e-Journal

05-05

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State budget update and call-to-action

Weigh-in with your senator on court budget and bar advocates

No branch of government has been harder hit throughout this fiscal crisis than the judiciary. FY11 funding for the Trial Court is $544.1 million (down $39.6 million from FY09). The House of Representatives recently enacted its version of the budget, funding the court at $520.5 million, which is a $23.6 million cut from the current operating budget. The courts are faced with a continuing hiring freeze and are down 1,011 positions since October 2008. Court leadership continues to aggressively pursue every avenue where cost savings can be achieved. Rank and file judges have forsaken pay by voluntarily participating in a pay furlough.

The Senate is finalizing its budget for consideration later this month. It is vital that you reach out to your state senator to articulate the need for adequate funding for the judiciary to serve the 42,000 citizens who enter our courts each and every day.

Click here to find out who your senator is.
Click here to contact your senator.


The House Budget provided $151 million for the Committee for Public Counsel Services and adds 200 staff attorneys while capping hours of assigned private counsel at 1,650 from the current cap of 1,800 hours per year. Please advocate to your senator for the continued support of the current private bar advocate system. The MBA believes the current system works well and the tremendous and unforeseen start up costs associated with new legislation that would require the hiring of hundreds of new state employees will prove more costly. Costs associated with office space, support staff, salary and training will not only have short and long-term implications for our state's struggling economy, but will also greatly affect the quality of advocacy. Please call your local senator to urge him/her to reject this plan and instead advocate for greater indigency and cost controls while maintaining the existing private system that has been recognized as a national model.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that most states with public defender systems are struggling because of a lack of funding along with burgeoning caseloads and escalating costs to the public.

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Photograph by Jennifer Rosinski
MBA President Denise Squillante and Past President Leo V. Boyle testify before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary at the State House on May 3.

Legislative News

MBA leaders testify in support of historic court reform legislation

MBA President Denise Squillante and Past President Leo V. Boyle testified before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary at the State House on May 3, urging the Legislature to swiftly pass legislation to professionalize Trial Court management to better align Massachusetts with other innovative and forward-thinking court systems.

"This proposal brings to fruition more than 30 years of best practices from the state and the nation," said Squillante while testifying before the committee. "I encourage you to seize this unique opportunity to implement true reform that will place Massachusetts where it should be, as a national model for an innovative and effective court system."

Squillante and Boyle testified that House Bill No. 3395 will benefit litigants and the public alike as it presents multiple efficiencies for the court system. Specifically, the creation of a court administrator position to be assumed by an expert, non-judicial civilian administrator, is reform long advocated by the MBA. The MBA's independently commissioned 1991 Harbridge House Report and the 2003 MBA Court Study Task Force Report both included detailed findings and recommendations regarding the employ of such an administrator.

As reported by State House News Service on May 3, if the Judiciary Committee's vote is favorable by 3 p.m. on May 5, the  legislation would head to the House Ways and Means Committee. Committee Co-Chairman Rep. Eugune O'Flaherty has said a debate on the bill by the full house is expected next Wednesday.

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What's in it for you? MBA Centennial Conference features CLE Tracks, Access to Justice Awards, "Hail to the Chiefs" panel and Centennial Ball

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, the "Hail to the Chiefs" Bench-Bar Panel and the Centennial Ball. Click here for Centennial Conference exhibitors.

Click here to register.

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SOLD OUT: Access to Justice Awards Luncheon, May 18

12:30-2 p.m.

MurrayThe luncheon will honor five attorneys and one law firm for their efforts in providing exemplary legal services to the public. Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray will deliver the luncheon's keynote address and will also be honored with an MBA Centennial Award.

