e-Journal

05-12

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Legislative News

MBA applauds the House of Representatives for passing historic court reform legislation

The Massachusetts Bar Association is celebrating following the May 4 House of Representatives' passage of legislation that will professionalize Trial Court management, better aligning Massachusetts with other innovative and forward-thinking court systems.

House Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary Eugene O'Flaherty acknowledged the MBA in his remarks during the approximately hour-long debate that resulted in a 152 to 0 vote in favor of the legislation. The legislation will now move on to the Senate for a vote.

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.

"This proposal brings to fruition more than 30 years of best practices from the state and the nation," said MBA President Denise Squillante, who was joined by MBA Past President Leo V. Boyle in early May to testify in favor of the bill before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. "This change will place Massachusetts where it should be, as a national model for an innovative and effective court system."

 

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Celebrate the MBA's 100-year history at next week's Centennial Conference

Join in CLE programming, the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon, "Hail to the Chiefs" Bench-Bar 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 Judge 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. Business or cocktail attire welcome.
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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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News from the courts

SJC Task Force issues recommendations on court officer hiring and promotion; SJC approves amendments to Appeals Court Standing Orders on the filing of certain motions, electronic notification of court orders in lieu of paper notice, governing petitions to the single justice and adopts a six month pilot program requiring appellants to file docketing statements in civil cases

The Supreme Judicial Court has reviewed the recommendations presented in the "Action Plan for Hiring and Promotion of Court Officers and Associate Court Officers," delivered to the court by the SJC's Task Force on Hiring in the Judicial Branch, chaired by former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger.

The action plan outlines recommendations that the task force believes will improve current procedures. They include implementing best practices for attracting and employing highly qualified individuals, restricting the use of recommendations until finalists are selected, introducing annual performance evaluations, creating a career path as a performance incentive, and centralizing supervision of the hiring process.

Last December the SJC established the task force to undertake a comprehensive review of the hiring and promotion practices in the Judicial Branch in the wake of the abuse in the hiring and promotion practices of the Probation Department documented in a report by Independent Counsel Paul Ware. Task force members now will continue work on their mandate by undertaking reviews of the remaining parts of the judiciary, while monitoring the transformation of probation.

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SJC approves amendments to Appeals Court Standing Order
regarding the filing of certain motions and letters

The original standing order went into effect on May 1. Since then, the court has identified several items that need to be modified to make the electronic filing of documents more efficient and convenient for counsel, litigants and the court. First, the court has revised the standing order's title to more accurately reflect its scope, revising it to state "Standing Order Requiring the Electronic Filing of All Motions and Letters After Panel Assignment." Second, the court has deleted the requirement that attorneys and self-represented litigants file both a paper original and a PDF copy of the same document. Instead, the standing order requires attorneys and litigants to electronically file (i.e., e-mail) only a PDF of the document, and submit no paper original or copies. An original or additional paper copies are not required because the clerk's office distributes these documents electronically to the justices. This change will benefit counsel and self-represented parties since they will not need to incur the costs associated with producing and mailing or delivering multiple paper copies, and streamline the distribution mechanisms within the court. Finally, the revised standing order states that upon motion and a showing of good cause, the court can grant leave to file only a paper copy in lieu of the PDF.

Click here to learn more.

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SJC approves Appeals Court Standing Order governing electronic notification of court orders, notices and decisions in lieu of paper notice

The Standing Order permits attorneys and self-represented litigants to register to receive only electronic (i.e., e-mail) notification of the court's actions, orders, and decisions, in lieu of paper notice. To register, attorneys and self-represented litigants must file a signed consent form, which will be available on the Appeals Court's Web site as a PDF form that can be filled, saved and e-mailed to the clerk's office. The clerk's office will issue the electronic notifications multiple times each day to registered attorneys and self-represented litigants, while conserving its limited resources and expenses by not printing and mailing duplicative paper notices. The Standing Order is effective June 1.

Click here to learn more.

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SJC approves Appeals Court Standing Order governing petitions
to the single justice pursuant to G. L. c. 231, sec. 118

These standing orders will require petitioners to file certain documents that are essential to the single justice's screening of both petitions for interlocutory review and motions to stay judgments or the execution of sentences. The Standing Order is effective June 1.

Click here to learn more.

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Appeals Court adopts six month pilot program requiring appellants to file docketing statments in civil cases

The Justices of the Appeals Court have proposed a pilot program requiring appellants to file docketing statements in all civil appeals. The docketing statement will provide the court with important background information that will be useful not only when the case is entered and screened, but also while it is under consideration.

Click here to learn more.

