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Legislative News

MUPC implementation date extended to March 31, 2012

Gov. Deval L. Patrick signed into law an extension on the effective date of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code on Dec. 30. The MUPC will now go into effect on March 31, 2012. It was previously set to go into effect on Jan. 2, 2012.

Still under consideration by the Legislature is a bill establishing a uniform trust code, containing certain technical corrections to the MUPC, and granting the Probate and Family Court statutory authority to collect fees under the MUPC.

"The significant benefits to clients and the probate system as a whole far outweigh this slight delay in implementation," said Massachusetts Bar Association President Richard P. Campbell. "Advocating for these necessary changes for two decades, the MBA is confident that the broad-sweeping improvements gained from the MUPC will be well worth the wait."

The MBA looks forward to continued work with the Legislature and the court to ensure the technical corrections bill becomes law.

The Probate and Family Court's statement on the delay, including
amended Standing Order 5-11 and revised forms and instructions, can be found here.

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New Lawyers Journal issue to kick off the new year

The January 2012 issue of Lawyers Journal has been mailed and is available online now.

It features accounts of two of the many attorneys signing up to take cases as part of the MBA's Pro Bono Prescription. The attorneys share their respective stories on how they've made a difference in the lives of some of the commonwealth's most vulnerable citizens.  

The first issue of 2012 also includes:

  • CPCS' move to hire hundreds to keep up with its newly increased caseload (cover);
  • Images from the Nov. swearing-in ceremonies and MBA event welcoming the newest admittees of the bar (page 8);
  • Report on the action of the MBA's House of Delegates at its most recent meeting at UMass Amherst (page 11); and
  • The roster announcement for the new MBA committee charged with analyzing the underemployment of recent law school graduates in Massachusetts (page 12).

Click here to read the full issue.

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News from the courts

Supreme Judicial Court appoints new executive director

The justices of the Supreme Judicial Court have announced the appointment of Thomas G. Ambrosino as the executive director of the Supreme Judicial Court. Ambrosino will assume his new position on Jan. 11.

As executive director, Ambrosino will implement the policies set by the justices and direct the daily SJC administration. He will also assist the justices with the implementation of recent court management reforms.

Ambrosino succeeds Clifford Allen, who has been the acting executive director since July 2011 and is the reporter of decisions for the appellate courts.

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MBA members at the November 2011 Member Appreciation Reception.

Member Appreciation Reception

Network with MBA members on Jan. 26

Join the Massachusetts Bar Association at a Member Appreciation Reception and Networking Event following the Jan. 26 "How to Start and Run" Conference from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lombardo's, 16 Billings St., Randolph.

This event will feature passed hors d'oeuvres and beer and wine.

Space is limited; R.S.V.P. today.



While the gettin’s good: Mapping tools for lawyers

In a mobile society, where everyone has places to go, and too many things to do, it's imperative that we arrive where we have to, when we're supposed to. To help us get there, all of the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!) offer mapping tools, that includes options (in the case of Google and Bing) for finding directions based on your preferred mode of transit (driving, walking, commuter service). Google is generally the default search provider for most people, so Google Maps, consequently, is generally the default online mapping/directions provider. Google Maps has a bunch of useful features, including: zoom-out/zoom-in options; street views; click-and-drag functionality for route changes; and, etc. For a view to recently-added tools and features within Google Maps, PC World just published its "Best of Google Maps and Google Earth" for 2011. To learn more about how to use Google Maps, check out Google's own Support page.

Why not just use a GPS device? Well, the search engine mapping services are free, for one. And, in any case, these tools, as apps for your smartphone or tablet, can be used as makeshift GPS devices, anyway. It's also helpful to be able to plan your route in advance, rather than being talked at, as you attempt to navigate on the fly. Furthermore, street view directions flesh out what you're looking for: in addition to craning your neck, checking for street signs, you can also search for distinctive buildings, or landmarks, to guide your way.

If you don't often drive, HopStop is another great, free website, that is useful for navigating commuter options in large cities, including Boston.

While these mapping services can become essential tools for mobile attorneys looking for their next meeting, or a new courthouse, there are also some practice applications inherent, including for personal injury and litigation firms, that can be quite powerful: Jim Calloway relays some good uses for Google Maps, here. And, Morgan Smith drops some knowledge on the topic at his Cogent Legal Blog, here.

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

Published January 5, 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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LinkedIn Giveaway: Win a pass to the MBA’s popular CLE, “How to Start and Run A Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice”

Start a discussion, share a comment, or like an existing post today for a chance to win

Start a LinkedIn discussion, share a comment, or like an existing post between now and Jan. 18 for a chance to win a pass (up to $150 value) to the MBA's popular How to Start and Run A Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice on Jan. 26 at the Lombardo's, 16 Billings St, Randolph.

One of the MBA's most valuable MBA seminars to date -- attended, literally, by thousands -- "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. Learn from a faculty of experienced, successful lawyers who will provide guidance and insight on every aspect of starting a law firm and share pointers on growing a firm. Topics will include: The Mechanics of Setting Up Your Firm, The Mechanics of Running Your Firm, The Essentials of Marketing and Putting it All Together. Meet with colleagues at the working, networking lunch included.

Click here to learn more about the conference.

