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Photograph by Jeff Thiebauth
Richard P. Campbell, chair of the MBA Task Force on Peremptory Challenges and an MBA vice president

MBA task force of prominent judges and attorneys to tackle jury selection issues

The Massachusetts Bar Association announces the formation of the Task Force on Peremptory Challenges to study the history of such challenges in selecting juries and the implications of their use in the state courts. Peremptory challenges can be made by either side in a criminal or civil case to help choose a jury without stating a reason, except where an impermissible bias (such as racial or gender bias) may be inferred. The task force will issue a report of its findings next spring.

The MBA consulted key groups in the formation of the task force, including the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Massachusetts State Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Boston Bar Association, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association and the Worcester County Bar Association.

Task force members include:

  • Richard P. Campbell, task force chair, MBA vice president and Co-founder and Chairman, Campbell, Campbell, Edwards & Conroy PC, Boston;
  • The Hon. Peter W. Agnes Jr., Superior Court;
  • Philip J. Callan Jr., Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, Springfield;
  • Beverly J. Cannone, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Dedham;
  • Edward V. Colbert III, partner, Looney & Grossman LLP, Boston;
  • Frank Corso, principal, Sarrouf Corso LLP, Boston;
  • Emily G. Coughlin, president of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association, member, Coughlin Betke LLP, Boston;
  • Robert A. Curley Jr., president, Curley & Curley PC, Boston;
  • Michael S. Hussey, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Worcester;
  • Marianne C. LeBlanc, principal, Sugarman & Sugarman, Boston;
  • Eric Neyman, partner, McCarter & English, Boston; and
  • The Hon. David Ricciardone, Worcester District Court.
Click here for more information on the Task Force on Peremptory Challenges and its members.
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Who to follow on Twitter

The MBA and hundreds of other lawyers and legal organizations now available

The MBA is now one of more than 700 on JD Scoop's "Who to Follow" list.

Visit www.massbar.org/twitter and get up-to-date information on MBA CLE programs and conferences, legislative activities and events. In addition, the MBA will post daily legal headlines and published e-Journal and Lawyers Journal articles.

At www.massbar.org/twitter, you have several Twitter options. MBA members can:

  1. Follow the MBA on Twitter under our "massbar" name;
  2. Have the MBA follow you on Twitter by adding your Twitter screen name to your MBA profile; and
  3. Have your tweets included on the MBA Twitter page and on the MBA Homepage tab.

Click here to view the MBA's Twitter page.

NOTE: The MBA encourages its members to post MBA news to Twitter
using their own Twitter accounts, and to re-tweet MBA news posted
under the "massbar" name.



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Law Practice Management Tip of the Week

Need help creating a budget?

Long term financial success requires planning and knowledge based upon an analysis of both firm and personal financial information. A good starting point for any attorney is to develop a personal home budget based upon actual income and expenses. This personal budget will provide a key tool for evaluating both your bottom line income needs, and also will help you identify excess spending. A key to developing a successful budget is accurate information that reflects the economic reality based on a careful analysis of historic spending and income. This is critical because we all tend to underestimate our spending and overestimate our income. Here are several tools for creating a realistic budget.

  1. A first option is to use Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet program which all have free templates which can be used to create a personal budget. For example, Microsoft personal budget templates may be found at the Microsoft site. To populate the critical information you will do an analysis of your bank account, bills, credit cards, etc., to determine your spending and income for the last six months.

  2. A second option is to purchase personal finance software like Quicken or Moneydance. These are relatively cheap (less than $40.00), support on-line banking and bill payment, and help manage your budget. These programs require less input then a spreadsheet template, but will require some input and analysis by you.

  3. The third option is sign up for free internet based software vendors such as mint.com, intuit.com (free Quicken on-line), or yodlee.com, that provide personal budget programs. These sites will do a complete analysis of your spending and income, help you set spending and saving goals, track how you are doing, and help find ways to save more money. For example, mint.com will suggest where you can improve on interest rates on loans and credit cards, help you prepare for tax season, and will provide helpful advice on how to achieve your goals.

A word of caution: to effectively use the on-line service providers you will need to provide them some access to your financial information so look at technology reviews, user agreements, and exercise caution about the security used by the site to ensure that site is keeping your information as safe as possible.


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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R.S.V.P. for the Massachusetts Bar Foundation's fall grantee receptions

Receptions to be held Sept. 23 and Oct. 1

Join colleagues and friends to celebrate the many accomplishments of the 2009-10 MBF grantees and 2009 legal intern fellows.

