the responsibility of assuring access to the courts and the legal system for both practitioners and members of the public are unsung heroes. To ensure that award recipients truly reflect the best of the legal profession, the MBA encourages nominations from its members, from Massachusetts regional and minority bar associations and from local public service organizations.

The Access to Justice Awards are:

Legal Services Award
An attorney employed by a public or nonprofit agency to provide civil legal services to low-income clients, and who has made a particularly significant or meaningful contribution to the provision of low-income legal services, above and beyond the requirements or his or her position.

Pro Bono Award for Law Firms
A law firm of two or more attorneys, with one or more offices in the commonwealth, whose pro bono activities are particularly noteworthy in relation to the firm's size and which has performed significant or meaningful pro bono activity or which has been particularly instrumental in developing, implementing and/or supporting a pro bono program or pro bono services within Massachusetts.

Pro Bono Publico Award
An individual who has been instrumental in developing, implementing and supporting pro bono programs for the Massachusetts Bar Association or for a local county bar association, or a pro bono program of a law firm, or has developed a pro bono program sponsored or organized through an agency in the commonwealth, or has performed significant or meaningful pro bono activity.

Defender Award
An attorney who is employed or retained by a public or nonprofit agency to provide criminal legal services to low-income clients, and who has made a particularly significant or meaningful contribution to the provision of low-income legal services above and beyond the requirements of his or her position.

Prosecutor Award
A state or federal prosecutor who has distinguished himself or herself in public service and whose commitment to justice and serving the communities where he or she lives or works is particularly praiseworthy.

Nominations for all of the MBA Access to Justice Awards must be submitted in writing no later than Tuesday, Nov. 10, to: Jean Stevens, Sections/Ethics Administrator, Massachusetts Bar Association, 20 West St., Boston, MA 02111-1204; [e-mail jstevens].Please submit a letter describing why you believe that the nominee deserves this recognition and to include the names and contact information of a few additional people who can speak with knowledge about the nominee.

For more information, contact Jean Stevens at [e-mail jstevens].

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MBA section news

Immigration Law open meeting, Public Law open meeting, Labor & Employment open meeting; Municipal Tax Practice Group meeting

Citizenship and Naturalization Law

Thursday, Nov. 12, noon-1:30 p.m.
MBA 20 West St., Boston

Immigration Section Council kicks off it's 2009 association year with an open meeting. This open meeting will cover topics in citizenship and naturalization Law. Topics include acquisition of U.S. citizenship at birth, derivation of US citizenship by operation of law after birth, and naturalization. Bring your lunch and learn how people become US citizens. Chaired by Richard M. Green, a solo practitioner practicing Immigration and Nationality in North Grafton, Mr. Green earned his Law Degree from Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia Canada. Green teaches Immigration and Nationality Law at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass.

Click here to R.S.V.P.


Changes at the human resources division

Tuesday, Nov. 17, noon-1:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The Public Law Section's first open meeting luncheon will feature speaker will be John Marra, the general counsel for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance Human Resources Division. He will discuss the recent changes at HRD relative to review of initial civil service appointments and bypasses. Bring your own lunch, drinks and snacks will be provided.

Click here to R.S.V.P.


Noncompetition agreements: To be or not to be?
A discussion about proposed legislation

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Believed by many to be critical to their business, loathed by others as a limitation on innovation, and criticized as being overused and implemented in unfair ways, noncompetition agreements are currently the subject of much interest among businesses, venture capitalists and employees. Two state representatives -- Lori Ehrlich and Will Brownsberger -- have proposed sweeping new legislation that would significantly restrict the enforceability of noncompetition agreements under Massachusetts law. Join these legislators as well as Russell Beck of Foley & Lardner LLP in a discussion about the proposed legislation, moderated by Andrea Kramer of Hirsch, Roberts Weinstein. Bring your own lunch, drinks and snacks will be provided.

Click here to view the legislation in its current form.
Click here to R.S.V.P.


Taxation Law Section's first Municipal Tax Practice Group meeting

Thursday, Nov. 12, 5 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The Massachusetts Bar Association's Taxation Law Section is pleased to announce the formation of the Municipal Tax Practice Group. The purpose of the practice group is to serve practitioners and the public by promoting the administration of justice, legal education and respect for the law. The Municipal Tax practice group will provide a forum for practitioners to discuss issues unique to this area of the law and seeks to be involved in efforts to improve the laws related to municipal taxation.

Click here to R.S.V.P.

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Lawyers Weakly Basketball League

Interested in joining the league or forming a team?

The Lawyers Weakly Basketball League will begin its 2009-10 winter session on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The league will play every Wednesday night in Boston starting at 7 p.m. If your firm is interested in putting a team in, or if you wish to play on a free agent team or form your own team, contact Ira Fleishman at (781) 925-8775 or [e-mail nrs].

©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association