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MBA 2012-13 officers begin term

The Massachusetts Bar Association slate of officers for the 2012-13 term has officially been set. Robert L. Holloway Jr., the 2011-12 president-elect, automatically succeeds to the office of the president on September 1.

During his term, Holloway encourages all MBA members to actively participate in the MBA through FREE section membership, social events, advocacy and pro bono work -- to reap professional benefits.

Here is the list of the officers and some of their achievements.

Robert L. Holloway Jr.

HollowayHolloway is a shareholder and president of MacLean, Holloway, Doherty, Ardiff & Morse PC in Peabody. He is a long-term member of the MBA's Ethics Committee, a member and past chair of the MBA's Civil Litigation Section Council, former chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and a former regional delegate to the MBA House of Delegates, the governing body of the MBA. Holloway received the MBA's Community Service Award in 1993 and served on the Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Nominations for six years. In August 2009, Holloway began a three-year appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services. He volunteers as a judge for moot court arguments at Boston University School of Law and Harvard Law School, and as a trial advisor in the Harvard Trial Workshop program. A regular panelist for continuing legal education programs, Holloway also is an emeritus member of the Board of Editors of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, having served on that board since 1981. Recognized by Boston Magazine as a "Super Lawyer" in the area of business litigation, he is also a past president of the Essex County Bar Association. A Topsfield resident, he is a former member of the Board of Health and was an elected representative to the Masconomet Regional School Committee from 1990 to 1999. Holloway was also a director of the Topsfield Athletic Association for many years and served as the organization's president. Prior to that, he served as member and chair of the Danvers Recreation Committee. In addition, Holloway was a founding member of Hospice of the North Shore and served as a corporator of Beverly Hospital.

Douglas K. Sheff

SheffA senior partner at Sheff Law in Boston, Sheff is a nationally renowned brain injury litigation expert and specializes in all aspects of personal injury law. He is also a member of the MBA's Executive Management Board and Budget and Finance Committee. In addition, he served as treasurer, two terms as MBA vice president, as MBA secretary and as chair of the MBA Civil Litigation Section. Sheff is chair of the Workplace Safety Task Force and has also served as chair of the MBA Membership Committee and as co-chair of the MBA Centennial Conference and Ball. He is also a fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the MBA. Sheff is a past president of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, serving on its Board of Governors for more than 20 years. He was recently honored with MATA's inaugural Excellence in Advocacy Award for his representation of children and adults who have suffered traumatic brain injury. Sheff also holds the title of governor to the American Association of Justice, where he has spent more than 20 years working nationally and locally on issues that affect the trial bar. Elected by his national peers, Sheff is a past chair of the AAJ's State Delegates and served as chair of its Council of Presidents, representing 50,000 attorneys nationwide. Sheff is a recipient of the AAJ's Next Generation Award and a seven-time recipient of its Wiedeman Wysocki Award. He was appointed a trustee of the National College of Advocacy. Sheff received the ORT Award for integrity in the law, and as a Boston magazine "Super Lawyer." He lives in the North End.

Robert W. Harnais
Vice President

HarnaisHarnais is with Mahoney Diamond and Harnais Law Offices in Quincy, where his general practice concentrates on criminal law, family law, real estate, labor and consumer law. A past MBA secretary, he has sat on the MBA's governing body -- House of Delegates -- since 2006, has been a member of its Executive Management Board and has served as co-chair of the MBA Task Force on Diversity. He is a past president of both the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys and the National Hispanic Bar Association, and remains highly involved with both organizations. He is also a member of the Norfolk County Bar Association. Since 2007, he has served as a member of the Race and Ethnic Advisory Board for the Massachusetts courts. Harnais received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 1984 and graduated from New England Law | Boston in 1989. He is chairman of the Braintree Planning Board and is a football official and former coach with Braintree Pop Warner. He lives in Braintree with his wife, Leslie, and their children.

Christopher P. Sullivan
Vice President

SullivanSullivan is a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP in Boston, where he focuses on the civil jury trials of complex litigation matters, such as financial and securities cases and intellectual property. Sullivan has previously served as an MBA member-at-large of the House of Delegates and as a member of the Executive Management Board. He also sat on the Civil Litigation and Business Law section councils. Sullivan also served as tri-chair of the Federal Practices and Procedures Committee. In addition to his MBA involvement, Sullivan has served as president of the Massachusetts chapter of the Federal Bar Association (2010-2011) and is currently the FBA's vice president for the First Circuit. He has also served as an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. As an accomplished trial lawyer, Sullivan has been named a New England "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers magazine every year since 2004. Sullivan graduated from the College of Holy Cross in Worcester in 1971, and he is currently an Executive Board Member of the Holy Cross Lawyers Association. He went on to receive his J.D. from Fordham University Law School in 1975, and is New England Chapter Vice President of the Fordham University Law School Alumni. He is a resident of Hingham.

