Image for Task force
From left to right: Joint Foreclosure Legislation Task Force Chair Elizabeth J. Barton and Vice Chair Laurel H. Siegel.

MBA forms task force to study improving foreclosure laws

The committee will focus on training attorneys to better assist foreclosure victims

The Massachusetts Bar Association has formed a Joint Foreclosure Legislation Task Force, which strives to improve both the state's foreclosure law and borrowers' access to assistance in the foreclosure process. A collaboration among bar associations, legal services, real estate attorneys and banker's associations, the task force plans to draft a legislative proposal to modernize foreclosure law in Massachusetts and ensure a fair and efficient foreclosure process.  

"The development of this task force comes at a critical time when many Massachusetts residents are struggling to stay in their homes," MBA President Denise Squillante said. "The MBA hopes this new effort will result in a more streamlined foreclosure process in Massachusetts - making it easier for both homeowners and their attorneys to navigate the system."

The task force includes representatives from the MBA's Property Law and Access to Justice sections, as well as the Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Bankers Association, the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association, Western Massachusetts Legal Services, and other real estate practitioners.

"Piecemeal changes to the state's mortgage foreclosure laws over the years have created a foreclosure process that is incomprehensible to borrowers and disruptive to lenders trying to comply with the law," said Beth Barton, task force chair and vice chair of the MBA's Property Law Section. "The task force strives to build a clear, open and understandable foreclosure process, from the ground up, which will benefit both homeowners and lenders."

In conjunction with the task force, the MBA has formed the Foreclosure Education Committee to teach attorneys how to counsel and advocate for individuals facing foreclosure. The free education program will kick off on Oct. 28 with a seminar covering changes in foreclosure laws. Click here to R.S.V.P. The program will also be available via MBA On Demand, an innovative approach to continuing legal education that allows users to watch programming from the comfort of their home or office. Seminars to follow will cover topics that include HAMP Loan Modifications, Alternatives to Foreclosure and others.

The task force will be led by:

  • Chair Elizabeth J. Barton, vice chair of the MBA Property Law Section Council
  • Vice Chair Laurel H. Siegel, chair of the MBA Property Law Section Council
Image for Fall River
Photograph by Tricia Oliver
From left to right: Daniel P. Sullivan, Esq., general counsel/director, Administrative Office of the Trial Court; Fall River Mayor William A. Flanagan; Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan; MBA President Denise Squillante and Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court Phillip Rapoza.

News from the courts: Fall River celebrates “magnificent structure”

The ceremonial opening of the new Fall River Justice Center took place Sept. 30 and was well attended by state officials and dignitaries from the Fall River area. Community members, judges, attorneys, court staff and others from Bristol County and beyond took part in the afternoon celebration.

"Fall River has a rich history of culture and Congress," said Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan, who served as the master of ceremonies and described the new justice center as a "magnificent structure."

The program's featured speakers included Gov. Deval Patrick, Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Robert J. Cordy, Sen. Joan M. Menard, Rep. Patricia Haddad, MBA President Denise Squillante, Fall River Mayor William A. Flanagan, Bristol County Superior Court Clerk Magistrate Marc J. Santos and commissioner of the state's Division of Capital Asset Management, David Perini.

Patrick thanked Perini for his "marvelous job of leading quietly" the planning and construction project. He stressed the courthouse's role in rebuilding a sense of community, describing the special event as an opportunity not "just to celebrate an extraordinary building," but to appreciate the "spirit of what it represents."

After breaking ground in October 2007, the Fall River Justice Center opened its doors three months ago. The new structure is situated in the heart of downtown Fall River, overlooking historic Battleship Cove. "Today we reinforce the Massachusetts Trial Court's commitment to its urban centers," said Mulligan.

Cordy spoke of the new structure as belonging to the people. He also emphasized the importance of preserving and maintaining the new building now that it has been erected - an obligation that "falls on us as guardians of justice."

The Bristol County Superior Court and the Fall River District Court began operations in the new five-story building in July. The spacious new courthouse features nine courtrooms, modern information technology and digital recording capability, handicapped accessibility, and secure detention areas, a jury pool and the District Attorney's Office. The courthouse also houses a law library.

The Justice Center is the first courthouse constructed by the commonwealth to incorporate LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards into all phases of the project - site development, design, material utilization, practices and equipment.

"Now that the dust is settled and offices are occupied, it is only fitting that we celebrate its opening," said Menard, who represents the First Bristol and Plymouth District and lives in Fall River.

Squillante, a Fall River native, spoke reminiscently of the area in which the courthouse was constructed. "As a child, I walked along South Main Street, as many of you did, to the shops, the library down the street and to get lime rickey sodas," she said.

