e-Journal

01-21

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Join the MBA at a fundraiser for the victims of the Haiti earthquake tomorrow

We have all witnessed the devastation in Haiti caused by the earthquake. There are thousands of people in Boston, including many of our colleagues in the legal community, who have been directly affected by this tragedy as they have family and friends residing in Haiti.

Please join the Massachusetts Bar Association at a fundraiser tomorrow night to collect critically-needed funds for emergency relief efforts in Haiti.

The fundraiser will take place at:

Maggiano's Little Italy
4 Columbus Ave., Park Square, Boston
Friday, Jan. 22, 5-7 p.m.


All funds raised shall be provided to Partners in Health. We hope you, your colleagues and non-lawyers will attend. Please circulate this invitation.

Other fundraiser sponsors include:

  • Richard Gedeon Esq., Carney & Bassil, Boston
  • J.W. Carney Jr. Esq., Carney & Bassil, Boston
  • Janice Bassil Esq., Carney & Bassil, Boston
  • Darly David Mevs Esq., Gilmartin, Magence & Ross LLP, Boston
  • Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association
  • Verrill Dana LLP
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Register for the MBA Annual Conference 2010

Register on or before Friday, Jan. 29 to receive $50 off a Full Conference Pass

Annual Conference 2010

Thursday, March 11 - Friday, March 12
Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston

"Achieving a Competitive Advantage in Changing Times" is the theme of the Massachusetts Bar Association's spring Annual Conference. MBA AC10 will take place on Thursday, March 11 and Friday, March 12 at the Westin Copley Place in Boston.

Annual Conference 2010 will feature two concurrent CLE tracks, the MBA Gala Dinner on Thursday, March 11 and the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 12. CLE programming includes:

Thursday, March 11

  • Noon: Registration
  • 1-2:30 p.m.: President's Welcome and Plenary Session
    Social Media for Lawyers: How to Boost Your Practice and Avoid Pitfalls
  • 2:35-3:30 p.m.: CLE Breakout Sessions (Concurrent sessions)
    1. Recent Developments in Bankruptcy Law
    2. Law Practice Management: Building Business in the Post-Crash Economy Part I
  • 3:35-4:30 p.m.: CLE Breakout Session (Concurrent sessions)
    1. Recent Developments in Real Estate Law    
    2. Law Practice Management: Building Business in the Post-Crash Economy Part II
  • 4:35-5:30 p.m.: CLE Breakout Sessions (Concurrent sessions)
    1. Recent Developments in Employment Law  
    2. Law Practice Management: Building Business in the Post-Crash Economy Part III
  • 5:30 p.m.: Cocktail Reception
  • 6:15 p.m.: Gala Dinner

Friday, March 12

  • 7:30 a.m.: Registration and breakfast
  • 8:30-9 a.m.: President's Welcome and Plenary Session
    Recent Developments in the Law Opening Remarks
    Significant Legislative Developments in Massachusetts
  • 9-9:50 a.m.: CLE Breakout Sessions (Concurrent sessions)
    1. Recent Developments in Juvenile Law
    2. Law Practice Management: Avoiding Lawyer Meltdown
  • 9:55-10:45 a.m.: CLE Breakout Sessions (Concurrent sessions)
    1. Recent Developments in Family Law
    2. Law Practice Management: Alternatives to the Billable Hour
  • 10:45-11:15 a.m.: Break featuring prize giveaways
  • 11:15-12:10 p.m.: CLE Breakout Sessions (Concurrent sessions)
    1. Recent Developments in Probate Law
    2. Law Practice Management: From Paper to Pixels: The Paper LESS Office Works, Paperless Doesn't
  • 12:15-2:15 p.m.: Access to Justice Awards Luncheon
  • 2:15-3:10 p.m.: CLE Breakout Sessions (Concurrent sessions)
    1. Recent Developments in Personal Injury & Insurance Law
    2. Law Practice Management: Improving Your Efficiency with $1,000
  • 3:15-4:10 p.m.: CLE Breakout Sessions (Concurrent sessions)
    Recent Developments in Criminal Law
    Law Practice Management: 60 Sites in 60 Minutes
  • 4:15- 5:15 p.m.: Plenary Session
    Building a Solid Foundation: Managing Law Practice Risk

Register on or before Friday, Jan. 29 and take $50 off a Full Conference Pass. Click here to register.

