MBA Crisis in Court Funding Task Force releases report
The Massachusetts Bar Association's Crisis in Court Funding Task
Force has issued a report detailing the human, everyday impacts of
the recent budget cuts to our state court system. The report calls
on the Legislature and governor to restore court funding.
Gov. Deval Patrick's FY 2010 budget slashed the Massachusetts
Trial Courts budget by nearly 10 percent from the year before.
Those cuts resulted in a workforce reduction of 7.5 percent by
October 2009 compared to July 2008 staffing levels. Those cuts come
at a time when the struggling economy has led more citizens to seek
assistance from the courts.
"While it is important to see the statistical analysis of the
impact of the funding crisis facing the courts, this crisis impacts
the real lives of many of our citizens each and everyday," MBA
President Valerie A. Yarashus said. "This report tells just a few
of their stories."
The cuts' impact on justice is substantial, including
consolidation of courts, reduced hours that inconvenience the
public, extensive delays in getting hearings scheduled, reductions
in interpreters and an increased security risk due to fewer court
"This report underscores the impact to the public when the third
branch of government is underfunded. I am hopeful that the contents
of this report will be shared with the members of the Legislature
so that they can see how their constituents are being affected,"
said task force Chair Martin F. Kane II of McGrath and Kane in
Boston, also an adjunct law professor at Boston College. "It is
incumbent upon the Legislature to allocate funds to maintain our
courts. Access to justice is a right guaranteed to every
Click here to view the report.
Click here to view members of the MBA's Crisis
in Court Funding Task Force.
CORI Reform enacted in the House; Senate adopts Probation Amendment
Yesterday, the House of Representatives enacted legislation that
would reform Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information
(CORI) laws to limit access, provide greater accuracy, seal records
earlier and provide greater clarity in the reports.
The Senate passed a broader version of the bill late last year.
The Senate version, in addition to reforming CORI laws, contains
MBA-backed provisions that would grant parole eligibility for
certain non-violent drug offenders. It would also grant eligibility
for work release programs. Both bills will now be sent to a
conference committee where the differences will be worked out
between them. The MBA will continue to make the case for parole and
work release eligibility with the conference committee.
Senate adopts Probation
Yesterday the Senate adopted an amendment to its version of the
state budget that would reform the probation department in the wake
of the Spotlight Series in the Boston Globe earlier this
week. The amendment, filed by Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem, would limit
the appointment of the Commissioner of Probation to a five-year
term, would place probation staffing decisions in the hands of the
Commissioner of Probation with the approval of the Chief Justice
for Administration and Management (CJAM), and would grant
transferability to the CJAM. The Senate plan would also establish a
task force to make a recommendation on whether the probation
department should remain with the judicial branch, move to the
executive branch or offer an alternative. The MBA has a seat on the
task force. The Senate is expected to wrap up its budget debate
tomorrow. The House completed work on its budget last month. The
House budget does not contain the same probation department
language as the Senate. A conference committee will be appointed
and the differences between the two budgets will be worked out.
For More Information Contact Lee Ann Constantine, Legislative
Activities Manager at [e-mail lconstantine]
From top to bottom:
Top left: From left to right: MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus, MBA President-elect Denise Squillante, Iraqi attorney Sua'ad Abbas Salman Al-Lami, MBA At-Large Delegate Denise I. Murphy and the Hon. George F. Phelan.
Top right: Sua'ad Abbas Salman Al-Lami speaks about her experiences in Iraq at a March 24 breakfast, co-sponsored by the Women's Bar Association.
Middle: Iraqi attorney Sua'ad Abbas Salman Al-Lami is presented with the MBA's Public Service Award in celebration of her work as a global leader in equal rights.
Bottom left: Sua'ad Abbas Salman Al-Lami and the Hon. George F. Phelan speak about their work in Iraq.
Bottom right: From left to right: MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus, Iraqi attorney Sua'ad Abbas Salman Al-Lami and the Hon. George F. Phelan at the March 25 reception held in Al-Lami's honor at the John Adams Courthouse.
MBA recognizes women’s rights trailblazer
On Tuesday, May 25, the Massachusetts Bar Association honored
Iraqi attorney Sua'ad Abbas Salman Al-Lami with its Public Service
Award for her work as a global leader in equal rights.
Al-Lami has made it her life's work to advance women's rights in
Iraq. Voted the 2008 Iraq Female Lawyer of the Year by the Iraq
Women's Foundation, she received the 2009 International Women of
Courage Award from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and
First Lady Michelle Obama. She is currently working toward her LLM
in International Law at the University of Minnesota Law School,
where she serves as a Hubert Humphrey Fellow.
