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Top: Team effort: MBA volunteers and staff with WBZ Call to Action staff.
Middle: MBA President Dick Campbell (middle) and MBA Task Force on Law, the Economy and Underemployment Chair Eric Parker (right) were guests on WBZ-AM NightSide with Dan Rea (left).
Bottom: MBA volunteers take calls.

Photos by Tricia Oliver.

MBA and WBZ team up to provide free legal advice to Bay Staters

Massachusetts residents looking for free legal advice were in luck on Wednesday, Aug. 15. The MBA and WBZ Call for Action collaborated to present the Ask A Lawyer call-in program. Nearly 150 residents took advantage of this free service and spoke to an MBA volunteer attorney regarding their legal concerns or questions.

Phones were staffed by six MBA volunteers, while WBZ and MBA staff helped facilitate call-backs. The Ask A Lawyer was a regular program from 1978 until 2005. The MBA and WBZ Call for Action have revived the program to meet the growing legal needs of the commonwealth's citizens.

"The Massachusetts Bar Association is proud to have worked with WBZ radio to bring back this critical program," MBA President Richard P. Campbell said. "The country's current economic crisis has both pushed the need for legal help to an all-time-high and made it harder for the average citizen to afford legal services. We hope this program can help bridge that gap."

In the midst of the call-in program, Campbell and Eric Parker, chair of the MBA's Task Force on Law, the Economy and Underemployment, were in-studio guests on WBZ NightSide with Dan Rea. Rea pledged on air to hold the program annually once again.

MBA extends special thanks to volunteer attorneys Sheryl Furnari, Esq., Scott Heidorn, Esq., Mary K Lee, Esq., Daniel Occena, Esq., Stuart Rosnick, Esq. and Richard Sugarman, Esq. for donating their time to participate in this public service.

WBZ Call for Action, in existence for 40 years, is a non-profit telephone information, referral and action service dedicated to resolving people's problems. A free service, it is a member of the national organization, Call For Action, Inc.

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MBA hosts Fourth Annual Summer Social on Boston's waterfront

Over 100 friends and members of the legal community joined the Massachusetts Bar Association for its Fourth Annual Summer Social on Thursday, Aug. 16.

The free social/networking event was held at Tia's on the Boston waterfront.

Click here for event photos.

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Tell us why you belong to the MBA.

Win a free CLE.

Tell us why YOU belong to the MBA and be entered into a raffle to win a free pass to the continuing legal education session of your choice, excluding conferences, during the 2012-13 association year.

To enter the raffle, e-mail us at ibelong to share your story. E-mails must be received by Sept. 18, 2012. The winner will be chosen by random on Sept. 19. 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.

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Top: Worcester students participate in a year-end appreciation day for the SJC's Judicial Youth Corps.

Bottom: MBA Treasurer Douglas K. Sheff (right) speaks with Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland (left) at the JYC event on Aug. 17.

Photos by Elizabeth O'Neil.

Supreme Judicial Court Judicial Youth Corps holds 2012 appreciation day

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland led the year-end appreciation day held for the volunteers and student participants of the Judicial Youth Corps. The Aug. 17 event was held in the John Adams Courthouse in Boston, but recognized all students participating in the Boston and Worcester programs.

Ireland has served as an advisor to and an ardent supporter of the Judicial Youth Corps since it began in 1991 in Boston. The Massachusetts Bar Association administers the Worcester portion of the program. The Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the MBA, is the lead supporter of the Worcester program.



One form can keep your practice working -- even if you can’t

You are your practice. You may have staff or other assistance, but your knowledge is indispensable to keeping your practice running. You know what needs to be done, where information is located, how things work -- the vital elements of running your practice. If you were temporarily unable to work due to disability, natural disaster, extreme travel delays or other challenges would your practice survive? Would your clients get the service they deserve? One form can ensure your practice keeps working, even if you can't.  

