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Top from left to right: Centennial Ball Keynote Speaker Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Hennessey Award Honoree U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner.

Bottom left to right: MBA Centennial Conference Co-Chairs Marsha V. Kazarosian and Douglas K. Sheff.

Register for the MBA's Centennial Conference by April 1 and receive $50 off a full conference pass

MBA Centennial Ball to feature keynote by Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer and special presentation of Hennessey Award to retiring Judge Nancy Gertner

The MBA's Centennial Conference, a celebration of the MBA's century of service to the public, profession and rule of law, will take place on Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19 at the Boston Sheraton Hotel.

The conference will feature three concurrent CLE tracks, the annual Access to Justice Awards Luncheon and Bench/Bar Panel and reception on May 18, and the Centennial Ball on May 19. The ball, which will wrap-up the two-day conference, will include a special MBA Hennessey Award presentation to retiring U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner and will also feature a keynote address from Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

Register on or before Friday, April 1 to receive $50 off a
Full Conference Pass.

Educational highlights

The MBA's Centennial Conference will kick-off on Wednesday, May 18 with a half-day of continuing legal education programming and will continue with a full-day of programming on Thursday, May 19.

The conference features three concurrent CLE tracks, including:

Young Lawyers Track

  • Running Your Law Practice on a Shoestring Budget; 60 Sites to Bring Your Firm Into the Future; Technology From Your Office to the Courtroom

Litigation Track

  • Hot Issues in Discovery; Crafting a Winning Theme - From Soup to Nuts; Direct/Cross Examination of Expert Witnesses

Substantive Law Track

  • Family Law Update; Uniform Probate Code Update; Secret Weapons for the Personal Injury Attorney; Trends in Employment Law

Look for the full schedule of programming, including descriptions and faculty, as well as information about the rest of the conference events in future issues of Lawyers Journal, Lawyers e-Journal and in e-mail communication.

Centennial Ball highlights

The MBA's Centennial Ball on Thursday, May 19 will include a special Hennessey Award presentation to Gertner and a keynote address from Breyer.

Gertner, who will be retiring from the bench in fall 2011 for a position at Harvard Law School, was appointed to the bench in 1994 by President William J. Clinton after two decades of criminal defense and civil activist work. In 2008, Gertner became the second woman to receive the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association's Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities. Voted by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly readers as one of the "best" federal judges in Boston, Gertner has also been awarded Lawyers Weekly's Judge Toomey Judicial Excellence Award, the 2006 Massachusetts Bar Foundation's "Great Friend of Justice Award," the 2007 Suffolk University of Law Charles P. Kindregan Award and the 2010 Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award.

A distinguished academic, lawyer and judge, Gertner's autobiography, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate, will be released in April 2011. As a lawyer, Gertner taught at Boston University Law School, Boston College Law School and Harvard Law School and as a judge, Gertner taught for over 10 years at Yale Law School. Since becoming a judge, Gertner has also traveled widely, teaching women's rights and human rights, most recently working with Chinese judges and scholars on sentencing reform.

The Hennessey Award is awarded to federal or state judges within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and dedication to improving the administration of justice and upholding the highest traditions for public service.

Please consider becoming an MBA Centennial Conference sponsor. Click here for sponsorship information and a current list of sponsors.

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Massachusetts Law Review invites submissions

The Massachusetts Law Review, the longest continually run law review in the country, encourages authors to submit articles on matters relevant in Massachusetts. Whether articles relate to family law, labor regulations or criminal justice trends, the editorial board is interested in presenting a diverse range of issues.

The Law Review is circulated around the world and contains comprehensive analyses of Massachusetts law, commentary on groundbreaking cases and legislation, and reviews of books of interest to practitioners.

In evaluating submissions, the editorial board considers several factors, including:

  • Will the article be of interest to our membership?
  • Is the topic relevant to Massachusetts practice?
  • Is the topic timely?
  • Does the author offer new insight?
  • If the article attempts a balanced explanation of the law, does it offer critical insight? That is, does it have depth, or is it too superficial?
  • If the article offers a specific point of view or argument, does it educate the reader about all points of view, giving legal and, if appropriate, historical or social context?
  • Is the article well-written? Logical? Accurate?

Submit articles or proposals to
MBA Periodicals Manager Bill Archambeault.
Detailed submission guidelines are available here.

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Images from the Feb. 17 MBA sponsored event, "A New Path for Probation."

Photos by Tricia Oliver.

Panel debates who should oversee Probation Dept.

In the aftermath of patronage hiring abuses at the state's Probation Department, an overflow crowd this morning witnessed members of the judicial, legislative and executive branches debate who should manage the troubled agency.