"The Public Service Award is presented to individuals for their
contributions to their community and for furthering the public
understanding and respect for the law and showing extraordinary
leadership and dedication to improving the administration of
justice," said MBA President-elect Denise Squillante, who worked
closely with Al-Lami's host, the Hon. George F. Phelan of the
Probate and Family Court, to coordinate Al-Lami's visit to
Al-Lami's visit to the Bay State spanned several days, during
which she met with Gov. Deval Patrick, participated in a roundtable
at Harvard's Kennedy School, and attended a host of meetings with
key leaders in the Massachusetts legal community.
At the May 25 event, co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Association
of Women Lawyers, Phelan spoke to Al-Lami's fearlessness. "The
magnitude of what she has done is magnified by where she's done
it," he said.
Following her acceptance of the MBA award, Al-Lami addressed the
crowd and thanked everyone for "all of this kindness." After
sharing her own inspiring crusade to advance women's rights in
Iraq, she suggested others to take her lead. "I encourage more
women to be involved in women's rights issues."
Join the MBA at Meet and Mingle: Lawyer Writers on Thursday, June 24
Meet lawyers who are writing and publishing in their spare time
From legal thrillers to historical nonfiction, Massachusetts is
home to a number of lawyers who are writing and publishing in their
The Massachusetts Bar Association invites you to a free event
with a number of those authors, who will be featured in the June
issue of Lawyers Journal.
"Meet and Mingle: Lawyer Writers" will be held on
Thursday, June 24 at the MBA's Boston office starting at 5:30
p.m. There will be a 45-to 60-minute panel
discussion/Q&A session, followed immediately by a networking
Featured authors include:
- Robert Shaines, author of Command Influence
(nonfiction, SBG Publishing Group, 2010)
- Raffi Yessayan, author of 2 in the Hat (fiction,
Ballantine Books, 2010).
- Mike Fredrickson, author of A Cinderella Affidavit
(fiction, Mass Market Paberback, 2000)
- David Hosp, author of Among Thieves (fiction, Grand
Central Publishing, 2010)
- Brian Goodwin, author of Pigeons and Doves (fiction,
- Margaret McLean, author of Under Oath (fiction, Hot
House Press, 2004)
Click here to R.S.V.P. This event is free for
members and nonmembers.
MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus (right) presents The Boston Globe’s John Richardson Ellement with the Excellence in Legal Journalism Award.
“Excellence in the Law” honors Globe’s Ellement, profession’s best
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and the Massachusetts Bar
Association once again came together to present the Excellence in
the Law event to celebrate achievements and distinctions in the
legal profession at the Boston Marriott Copley Place on May
Following a cocktail reception, a ceremony featured the
presentations of the Excellence in Legal Journalism, Diversity
Heroes and Up & Coming Lawyer awards. There was also a special
presentation of the "Lawscars." Upon arrival, the 300 guests had
the option to walk the "red carpet" and be photographed with an
oversized "Lawscar" trophy. This was the second year that the
"Lawscars" were part of the annual event.
MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus presented The Boston
Globe's John Richardson Ellement with the association's
Excellence in Legal Journalism Award.
"The MBA and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly have the unique
opportunity each year to recognize a member of the media of his or
her contributions in presenting important law-related topics to
readers or listeners," said Yarashus. "Richardson Ellement has
covered thousands of arraignments and hundreds of trials and has
developed a keen knowledge of the Massachusetts legal
Richardson Ellement has been covering legal issues and breaking
news for the Globe since 1986. 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
Look for information on the Lawyers Weekly's Diversity
Heroes, Lawyers Weekly's Up & Coming Lawyers, and
"Lawscar" award recipients, in the June Lawyers
Nominate your colleagues for the 2010 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards
Deadline for nominations is Friday, July 16
In furtherance of SJC Rule 6.1,
Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service, the SJC Standing Committee on
Pro Bono Legal Services will present awards to individual lawyers,
law firms, government attorneys, corporate law departments and
other institutions in the legal profession that have demonstrated
outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and
disadvantaged including CPCS, legal services or similar providers
who conduct non-program pro bono work. The awards will be presented
in a ceremony at the John Adams Courthouse on Oct. 27, in
conjunction with the American Bar Association's recognition of
National Pro Bono Month.
Awardees will be selected from those
who have excelled in providing volunteer services in one or more of
the following ways:
Volunteer participation in an
activity or pro bono program which resulted in satisfying
previously unmet needs or in extending services to underserved
segments of the population;
Successfully litigated pro bono cases
that favorably affected the provision of other services to the
Successfully achieved legislation
that contributed substantially to legal services to the poor.