Marsha V. Kazarosian

KazarosianKazarosian is managing partner of Kazarosian Law Offices in Haverhill, where she concentrates in civil rights litigation, family law and discrimination. Kazarosian previously served as an MBA secretary and vice president. Former chair of both the MBA's Education Committee and the Technology Implementation Task Force, she has served on numerous committees and councils. In addition, Kazarosian is a life fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the MBA. She is a past president of the Essex County Bar Association and the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys. Kazarosian was among the Top Women in the Law celebrated by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2011. In 1999, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly named her one of the top 10 lawyers in the commonwealth after successfully suing the Haverhill Golf and Country Club for gender discrimination. She has been identified as one of the top woman lawyers in Massachusetts and New England since 2006, when Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine chose her for its cover story titled, "The Power of Marsha Kazarosian." Kazarosian also served a two-year term as one of 25 lawyers in the state appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Pro Bono Panel, and a six-year term as a Hearings Committee Officer for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. In 2005, Kazarosian debuted as the host of her own internet radio program on the Legal Talk Network. Kazarosian is a corporator of the Pentucket Five Cents Savings Bank and was a member of the Essex County 150th Anniversary Committee. She has also served as a board member of the Northern Essex Community College Foundation. Kazarosian received her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1978 and went on to earn her law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1982. She is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover. She lives in Haverhill.

Martha Rush O'Mara

O'MaraO'Mara operates the Law Office of Martha Rush O'Mara, where she focuses her practice in children's law. She previously co-chaired the MBA's Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Section and served on the Law Practice Management Section Council. She also serves as an MBA designee on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) and sits on the association's Executive Management Board, as well as its governance and membership committees. A former president of the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers, Rush O'Mara previously served two terms on the Massachusetts Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Committee (IOLTA), as well as two terms as a Hearing Officer for the Board of Bar Overseers. Rush O'Mara serves as a judge for the MBA's annual Mock Trial Program and has served as a mock trial judge at Brandeis University and for the ABA's National Appellate Advocacy Competition. Rush O'Mara devotes a significant amount of time to her volunteer work in the Massachusetts legal community, supporting pro bono projects and mentoring law school students and recent graduates. Rush O'Mara received her B.S. from Salem State College in 1974 and went onto to earn her law degree from New England Law | Boston in 1990. She lives in Melrose.

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Featured member benefit: MBA On Demand goes mobile

Belong to the MBA and watch all previously recorded MBA On Demand programs on your mobile device

Watching an MBA seminar or conference just got easier. All previously recorded MBA On Demand programs are now available anytime, anywhere on your mobile device.  

Now you can take MBA On Demand with you everywhere you go. Watch any recorded program at a time that suits your schedule. Whether you are in your home, office or traveling, MBA On Demand is here to help you conveniently access the information you need.

MBA On Demand is supported by iPad, iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, Tablet and Android mobile devices with Wi-fi or cellular data connection. You get the same experience as on a PC or Mac.

MBA On Demand Mobile

Visit www.MassBar.org/OnDemandHelp for system requirements. Click here for information on how to access your purchased MBA On Demand programs.

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Updated Pro Bono Opportunities Guide available online

For many years, the Massachusetts Bar Association has offered to its members an opportunity to access statewide and local organizations that are in need of pro bono services from attorneys, law students and paralegals. These services can range from actual client representation to the training of staff. The MBA supports attorneys in the commonwealth in their efforts to provide pro bono services to those of limited means. A recently updated list of more than 100 agencies, with a wide range of legal needs, is available online.

To identify a volunteer opportunity that meets your needs, you may search by keyword, category and/or county. To access the guide, click here. Be sure to check back throughout the year to stay aware of seasonal opportunities or late additions to the guide.

Help us expand the Pro Bono Opportunities Guide

If you currently volunteer for an organization which is not listed in the guide, or are aware of other organizations in need of pro bono assistance, please let us know so that we may offer them an opportunity to be listed in the guide.

Additionally, if you have found a pro bono opportunity through the guide, we'd like to hear from you. Contact the Community Services Department at (617) 338-0695 or [e-mail communityservices].


FREE Managing Your Work Search Process Series

Learn to successfully navigate a difficult job market with educational programs focused on strategies to help you optimize your professional strengths.