The Full Conference Pass grants access to Thursday and
Friday CLE programming and includes a ticket to both
the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon and Gala Dinner.

**Massachusetts lawyers who are MBA members can earn up to a 7.5 percent premium credit on Massachusetts professional liability insurance offered by CNA through the MBA Insurance Agency. You can earn a 5 percent premium credit by attending the Building a Solid Foundation: Managing Law Practice Risk session plus one other Recent Developments in the Law session. If more than one-third of your firm's attorneys attend, you can earn up to a 7.5 percent premium credit. This offer is valid for new and renewed lawyers' professional liability insurance policies with an effective date of Aug. 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011. This offer may not be combined with any other malpractice prevention/CLE premium credits.

Registration:
Click here to register for the MBA's 2010 conference online. For a printable PDF outlining sponsorship opportunities and table reservation information, click here. For additional information call (617) 338-0530.

The MBA has a limited room block available at the Westin. Click here to reserve a room. Room rates are $249 per night through Feb. 10, 2010.

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From top to bottom:
Top left: Massachusetts Gov. Patrick (left) receives the MBF Great Friend of Justice Award from MBF President Joseph P.J. Vrabel.

Top right: (left to right) MBA President-elect Denise Squillante; Hon. Patricia Dunbar; Barbara M. Hyland.

From left to right: MBA At-Large Delegate and Education Committee Co-Chair Alan J. Klevan; MBA Acting Executive Director and General Counsel Martin W. Healy; Patrick's Chief Legal Counsel William “Mo” Cowan; MBF Holmes Fellow Francis Ford.

Some members of the 2010 MBF Board of Trustees with MBF Executive Director Elizabeth M. Lynch (back row, third from right).

Bottom left: (left to right) MBA Vice President Richard P. Campbell; MBA Past President David W. White Jr.; MBF Foundation Fellow Lisa Arrowood; MBA Secretary Jeffrey N. Catalano; Julie Schreiner-Oldham.

Bottom right: (left to right) MBA Immediate Past President Edward W. McIntyre; MBA Treasurer Robert L. Holloway Jr.; MBA At-Large Delegate and Education Committee Co-Chair Alan J. Klevan.

Photos by Jeff Thiebauth.

Gov. Patrick encourages efforts to assist those in need at MBF’s 45th Anniversary Gala Dinner

At the 45th Anniversary Gala Dinner of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation on Jan. 14, Gov. Deval Patrick urged the nearly 250 supporters on hand at Boston's Colonnade Hotel to continue helping the state's neediest citizens obtain access to justice.

Newly elected MBF President Joseph P.J. Vrabel commended Patrick's commitment to public service and protection of civil rights and legal aid funding in honoring him with the MBF Great Friend of Justice Award.

"We recognize this governor for doing what he can to protect our justice system," Vrabel said.

Patrick acknowledged the state's dire economic situation, pledging that he would keep the needs of the court system in mind during the budget process and do what he could to minimize cuts.

"We are in the worst economic downturn in 80 years, and it has hurt a lot of people," he said. "I have felt, as I bet you do, that so many people are still being left behind, that there is so much unmet need."

Patrick extolled the work of the MBF in helping provide access to justice to the needy. On the eve of Martin Luther King weekend, he urged the audience to remember the slain civil rights leader's example and serve others.

"Service is what we must all be about," Patrick said. "It seems important to me that we come back to that sense of service, because service is power."

Noting that the aggregate effort of many individuals can make a significant difference, Patrick said, "State government has to do all it can, but we as individuals all have to do what we can."

Vrabel noted that "last year was an extraordinarily difficult year," but the foundation still distributed $5 million to 107 nonprofit organizations, in part by drawing nearly $2.5 million out of its stabilization fund to offset the decrease in monies supplied by the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Grants Program.

Vrabel said the MBF will probably need to dip into its savings again this year to provide a consistent level of funding.

