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Photograph by Jennifer Rosinski
From left to right: Andrew P. Strehle, partner, Brown Rudnick LLP; MBA President Denise Squillante; Albert W. Wallis, executive director, Brown Rudnick Center For The Public Interest.

Brown Rudnick LLP donates $25,000 to MBA 2010-11 Mock Trial program

Brown Rudnick LLP through its Center for the Public Interest in Boston on Tuesday presented the Massachusetts Bar Association with a $25,000 check for the Mock Trial Program. The international law firm has supported the program since 1998.

More than 100 schools across the state are expected to compete in this year's 26th annual program, which kicks off in January with preliminary trials. The program places high school teams from 16 regions across the state in a simulated courtroom situation.

This year's criminal case involves a charge of involuntary manslaughter against a teenager for the death of two people in a car accident. The defendant is accused of stealing a Stop sign as part of a high school scavenger hunt.

The finals will be held on April 1. Last year, The Winsor School of Boston won the state championship and placed 11th in the national tournament.

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News from the courts

SJC releases statement and Ware report

The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court have received a report from independent counsel Paul F. Ware, who was appointed to conduct an administrative inquiry into alleged improprieties with respect to the hiring and promotion of employees within the Probation Department, as well as other practices and management decisions within the Probation Department that have been called into question.

Click here to view the report.
Click here to view a statement from the justices
relative to the report.



Do you ever find yourself with a laptop and no internet connection?

If you find yourself in a location with your laptop but no connection, you may still be able to access the web. As long as you have your smart phone and cable, you can "tether" your notebook to the smart phone and use that as a modem for your internet connection. According to Wikipedia, tethering is the use of a mobile device with an internet connection as an internet gateway or access point for another device.  Tethering requires software on the smart phone and software on your laptop that allows for an internet connection through your cell phone data plan. For example, using a droid, you can find several tethering programs that are either free or very inexpensive on the phone's "Marketplace" application. One such program, "pdanet" allows free use for all but so-called secure Web sites (for example, those that you conduct e-commerce on). For a small fee, pdanet has a more robust version that allows you to connect to those sites as well. There are many other applications for most mobile devices, only a Google search away. The real utility of these tethering programs is that when you unexpectedly find yourself without internet access, you can download all the software on your smart phone, install it on the phone and computer using the phone's data cable, and then connect to the internet. The only caveat is that some cell phone providers may not allow tethering or may impose limits on its use. You should check your provider's policies before choosing to tether.

Tip courtesy of Robert S. White, Esq. of Bourgeois, Dresser, White & McGourthy LLP.

Published November 18, 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 Goldman or Phil Taylor.
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Images from the 20th Annual Family Law Conference in Lenox. Photos by Paul Franz.

Did you miss a November conference?

20th Annual Family Law Conference was held Nov. 12-13 in Lenox; Ninth Annual Western Mass. Bankruptcy Conference provides trends overview


Practitioners gather in Lenox for 20th Annual Family Law Conference

The state's premiere family law practitioners gathered for another successful conference in Western Massachusetts last weekend. "Ask the Experts: Raise the Bar! Using Expert Advice from Various Disciplines to Enhance Your Family Law Practice," the 20th anniversary of the event, featured a keynote address and State of the Trial Court from Probate and Family Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey.

Attorneys who were unable to attend the event in Lenox can purchase a recorded version through MBA On Demand next week.

Carey told the gathering that the state's probate courts are handling an increasing number of cases and filings at the same time that they are staffed at 72 percent overall, with some courts staffed as low as 60 percent. She thanked attorneys whose pro bono works have supported the courts in this time of crisis.

"We continue to do our jobs every day," Carey said. "We continue to believe the work we do is tremendously important. We don't waver on our commitment to justice in the courts and the rule of law."

The weekend event at the Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club in Lenox kicked off with a reception Friday evening, where Berkshire County Bar Association President Jack Houghton Jr. presented MBA President Denise Squillante with a gift in celebration of the MBA's 100th anniversary. The gift was a framed print of Norman Rockwell's "Freedom of Speech."