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From left to right: Conference Co-Chair Sheryl D. Eisenberg, Esq., Hirsch, Roberts, Weinstein LLP, Boston; Conference Co-Chair Christina L. Montgomery, Esq., Law Office of Christina L. Montgomery, Watertown; Hon. Ralph D. Gants, keynote speaker, Supreme Judicial Court.

Save the Date: 32nd Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference

Join fellow MBA members at the 32nd Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference on Monday, June 6 at the Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Ave., Boston.

  • 8:30 a.m.: Registration

  • 9 a.m.: Introductory remarks

  • 9:15 a.m.: The New and the Noteworthy at the MCAD: Trends, Tips and Changes

    FACULTY: Julian T. Tynes, Esq., chairman, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Boston; Sunila Thomas-George, Esq., Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Boston; Jamie R. Williamson, commissioner, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Boston.

    The commissioners of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ("MCAD"), Chairman Julian Tynes, Jamie Williamson and Sunila Thomas-George, will join us for a panel discussion about current trends in employment discrimination law and recent and planned regulatory and procedural changes at the MCAD. The panel will discuss the impact of recent decisions in the areas of associational discrimination, including the MCAD's decision in Gryzych v. American Reclamation Corp., arbitration provisions in employment agreements in the wake of the SJC's decision in Joule Inc. v. Simmons, and the future of agency guidelines in the wake of the SJC's decision in GlobalNAPS Inc. v. Awiszus. The commissioners will also discuss current regulatory and procedural initiatives at the MCAD, including the revamping of regulations governing maternity leave, disability discrimination and sexual harassment claims, the status of the MCAD's mediation program and investigatory procedures.

  • 10:30 a.m.: Break

  • 10:45 a.m.: The Future of Employee Voice in the Workplace -- Union and Non-Union

    FACULTY: Nicholas Anastasopoulos, Esq., Mirick, O'Connell, DeMallie and Lougee LLP, Worcester; James Bucking, Esq., Foley Hoag LLP, Boston; Prof. Richard B. Freeman, Harvard Law School, Cambridge; Rosemary Pye, Esq., regional director, National Labor Relations Board, Boston.

    Both employees and employers need institutions for collective voice in the work place. With unionization below 8 percent in the private sector, few have unions to express their views on issues. What are employers, employees and unions doing to create mechanisms for voice outside collective bargaining agreements? What can they do? How does the National Labor Relations Board deal with employee voice issues?

  • Noon: Lunch and Keynote Address by Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Ralph D. Gants

  • 1:15 p.m.: Labor Law Update

    FACULTY: Bryan C. Decker, Esq., Sandulli Grace PC, Boston; Alfred S. Gordon, Esq., Pyle Rome Ehrenberg PC, Boston; Peter J. Moser, Esq., Hirsch, Roberts, Weinstein LLP, Boston.

    Labor issues have dominated the news in recent months, with public sector unions fighting back against increased pressure and scrutiny, with lockouts -- actual and threatened -- taking place in several professional sports leagues and with intriguing cases attracting national interest such as the recent NLRB decisions addressing protected activity in the age of social media Web sites like Facebook.

    Join our panel of experienced labor law practitioners as they summarize and explain the most recent labor cases, developments and trends taking place in both the public and private sector. The program promises to be interesting and informative for employment lawyers and is a must for labor law practitioners.

  • 2 p.m.: Break

  • 2:45 p.m.: Is Your Client Ready For This?

    FACULTY: Amy Carlin, Esq., Morgan, Brown & Joy LLP, Boston; Elizabeth A. Rodgers, Esq., Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz LLP, Boston.

    Not your mother's traditional annual update, but a fast paced rapid response check list for 2011 issues you may have missed. This section is designed to highlight the most important issues that have emerged in the past year, with particular emphasis on preparing your client to pursue, investigate, deter and/or defend against claims of discrimination.

  • 4 p.m.: Reception

Click here for a full conference schedule.
Click here to register.

LPM Tip

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LockSquawkBox: Encrypt Your Smartphone Calls

At this late date, even the last vestiges of loose data are becoming privatized. With the advent of smartphones as mini-computers, and their hostile takeover of all things telephony, it is now possible to encrypt even your telephone calls.  

This recent article from TechRepublic (and comments), discussing an Android platform encryption option, does a good job of explaining the movement. The Android app reviewed?: RedPhone.

But, Android does not have the market cornered on smartphone call encryption. Each of the major smartphone platforms offers its own apps, in its own app stores; and, each has its own call encryption app: There is Kryptos, for the iPhone; and there's CellCrypt Mobile, for Blackberry and Nokia phones.

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

Published May 12, 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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June 2 Excellence in the Law event to honor Hon. Judith A. Cowin (ret.) and State House News Service

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and the Massachusetts Bar Association will honor a distinguished roster of pro­fessionals at the annual Excellence in the Law celebration at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston on Thursday, June 2 beginning at 5:30 p.m. A cocktail reception will pre­cede the awards cer­emony.

