e-Journal

12-20

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From left to right: Joseph F. Ryan, chief executive officer, Brown Rudnick LLP; MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr.; Albert W. Wallis, executive director of the Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest. Photo courtesy of Brown Rudnick LLP.

Brown Rudnick gives $25,000 to 2013 MBA Mock Trial Program

Brown Rudnick LLP, through its Center for the Public Interest, has given $25,000 to the Massachusetts Bar Association's 2013 Statewide High School Mock Trial Program. Brown Rudnick has been the lead financial underwriter since 1998 and has contributed more than $400,000 to the program, in its 28th year.

"We are indebted to Brown Rudnick for its unwavering support of the MBA's successful Mock Trial Program," MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr. said. "This critical program educates young people across the Bay State about the intricacies of the court system while broadening their leadership skills."

First organized in 1985, the tournament places high school students in a simulated courtroom to assume the roles of lawyers and witnesses in a hypothetical case. In this year's criminal case, the prosecution alleges the defendant poisoned and killed his great-aunt by tampering with her medication. The defense claims the great-aunt either died of a natural heart attack or was murdered by either her live-in caretaker or another relative upset about her reduction of their inheritance.

"Mock trial, at its core, is about teaching in real time how to have civil discourse and reasoned debate. Although the MBA statewide high school mock trial program is in its 28th year, and Brown Rudnick's sponsorship is in its second decade, these lessons could hardly be more relevant or important in today's American society," said Al Wallis, executive director of Brown Rudnick's Center for the Public Interest. "Brown Rudnick is proud to continue to play a part in developing these abilities in today's high school students through our support for the MBA's Mock Trial Program."

At least 1,500 students at 135 schools across the commonwealth are expected to participate in the 2013 Mock Trial Program. More than 100 lawyers across the state will serve as volunteer coaches and judges.

Last year, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School in South Hadley won the state championship, its second in a row, and went on to compete in the national tournament.

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Join the My Bar Access online community today

Login and instantly connect with your MBA peers

The Massachusetts Bar Association has launched My Bar Access, which replaces the section/division portion of the MBA website. Visit http://access.massbar.org/ today to join the conversation.

Check out blog posts on "Instagram's Invasive New Terms of Service," "Animal Cruelty" and a "Data Breach Analysis." Participate in ongoing section discussions on the new CIS Fee for visas, mandatory flu shots for hospital staff and more.

The following simple steps can instantly connect you with fellow members:

  1. Login and agree to terms: Sign in using your MBA user name and password and sign the Code of Conduct.
  2. Create your profile and settings: Include your bio and photo and customize the frequency and format of your notifications (your profile info from LinkedIn may be pulled over).
  3. Start connecting: Post blogs, discussions (listservs) or upload a resource library entry for your section(s).

Resource materials -- including "Getting Started on My Bar Access" and "How to Use My Bar Access" -- posted in various areas throughout the site, can help users with questions. Following a review of those resources, members who need further help should contact the My Bar Access Help Desk at [e-mail mybaraccess].

Click here to login now.

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Images from the 2012 Walk to the Hill. Photos by Jeff Thiebauth.

MBA to co-sponsor 14th Annual Walk to the Hill on Jan. 30

The 14th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Statehouse's Great Hall.

Join fellow Massachusetts Bar Association members at this annual event and adovacte for increased funding for legal services throughout the commonwealth.

The event is sponsored by the Equal Justice Coalition, MBA and Boston Bar Association.

For more information, visit www.equaljusticecoalition.org.

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MBA members celebrate the holidays

View an event slideshow.

Massachusetts Bar Association colleagues and friends joined in the 2012 Holiday Party: Casino Royale on Dec. 13. The holiday celebration, held at the MBA in Boston, featured an evening of networking, Blackjack, Roulette, Craps and more.

View photos.

Do you dream of starting your own practice?

Register for the Jan. 17 "How to Start and Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice" for a comprehensive overview on operating your own firm.

2013 How to Start and Run

Do you dream of starting your own practice? Have the recent law firm mergers and shifts affected you? Are you reevaluating your career and thinking about striking out on your own? Have you been recently admitted to the Bar and have a plan to go straight into your own practice? "How to Start and Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice" is a comprehensive, nuts-and-bolts seminar about how to set up and operate your own firm.

Attended, literally, by thousands, this lively program, which has been one of the most popular and valuable MBA seminars to date, includes a working, networking lunch for a chance to meet with colleagues who can help get you started.

Our faculty of experienced, successful lawyers will provide guidance and insight on every aspect of starting a law firm while sharing practice pointers on growing their own firms.

A networking reception will follow this incredible program allowing you to continue to meet and mingle with colleagues. Complimentary appetizers, beer and wine will be served.

Program highlights include:

  • The mechanics of setting up your firm;
  • The mechanics of running your firm;
  • The essentials of marketing; and
  • Putting it all together.

Click here to register and for a full list of faculty.

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MBA participates in Cradles to Crayons "Gear Up For Winter" collection

This holiday season, the Massachusetts Bar Association joined Cradles to Crayons for "Gear Up for Winter" -- a collection for children's coats, warm clothing and boots to help thousands of families. The MBA thanks those who donated children's items and helped make a difference.

In addition, the MBA thanks the Young Lawyers Division and the Worcester County Bar Association for contributing to the collection.

