Thursday, May. 20, 2010
Pictures from the final MBA House of Delegates meeting of the 2009-10 association year.
Photos by Tricia Oliver.
Lt. Gov. Murray addresses HOD, Judge Fein presented Toomey Award
Yarashus lauded as gavel is passed to President-elect Squillante
The final House of Delegates meeting of the 2009-10 year
included an address by Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray, the presentation
of the Daniel F. Toomey Award to Judge Dina Fein and the passing of
the gavel from President Valerie A. Yarashus to President-elect
"I know what the budget cuts have meant for the courts," Murray
told the audience, noting that it was important for legal services
to remain level funded. He also said that efforts were being made
to address the compensation for private counsel and salaries and
funding for the Committee for Public Counsel Services.
He said a number of important issues were being debated, including
a crime package that includes reforming the Criminal Offender
Registration Information, or CORI, system.
"We know that CORI is not working as it was originally conceived,"
Murray said, adding that reform is "absolutely essential" for both
employers and employees. "By improving the re-entry of ex-offenders
into society, we'll help the state."
In presenting the Toomey award to Fein, Yarashus said, "Her
judgment is extraordinary, and she knows how to turn goals into
Fein explained her role as the special advisor on Access to
Justice Initiatives and as a member of the Access to Justice
Commission. She said it's important to "examine the work of the
courts through the access to justice lens" and make as many
improvements as possible without significant spending.
Already, she said, the Access to Justice Initiative is using a
survey of court personnel last year to create a manual that helps
explain to clerks the difference between providing legal help and
legal advice, making uniform, multi-lingual forms that will be
available online, planning for a pilot self-help center in the
Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston and expanding Limited
Assistance Representation programs in the Trial Courts.
In concluding her final HOD meeting as president, Yarashus
looked toward the coming association year, praising Squillante's
impact on the MBA in recent years, including being a leading family
law advocate, initiating the Lawyers in Transition program and
helping create the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm
"Denise has had a hand in shaping the modern history of the Mass.
Bar," she said, pointing out that this was the first time a woman
had passed the gavel to another woman in the MBA's history.
Squillante thanked the other recent past presidents, then told
Yarashus, "You've handled your leadership with grace. We have many,
many challenges ahead. We all need to work together to face these
challenges, and Valerie, you've set us on a path to do this
Full coverage of the MBA House of Delegates meeting will appear
in the June issue of Lawyers Journal.