  • Legal Services Award: Linda L. Landry, Esq., Disability Law Center, Boston; Daniel S. Manning, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston
  • Pro Bono Award for Law Firms: Law Offices of Howard Friedman, Boston
  • Pro Bono Publico Award: Eleanor J. Newhoff, Esq., Attorney at Law, Cambridge
  • Defender Award: Radha Natarajan, Esq., Committee for Public Counsel Services, Somerville
  • Prosecutor Award: Katharine B. Folger, Esq., Middlesex District Attorney's Office, Woburn

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"Hail to the Chiefs" Bench-Bar Panel and Reception, May 18

4:30 to 6 p.m. (reception to follow)

An informal "Hail to the Chiefs" bench-bar panel discussion, featuring many of the state's top judges, will address important bench-bar topics and serve as the wrap-up to the first day of conference programming. Attendees will have an opportunity to interact with distinguished members of the panel, including:

Hail to the Chiefs with Wolf

  • GantsModerator: Associate Justice Ralph D. Gants (pictured, right), Supreme Judicial Court;
  • Chief Justice Paula M. Carey, Probate and Family Court;
  • Chief Justice Lynda M. Connolly, District Court;
  • Chief Justice Michael F. Edgerton, Juvenile Court;
  • Chief Justice Charles R. Johnson, Boston Municipal Court;
  • Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan;
  • Chief Justice Steven D. Pierce, Housing Court;
  • Chief Justice Phillip Rapoza, Appeals Courts;
  • Chief Justice Barbara J. Rouse, Superior Court;
  • DoyleChief Justice Karyn F. Scheier, Land Court; and
  • Chief Justice Mark L. Wolf, U.S. District Court.

A reception will follow, at which Supreme Judicial Court Suffolk County Clerk Maura S. Doyle will be recognized with the MBA Public Service Award.

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Continuing Legal Education, May 18 and May 19

Centennial Conference Co-ChairsThe 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. Centennial Conference Co-Chairs Marsha V. Kazarosian and Douglas K. Sheff are pictured, right. Click here to view the full schedule. The conference features three concurrent CLE tracks, including:

Litigation Track

  • Hot Issues in Discovery; Crafting a Winning Theme -- From Soup to Nuts; Effective Use of Evidence During Your Case;  Direct-and Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses; Convincing the Judges: Practical Advice for Litigators; Voir Dire

Substantive Law Track

  • Family Law Update; Trends in Employment Law; Uniform Probate Code Update; Criminal Law -- A View from the Courts; Secret Weapons for the Personal Injury Attorney; Tax Implications in Real Estate Transactions

Young Lawyers Track

  • Running Your Law Practice on a Shoestring Budget; Limited Assistance Representation Open Forum; Social Media for Lawyers; Technology From Your Office to the Courtroom; Networking Strategies for the Successful Attorney; 60 Sites to Bring Your Firm Into the Future

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Centennial Ball Honorees

SOLD OUT: MBA Centennial Ball, May 19

5:30 p.m.: Reception
6:30 p.m.: Dinner and awards
(After dinner, guests are invited to enjoy a dessert reception and dancing.)

The MBA's Centennial Ball on Thursday, May 19 will include a keynote address from Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer and a special Hennessey Award presentation to retiring Judge Nancy Gertner. The MBA will also honor Foley Hoag's Michael B. Keating with its Gold Medal Award and the late Richard G. Mintz of Mintz Levin with a posthumous Centennial Award.

 

The MBA would like to thank its current sponsors, whose generous support is helping the MBA celebrate a century of service to the public, profession and rule of law.
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Hon. Barbara A. Lenk. Photo courtesy of George Peet.

News from the courts

MBA pleased with Governor's Council confirmation of Barbara A. Lenk as SJC association justice

The MBA supports the decision of the Governor's Council on May 4 to confirm Gov. Deval Patrick's nomination of Barbara A. Lenk as associate justice to the Supreme Judicial Court. Lenk fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Justice Judith A. Cowin.

"One of the longest-serving members of the Appeals Court, Lenk has a keen intellect that has shone through in the numerous decisions she has written from the bench," MBA President Denise Squillante said. "Her talent in shaping judicial arguments has also been heralded by the Supreme Judicial Court, which has at times referenced her writings in crafting their own rulings."