"A New Path for Probation" drew more than 175 attendees to Suffolk University Law School, with people lining the walls to listen in on the discussion. The event was presented by MassINC, the publisher of CommonWealth magazine, sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association and hosted by Suffolk University Law School's Rappaport Center.

The panel, which was moderated by CommonWealth Publisher Greg Torres, featured:

  • Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan, Massachusetts;
  • Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan;
  • Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem, co-chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary and a member of the Probation Reform Working Group; and
  • John Larivee, CEO of Community Resources for Justice.

MBA President Denise Squillante, in her introductory remarks, noted that "The MBA supports the preservation of the Probation Department as a part of the judiciary." Former Massachusetts Attorney General L. Scott Harshbarger, who chairs the SJC's Task Force on Hiring in the Judicial Branch, was unable to attend but provided a video in which he lamented that the once-proud department had deliberately become "a fundamentally corrupt agency."

Mulligan argued that the judiciary should continue to oversee the agency, noting that veteran court officer Ronald Corbett Jr. has achieved "extraordinary" results since being appointed acting commissioner. He cautioned against judging the current agency in the same light as the one that led to former Commissioner John O'Brien's resignation.

"It's a new day in probation," Mulligan said.

Heffernan also praised Corbett's leadership, but argued that Gov. Deval Patrick's plans to bring the Probation Department under the authority of the executive branch would improve public safety, provide better oversight and transparency and save money. She noted that Patrick had developed his proposal years ago, before the agency's problems became public.

Larivee noted that other states have successful probation departments regardless of whether they're run by the judiciary or the executive branch.

"The argument about where it ought to be ought to come last," he said, adding that the priority should be deciding what kind of agency it should be. "It can work in either location, but it depends on how it's run."

Creem said she was not speaking for the Legislature, but noted that putting both agencies under the same authority raises other concerns, alluding to the recent dismissal of several Parole Board members over a controversial decision.

"We've got a lot of problems in both departments that we've got to look at, and in the criminal justice system as a whole," she said.

Click here to read CommonWealth magazine's event coverage.
Click here to view video clips of the event.

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News from the courts

2011 Edition of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence now available; SJC assessing task force action plan on Probation Department reform; U.S. Court of Appeals provides notice of proposed amendments to Local Rule 46.0(f)


2011 Edition of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence now available

The Supreme Judicial Court and its Executive Committee on Massachusetts Evidence Law has announced the release of the 2011 edition of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence. The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court recommend use of the guide by the bench, bar and public.

The 2011 edition is the third annual edition of the guide. It is available without charge on the Supreme Judicial Court, Appeals Court and Trial Court Web sites. The official print edition of the 2011 edition is available for purchase from the Flaschner Judicial Institute, which is again providing a complimentary copy to every judge in the commonwealth.   

The Massachusetts Guide to Evidence assembles existing Massachusetts evidence law in an easy-to-use document organized similarly to the Federal Rules of Evidence. The guide includes extensive explanatory notes and citations to pertinent authorities. Click here to learn more.


SJC assessing task force action plan on Probation Department reform

The Supreme Judicial Court is currently reviewing the recommendations in the "Action Plan for Reform and Renewal of Probation Department Hiring and Promotion Practices," which was delivered to the court on Feb. 10 by the SJC's Task Force chaired by former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger.

The comprehensive report calls for immediate action by the court and Legislature to restore the integrity in the hiring and promotion practices in the Probation Department. The action plan outlines a detailed and substantive series of steps that the task force believes will transform the Probation Department's formerly corrupted hiring process into a national model.

The action steps include the following:

  • Adoption of seven nationally recognized and proven principles for recruiting, hiring and promoting high quality probation officers;
  • Implementation of a plan for recruiting, hiring and retaining chief probation officers of proven quality in positions that now are vacant or filled by acting chiefs;
  • Installation of an application tracking system that records all phases of the application process, all actions taken by those involved in hiring and promotion of an applicant and all recommendations and references any applicant receives;
  • Prompt restoration of managerial controls that were taken away from the Chief Justice for Administration and Management in 2002;
  • Prompt review of staffing levels in the Probation Department to insure that that the staff is appropriate for the number of cases the department is handling and that workloads are appropriately distributed; and
  • Oversight of probation hiring and promotion by an outside entity for the next two years with periodic public reports of the reforms being implemented in the department and the results of such reforms.

Click here to learn more.