"We are prepared to do so to keep the level of our grants as high as possible," he told the audience. "Please continue to stand with us. Please continue to be generous in any way you can - with your time and expertise, with your resources. There are so many in need, and as lawyers, we know how important access to justice is and that each one of us can play a valuable role in it."

With burgeoning demand and a shrinking pool of funds, MBF Immediate Past President Laurence M. Johnson asked, "Where do we go from here?" One plan, he said, is to broaden the MBF Fellowship Program with three programs: The President's Circle Program, Justice Circle for Annual Giving, and the Law Firm Partner Program.

Johnson said he hoped that Massachusetts lawyers would continue a proud tradition of generosity.

"The response of the bar to the Massachusetts Bar Foundation over the 45 years since its founding has been extraordinary," he said.

After Patrick spoke, the MBF premiered a 12-minute video highlighting some of the people who have been helped by organizations that receive MBF funds. The MBF will distribute the video to advocacy groups, local bar associations and law firms, as well as post it on its Web site. The MBF hopes to increase understanding of its mission and demonstrate the ways that funds can make a significant difference in people's lives.

"We were so thrilled that Legal Talk Network donated their time and expertise to produce this video for us," said MBF Executive Director Elizabeth Lynch. "It provides wonderful examples of the work the MBF supports, and demonstrates the important role the legal community plays in our efforts."

After the event, Vrabel said the severe recession had made the perennial challenge of providing access to justice that much more difficult.

"So many more people are in need," he said. "The difficult part of the economy is that everybody expects us to cut back, and we just can't. The sad part is that every year, more and more people need our help."

Featured member benefit: MBA Section/Division Open House

Join us at this FREE event to learn how to become involved in the MBA's 17 sections and Young Lawyers Division, Jan. 25

 

2010 Open House

Click here to R.S.V.P.

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Interested in volunteering to become a Mock Trial Judge?

Give two hours of your time and participate in the MBA's 2010 Mock Trial Program

Would you like to hear an interesting case presented by two incredible high school teams in your community?  If so, please volunteer for the Massachusetts Bar Association's 2010 Mock Trial Program, proudly sponsored again this year by the law firm of Brown Rudnick.  

The 2010 Mock Trial Tournament begins next Monday, Jan. 25. Please help us fill open trial dates on our schedule.

We encourage you to visit the Mock Trial Web site to view a listing of open trial dates and sign-up. As always, we will be updating the schedule frequently, so please check the Web site often.

While we are seeking judges for all open dates on our schedule, we are especially seeking to fill the remaining trials during the first week of the tournament, which include:

  • Falmouth District Court: Thursday, Jan. 28, 1 p.m.
  • Haverhill District Court: Thursday, Jan. 28, 1:30 p.m.
  • Leominster District Court: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 1:30 p.m.
  • Lowell District Court: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 1:30 p.m.

To view a listing of open dates by court, click here. To volunteer to judge a trial, simply enter your name and email address click the check box next to the trial(s) and press the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page to send us an e-mail. Please remember that you must press the submit button to send us your preferred dates. You may sign up for as many trials as you'd like, but keep in mind that we do not allow judges to see the same team more than once during the Mock Trial season.

We hope you find this to be an easy and convenient way to select trials that best match your schedule. However, if you would prefer not to visit the Mock Trial Web site, we encourage you to call us at (617) 338-0570 to find out about open trials in your area.

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MBA seeks nominations for 2010-11 officer and delegate positions

Submit nominations to the MBA Secretary by Friday, Jan. 29

The Massachusetts Bar Association is currently accepting nominations for officer and delegate positions for the 2010-11 membership year. Nominees must submit a letter of intent and a current resume to MBA Secretary Jeffrey N. Catalano by 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, 2010, to be eligible.

To submit a nomination, mail or hand deliver the information to:

Massachusetts Bar Association
Attn: Jeffrey N. Catalano, MBA Secretary
20 West St., Boston, MA 02111

Or fax the nomination to (617) 542-7947.

If you have any questions about the nomination process, call MBA Acting Executive Director Martin W. Healy at (617) 988-4777.

