e-Journal

04-15

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Court budget update

The House Ways and Means Committee has released its budget proposal. Trial Court funding was cut to $529 million from $559.5 million, approximately a 5 percent cut. The Supreme Judicial Court was cut $400,000 (from $7.9 million to $7.5 million). The Appeals Court was cut $320,000 (from $10,827,000 to $10,507,967)

While the House proposal funds CPCS at a level higher than FY10's appropriation, it would still fall $9.2 million short of what CPCS expects to spend in FY10 to meet current expenses.

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was level funded at $9.5 million. All district attorneys offices were also level funded.

The House will begin debating the budget on April 26. The Senate Ways and Means Committee is expected to release its budget proposal in May.

MBA leadership and staff continue to push hard on lobbying efforts. To contact your state representative click here.

 

 

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Photograph by Tracy Powell
John Richardson Ellement of the Boston Globe

Longtime Boston Globe reporter to be honored at "Excellence in the Law"

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and MBA partner to present May 20 event

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and the MBA will salute a star-studded roster of legal professionals at the annual Excellence in the Law celebration at the Boston Marriott Copley Place on May 20 beginning at 5:30 p.m. A cocktail reception will precede the award ceremony.

In addition to the Diversity Heroes and Up & Coming Lawyers selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly to be honored at the event, the Excellence in the Legal Journalism Award will be presented to John Richardson Ellement, a reporter for The Boston Globe.

Richardson Ellement has been covering legal issues and breaking news for the Boston Globe since 1986. During his long-standing journalism career, he has covered the Boston police, ran the Globe's Suffolk County Court Bureau and more recently served as reporter/editor for the Globe's Web site, boston.com. Richardson Ellement has covered thousands of arraignments and hundreds of trials and has developed a keen knowledge of the Massachusetts legal system.

Click here for more information on the event.

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MBA member and crime novelist Raffi Yessayan’s second book, 2 in the Hat, came out this week. It is one of several books written by local attorneys.

Read a good book lately? Written one?

Help Lawyers Journal put together a summer reading guide

This summer, Lawyers Journal will include a summer reading guide and a feature about local attorneys-turned-authors. Also planned are reviews of books that attorneys are raving about and would recommend to their colleagues.

If you're interested in writing a short review of a recent read (fiction or nonfiction, legal or not), contact Lawyers Journal Editor Bill Archambeault at [e-mail barch] with "Summer Reading" in the subject line.

Also, if you write professionally (other than legal textbooks), or know a Massachusetts attorney who does, send contact information to the address above.

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MBA section news

Young Lawyers Division open meeting; The Greater Boston Food Bank volunteer opportunity; Municipal Tax and State Tax Practice Groups open meeting

Young Lawyers Division: The verdict is in

Thursday, April 22, 6-8 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Join the Massachusetts Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division for a practical "how-to" guide about appearing in a judge's courtroom. Listen as the Hon. Carol S. Ball, associate justice of the Suffolk County Superior Court, discusses likes and dislikes when appearing in court.

This program will be followed by a Q & A session and reception.

Click here to R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, April 21.

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Volunteer opportunity

The Greater Boston Food Bank
Wednesday, April 28, 9 a.m.-noon
70 South Bay Ave., Boston

The Business Law Section Council will host a volunteer opportunity at The Greater Boston Food Bank on Wednesday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at 70 South Bay Ave., Boston just off the X-way. Volunteers will help out by inspecting, sorting and repacking donated food and grocery products and labeling boxes. Volunteers can come alone or bring family members to help out.

The Greater Food Bank has distributed over 31 million pounds of food and grocery products to almost 600 hunger-relief agencies throughout eastern Massachusetts and serves over 394,000 people annually.

Click here to R.S.V.P. to volunteer.


Space is limited. Only 20 spots are available. Click here to learn more about the work of The Greater Boston Food Bank. Contact Christine O'Hurley at [e-mail ohurleylaw] with any questions.

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Municipal Tax and State Tax Practice Groups open meeting

Thursday, May 6, 5-6:30 pm
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The Taxation Law Section's Municipal Tax Practice Group and State Tax Practice Group will host a joint open meeting on Tuesday, May 6. The business meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and the guest speaker at 5:30 p.m. will be Mark Defrancisco, chief counsel to the Appellate Tax Board's legal department. Defrancisco advises the board on legal, evidentiary and related issues; reviews and advises the board on motions heard before the board; and drafts, edits and approves the board's findings of fact and reports. With experience in state and local taxation, in both the public and private sector, Defrancisco has spoken frequently on matters relating to Massachusetts taxation at conferences sponsored by MCLE, Massachusetts Association of Assessing Offices, county assessors associations, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the MBA and Boston Bar Association's taxation committees. This meeting is free.

To R.S.V.P., click here.

 

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Friends and members of the legal community joined the MBA on April 8 to play pool and bowl at King's in Boston.