U.S. Court of Appeals provides notice of proposed amendments to Local Rule 46.0(f)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has provided notice that it proposes amendments to Local Rule 46.0(f) (Standing Rule Governing Appearance and Argument by Eligible Law Students). Click here to view the amendments. Comments are due by Wednesday, March 16.

Sections sponsor guest speakers at open forums, events

Take advantage of the networking and educational opportunities available to you through MBA section/division open meetings and events which are open to all MBA members. Check out the section newsletters, Section News in the weekly e-Journal and the MBA's Web site for upcoming meetings.


Young Lawyers hosts career panel, networking reception

The MBA's Young Lawyers Division held a career panel and networking event at the Boston University School of Law on Feb. 9. The panel provided law students with advice about finding and keeping a job in a challenging economy, transitioning from law student to lawyer, and other practical career and job search guidance.

YLD Career Panel Feb. 9

Young Lawyers Division panelists included, from left to right: Gabriel Cheong, Infinity Law Group; Scott Heidorn, Campbell, Campbell, Edwards & Conroy PC; Brian Bialas, Foley Hoag LLP; and moderator Kyle Guelcher, chair of the MBA's Young Lawyers Division. Photo by Kelsey Sadoff.


Individual Rights Section hosts "Bullying" forum

The Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section Council held an open meeting Feb. 9 on the recently passed anti-bullying legislation, how it will affect victims and potential clients, and the roles of the courts and lawyers in such cases.

Bristol County Juvenile Court Associate Justice Lawrence Moniz said using the anti-bullying statute can be a better first-line defense "to the benefit of both the victim and the accused" than a civil harassment or other more serious charge that would end up on a child's record for life.

IRR Open Meeting Feb. 9

Frank A. Smith III (standing), the vice chair of the IRR Section Council, moderates the panel (from left to right): solo practitioner Richard W. Cole; Hon. Mary Dacey White, Lynn District Court associate justice; Arline Isaacson, co-chairwoman of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus; Hon. Lawrence Moniz, associate justice, Bristol County Juvenile Court; and John J. Cloherty III, managing partner at Pierce, Davis & Perritano LLP. Photo by Bill Archambeault.


Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council holds bench-bar meeting in Andover

The MBA's Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council sponsored its second bench-bar meeting at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover on Feb. 9. The discussion focused on the Standing Order for Care and Protection Trials, Implementation of new law for young adults (ages 18-22) in DCF custody and the Youth Advocacy Department expansion in Somerville, Lowell and Salem. The council is holding bench-bar sessions throughout the association year. The next meeting is scheduled be held on Wednesday, March 9 in Brockton.

Juvenile & Child Welfare benchbar meeting Feb. 9

Attorneys interested in the practice of juvenile & child welfare law attended the second Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Bench-Bar meeting in Andover. The program was moderated by Peter A. Hahn, chair, Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council. Guest speakers included the Hon. Jay David Blitzman, first justice, Middlesex County Division, Juvenile Court; the Hon. Sally F. Padden, first justice, Essex County Division, Juvenile Court; and James Morton, case manager, Juvenile Court Department. Photo by Tricia Oliver.


BBO lawyers answers Immigration Law questions

The Immigration Law Section Council hosted Anne S.J. Kaufman, director of the Board of Bar Overseers' Attorney Client Assistance Program since 1999, for an "Ask the Experts: Legal Ethics For Immigration Practitioners" on Feb. 10.

The co-drafter of Chapter 209A, the Massachusetts abuse prevention statute, Kaufman answered immigration attorneys' ethics questions on joint representation cases, the use of IOLTA funds and other topics.

Immigration Law open meeting Feb. 10

Anne S.J. Kaufman, director of the BBO's Attorney Client Assistance Program, left, and Immigration Law Section Council Vice Chair Gerald C. Rovner discuss questions posed by immigration attorneys. Photo by Bill Archambeault.

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2010 Walk to the Hill.

Join the MBA and featured speaker SJC Justice Ralph D. Gants at Tuesday's Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid

Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid is one of the largest lobbying events at the Statehouse. Last year, 700 attorneys participated in the walk and played a critical role in securing level funding for the civil legal aid line item in FY11. Join the MBA and featured speaker SJC Justice Ralph D. Gants on Tuesday, Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Statehouse to advocate for increased funding for civil legal services throughout the commonwealth.

This year's Walk to the Hill message to legislators advocates for maintaining funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) line item at $9.5 million.

The speaking program will be held from 11:30 to noon in the Great Hall of Flags at the Statehouse. Speakers include:

  • SJC Justice Ralph D. Gants;
  • Massachusetts Bar Association President-Elect Richard P. Campbell;
  • Boston Bar Association President Donald Frederico; and
  • Natasha Torres of Oxford, Mass., former client of Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts.