Wells H. Anderson ([e-mail info]), a consultant to law firms and operator of Active Online, a secure backup service for attorneys, created this fillable .pdf form to help you record key information to keep your practice running. His article on incorporating the form into your practice, "How a Key Technology Information Form Can Save Your Practice," suggests collecting information including:

  • The passwords and login information for computers, your cell phone and web-based services;
  • Any information needed to access backup systems and restore data;
  • The locations of your electronic and paper files; and
  • Instructions on how to generate critical information such as a list of active cases, bills for outstanding work, records of accounts receivable and client contact information. If you have the ability, you might wish to record a video or screen shots of you generating this information.

As you fill out the form, consider using the following practices to maximize its utility:

  • You needn't complete the entire form in one sitting. Just add information during your normal work day. As you log into a computer or website, record the password on the fillable .pdf.
  • Once the form is fully or partially completed, store it in a very secure location in your office. If you keep backup, paper copies of vital information, like this form, take them offsite to protect against a disaster in your office.
  • You should also share the form with your backup attorney, trusted colleagues or a responsible family member.
  • If you encrypt the form you need to share the password with whomever will use the form and tell him or her the location of the electronic file.
  • Revisit this form occasionally. Have you changed passwords, implemented a new two factor authentication process, purchased a new phone or signed up for a new service? You also want to confirm that contact information is correct and that your backup attorney or other responsible persons are still willing to assist you.

Tip courtesy of Scott L. Malouf (@ScottMalouf), Law Office Management Assistance Program (@MassLOMAP).

Published August 23, 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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News from the courts

Notice for appointment of new magistrate judge; Public comment period opens for Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure amendments


Notice for appointment of new magistrate judge

The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of a full-time U.S. magistrate judge for the District of Massachusetts, serving in the central division, with a duty station bin the Donohue Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse in Worcester.

Application forms and more information on the magistrate judge position in this court may be obtained from the Clerk of Court, Sarah Allison Thornton, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2300, Boston, MA 02210. The application form also is available on the court's website. Submitted applications (original and 14 copies) shall be marked "CONFIDENTIAL," signed by the applicant personally and must be received before 5 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2012 to be considered.

Click here to learn more.


Public comment period opens for Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure amendments

The public comment period has opened for several proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, which govern litigation in the federal courts. The comment period closes Feb. 15, 2013.

This year, when members of the bench, bar and public submit their comments on changes to the appellate, bankruptcy, civil, criminal and evidence rules -- they'll notice a revamped website for the Federal Rules.

"Our goal in the reorganization was a simpler, more logical starting point for the bench, practicing bar, and public to access the federal rules and forms. We have attempted to describe the rulemaking process in plain language while providing straightforward access to the rules, the work of the Judicial Conference's Rules Committees, and other historical and archival material," said Benjamin Robinson, of the Judicial Conference Rules Committee Support Office.

To make information easier to find, the rules section is divided into general categories: effective, pending and proposed rules published for public comment; about the rulemaking process and records and archives of the rules committees.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Learn why the iPad is quickly becoming the trial technology tool of choice at the Sept. 25 "iPad for Litigators" 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.


Managing Your Work Search Process: Getting Started -- Identification of Skills, Experience and Professional Interests
Wednesday, Sept. 5, 10 a.m.- noon
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

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

Managing Your Work Search Process: The Documents -- Resume, Cover Letters and Writing Samples
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 10 a.m.- noon
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

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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Featured member benefit: MBA Mentoring Circles

Join a one-of-a-kind mentoring program that allows you to be both the mentor and mentee.

  • Designed to offer MBA members an opportunity for confidential advice and guidance;
  • Each circle includes eight to 12 attorneys of various levels of expertise (with two to three senior attorneys and five to eight attorneys who have practiced for 10 years or less);
  • Arranged by county;
  • Scheduled to meet a minimum of four times a year; and
  • Offers invaluable resources, networking tools and professional growth.

The MBA's Mentoring Circles program will start a new session in September 2012. Not in a circle? Register online at www.massbar.org/mentorcircles. Join today and participate in this unique mentoring program.

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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Attend the Animal Law Practice Group meeting on Sept. 4

Animal Law Practice Group meeting

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The first meeting of the 2012-13 Animal Law Practice Group is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 4 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will focus on farm animal laws and legislation. The panel will include Alexis C. Fox, state director of the Massachusetts for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

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



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