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Legislative News

Legislature wraps up formal session

The Legislature wrapped up the formal portion of its session late Tuesday night. The last days and hours of the session were filled with issues of importance to MBA members.

FY13 Court Budget

These past few weeks the Massachusetts Bar Association worked to obtain a legislative override to a gubernatorial veto of the Court's FY 2013 budget. The override passed in the waning hours of the session and will add $10 million back into the Court's budget and avoid up to 300 layoffs of court probation employees.

Workers Rights

The MBA-supported Workers Right to Know bill was passed by the House and Senate and is now pending on Gov. Deval L. Patrick's desk. The legislation, of particular importance to the Workplace Safety Task Force, requires employers to provide temporary workers with written notice of key details of their work assignments and the legal protections available to them. The MBA is urging Patrick to sign the legislation. Click here to see the MBA's letter. Click here to see the bill.

Medical Malpractice Reform

The MBA was instrumental in the historical and successful work with the Massachusetts Medical Society and Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys in developing an administrative process that protects patients and allows medical professionals to express remorse for their errors. The culmination of two years of advocacy by the MBA resulted in the inclusion of an administrative procedure that protects patients in the omnibus health care bill enacted on Monday and now pending on the Patrick's desk. The MBA successfully lobbied the Legislature to reject a number of medical malpractice reform measures that were part of the larger health care reform debate. Click here to see the bill.

Mandatory Sentencing

Patrick signed the so-called Habitual Offender bill this morning in a private bill signing at the State House. He signed the measure despite the Legislature's rejection of amendments proposed by him that would have granted judicial discretion in sentencing repeat offenders. The final bill included changes long-sought by the MBA in the area of reducing school-zone criminal penalties in drug related offenses and increased parole opportunities for non-violent mandatory drug offenders; it is estimated that over 500 individuals will now be eligible. Click here to see the bill.

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Tell us why you belong to the MBA

Learn why Maurice LaRiviere Jr. belongs.

Engaging conferences. Inspiring pro bono work. Welcoming networking events. You belong here, at the Massachusetts Bar Association.

Tell us why YOU belong. E-mail us at ibelong to share your story and be entered to win a FREE 2013-2014 MBA membership. E-mails must be received by Dec. 31, 2012. A winner will be selected on Jan. 14, 2013.

The MBA offers the legal community a wide array of professional development and volunteer opportunities. See why others belong.

NOTE: All testimonials shared by e-mail, mail and phone may be published in various MBA publications, posted on the MBA web site and its social media platforms, printed on marketing materials and used in advertising or for other related endeavors.

iBelong: LaRiviere "I have truly liked being a member of the association for the services it provides, including LRS and membership benefits."

-- Maurice LaRiviere Jr., Law Office of Maurice LaRiviere Jr., Haverhill. Member since 1990.

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New issue of Lawyers Journal available

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

It features an article about an amicus brief, co-authored by MBA Health Law Section Council member Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong, which was mentioned in the recent U.S. Supreme Court's landmark health care decision on the Affordable Care Act.

It also includes:

  • An overview of the MBA's productive 2011-12 association year under President Richard P. Campbell;
  • Profiles of the upcoming 2012-13 MBA officer Slate;
  • A volunteer spotlight piece on MBA Volunteer Recognition Chair Grace Bacon Garcia; and
  • Section Review articles on "The impact of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes on 93A claims" and "Fundamental reconsideration of juvenile offenders."

Click here to view the August issue.



Find your affinity group and your business relationships will grow

One of the great challenges in selling professional services is finding effective ways to stay connected to potential clients and referral sources. A good starting point is to identify some activity you enjoy (i.e. one that puts you in contact with the people you want to meet). It doesn't matter if it is sports, politics, religion, community work, the arts, music or some unusual hobby. Having outside interests makes it easier to build your referral network because it gives you a more natural way to connect with people.

Are you passionate about politics? Work on a campaign. Is there a non-profit cause that is meaningful to you (e.g. providing legal services to the indigent)? Or perhaps you care about an initiative being worked on by the Massachusetts Bar Association or some other law related group. Find a way to volunteer. Are you strongly tied to a religious community? Get active on a committee in your church or synagogue. Maybe you are passionate about a sport. If so, there are undoubtedly others who feel the same way and you should get to know them through a club.

Of course some activities tend to be more solitary than others. If that is the case, then look for a group to join where you can share your passion with like-minded individuals.

Being a part of some group that brings together people with common interests will greatly increase the likelihood you will create the referral relationships you need to grow your practice. The important thing is YOU are passionate about the activity, the cause or the belief system. There is no social glue that is stronger than a common set of interests, beliefs or experiences.

It is conventional wisdom that when you meet someone for the first time, politics and religion are poor topics of conversation. But the bonds we create through shared belief systems and shared passions are amongst the strongest bonds we create in life. As a result, the relationships we develop through these affinity groups are very good places to try to cultivate business referrals. Alumni groups can also be a place where you can benefit from these natural bonds. These can be alumni groups from schools you attended, camps where you spent your childhood or employers where you once worked (even better if some dramatic event caused the employer to go out of business or merge with another company).

So find your affinity group and get active. Your involvement will make it much easier to stay connected over time and ultimately, your referrals will grow.

Tip courtesy of Stephen Seckler, president, Seckler Legal Consulting and Coaching.

Published August 2, 2012


To learn more about the Law Practice Management Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members, contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice Chair Stephen Seckler.
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Trial Courts seek law clerk applicants

The Massachusetts Trial Courts are seeking applicants to serve as law clerks in the Superior, Land, Juvenile and Probate & Family courts.

Click here for application and deadline information.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Get helpful practice tips and review significant cases at the "Public Construction Law Update" seminar on Sept. 12

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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 Live program
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 3-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Public Construction Law Update Live program
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 4-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Trust Administration for Disabled Minors and Adults Live program
Wednesday, Sept. 19, noon-4 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

How to Start and Build a Successful Immigration Law Practice
Live program
Friday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

iPad for Litigators Live program
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 4-6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Representing the OUI Client
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 4-7 p.m.
Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal St., Andover


MBA On Demand

Have free time this summer? Catch up on the MBA educational programs you missed this year at www.massbar.org/OnDemand.

The MUPC Demystified

Get in-depth knowledge of the MUPC, exactly how it works and instruction on the new probate forms.

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

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Featured member benefit: Red Sox Ticket Lottery

Enter to win tickets to see the Boston Red Sox play the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 21

The MBA is currently offering tickets to see the Boston Red Sox play the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 7:10 p.m. Tickets are $52 each. Due to high demand, the MBA will use a lottery method to distribute tickets to members.  

To enter the lottery, please [e-mail MBATickets] by Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 5 p.m. Please include:

  • Your name;
  • Phone number; and
  • Number of tickets you are requesting.

There is a four ticket limit per person and each member is allowed only one lottery entry. After Tuesday, Aug. 7, the MBA will no longer accept entries and will conduct the lottery drawing.

All winners will be contacted directly by MBA Member Services via e-mail by Friday, Aug. 10 for payment.

Due to the large number of entries anticipated, only members whose names are drawn will be contacted.

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