A long-time MBA member, Lenk previously served on the MBA's Judicial Administration Section Council. Lenk was appointed to the Appeals Court in 1995 by Gov. William Weld, who had appointed her to the Superior Court two years earlier. Previously, Lenk was a partner at Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer (now Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels), where she began her legal career in 1979. She is a Trustee of Western New England College and a member of the Boston Inn of Court.

"Justice Lenk's personal experiences and nontraditional family background will bring much needed empathy to the court as it grapples with the growing complex and diverse societal issues facing the bench," Squillante said. "Litigants and the public will have a jurist that profoundly understands their struggles."


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New issue of Lawyers Journal available

The May issue of Lawyers Journal has been mailed and is available online.

It features a complete preview of the Centennial Conference, including profiles of this year's Access to Justice Award winners, information about the keynote speaker, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and a listing of the varied educational programs available. The issue also features:

  • The recent unveiling of the court reform bill, which proposes restructuring the court system's management and overhauling the Probation Dept.'s hiring process;
  • A profile of former legislator and new Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, and the changes he's implemented;
  • For Your Practice articles on: a practical approach to spoliation; 2010 estate tax options; and recent legislation extending the use of mechanics' liens to design professionals; and
  • Section Review articles on the role of the courts, zero tolerance and school exclusion, and the benefit of the Trial Court law libraries.

Click here to read the May issue of Lawyers Journal.

LPM Tip

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LOMAP and Massachusetts Bar Association present free super marketing conference

On Thursday, May 26 from 1 to 7 p.m., LOMAP and the Massachusetts Bar Association will offer a literally super legal marketing conference at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.

LOMAP's Super Marketing Conference will feature framing presentations by national legal marketing experts, central CLE programs by sponsoring vendor speakers and popular local presenters giving short, pithy TED-style talks. Topics will include referral marketing, online reputation management and advertising ethics. Networking breaks, as well as a conference-ending networking reception, will be available to all attendees.

The CLE, networking and reception are all FREE.

Click here to view the full program agenda. Click here to R.S.V.P.

Tip courtesy of Jared Correia, Law Practice Management Advisor, Law Office Management Assistance Program.

Published May 5, 2011

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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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From top to bottom:
Students pose with their lawyer mentors and keynote speakers at the finale event at the John J. Moakley U.S. District Courthouse on April 28.

Left to right: Camille A. Nelson, dean and professor of law, Suffolk University Law School ; Denise Squillante, president, Massachusetts Bar Association; John Gibbons, U.S. marshal for the District of Massachusetts; Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. attorney, District of Massachusetts; and The Hon. Angela M. Ordoñez, first justice, Norfolk Probate and Family Court.

Keynote speaker Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. attorney, District of Massachusetts, discusses how mentors helped shape her career.

MBA President Denise Squillante congratulates the students and lawyers who participated in this year’s program.

Photos by Jennifer Rosinski.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Suffolk Law dean talk about the importance of mentors at April 28 MBA event

The 10 principles she lives by and the mentors that guided her are what U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz credits with her successful rise to become Massachusetts' first Hispanic, and first woman, U.S. Attorney.

Surround yourself with people who believe in you, she told participants of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Tiered Community Mentoring program at its final event on April 28 at the John J. Moakley U.S. District Courthouse. "It's really important not to limit yourself and to not let others limit you," Ortiz said.

The program -- a collaboration among the MBA, Suffolk University Law School, Boston University Law School, Roxbury Community College, UMASS Boston and New Mission High School -- aims to reach urban high school students by building a diverse mentoring network. The program matches tiered groups, comprised of a high school student, an undergraduate student, a law student and an attorney or judge. The final event also included the distribution of four $500 scholarships to participating students.

"I look forward to seeing you make your way through undergraduate studies, law school and hopefully admission to the bar," MBA President Denise Squillante told the high school students in attendance. "Certainly, you will be well poised for that career track, should you decide to take it, thanks in part to this wonderful mentoring program."

