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Featured member benefit: My Bar Access

Join your section/division on My Bar Access

My Bar Access -- a new online member-to-member community exclusive to MBA members - is now available.

Join My Bar Access today by logging in and creating your member profile at http://access.massbar.org/. You will be required to agree to a My Bar Access Code of Conduct the first time you login. To access a step-by-step guide on getting started, customizing your experience and connecting with fellow users, click here. If you have not previously created an MBA online account, you will need to create a login and password by completing the first time login process.

A valuable member benefit, My Bar Access transforms the way you can exchange information with fellow MBA members by combining social networking, member-created content and imperative bar resources, in one convenient web location. Each MBA section and division can interact and share information through a My Bar Access member group.

Once you have created your member profile, you can instantly connect with fellow MBA members using interactive My Bar Access tools, including: blogs, discussions (formerly known as listservs), resource libraries and more. In addition to member-created content, My Bar Access member groups offer information on section-sponsored MBA On Demand programs, Section Review articles, section leadership and more. 

As an added benefit, My Bar Access is completely customizable. You can decide how often you wish to receive notification of My Bar Access group activity.

Take advantage of this invaluable resource, which enables you to connect, share and collaborate with members of the legal community. Login now.

Need help navigating this new site? Check out the Resource Center tab in the My Bar Access site navigation bar, for informational guides. The MBA has provided a PowerPoint that outlines site resources, tips on posting, how to update your profile and more. These documents are located throughout the site, in every section/division's resource library.

If you have additional questions, contact My Bar Access at  [e-mail mybaraccess].

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MBA seeks nominations for 2013-14 officer, delegate positions

Submit nominations to MBA by Friday, Feb. 22

The Massachusetts Bar Association is currently accepting nominations for officer and delegate positions for the 2013-14 membership year. Nominees must submit a letter of intent and a current resume to MBA Secretary Martha Rush O'Mara by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 to be eligible.

To submit a nomination, mail or hand deliver the information to:

Massachusetts Bar Association
Attn: Martha Rush O'Mara, MBA Secretary
20 West St., Boston, MA 02111

If you have any questions about the nomination process, call MBA Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy at (617) 988-4777.


CJC decision on Dougan sides with MBA support of preserving judicial independence

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct voted not to pursue disciplinary action against First Justice Raymond G. Dougan Jr. of the Boston Municipal Court.

Although the Massachusetts Bar Association did not take a position on the complaint that prompted the CJC's investigation, the association did file an amicus brief last spring citing concerns about the commission's request to access Dougan's mental notes and thought processes. Click here to view the brief by Thomas J. Carey Jr. (Collora LLP) and MBA Chief Legal Counsel Martin W. Healy.

Following the CJC decision, comments from Healy and chair of the MBA's Committee on Fair and Impartial Courts Thomas M. Hoopes were featured in coverage by The Boston Globe and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (subscription required).

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CPCS employment opportunities

The Committee for Public Counsel Services is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and excellent representation.

Click here view a current list of available positions, including a full-time staff attorney position at Roxbury Superior Court.

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New issue of Lawyers Journal available

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

Highlights include:

  • Information about the appointment of an independent investigator to examine the William Hinton State Drug Labratory;
  • Coverage of the International Symposium for Justice & Law held Nov. 11-14 in Dubai;
  • An overview of the Massachusetts Clients' Security Board's annual report; and
  • The MBA's response to a special counsel's report on OUI cases.

Click here to read the December issue.

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Members of the legal community network at the Young Lawyers Division's "New Lawyer Reception."

Photos by Tricia Oliver.

MBA's Young Lawyers Division hosts "New Lawyer Reception"

Nearly 100 newly-admitted members of the Massachusetts legal community joined Young Lawyers Division members at the "New Lawyer Reception" on Dec. 5.

The free social/networking event was held at the Back Deck in Boston.

Click here for event photos.

Join the MBA as next week's 2012 Holiday Party: Casino Royale on Dec. 13

Click here to R.S.V.P.

2012 Holiday party

Bring your smartphone to the 2012 MBA Holiday Party: Casino Royale on Dec. 13 and Tweet us your pictures using hashtag #MBACasinoRoyale. We will share those pictures on all our social media platforms and publish a slideshow in a future issue of MBA Lawyers e-Journal.

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Nominate a colleague for an MBA Access to Justice award by Monday, Dec. 10

The MBA is accepting nominations for the 2012-2013 Access to Justice Awards.

To nominate and recognize an unsung hero of the legal profession or a law firm that has made a significant difference for low income litigants interfacing with the justice system, submit your nomination by 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10 to:

Massachusetts Bar Association
Access to Justice Awards
20 West St., Boston, MA 02110

We encourage nominations from local and affiliated bar associations, government agencies and/or legal services organizations.