All-day educational programming on Saturday, Nov. 13 included, State of the A.R.T.: The Law in the Age of Assisted Reproductive Technology featuring the Hon. Anthony R. Nesi of Bristol Probate and Family Court, Bankruptcy and Family Law: It's a Family Affair, Identifying and Addressing Issues of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Asset Planning for Divorce Clients and, In Sickness and in Health … Until Immigration Intervenes.


Ninth Annual Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy Conference
outlines recent bankruptcy trends

Attend the Ninth Annual Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy ConferencePractitioners and judges met on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at the Western New England College School of Law for the Ninth Annual Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy Conference -- a program that has become a staple for Massachusetts practictioners wishing to be updated on the most recent bankruptcy trends.

Panelists, including lawyer pracitioners and judges, provided participants with an overview of the issues practitioners may face when contending with the means test and the pitfalls and issues that can occur when representing small business debtors in bankruptcy.

Attorneys who were unable to attend the event can purchase program materials here.

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MBA volunteer attorneys offer free legal advice and information to veterans, and families of veterans during the Nov. 17 Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer program.

Photos by Bill Archambeault.

Army reservist and other volunteers answer veterans’ legal questions

As part of the twice-a-year Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer Program, a dozen volunteer attorneys answered 68 calls on Nov. 17 from veterans seeking help with their legal problems.

"We were able to answer every call that came in to the Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer Program," said LRS/Public Services Manager Claudia J. Staten.

Paid for with a grant from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the Massachusetts Bar Association, volunteers answered calls primarily related to family law issues and veterans' benefits. The Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer Program is part of the MBA's Serving Our Veterans in the Law effort.

One of the regular volunteers for the Dial-A-Lawyer Program is Richard A. Sugarman, an Air Force veteran and current U.S. Army Reserve major in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, assigned to the 804th Medical Brigade headquarters based at Fort Devens.

Sugarman, who has been mobilized with the Army since last February, will be deploying to Iraq in early 2011.

"The MBA Dial-A-Lawyer programs in general (veterans and non-veterans) are a great way for attorneys to help a large number of people in need of legal advice without incurring a large time commitment," Sugarman said, noting that the breadth of issues a volunteer lawyer handles in one night can be "fascinating."

"As a veteran and current Army reservist myself, I am especially drawn to wanting to help other veterans," he said. "With the state of economy as it is, coupled with the surge in the number of veterans facing legal issues, there is a great need to help these veterans. The Veterans DAL programs provide an avenue to help the veterans in an efficient and very beneficial way."

Representatives from the Department of Veterans Services were on hand to help the volunteers with any questions that come up.

"We appreciate the funding through the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and the partnership we have with the Department of Veterans Services and Shelter Legal Services," said Elizabeth A. O'Neil, the MBA's director of Community and Public Services. "The Massachusetts Bar Association is committed to assisting veterans with their legal problems."

The next program, which has not been scheduled, will be held in the spring. Attorneys wishing to volunteer for the next program should [e-mail lrs] or call (617) 338-0556.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for the upcoming seminar "Examining the Anatomy of Enforceable Post-Nuptial Agreements" on Nov. 30

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. 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.


Examining the Anatomy of Enforceable Post-Nuptial Agreements Recorded program
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Legal Chat: What to do About that File Languishing on Your Desk Live program
Friday, Dec. 3, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

Employment Law for Lawyers Recorded program
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Eighth Annual In-House Counsel Conference Live program
Thursday, Dec. 9, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Legal Chat: Relationship Building During the Holiday Season and Beyond Live program
Friday, Dec. 10, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

'Tis the Season: Handling Snow and Ice Cases Recorded program
Wednesday, Dec. 15, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Legal Chat: Traps for the Unwary Live program
Friday, Dec. 17, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

November/December CLE BrochureNOTE: The MBA CLE brochure will no longer be mailed to MBA members, but will continue to be featured online on a monthly basis. Online registration for CLE programs is quick and simple.

Click here to view the brochure and register for an upcoming program.


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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Upcoming free Legal Chats

Social Media's Impact on Law Firms, Revenue and Brand; What to do About that File Languishing on Your Desk; Relationship Building During the Holiday Season and Beyond; Traps for the Unwary

Interested in attending real-time, interactive webcasts you can watch, and participate in, from the comfort of your home or office? Register now for upcoming Legal Chats.