Other featured speaker at the event were:

  • Camille A. Nelson, dean and professor of law, Suffolk University Law School;
  • John Gibbons, U.S. marshal for the District of Massachusetts; and
  • The Hon. Angela M. Ordoñez, first justice, Norfolk Probate and Family Court.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Learn to take and defend depositions with a purpose at the May 10 "Advanced Deposition Skills" seminar

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.

UPCOMING MAY PROGRAMS

Legal Chat: Alternative/Non-Traditional Uses of a Law Degree Part II Live program
Friday, May 6, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

Advanced Deposition Skills - Effective Techniques for Taking and Defending Key Depositions for Trial Recorded program
Tuesday, May 10, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

A Trust Series You Can Trust Session V: Trust Litigation Recorded program
Wednesday, May 11, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

MBA Centennial Conference
Wednesday, May 18-Thursday, May 19
Boston Sheraton Hotel, 39 Dalton St., Boston


Legal Chat: New 2010 Tax Act Live program
Friday, May 20, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

Life Cycle of a Business Part 2: Employment/Litigation Matters Recorded program
Wednesday, May 25, noon-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Intellectual Property Basics for the Non-Specialist Recorded program
Wednesday, May 25, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

LOMAP's Super Marketing Conference Live program
Thursday, May 26, 1-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 west St., Boston

SAVE THE DATES

32nd Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference
Monday, June 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Ave., Boston

Fifth Annual Public Law Conference

Thursday, June 16, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Health Law Conference
Wednesday, June 22, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

CLEMayJune 2011 NOTE: 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.

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MBA On Demand in line

Unable to attend April seminars? Practitioners who were not able to attend MBA CLE programs in April can now view select programs on MBA On Demand. MBA On Demand is an innovative MBA member benefit that offers you the opportunity to watch an MBA program from the comfort of your home or office, at a time that suits your schedule.

April CLE programming now available includes:

To view a listing of current programs offered on MBA On Demand, click here.

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Top, from left to right: MBA President Denise Squillante, MBA Community Service Awardee Susan Jacobs, Bristol County Bar Association President Nancy C. Stanton, MBA President-Elect Richard P. Campbell. Photo courtesy of the Bristol County Bar Association.

Bottom, from left to right: Richard C. Van Nostrand accepts his MBA Community Service Award from MBA President Denise Squillante. Photo courtesy of Finnegan Photographers.

Jacobs and Van Nostrand receive MBA Community Service Awards

Attorneys Susan Jacobs and Richard C. Van Nostrand have recently received MBA Community Service Awards. MBA President Denise Squillante awarded Jacobs at the Bristol County Bar Association Annual Dinner on April 28 and presented Van Nostrand with the award at the Worcester County Bar Association Law Day Breakfast on April 29.

The MBA Community Service Award is given to attorneys who have made important public service contributions to their communities and to publicize the fact that members of the legal profession are caring, involved individuals, eager to use their legal skills for the betterment of society.

Honorees' achievements include:

  • Jacobs, an attorney at Volterra, Goldberg & Jacobs in Attleboro, has been active in the MBA for years. In addition, Jacobs served as the 2008-09 president of the Bristol County Bar Association and on its Board of Directors from 2004 to 2010. Also active in several other legal groups, Jacobs served as president of the Attleboro Area Bar Association from 2003 to 2004.

  • Van Nostrand, a partner at Mirick O'Connell in Worcester, has been active in the MBA for over 30 years. An MBA Past President from 2003 to 2004, Van Nostrand is currently a member of the MBA's Centennial Commission and serves as its fund-raising co-chair. Also a long-time member and leader within the Worcester County Bar Association, Van Nostrand served as association president from 1995 to 1996 and sat on the executive committee from 1991 to 1997. Van Nostrand has been honored with the WCBA President's Award three times.

 

Computer crashed? Blackberry troubles? Don't know where to turn?