Click here for a nomination form.

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MBA Tiered Community Mentoring Program participants celebrate the holiday season.

Photos by Elizabeth O'Neil.

MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program celebrates the holiday season at Suffolk University Law School

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, Massachusetts Bar Association Tiered Community Mentoring Program participants celebrated the program's first annual holiday event at Suffolk University Law School.

Currently in its fourth year, the MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring program matches selected students, who are interested in law-related careers, with an attorney mentor. As part of this innovative program, students from New Mission High School, Roxbury Community College and Suffolk University Law School have had the opportunity this year to meet accomplished professionals, as well as attend court proceedings and bar association events to learn networking skills.

Over 30 mentors and mentees attended the event. In addition to the social aspect of the event, three attorneys spoke to the attendees about their various personal and professional experiences throughout their careers.  

Event speakers included:

  • Serge Georges Jr., Esq., Law Office of Serge Georges Jr., Randolph;
  • Nicole G. Price, Esq., director for Diversity, Inclusiveness and Affinity Relations at Suffolk University Law School; and
  • Jennifer C. Rowe, Esq., assistant district attorney, Norfolk District Attorney's Office.



Writing requirement: As of Jan. 1, written fee agreements will be required in most cases

On Oct. 24, 2012, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued an order respecting amendments to Court Rule 3:07. The order will amend those Rules of Professional Conduct at Rule 1.5 and at Rule 6.5. This is the second recent amendment of Rule 1.5; here's the first.

The revised rules have an effective date of Jan. 1, 2013, and require that fee agreements, with narrow exceptions, be reduced to writing; or, as the text of the new Rule 1.5 reads: 'the scope of the representation and the basis or rate of the fee and expenses for which the client will be responsible shall be communicated to the client in writing.' This is a significant change from the prior version of the rule, which required that contingent fee agreements be in writing, while only evincing a preference that other fee agreements be committed to writing, also.

There are some further, relevant matters to be aware of:

  • The revised Rule 1.5 requires that the fee agreement be 'communicated in writing to the client before or in a reasonable time after commencing the representation.' Though, the new Comment 2 to the rule adds that: 'Ordinarily, the lawyer should send the written fee statement to the client before any substantial services are rendered.'
  • The exceptions to the new Rule 1.5 are as follows, for: (1) a 'single-session' legal consultation; (2) 'when the lawyer reasonably expects the total fee to be charged to the client to be less than $500';, (3) services provided 'under the auspices of a program sponsored by a non-profit organization or court' (nonprofit and court-annexed limited legal services programs) -- the related revision to Rule 6.5, adding a new section (1)(a); and, (4) 'when the lawyer will charge a regularly represented client at the same basis or rate' -- though, any changes to the basis or rate must be communicated to the client (even an existing client) in writing, such that modification of pricing terms triggers the creation of a new/revised written fee agreement.
  • Comment 2 to the revised Rule 1.5 indicates that 'Furnishing the client with a simple memorandum or a copy of the lawyer's customary fee schedule is sufficient if the scope of the representation and the basis or rate of the fee is set forth.' Best practice, however, would suggest, instead of a bare memorandum of terms, that the attorney acquire a fully executed fee agreement, signed by the attorney/attorneys and client/clients. Each party should initial and date all pages of the fee agreement that do not contain signature lines.
  • Fees and expenses must be outlined in the written fee agreement.
  • Although there is an exception in place for single session consultations and for engagements in which the fee will not meet or exceed $500, even in those constructs, 'the scope of the representation and the basis or rate of the fee and expenses for which the client will be responsible shall be communicated to the client,' per the new Comment 2 to Rule 1.5.

For more on the rules changes, you can read the Board of Bar Overseers' announcement here. Bar Counsel Constance Vecchione has elaborated on the revised rules at this article, accessible via the BBO/Office of Bar Counsel's ethics articles repository. Among other things, Vecchione addresses the history of the rule's reformation, expands upon the importance of acquiring a fully executed fee agreement and offers some tips for drafting scope provisions and about how to effectively relay charges and expenses.

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

Published December 6, 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 Cynthia E. MacCausland.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for upcoming programs, including a "Lifecycle of a Business" series, "A Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Practice," the "How to Start and Run Conference" and more.

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.


Getting Paid Live program
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 4-6 p.m.

MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Legal Chat: Forestry, Agricultural and Horticultural Land Taxes and Liens Live program
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 4-5 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats

Lifecycle of a Business Part I: Forming a Business & Protecting Assets Live program
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 5-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

A Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Practice in the Massachusetts District Courts
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 1-5 p.m.
Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal St., Andover

Collaborative Law, a Roundtable
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 3-5 p.m.
Norfolk Probate & Family Court, 35 Shawmut Road, Canton

How to Start and Run A Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice Recorded program
Thursday, Jan. 17, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Lombardo's, 6 Billings St., Randolph

Juvenile & Child Welfare Legal Chat Series Live program
Friday, Jan. 18, 1-2 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

Lifecycle of a Business Part II: Land Use/Permitting, Insurance Considerations & Business Financing Live program
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 5-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Mediating Probate Litigation Cases Live program
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


MBA On Demand

Unable to attend November seminars? Practitioners who were not able to attend MBA CLE programs in November 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.

In addition, 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.  

November CLE programming now available includes:

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

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Tell us why you belong to the MBA

Young Lawyers Division chair Thomas M. Hoffey Jr. feels the MBA continually reminds him that the practice of law is a professional privilege grounded in mentoring, service, integrity and advocacy. Share your story.

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.

Join button


Join the conversation to keep up to date on the
latest iBelong news and offers:

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Follow hashtag #iBelong2MassBar

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Donate to the MBA Cradles to Crayons "Gear Up For Winter" collection

Warm clothing will be accepted through Dec. 19

This holiday season, the MBA is joining Cradles to Crayons for "Gear Up for Winter" -- a collection for children's coats, warm clothing and boots to help thousands of families. Please join us in recycling children's items your family/friends have outgrown and help make a difference. Click here for donation guidelines. Please be sure the items are new or gently used. Items with tears or stains can not be accepted.

Donations can be made through Wednesday, Dec. 19 at:

  • MBA's Boston office, 20 West St., Boston;
  • MBA's Springfield office, 73 State St., Springfield and 20 West St., Boston;
  • Denise Squillante PC, 190 Rock St., Fall River;
  • Fuller, Rosenberg, Palmer & Beliveau LLP, 339 Main St., Worcester;
  • Marcotte Law Firm, 45 Merrimack St., Lowell;
  • The Law Office of Michael T. Cupoli III, 48 Central St., Manchester-by-the-Sea;
  • Worcester County Bar Association, 370 Main St., Worcester; and
  • Zizik, Powers, O'Connell, Spaulding & Lamontagne PC, 690 Canton St., Suite 306, Westwood.

The MBA thanks the Young Lawyers Division and the WCBA for contributing to the "Gear Up for Winter" collection.

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Panelists focus on best practices for in-house counsel at the Nov. 30 MBA Conference.

Photos by Andrea Burke.

10th Annual In-House Conference focuses on best practices

Review conference highlights and purchase MBA On Demand recordings today.

The Massachusetts Bar Association held its 10th Annual In-House Conference on Friday, Nov. 30. The program, which focused on best practices for in-house counsel, featured opening remarks by attorney Lauren Stiller Rikleen.

Keynote speaker Rikleen kicked-off the event with a focus on strengthening multigenerational relationships. The presentation highlighted key differences between generations and concluded with recommendations for ways in which to bridge the gap in the workplace.

"There is just a voice that this [Millenial] generation has been given that was recognized quite early on," Rikleen said. "We [older generations] look at respect more as deference…[Millenials] view respect as being heard."

Rikleen emphasized the benefit of increased orientations in the workplace as well as team-building programs, like reverse mentoring, to assimilate different generations. Rikleen ended her keynote address by quoting Abraham Lincoln, "I do not like this person. I must get to know him better."

Other conference panelists discussed current areas of interest, such as cybersecurity, insurance planning and independent investigations. The conference also featured two brief "lightning round" presentations on current intellectual property issues.

The conference wrapped-up with an update from the Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court Department. A panel of BLS justices discussed the BLS Pilot Project, which was designed to lessen the burdens of litigation and to emphasize that discovery ought to be proportional to what is at stake.

Conference co-chair David A. Parke, Esq. was pleased with the diversity of topics and speakers.

"This year's conference was well received by the audience," Parke said.


If you missed the In-House Counsel Conference, click here to view the program via MBA On Demand.

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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Join in the Dec. 11 Labor & Employment, Health Law and Family Law section council meetings. Attend the Dec. 12 Individual Rights, Immigration Law and Juvenile & Child Welfare Law section council meetings.

Changes to validated parking at the Lafayette Garage

MBA members entering the garage after 4 p.m. will now have a maximum rate of $11 and weekday users will receive $2 off each of the first two hours. Please bring your parking ticket with you to the MBA for validation.

Labor & Employment Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Labor & Employment Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Health Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5:15-6:45 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Health Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Family Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Family Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 4-5:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Immigration Law Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Immigration Law Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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



©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association