Click here for a full event schedule.

This event is co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Assocation, the Equal Justice Coalition and the Boston Bar Association.



The importance of being specific in relationship building

How many of us have run into old friends on the street, said "I'll call you for lunch" and then did nothing? How many of us have asked satisfied clients to "let us know if they meet someone who might have a need of our services?" We all have.

Unfortunately, general exchanges like this are unlikely to produce results. Our attention is pulled in so many directions that despite our best intentions, we never set up the lunch or make the referral. To overcome this problem, try being more specific.

Meet someone at a networking function? Ask them if it is okay to e-mail them when you get back to your office (to set up a lunch)...and then do it! Have a satisfied client? Show them a list of other companies in their industry and ask them if they have contacts at any of these companies. Then ask if they would be willing to call or e-mail the contact to let them know you will be calling.

This tip is courtesy of Stephen Seckler, Seckler Legal Coaching.

Published February 17, 2011


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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Photograph by Kelsey Sadoff
2010 Section/Division Open House.

Want to learn more about an MBA section or division?

Take advantage of a free open house on April 4 and meet section/division chairs and members

Join us to learn why section and division participation is the best way to enhance your MBA membership. This FREE open house will offer you the opportunity to meet the chairs and memebrs of the MBA's Young Lawyers Division and our 17 substantive sections in an informal setting while networking with colleagues.

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvers will be served.

Click here to R.S.V.P.

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Photograph by Jeff Thiebauth
MBA Past Presidents and current leadership at the 2010-11 Past Presidents' Dinner on Nov. 15.

Last chance to nominate a colleague for an MBA 2011-12 leadership position

Submit nominations to MBA Secretary by next Friday, Feb. 25

The Massachusetts Bar Association is currently accepting nominations for officer and delegate positions for the 2011-12 membership year. Nominees must submit a letter of intent and a current resume to MBA Secretary Marsha V. Kazarosian by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 to be eligible. 

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

Massachusetts Bar Association
Attn: Marsha V. Kazarosian, 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 Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy at (617) 988-4777.

Click here for nomination and election procedures. Click here for association bylaws.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for the March 1 Trust Series You Can Trust Session on "How to Establish a Trust" and don’t miss this opportunity to learn about trust practice beyond the basics

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.


A Trust Series You Can Trust: A Comprehensive Guide to Trust Practice
Session I: How to Establish a Trust
Recorded program
Tuesday, March 1, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Preparing Yourself for the Changes to Rule 1.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct Live program
Tuesday, March 8, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The New Homestead Act - Develop a Solid Foundation Recorded program
Wednesday, March 9, 4
-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Legal Chat: Standing in Land Use Appeals
Live program
Tuesday, March 15, 4-5 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.


GP|Solo Symposium: Strategies for Success 2011 Recorded program
Thursday, March 31, 2-6 p.m. (reception to follow)
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

CLEJanFeb11NOTE: 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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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Join in the Feb. 28 Law Practice Management meeting. Attend the March 1 GPSSF, Access to Justice, Business Law meetings and the March 2 Civil Litigation meeting. The Public Law meeting will be held March 3. Update your resume and apply for a YLD 2011-12 leadership position.

Law Practice Management Section Council meeting

Monday, Feb. 28, 5:30-7 p.m.
Taylor Law Office, 2 Main St., Ste 320, Stoneham

The next meeting of the Law Practice Management Section Council will be held at Taylor Law Office in Stoneham on Monday, Feb. 28 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm Section Council meeting

Tuesday, March 1, 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 Tuesday, March 1 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Access to Justice Section Council meeting

Tuesday, March 1, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Access to Justice Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, March 1 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Business Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, March 1, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Business Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, March 1 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Civil Litigation Section Council meeting

Wednesday, March 2, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Civil Litigation Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, March from 4:30 to 6 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Public Law Section Council meeting

Thursday, March 3, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Public Law Section Council is scheduled for Thursday, March 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Considering a Young Lawyers Division Leadership Position?

Update your resume and be on the lookout for an upcoming announcement from the Young Lawyers Division Nominating Committee. In the coming months, we will seek to fill positions on the Division's Executive Board and appoint County and At-Large Directors to lead the division. This is an excellent way to build leadership skills and gain valuable insight and experience in team building, group dynamics, parliamentary procedure, and the inner workings of the Massachusetts Bar Association. Contact Committee Chair Jake Skinner at [e-mail AttorneySkinner] or Division Board of Directors' Chair-Elect Scott Heidorn at [e-mail sheidorn] with any questions.


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