Check out MBA member benefit Geek Office Solutions or Housecalls for unsurpassed computer support

 

For office help

Geek Office SolutionsThe MBA has partnered with Geek Office Solutions to provide members with unsurpassed computer support at a special discounted price. Consider using Geek Office Solutions for issues ranging from data recovery, server upgrades, Internet connectivity, office moves and more. Call the friendly professionals at (781) 863-8111 or toll free at (800) 574-GEEK and mention your MBA membership to receive special savings of $15 per hour off the regular hourly rates.

Special MBA member business rates:
Services
MBA Member Rate
Regular Rates
On-Site Service
$135/hour + $50 on-site visit fee

1 hour minimum
(half-hour increments)
$150/hour + $75 on-site visit fee

1 hour minimum
(half-hour increments)
Remote Service
$67.50/half-hour

half-hour minimum
$75/half-hour

half-hour minimum

 

 

 

 

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For help in your home

Geek OfficecallsFor computer assistance right in your home, consider Geek Housecalls, for issues ranging from computer clean-up and speed-up, setting up a wireless network, data recovery, smart phone support and one-on-one computer tutoring.

Geek Housecalls provides members with unsurpassed computer support at a special discounted price. Call the friendly professionals at (781) 863-8111 or toll free at (800) 574-GEEK (4335) and mention your MBA membership to receive special savings of $15 per hour off the regular hourly rates. Geek Housecalls has been serving the greater Boston area since 2001.

Special MBA member business rates:

Services

MBA Member Rate

Regular Geek Housecalls Rates

On-Site Service

$135/hour

1 hour minimum
(quarter-hour increments)

$150/hour

1 hour minimum
(quarter-hour increments)

Remote Service

$33.75/quarter hr

quarter-hour minimum

$37.50/quarter hr

quarter-hour minimum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No long contracts, no big commitments, just call as needed!

Since 2001, Geeks Officecalls and Geek Housecalls have served over 15,000 local customers.

*Valid MBA membership required.

 

 

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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Join in the May 9 Juvenile & Child Welfare Bench-Bar open meeting. Attend the May 10 Family Law, General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm and Health Law Section meetings. Individual Rights and Taxation Law meet May 11. Save the Date: Limited Assistance Representation training session, May 25.

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Juvenile & Child Welfare Bench-Bar open meeting

Monday, May 9, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Worcester Courthouse, 50 Harvard St., Worcester

The MBA's Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council is sponsoring this open bench-bar presentation at the Worcester Courthouse, 50 Harvard St., Worcester. This meeting is free to all attorneys interested in the practice of Juvenile & Child Welfare Law.

Panelists include: Hon. Carol A. Erskine, first justice, Worcester Juvenile Court; Crispin Birnbaum, Esq., general counsel, DYS; and Brendan P. Murray, Esq., Department of Social Services. Peter A. Hahn, chair of the MBA's Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Section Council will serve as moderator.

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

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Family Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, May 10, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the Family Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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

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General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm Section Council meeting

Tuesday, May 10, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm Section Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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

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Health Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, May 10, 5-6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the Health Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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

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Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council meeting

Wednesday, May 11, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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

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Taxation Law Section Council meeting

Wednesday, May 11, 5-6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the Taxation Law Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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

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SAVE THE DATE: Limited Assistance Representation training session

Wednesday, May 25, 4-7 p.m.
Barnstable Probate and Family Court, 3195 Main St., Barnstable

The MBA's General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm and Access to Justice Sections are co-sponsoring a series of open meetings on Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) around the commonwealth. The next in this series will be held at the Barnstable Probate and Family Courthouse on Wednesday, May 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. Hon. Edward Ginsburg (ret.), Stephen M. McGonigle, Esq. of the Law Office of Stephen M. McGonigle, Robert A. Brown Esq. of Brown & Barbosa PC and Ilene Mitchell Esq., Probate and Family Court Administrative Office will discuss the following issues:

  • What is LAR;
  • How LAR can benefit both the legal profession and clients with limited means;
  • How to qualify for LAR; and
  • What forms and agreements you will need to streamline your LAR practice.

Upon completion of this training session, attorneys will be certified to use Limited Assistance Representation in all divisions of the Probate and Family Court.

To R.S.V.P., click here. Space is limited.

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