Submit a brief narrative explaining
how the candidate meets the criteria for the Adams Pro Bono Publico
Award. Specify the nature of the pro bono contribution and
identify those who have benefited.
Information that would be helpful
includes principal areas of practice, the number of years
practicing law, hours spent on pro bono activites, other public
service contributions, educational background, supporting documents
and bar association activites.
Include up to three letters of
support, if available, from individuals and organizations aware of
the candidate's pro bono contribution.
- Nominations submitted in 2009 remain active for consideration
in the 2010 awards program.
- Nominations should be received by Friday, July 16.
- Submit all materials to: Richard McMahon,
Esq., The 2010 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards, c/o South
Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc., P.O. Box 2507, 22 Bedford
St., 2nd Floor, Fall River, MA 02722-2507, or contact Jeanne
Marcotte at (774) 488-5942 or at [e-mail jmarcotte], if you have any
Create a Photo Book Using “Blurb”
free book creation software which can be downloaded to your PC or
Mac. The software premise is centered on a photo rich book
creation. The application can be used to create wonderful memory
books of your vacation adventures, cookbooks, family histories or a
book to place in the reception area of your firm. The firm book
could be a variation of your Web page information.
money by publishing/printing your books at fairly reasonable
prices. Your books can also be made available for sale on the Blurb Web site.
Publication takes around two weeks from ordering to delivery.
The application is very well designed, facilitating quick
integration of photos and text in a wide variety of formats. The
37-minute introductory tutorial is excellent. Watching it will have
you creating your first book in no time. Viewing the intermediate
tutorial (26 minutes) will have your inner Rembrandt in high gear
with creative projects that benefit friends, family and maybe even
This tip is courtesy of Diane L. Ebersole, PMRC Advisor, State
Bar of Michigan.
Published May 27, 2010
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
MBA section news
Young Lawyers Division open meeting on how to hang your own shingle; Intellectual Property Practice Group meeting on cyberspace law; Juvenile & Child Welfare open meeting with Hon. Gail Garinger
Young Lawyers Division open
Thursday, June 3, 6 p.m.
MBA 20 West St., Boston
NOTE: This meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, June 3
and will NOT be held on Thursday, June 17 as previously
If you have ever been interested in opening your own firm,
partnership, or simply wanted to know about this process, join the
Massachusetts Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division on Thursday,
June 3 at 6 p.m. as we present three perspectives on hanging your
own shingle. The panelists will discuss topics ranging from how to
start your own practice; deciding what business entity to form
(partnership, LLC, etc.); and how to keep the business running
years later. Additionally, they will discuss what does and does not
work. A reception will immediately follow. Please feel free to
extend this invitation to other MBA members as well as anyone who
might be interested in starting their own practice. We look forward
to seeing you there.
Intellectual Property Practice
Tuesday, June 8, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Join the Intellectual Property Practice Group for a discussion on
Juvenile & Child Welfare
Featuring Hon. Gail
Tuesday, June 22, 6-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
The Juvenile & Child Welfare
Section Council will host an open meeting with guest speaker Hon.
Gail Garinger on Tuesday, June 22. Garinger was appointed by Gov.
Deval Patrick as The Child Advocate for the commonwealth on April
28, 2008. Before her appointment, she served as a juvenile court
judge for 13 years, and from 2001-08 she was the first justice of
the Middlesex County Division of the Juvenile Court Department.
Prior to becoming a judge, Garinger served as general counsel at
Children's Hospital in Boston. During that time, she also directed
an NIMH-funded research project at The Judge Baker Guidance Center
investigating decision making in the handling of child abuse and
Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule
Register for the "Fourth Annual Public Law Conference"
To register for the
following programs, call MBA Member Services at (617)
[e-mail membership] or visit the
CLE Web site. To download a PDF of the
June-August CLE brochure, click here.
Scroll down for program
details including dates and registration details.
Recorded session available for purchase after live program
through MBA On
Webcast available for purchase through MBA On
UPCOMING CLE PROGRAMS
Fourth Annual Public Law
Wednesday, June 2, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
The ABCs of Social Security Disability Cases
Thursday, June 3, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Staying Professional in the
Monday, June 7, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Uniform Probate Code Article V
Tuesday, June 8, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Criminal Justice Conference - Doing Time:
Effective Advocacy at Sentencing and in the Parole
Tuesday, June 15, 2-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Basics of Massachusetts Construction
Wednesday, June 16, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
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.
Featured member benefit: FedEx® shipping services
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receive valuable discounts of up to 26 percent on select FedEx®
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requirements to take advantage of this great member benefit.
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Program, click here or call 1-800-MEMBERS
(1-800-636-2377, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday).
Valid MBA membership required.