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Photograph by Jennifer Rosinski
10th Annual Walk to the Hill

Join the MBA at the 11th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid Wednesday

The 11th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid will kick off at 11 a.m. next Wednesday, Jan. 27 in the Great Hall of the Statehouse, where attorneys and legal advocates will highlight the importance of these programs. The need to maintain funding is just as great for fiscal year 2011 as it was last year.

"Our message to legislators will again be twofold: maintain funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) line item at $9.5 million and include this issue as a personal legislative priority," said Pattye Comfort,
director of the Equal Justice Coalition.

Massachusetts Bar Association President-Elect Denise Squillante will speak about the urgency for more funding. Squillante will be joined by Boston Bar Association President John J. Regan. A legal aid client will also share how the program has helped their family resolve a legal issue.

The past year's economic troubles have taken a toll on civil legal aid in Massachusetts, according to Comfort. Income from the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program has plummeted 63 percent since fiscal year 2008 and is not expected to increase in fiscal year 2010. Compounding this loss is the decrease in the civil legal aid line item ― from $11 million in fiscal year 2009 to $9.5 million in fiscal year 2010.

Walk to the Hill is one of the largest lobbying events at the Statehouse, and last year drew a crowd of more than 750 ― the highest turnout in the event's history.

Details of the event include:

  • Registration: 11-11:30 a.m.
  • Speaking Program: 11:30 a.m.-noon.
  • Legislative visits: Noon-1 p.m.
    Lunch will be served.

For more information, click here. To view a funding fact sheet, click here.

LPM Tip

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Employee manuals and workflow

All firms should have an employee manual and workflow developed - even solo practitioners.

For firms of more than one person, it is helpful to get new employees up to speed on operating procedures and office workflow as quickly as possible. It cuts down on the time needed to train the new employee.

For solo practitioners, if you ever hire an intern to help around the office, the employee manual will also help to reduce the time you will need to educate the intern regarding how you run your business.

An employee manual should contain everything you want a new employee or intern to know about your business and what you expect of them. It can include dress code, holiday and vacation times and pay, procedure for opening and closing the office, procedure for answering the phones and how to deal with clients that walk-in, etc.

A workflow is basically a set of instructions for tasks that are done on a regular basis that requires no deviation. In my office, I set up a workflow for how to open and close a new client matter, how to scan using the office scanner, how to print and copy using the scanner, how to print labels and stamps for shipping and even how to put together an uncontested divorce packet.

If you start putting an employee manual and workflow together now, it will save you time down the road when you expand and new employees come in. Contact the Law Office Management Assistance Program at (857) 383-3250 to learn about resources and reference materials that will make developing your office manual easier.

This tip is courtesy of Gabriel Cheong, attorney at law, owner of Infinity Law Group.

Published January 21, 2010

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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

MBA Section/Division Open House; Employment Law Open Forum; General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section member reception; Labor & Employment Section Roundtable; Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council Open Meeting

MBA Section/Division Open House

Monday, Jan. 25, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Section, division and committee participation is the best way to enhance your MBA membership. Join us at this FREE event to learn more about the initiatives of this year's 17 section councils and Young Lawyers Division and the active role you can play as a section/division member

Meet the chairs and section council members in an informal setting while networking with colleagues with similar interests. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

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

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Telecommuting: the good, the bad and the murky

Labor & Employment Open Forum

Tuesday, Jan. 26, noon-1:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Join the Employment Law Open Forum of the Labor & Employment Law Section to discuss the pros and cons of telecommuting. Telecommuting can be a great perk to employees and a benefit to employers, but it also presents a whole host of issues in the areas of time keeping, confidentiality, premises liability, and co-mingling of personal information and work product.

What experiences have you had with clients telecommuting, or allowing telecommuting? What tips and traps should your clients be aware of when considering telecommuting options?

Bring your lunch and join us for the roundtable discussion. Drinks and snacks will be served.