Photos by Kelsey Sadoff.

MBA networking event draws a crowd

Join the MBA at the next networking event at King's in Dedham on May 27

Bring a colleague and kick-off your Memorial Day Weekend with the Massachusetts Bar Association Membership Committee at a networking event.

Thursday, May 27, 5:30 p.m.
King's,
600 Legacy Place, Dedham

Don't miss this opportunity to create invaluable relationships within the legal community by relaxing and mingling with fellow attorneys. Bowling, appetizers and soft drinks are included. Cash bar will be available.

Non-MBA members are encouraged to attend.

Click here to R.S.V.P. Click here to view photos from the April 8 networking event in Boston.

Join the MBA on Twitter and LinkedIn

Get up-to-date information on CLE programs, legislative activities, events, legal news and more

 

LinkedIn and Twitter

Click here to follow the MBA on Twitter.

Click here to join MBA's online community on LinkedIn.

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Featured member benefit: Discounted Detours & OnRamps program

Make plans to go to the Detours & OnRamps "Trying to Make Work, Work for You?" one-day conference if you are focused on work/life balance, restarting a career or making a career work for your family. The conference is on Tuesday, May 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Bentley College, 175 Forest St., Waltham.

Practitioners are encouraged to attend the conference if:

  • You are considering going back to work full-time, part-time, or flexibly after having kids;
  • You never stopped working...and you're trying to make your career work for you AND your family; or
  • You've got a great idea for your own business, or want to help someone else with their big idea.

Click here for a complete agenda and for registration information.

Mention the Massachusetts Bar Association to save $25 off the $125 registration fee (which covers sessions, meals and a great "Goody Bag" of books, magazines, discounts and more). Enter "MassBar" on the registration page where it asks "Where did you hear about us?" and you'll get a $25 credit within a day of registration.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for the "Building Business in the Post-Crash Economy" 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 April/May CLE brochure, click here.

Scroll down for program details including dates and registration details.

Recorded program Recorded session available for purchase after live program through MBA On Demand.

Live program Real-time Webcast available for purchase through MBA On Demand.

APRIL CLE PROGRAMS

How to Probate an Estate - Part I
Wednesday, April 21, 4-7 p.m.
Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal St., Andover

Drafting the Simple Will Recorded program
Tuesday, April 27, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


Building Business in the Post-Crash Economy Live program
Wednesday, April 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Estate Planning Techniques to Avoid or Survive Probate Litigation Recorded program
Wednesday, April 28, 4-7 p.m.   
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


How to Probate an Estate - Part II
Wednesday, April 28, 4-7 p.m.    
Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal St., Andover


Planning with LLCs Recorded program
** Please note the incorrect title was listed in the April/May CLE brochure
Thursday, April 29, 4-7 p.m. 
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

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MBA On Demand in line




Unable to attend these seminars? Purchase the recorded session available after the live program through MBA On Demand and watch the presentation from the comfort of your home or office.

To view a listing of current programs offered on MBA On Demand, click here.

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SAVE THE DATE

31st Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference
Tuesday, May 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Ave., Boston
**Click here to view the full conference schedule.

9 a.m.: Discrimination: Survey and Hot Topics
10:15 a.m.: Discrimination: Practice Tips and Technology Issues
11:15 a.m.: Break
11:30 a.m.: Wage and Hour Update and Practice Tips on Collective Actions
12:10 p.m.: Lunch featuring Keynote Speaker Stuart J. Ishimaru, acting chairman, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
1 p.m.: Arbitration of Statutory Claims in a Union Environment
2 p.m.: Break
2:10 p.m.: Practice Issues Employment Lawyers Face
3:10 p.m.: Summary Judgment: The Real World featuring the Hon. William G. Young
4:10 p.m.: Reception

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DISCOUNTED PROGRAM FOR MBA MEMBERS

Detours & OnRamps
Tuesday, May 4, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Bentley College, 175 Forest St., Waltham


Make plans to go to Detours & OnRamps, a one-day event focused on work/life balance, restarting a career or making a career work for your family. Mention the Massachusetts Bar Association to save $25 off the day's $125 registration fee (which covers sessions, meals, and a great "Goody Bag" of books, magazines, discounts, and more). Simply enter "MassBar" on the registration page where it asks "Where did you hear about us?" and you'll get a $25 credit within a day of registration.

Click here for a complete agenda and for registration information.

 

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

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News from the Courts

Probate and Family Court announces special procedures for cases involving children in Hampshire Division; Boston Municipal Court to offer limited assistance representation; Probate and Family Court adopts Scheduling Practices and Procedures; Massachusetts Trial Court policy on juror use of personal communication devices

Probate and Family Court announces special procedures for cases involving children in Hampshire Division


The Probate and Family Court Department announces the implementation of Standing Order 1-10 regarding a pilot program in the Hampshire Division involving children. The order will require attorneys, parents and caregivers in divorce, separate support, paternity, support/custody/visitation, modification, contempt, guardianship and termination of parental rights cases in the Hampshire Division to participate in a child-focused resolution process. The standing order is effective May 5.