NOTE: There is no on-site attendance available for Legal Chats. If you are unable to participate virtually, the recorded version of the program will be available at www.MassBar.org/OnDemand, after the program takes place.


Social Media's Impact on Law Firms, Revenue and Brand Live program

Friday, Nov. 19, noon-1 p.m.

Did you know you can directly impact your practice by how you position yourself on social media? Learn how AVVO.com impacts you and why. Find out if Martindale-Hubbell really matters. Join Strategic Legal Marketing's Jay Campbell for a focused look on how social media impacts your firm's bottom line.

Click here to register.


What to do About that File Languishing on Your Desk Live program

Friday, Dec. 3, noon-1 p.m.

Every lawyer has a file that he or she is thinking about right now. It is the one sitting on your desk, floor, windowsill or worse. Dan C. Crane will offer useful tips on how to get that file out of your thoughts at 3 a.m. and how to avoid other files like it.

Crane advises lawyers and law firms on practice management and other professional matters and was in private practice for over twenty years before serving as chief bar counsel until 2006.

Click here to register.


Relationship Building During the
Holiday Season and Beyond Live program

Friday, Dec. 10, noon-1 p.m.

Whether you are in a job hunt or looking to grow your law practice, building a strong professional network is critical to your success. At the same time, December is a challenging month for anyone who is unemployed.  It is also a slow month for generating new work. At this session, Stephen Seckler shares with you some of the fundamentals of building productive business relationships. Seckler suggests some ways to make the most of the holiday season so that you have good momentum moving into the new year.

Seckler is a marketing coach who has spent his whole legal career helping lawyers who want to get more from their careers.

Click here to register.


Traps for the UnwaryLive program

Friday, Dec. 17, noon-1 p.m.

Even the most talented and diligent attorneys can be subject to a malpractice claim despite the fact that the action is without merit. It is imperative that attorneys learn what areas of practice are impacted most by malpractice claims, the reasons these claims happen, and how to reduce the risk.

Click here to register.




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Featured member benefit: Lawyer Referral Service

Looking to expand your client base? Join the MBA's Lawyer Referral Service and receive referrals in your community

The MBA's Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) is one of the largest referral services of its kind, making more than 21,000 referrals each year to its 1,000 attorney members throughout the state. Joining the LRS offers you the opportunity to both expand your client base and help the general public. We invite you to join now, and invest in your professional future.

As an MBA member, you can participate in this program by completing a separate application form which can be sent to you upon request. Additionally, in order to join the LRS you must be in good standing with the Board of Bar Overseers and provide a proof of insurance by forwarding a Certificate of Insurance from your current professional liability insurance carrier. The cost of joining the LRS is either $100 or $150 depending on how long you have been admitted to practice. Just one LRS referral can cover the cost of your annual membership in both the MBA and the LRS.

Over the past few years, the LRS has expanded its statewide marketing to include:

  • Development of radio campaigns;
  • Marketing on the Internet via Google;
  • Newly designed advertising in the Metro Newspaper;
  • MBTA trains, buses and subway platforms.

LRS will continue to advertise in the Verizon Yellow Page books, allowing you to receive referrals within your community.

To learn more about the LRS, call (617) 338-0556 or contact us via e-mail. You can also access the LRS 2010-11 application via the MBA Web site.

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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm Section Council meeting; Business Law Section Council meeting; Save the date: Civil Litigation Section open meeting; Save the date: Taxation Law Section Council open meeting

General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm Section Council meeting

Monday, Nov. 22, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm Section Council is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The guest speaker at this meeting will be MBA President Denise Squillante. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Business Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 23, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Business Law Section Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 23 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


SAVE THE DATE:  Civil Litigation Section open meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

All section members are invited to attend the Civil Litigation Section Council open meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 1 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. Paul Milligan, Christopher Perini and Kenneth Rubinstein, co-chairs of the newly-formed Civil Litigation Construction Law Committee will discuss the focus of the committee and answer questions from interested Civil Litigation section members.

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


SAVE THE DATE: Taxation Law Section Council open meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 8, 4-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The Taxation Law Section will be holding at open meeting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at which members of the Taxation Law Section Council will lead a discussion on divorce tax issues. The meeting will be open to Taxation Law Section members, Family Law Section members, Probate Law Section members and members of the Young Lawyers Division.

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

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