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

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General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section member reception

Thursday, Jan. 28, 5-7 p.m.
Lombardo's, 16 Billings St., Randolph

The General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section Council will host a member reception after the How to Start & Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice Conference on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lombardo's, 16 Billings St., Randolph. Meet the section council chairs and members in an informal setting while networking with colleagues with similar interests. This event is FREE for MBA members and all attendees at the "How to Start & Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice" Conference. You do not need to register for the conference to attend.

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

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Labor & Employment Section Luncheon Roundtable

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 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 by some 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 legislators - Rep. Lori Ehrlich D- Marblehead and Rep. Will Brownsberger D- Middlesex - have proposed sweeping legislation that would significantly restrict the enforceability of noncompetition agreements under Massachusetts law. Join these legislators as well as Russell Beck, Esq. of Foley Lardner LLP in Boston, the principal drafter of the legislation, in a discussion about the proposed legislation.

To register, click here.

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Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council
open meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council will host an open meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 5:30 to 7 p.m at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. The guest speaker will be Chief Justice Michael F. Edgerton of the Juvenile Court Department.

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

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for "Distressed Property Bootcamp Session II - Foreclosure" 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 January/February CLE brochure, click here.


MBA On Demand CLE in JanuaryThis week's highlighted programs include:

  • The Massachusetts Data Privacy Conference
  • Asset Protection Planning for (Happily) Married Couples
  • How to Start & Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice Conference and reception
  • Distressed Property Bootcamp Session II - Foreclosure
  • H-1B Basics
  • MBA Annual Conference 2010
  • Casemaker Webinars

Scroll down for program descriptions, dates and registration details.

JANUARY CLE PROGRAMS

The Massachusetts Data Privacy Conference
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 8:30 a.m.-4:35 p.m.
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place, One Monarch Place, Springfield

Asset Protection Planning for (Happily) Married Couples
Wednesday, Jan. 27 noon-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

How to Start & Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice
Thursday, Jan 28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Lombardo's, 16 Billings Street, Randolph
**The General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section Council will host a member reception immediately after the conference. Meet the section council chairs and members in an informal setting while networking with colleagues with similar interests. This event is FREE for MBA members and all attendees at the "How to Start & Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice" Conference. You do not need to register for the conference to attend.

Distressed Property Bootcamp Session II - Foreclosure
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 5-7 p.m.
Western New England College School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield

H-1B Basics
Tuesday, Feb. 4, noon-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

MBA ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2010

Achieving a Competitive Advantage in Changing Times
Thursday, March 11 - Friday, March 12
Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston
** Register on or before Jan. 29 to receive $50 off a Full Conference Pass.
The Full Conference Pass grants access to Thursday and Friday CLE programming and includes a ticket to both the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon and Gala Dinner. Click here for the full MBA AC10 conference schedule.

CASEMAKER WEBINARS

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, which take place every other Tuesday.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16, 11 a .m.
  • Tuesday, March 2, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, March 16, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, March 30, 11 a.m.

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

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News from the Courts

Supreme Judicial Court issues order regarding protection of personal information

The Supreme Judicial Court has issued an order regarding safeguarding certain nonpublic personal information collected and maintained in the judicial branch. The order, issued under G.L.c. 93H, governs the security and confidentiality of personal information as defined in that statute. The personal information covered by the order does not include publicly available information.

The order requires the Trial Court, the Appellate Courts and court affiliates to develop, implement and maintain written information security programs applicable to records containing personal information. The security programs are to ensure that courts collect the minimum personal information needed to accomplish the purpose for which the information is collected; securely protect the information from unauthorized access and disclosure; provide access to the information only as necessary; and destroy the information when it is no longer needed. The security programs will require notification to the appropriate Chief Justice of any breach of security of personal information.

Additionally, the order requires courts to review the type of personal information collected with the goal of identifying any that need not be collected or maintained. Contractors will be required to comply with the provisions of all information security programs that apply to the work they will be performing.

Click here to view the order requiring that the security programs be in place by Sept. 1.

 

 

CLE Conference News

Register for next week's "How to Start and Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice" conference and reception, Jan. 28

GPSSF Conference 2010

Click here to register for the How to Start and Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice and GPSSF section reception following the conference.

 

 

 

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