"This court will play a vital role to the rejuvenation of this center of the community," added Squillante, whose practice is a less than a five-minute drive from the new courthouse.

The formal speaking program was preceded by the posting of the colors by the Trial Court Honor Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance and an invocation by Bishop George W. Coleman of the Diocese of Fall River. The ceremony came to a close with a benediction offered by Cantor Richard Wolberg of Temple Beth El and a rendition of "God Bless America" by vocalist Tony Funches.



FirmFuture 2010 to offer cutting-edge practice management and legal technology solutions

The Massachusetts Bar Association and The Warren Group will present FirmFuture 2010: The Practice Management & Legal Technology Conference on Wednesday, Dec. 1 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Copley Marriott Boston, 110 Huntington Avenue, Boston.

Legal professionals can access leading industry exhibitors and powerful educational sessions in the areas of business development, best practices, technology, sales and marketing. FirmFuture will also feature live podcasting, video-streaming, attendee prizes and more.

For more information, click here or contact
The Warren Group at (617) 896-5358 or via e-mail.

Published October 7, 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.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for "Electronic Discovery: Rules of Practice and Emerging Issues" on Oct. 14

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.


How to Handle a Residential Real Estate Closing
Wednesday, Oct. 13, 3-7 p.m.
Registry of Deeds, 90 Front St., Worcester

Practice Skills in Juvenile Delinquency Cases Recorded program
Wednesday, Oct. 13, 4-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Executive Employment Agreements for Private Companies Recorded program
Thursday, Oct. 14, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Electronic Discovery: Rules of Practice and Emerging Issues - What Litigators Should Know
Thursday, Oct. 14, 4-7 p.m.
Western New England College School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield

October/November CLE Brochure CoverNOTE: 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.



20th Annual Family Law Conference Recorded program
Friday, Nov. 12 - Saturday, Nov. 13
Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club, 55 Lee Road, Lenox

Click here to view the conference brochure.

Ninth Annual Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy Conference
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 4-7 p.m.
Western New England College School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield


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.



Image for Legal Chats

Back by popular demand

Participate in the MBA's FREE Legal Chats @ Noon starting Oct. 15

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

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.


Visualize Your Virtual Practice Live program

Friday, Oct. 15

Are you thinking about making your practice more "virtual?" Join Law Practice Advisor Jared D. Correia, Esq. for an overview on how to begin to "virtualize" your practice.

Click here to register.

Changes to the Massachusetts Personal Records Act Live program

Friday, Oct. 22

Significant changes have been made to the Massachusetts Personnel Records Act. Join Rubin and Rudman's Denise I. Murphy, Esq. as she discusses how these changes will impact the work of human resources professionals/management and how to now approach employee relations and personnel records.

Click here to register.

Bankruptcy 911 with Judge Joan N. Feeney Live program

Friday, Oct. 29

Join Judge Joan Feeney and Ted Connolly, co-authors of the new book, The Road Out of Debt, to discuss what signs and warning signals may point to your client's need to file a bankruptcy case, what debts and situations are most appropriate for filing a bankruptcy case in and general bankruptcy basics.

Click here to register.

Workplace Injuries  Live program

Friday, Oct. 29

Join Douglas K. Sheff, Esq. and Alan Pierce, Esq. for a discussion on worker's compensation and how to uncover and litigate valuable "third party cases."

Click here to register.



Image for Member benefit

Featured member benefit: MBA Business Center

Away from your office and looking to check your e-mail? Print a document? Check out the MBA's business center.

If you are attending a meeting at the MBA or just in the area, visit our Business Center designed to assist our members. We have office equipment available for spot use, including computers, a fax machine, copier, and telephone.

All MBA members are encouraged to visit and use our facilities. There are business centers available at the MBA's Boston office at 20 West St., and the MBA's Western Mass. office at 73 State St., Springfield.


Image for Section news

Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council meeting; Taxation Law Section Council meeting; Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council meeting; Immigration Law Section Council meeting

Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 13, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Join the Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council at its meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 13 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.

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


Taxation Law Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 13, 5-6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Join the Taxation Law Section Council at its meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 13 from
5 to 6:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.

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


Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 13, 6-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Join the Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council at its meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 13 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. The guest speaker will be Virginia Merritt, M.D., who will speak on juvenile delinquency competency issues in preteens.

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


Immigration Law Section Council meeting

Thursday, Oct. 14, 5:15-6:45 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Join the Immigration Law Section Council at its meeting on Thursday, Oct. 14 from
5:15 to 6:45 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.

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


©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association