There will be two receptions:


Wednesday, Sept. 23, 5-7 p.m.
MBA Boston office, 20 West St., Boston


Thursday, Oct.1, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Egan, Flanagan and Cohen PC, 67 Market St., Springfield

Click here to R.S.V.P., or call (617)-338-0648.



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News from the Courts

Massachusetts Appeals Court to hold sitting in Pittsfield; Bankruptcy Merit Selection Panel to screen applicants for bankruptcy judge position

Massachusetts Appeals Court
to hold sitting in Pittsfield

A panel of three associate justices of the Massachusetts Appeals Court will hear oral arguments in five appeals in a special session to be held on the campus of Berkshire Community College, 1350 West St., Pittsfield. The Pittsfield sitting will be held on Monday, Sept. 21 at 9:30 a.m. and is part of the Appeals Court's continuing outreach to communities outside Boston, where the court generally holds its sittings. It also coincides with Berkshire Community College's 50th Anniversary Celebration. The session is open to the public. Teachers and students from local area high schools and members of the college's community, including the local chapter of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, are expected to attend.  

Oral arguments for each case take approximately 30 minutes. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The SJC rule for cameras in the courtroom will apply.

Immediately following the session, the justices, Hon. Joseph Trainor, Hon. Kent Smith and Hon. Ariane Vuono will conduct an informal question and answer period for the students on general topics related to their roles and the role of an intermediate appellate court. (Pending matters will not be discussed.)


Bankruptcy Merit Selection Panel to screen
applicants for bankruptcy judge position

Chief Judge Sandra Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has announced the formation of a Bankruptcy Merit Selection Panel to screen and review the qualifications of applicants for a bankruptcy judge position for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, headquartered in Worcester. The successful candidate will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Joel B. Rosenthal, who has served as the bankruptcy judge in Worcester since 2000.

Under the statute providing for the appointment of bankruptcy judges, the courts of appeals, assisted by the circuit councils, have the duty of filling vacancies on the bankruptcy court in each circuit (28 U.S.C. § 152). The Merit Selection Panel will recommend to the First Circuit Judicial Council individuals whose character, experience and commitment to equal justice under the law fully qualify them to serve as U.S. bankruptcy judges. The Judicial Council will make recommendations to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which will make the appointment.

Bankruptcy judges are appointed to 14-year terms by the Court of Appeals.



Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for the "How to Use the Mortgage Discharge Statute" 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:
  • 21st Century Civil and Criminal Motion Practice
  • From Student to Lawyer: MSL/MBA Young Lawyer Career Seminar
  • How to Use the Mortgage Discharge Statute to Improve Your Real Estate Practice
  • Operating the Profitable Immigration Law Office
  • Save the date: Eighth Annual Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy Conference
  • Save the date: Fourth Annual Bench-Bar Symposium
  • Save the date: 19th Annual Family Law Conference
  • Casemaker Webinars

Scroll down for program descriptions, dates and registration details.


21st Century Civil and Criminal Motion Practice
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

From Student to Lawyer: MSL/MBA Young Lawyer Career Seminar
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 4-7 p.m.
Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal St., Andover

How to Use the Mortgage Discharge Statute to Improve Your Real Estate Practice

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 5-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Operating the Profitable Immigration Law Office
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


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

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


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, Sept. 15, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29, 11 a.m.
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Lawyers Weakly Basketball League kicks off next week

Interested in joining the league or forming a team?

The Lawyers Weakly Basketball League will begin its 2009-10 fall session on Thursday, Sept. 17 and the 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].

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National Conference for the Minority Lawyer

MBA to co-sponsor conference Sept. 24 - Sept. 25 at the Hotel Sofitel in Philadelphia, Penn.

The MBA is proud to co-sponsor the National Conference for the Minority Lawyer, along with the ABA's Business Law Section, Section of Litigation and the Commission on Ethnic and Racial Diversity in the Profession Thursday, Sept, 24 - Friday, Sept. 25 at the Hotel Sofitel, 120 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, Penn.

Meet and network with lawyers from diverse backgrounds and practice settings to improve your legal skills and learn how to manage professional challenges unique to minority lawyers. You will hear from nationally recognized speakers, enjoy two complimentary lunches, attend the networking reception and participate in interactive workshops. Conference highlights include:

  • 2009 Employment Law Challenges;
  • Career Paths in the Bankruptcy Field;
  • Transactional Skills for a Changing Environment;
  • Private Dispute Resolution: What Makes it Work?;
  • The Educational Pipeline and "Call to Action;" and
  • Hot Topics in Discovery.
Click here to view the conference brochure.

Registration information:
For registration information contact Toyin Alaka at (312) 988-5562 or via e-mail. Click here for a printable application. Click here to register online.

©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association