In addition to the Diversity Heroes and Up & Coming Lawyers selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly to be honored at the event, the Daniel F. Toomey Judicial Excellence Award will be presented to former Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Judith A. Cowin (ret.) and the Excellence in Legal Journalism Award will be presented to the editorial team of State House News Service.

Click here for more information about the June 2 Excellence in the Law event.

 

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Featured member benefit: AffiniPay

Save 25 percent off your credit card processing fees

Trust your transactions to the only payment solution recommended by over 60 bar associations. Correctly safeguard and separate client funds into trust and operating accounts. Funds are never commingled. The ability to accept credit cards attracts clients, improves cash flow and reduces collections. Plus, members save up to 25 percent off their credit card processing fees. If you are considering accepting credit cards or want to confirm that you are processing credit card transactions correctly, call (866) 376-0950 or click here.

This MBA member benefit was formerly known as Affiniscape Merchant Solutions.

** Valid MBA Membership required.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Learn intellectual property law basics to help your clients leverage intellectual assets at the May 25 "Intellectual Property Basics for the Non-Specialist" 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

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

UPCOMING JUNE PROGRAMS

Heavy Cloud, No Rain: Cloud Computing for Legal Recorded program
Wednesday, June 1, noon-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Practice Skills for Child Welfare Practitioners Recorded program
Thursday, June 2, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Legal Chat: Developing Your Life Portfolio Live program
Friday, June 3, noon-1 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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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Join in the May 17 Labor & Employment and Criminal Justice meetings. Labor & Employment will host a May 23 open forum with EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien and a May 24 open meeting on legislative initiatives. Attend the May 23 Business Law meeting. LAR training, Probate Law, Judicial Administration are scheduled for May 25. Participate in Civil Litigation and Public Law meetings on June 1 and a Public Law on June 2. Save the date: Immigration Law meeting and social on June 9.

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Labor & Employment Section Council meeting

Tuesday, May 17, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

TThe next meeting of the Labor & Employment Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17 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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Criminal Justice Section Council meeting

Tuesday, May 17, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the Criminal Justice Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17 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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Labor & Employment open forum

Afternoon with EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien
Monday, May 23, 2-4 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


Join the Labor & Employment Section at an open forum on Monday, May 23 from 2 to 4 p.m., to meet and hear from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien.  

Members of the EEOC's Boston-area office and New York district office, which have jurisdiction over enforcement of federal anti-discrimination laws in Massachusetts and New England, will also be in attendance, along with Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination commissioners and other members from various New England Fair Employment Practice Agencies.

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

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Labor & Employment open meeting

Legislative initiatives impacting Massachusetts employers and employees
Tuesday, May 24, noon-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Join the Labor & Employment Section as they host a panel discussion on legislative initiatives which could significantly impact Massachusetts employers and employees, as well as the practice of employment law. The prestigious panel will be comprised of representatives William N. Brownsberger (D-Belmont), Lori A. Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) and Martin J. Walsh (D- Dorchester). The panelists will discuss, among other legislative initiatives, the following specific proposed bills:

  • House Bill 1409 which would amend the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (sponsored by Rep. Walsh);
  • House Bill 1411 which would amend the Massachusetts Wage Act (by making treble damages mandatory only upon willful violation) (sponsored by Representative Walz);
  • House Bill 2293 which would regulate the use of non-competition/non-solicitation agreements (sponsored by Representatives Brownsberger and Ehrlich);
  • House Bill 1398 which would require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees (sponsored by Representative Khan).

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

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Business Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, May 24, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the Business Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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

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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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Probate Law Section Council meeting

Wednesday, May 25, 5-6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the Probate Law Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 25 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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Judicial Administration Section Council meeting

Wednesday, May 25, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the Judicial Administration Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 25 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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Municipal Tax Practice Group meeting

Wednesday, June 1, 5-6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the Municipal Tax Practice Group meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. All Taxation Law section members are invited to attend.

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

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Civil Litigation Section Council meeting

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


The next meeting of the Civil Litigation Section Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1 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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Public Law Section Council meeting

Thursday, June 2 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


The next meeting of the Public Law Section Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 2 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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Immigration Law Section meeting and social

Thursday, June 9, 5:15-6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


All Immigration Law section members are invited to join the Immigration Law Section Council for its last meeting of the 2010-2011 association year on Thursday, June 9 from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m., hosted by IRR Section Chair Marisa DeFranco and Vice Chair Gerald Rovner. We'd like to hear your thoughts and suggestions as we review the past year and look to the new one. Practice questions are also welcome.

We'll end with an informal social across the street at Max and Dylan's beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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

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