LCL Series

Join in a FREE 8-session series, "Managing Your Work Search Process," designed to provide unemployed lawyers with information and support, in a challenging legal marketplace.

  • Are you a lawyer between jobs?
  • Are you dealing with a layoff?

Learn to successfully navigate a difficult job market. This series will provide strategies to help you optimize your professional strengths. Topics include tips on networking and information interviews, improving your marketability, how to ultize social media and resume and cover letter writing samples.

All programs will be held at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. NOTE: Registration is required and limited to 30 people.

Part I: Getting Started -- Identification of Skills, Experience and Professional Interests
Wednesday, Sept. 5, 10 a.m.-noon

Part II: The Documents -- Resume, Cover Letters and Writing Samples

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 10 a.m.-noon
Part III: Strategic Outreach -- Managing the Networking Process

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m.-noon
Part IV: Strategic Outreach -- Use of Social Media in the Search Process
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-noon
Part V: Strategic Outreach -- The Personal Connection
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m.-noon
Part VI: Personal Presentation -- Interviewing Skills
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-noon
Part VII: Mental Self-Management -- Staying Positive, Proactive and Motivated

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 10 a.m.-noon
Part VIII: Moving Forward -- Making the Most of What Is

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 10 a.m.-noon

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Review how to successfully represent a client charged with OUI at the Sept. 26 "Representing the OUI client" 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.



Connecting the silos in your law firm

A big marketing challenge for law firms is to figure out how to speak with one voice. Unlike businesses where the products or services are easily described, a law firm may offer a broad mix of intangible services. So even a partnership with five attorneys might have the expertise to handle over two dozen types of matters.

In reality, however, there is no effective way for five lawyers to communicate two dozen services to the legal marketplace. A successful marketing strategy needs to be considerably more focused. Rattling off 20 things when someone asks what you do is simply not effective. It does little to differentiate you from any other law firm; and it ensures that you will be completely unmemorable.

A better strategy is to do some assessment and planning and decide where you might get the most return on your marketing investment. In other words ask yourselves:

  • Which practice areas does the firm want to grow?
  • Where do the partners believe they have the best opportunities to generate new business (i.e. taking into account the realities of the marketplace)?
  • Given the relationships that partners have with potential clients and referral sources, where are the best opportunities to go prospecting?

Businesses in most other industries (including accounting firms and other professional services providers), understand the importance of taking the time to do this kind of planning periodically.

Unfortunately, many law firm partnerships never take the time to have these discussions. A lot of law firms operate more like an association of service providers who share expenses. Each lawyer stays in his or her own silo and not much is decided on a firm-wide or even practice group level.

But a group of lawyers can market much more effectively as a firm. By focusing on the "best opportunities" and by getting every partner on the "same page", a firm can increase the likelihood that its message is getting through the noise. And with the increased competition in the legal marketplace and the explosion of email marketing and social media in the past decade, this is no easy feat.

So how does your firm measure up? Have you taken the time to survey the partners in your firm and come up with a consensus about where the firm should focus its marketing energies? Do you all describe the firm in the same way? One place to start is to use a marketing audit tool that appeared in Law Practice Magazine several years ago. If that doesn't move the conversation forward, then maybe it is time to get some outside help.

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

Published August 30, 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

Superior Court Business Litigation Session issues new procedural orders


Superior Court Business Litigation Session issues new procedural orders

The Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court has issued two new procedural orders.

The first relates to partial dispositive motions, to ensure each motion and its disposition will substantially advance the litigation. The second provides for telephone participation by attorneys in certain hearings and conferences upon request.

The Business Litigation Session accepts cases upon initiation of any party. Administrative Directive 09-1 describes the procedure and selection criteria for admission. Both orders become effective Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.

Click here to learn more.


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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Attend the Animal Law Practice Group meeting on Sept. 4. Join in the Sept. 27 Labor & Employment Section open meeting on MCAD's new ADR initiative.

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.


Labor & Employment Section open meeting

MCAD announces new ADR initiative -- keeping your options open
Thursday, Sept. 27, noon-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has announced a new alternative dispute resolution initiative which will impact all practitioners who appear before the commission. You are cordially invited to attend the Labor & Employment Section open meeting on Thursday, Sept. 27 regarding the commission's Collaborative Law Pilot Project. The panel will include:

  • Moderator John F. Tocci, Tocci Goss & Lee PC;
  • Commissioner Sunila Thomas-George, MCAD;
  • Linda Cohan, MSW, CSC; and
  • Michael A. Zeytoonian, Esq., Zeytoonian Center for Dispute Resolution LLC.

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


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