Make your tax-deductible contribution to the MBF’s Annual Appeal today

MBF Reminder

As members of the legal community, we have a professional responsibility to safeguard the values of our justice system -- to ensure that equality under the law is a reality, not just an ideal. The Massachusetts Bar Foundation's grant recipients do just that by providing critical legal assistance to those who would otherwise go without it. Your gift will help to ensure our legal services providers have the support they need to assist their clients.

Donate Now

We urge you to stand with us in our efforts to keep the promise of justice to all Massachusetts citizens. Through the MBF, we have the opportunity to come together and make an impact that no one person could by acting alone. Please make your tax-deductible gift today.

On behalf of the thousands of people whose lives are touched and improved by the dedicated legal services providers of our state, we thank you for all of your support.

Founded in 1964, the MBF is the philanthropic partner of the Massachusetts Bar Association. Through its grant making and charitable activities, the MBF works to increase access to justice for all Massachusetts citizens. Please visit www.MassBarFoundation.org for more information.

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Tell us why you belong to the MBA

Former Health Law Chair Frank J. Riccio feels the MBA is the gold standard in providing excellent benefits, education and networking opportunities.

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.

iBelong Riccio

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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LPM Tip

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New IRS penalty could impact attorneys who accept credit card payments

Enacted in 2008 as part of the Housing Assistance Tax Act, the Internal Revenue Code Section 6050W requires credit card processors to report to the IRS gross dollar amounts of their merchant customers' (i.e. attorneys/firms) transactions. To accomplish reporting, the credit card processing companies must have federal tax identification numbers and names for their merchant customer accounts that match their customers' IRS records. Discrepancies may exist, such as when the merchant uses an abbreviated name or acronym for their account. Some processing companies have since notified their clients when a mismatch has occurred, thus enabling the client to rectify the discrepancy.

To encourage accurate reporting, beginning January 2013, the IRS will impose a 28 percent withholding penalty on all credit card transactions where the merchant account information provided by the processor does not match the merchant's federal tax identification number and legal name. The imposition of a withholding penalty could have real consequences for attorneys who accept credit and debit cards.  

To avoid any adverse impact to client trust accounts, there are three simple steps to take, which are echoed by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, in its announcement here:

  • Contact your credit card processor to ensure that your merchant account information matches your IRS records.
  • If your records do not match, direct your processor to make the necessary corrections. Be sure that you do not give your IOLTA account's federal tax identification number, but rather your law firm's federal tax identification number.
  • Remain diligent in monitoring and reconciling your IOLTA accounts pursuant to Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15, in order to identify and handle any IRS penalty assessed.

For more information on the IRS reporting requirements, see this article published by a Massachusetts Bar Association member benefit provider, Law Pay. For more information generally on using credit cards in your practice, see this article by Bar Counsel Constance Vecchione on the subject (which article and articles like it are accessible via the BBO/Office of Bar Counsel's ethics articles repository) and this Massachusetts Bar Association article written by practitioner Andrea Goldman and Bar Counsel John W. Marshall.

Tip courtesy of Heidi Alexander, Law Office Management Assistance Program.

Published December 20, 2012

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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

January programming includes the "Lifecycle of the Business" series, "A Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Practice," "Collaborative Law, a Roundtable," Mediating Probate Litigtation Cases" 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.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

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

Getting Paid Live program
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 4-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


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

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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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News from the courts

Notice of proposed amendments to local rules

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Notice of Proposed Amendments to
Local Rule 22.1(e) and Rule 27.0(c)

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit hereby provides notice that it proposes the minor amendments to Local Rule 22.1(e) and Rule 27.0(c) necessitated by past rule changes. The second sentence of Local Rule 22.1(e) is corrected to cross-reference Local Rule 22.1(a), rather than former Local Rule 22.2(a). The requirement in Local Rule 27.0(c) that motions for summary disposition be accompanied by "four copies of a memorandum or brief" is stricken. Fed. R. App. P. 27(a)(2)(C) currently requires that legal arguments be made in the body of a motion, rather than in a separate brief or memorandum, and, with the advent of electronic case filing, this court no longer requires paper copies of motions.

Click here for a copy of the proposed amended rules. Additions are in italic print; deletions are in strike-out print.

The Court of Appeals invites public comment on the proposed amendments. Comments should be received by Jan. 11, 2013 and addressed to:

Office of the Clerk
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
United States Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2500
Boston, MA 02210

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Notice of Proposed Amendments to Local Rule 33.0(a) and (f)

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit hereby provides notice that it proposes amendments to subsections (a) and (f) of the Civil Appeals Management Plan, incorporated into the First Circuit local rules as Local Rule 33.0(a) and (f). Additions are noted in italic print; deletions are noted in strikeout print.

The proposed changes are made to bring the local rule into conformity with current practice. Currently, settlement counsel sends notice to litigants about CAMP rather than the Clerk of the Court of Appeals. Further, Social Security appeals and petitions for review from orders of the Board of Immigration Appeals are not currently included as part of the program.

The proposed amendment would not preclude a judge or panel from referring such a case to settlement counsel.

The Court of Appeals invites public comment on the proposed amendments. Comments should be received by Jan. 11, 2013 and addressed to:

Office of the Clerk
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
United States Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2500
Boston, MA 02210

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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Join in the Jan. 2 Law Practice Management Section Council meeting. Attend the Jan. 3 Public Law Section Council meeting.

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.

Law Practice Management Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Law Practice Management Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 2 from 4:30 to 5:30 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, Jan. 3, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Public Law Section Council is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 3 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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