Click here to review the order.

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Boston Municipal Court to offer limited assistance representation


Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan has approved a Standing Order requested by the Boston Municipal Court to introduce limited assistance representation (LAR) for civil matters. Notice of the standing order will become effective May 3.

"Expansion of limited assistance representation into a new court department represents significant progress and it reflects the value of launching a focused Trial Court initiative on access to justice," said Mulligan. "I commend the Boston Municipal Court and I expect that the momentum will continue to grow through ongoing collaboration and coordination between the Access to Justice Commission and the Trial Court Access to Justice Initiative."

In May 2009, based on the success of the LAR pilot project in the Probate and Family Court Department, the Supreme Judicial Court issued an order approving the use of LAR in other court departments. The Probate and Family Court Department subsequently introduced LAR across the state.

Limited assistance representation is one of the four priority projects identified in the Interim Report on Access to Justice Initiatives in the Trial Court issued in January. LAR permits an attorney, either for payment or pro bono, to assist a litigant on a limited basis without undertaking full representation of the client on all issues and events related to the client's case. Protocols and procedures for the use of LAR are established by each court department.

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Probate and Family Court adopts Scheduling Practices and Procedures


The Probate and Family Court Scheduling Practices and Procedures, which were approved by Chief Justice Paula M. Carey, became effective in all divisions of the Probate and Family Court on April 15, the court's Administrative Office announced.

These practices and procedures were developed by Carey based on a report from the Probate and Family Court Scheduling Task Force. In response to concerns expressed by the legal community about certain aspects of case scheduling and, more particularly, about the lack of uniformity in the manner in which cases, motions, etc., are scheduled in the various divisions within the Probate and Family Court Department, Carey created a task force to review such matters and to provide her with recommendations for suggested changes.

Click here to review the Scheduling Practices and Procedures.


At the request of certain first justices, Carey has determined that the following divisions of the Probate and Family Court will be permitted to modify their motion practice:

  • Bristol Division (New Bedford) - Scheduled motions in New Bedford shall be limited to 55 per motion session. Attorneys and parties shall be permitted to mail in or hand deliver their motion and chose their own dates, on a motion day of the assigned case judge, rather than the court choosing a motion date. If the date fills, the parties or counsel will be notified and they will be required to choose another date for their hearing. This exemption was granted to ensure that no fire code is violated in New Bedford.
  • Barnstable Division - Motions may be scheduled on Monday, Thursday and Friday mornings beginning May 3. Motions may be scheduled on Wednesdays only if the parties have a scheduled pre-trial conference that day. There will be no limit to the number of motions scheduled on a particular day, except in the event of vacation or other anomaly circumstance. Attorneys and parties may send their motions in to the court, with proper notice, without having to call the court in advance.
  • Middlesex Division - Scheduled motions shall be limited to 55 per motion session. Attorneys and parties shall be permitted to mail in or hand deliver their motion and chose their own dates, on a motion day of the assigned case judge, rather than the court choosing a motion date. If the date fills, the parties or counsel will be notified and they will be required to choose another date for their hearing. This exemption was granted in light of the significant shortage of probation officers in Middlesex County, the fact that four days a week two motion sessions are running, and at times three court locations operate on one day.

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Massachusetts Trial Court policy on juror use of personal communication devices

Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan issued a policy on March 25 regarding the use of cell phones and other personal communication devices by jurors in courthouses and courtrooms. The new policy is intended to complement the existing security policy on clothing, cameras and cell phones introduced Jan. 9, 2006.

Judges shall instruct jurors selected to serve on a jury that, until their jury service is concluded, that they shall not:

  1. Discuss the case with others, including other jurors, except as otherwise authorized by the court;
  2. Read or listen to any news reports about the case;
  3. Use a computer, cellular phone or other electronic device with communication capabilities, including access to the Internet, while in attendance at trial or during jury deliberations. These devices may be used during lunch breaks, but may not be used to obtain or disclose information about, or relevant to, the case;
  4. Use a computer, cellular phone or other electronic device with communication capabilities, including access to the Internet, or any other methods to obtain or disclose information about, or relevant to, the case when they are not in court.

Departmental chief justices may impose a more restrictive policy, including the collection of cell phones and other communication devices while the jury is deliberating. However, for a variety of reasons, cell phones and other communication devices shall not be collected and stored by associate court officers working at the front door screening station.

The judge who greets the jurors in the pool each morning pursuant to G.L. c. 234A, sec. 65, shall inform them about this policy.

Departmental chief justices shall work to develop and promulgate whatever procedures are necessary to insure compliance in their department.

 

 

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