The winner will be chosen at random on Jan. 20. Click here to start your LinkedIn conversation today.


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Volunteer to judge Boston ABA Moot Court Competition

The ABA Law Student Division needs approximately 180 lawyers and judges to serve as oral argument judges for the 2011-12 Boston Regional National Appellate Advocacy Competitions (NAAC). This moot court competition will be held at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, 24 New Chardon St., Boston.

The rounds will be held in the late afternoon on Thursday and Friday, March 8-9 and all day on Saturday, March 10. Judges may serve multiple rounds if they desire.

  • Round 1: Thursday, March 8, 4:30-8:45 p.m.
  • Round 2: Friday, March 9, 4:30-8:45 p.m.
  • Round 3: Saturday, March 10, 8:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
  • Round 4: Saturday, March 10, 1-3:30 p.m.
  • Round 5: Saturday, March 10, 3:30-6 p.m.

Individuals interested in serving as a competition judge are asked to supply their contact information and law school affiliations here.

Within 10 business days after receipt of your form, the ABA will send an e-mail confirming your judging assignment. Beginning in late January, the ABA will provide a bench memorandum, the problem (record) and instructions on judging. Reviewing these materials is the only preparation required of competition judges.

This year's problem involves access to health care. It is a civil case involving a young boy with autism and his efforts to get coverage for the therapy that his doctor prescribed. The case raises two federal questions, one under the "Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment" provisions of the Medicaid Act, and the other under the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Both issues raise realistic, cutting-edge questions for which there is no clear answer in current law.

Questions? Contact Peggy Pissarreck at (312)988-5621 or at [e-mail naac].

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Learn about legal considerations relating to end-of-life treatment decisions at the Jan. 10 "Final Directives" 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.


MUPC Basics Conference: An Overview of the New Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code
Thursday, Jan. 5, 9 a.m.- 5p.m.
Lombardo's, 16 Billings St., Randolph

Final Directives: Medical and Legal Perspectives on Death and Dying Live program
Tuesday, Jan. 10, 3-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

"The MUPC Demystified" PART IV: Remedies and Protections under the MUPC Live program
Tuesday, Jan. 17, noon-4 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Law Practice Management Section Educational Series:
How to Build a Technology Plan for Your Firm
Live program
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

How to Start and Run A Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice
Thursday, Jan. 26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Lombardo's, 16 Billings St., Randolph


This dynamic series is designed to provide probate practitioners (as well as those who aspire to be) with an in-depth knowledge of the MUPC, exactly how it works and instruction on the new probate forms that will be issued by the court. Click here to register for the remaining two programs, and to receive the first three programs via MBA On Demand, at a discounted price.

PART IV: Remedies and Protections under the MUPC Live program
Tuesday, Jan. 17, noon-4 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

PART V: Estate Planning under the MUPC Drafting Wills and Trusts Live program
Tuesday, Feb. 7, noon-4 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Recorded program In case you missed the Oct. 25 Part I: Informal Probate and Appointment Proceedings, the Nov. 15 Part II: The 'Ins and Outs' of Formal Probate Proceedings or the Dec. 13 PART III: Powers and Duties of the Personal Representatives and Options for Closing Estates, you can view the sessions via MBA On Demand.


MBA On Demand

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

December CLE programming now available includes:

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

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MBA Past Presidents and current leadership at the 2011-12 Past Presidents' Dinner on Nov. 17.

MBA seeks nominations for 2012-13 officer and delegate positions

Submit nominations to MBA Secretary by Friday, Feb. 24

The Massachusetts Bar Association is currently accepting nominations for officer and delegate positions for the 2012-13 membership year. Nominees must submit a letter of intent and a current resume to MBA Secretary Robert W. Harnais by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 to be eligible.

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

Massachusetts Bar Association
Attn: Robert W. Harnais, 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.

Click here for nomination and election procedures.

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Have you taken advantage of FREE classifieds?

Post an MBA classifieds ad today

MBA Classifieds provide MBA members and non-members the opportunity to post and view employment/internship opportunities, office share/rental options, as well as lawyer-to-lawyer services and other specialized categories.

Classified postings are FREE to members and are available to non-members for $25.

Post an ad today and take advantage of this opportunity to reach members of the commonwealth's legal community, through its largest bar association.

Click here to post an MBA classified ad.

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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Join in the Jan. 10 Family Law Section Council Meeting. Attend the Jan. 11 Immigration Law mock adjustment interview, Law Practice Management, Juvenile & Child Welfare Law or Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council meetings.


Family Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Family Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 10 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Immigration Law Section open meeting

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Boston field office director to participate in mock adjustment interview
Wednesday, Jan. 11
, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Boston Field Office Director Dorothy Michaud, together with several immigration service officers, will conduct a mock adjustment interview -- commenting on developing issues. Michaud will be joined by USCIS District Director Denis Riordan. Plan on coming in at 11:30 a.m. to meet colleagues before the presentation. Light lunch and soft drinks will be provided.

This is a unique opportunity to meet the senior most USCIS managers in an informal atmosphere, as well as ask questions, as the interview progresses.

QUESTIONS REQUESTED: If you have any general questions concerning the USCIS Boston Field Office, please submit them before Jan. 6 to [e-mail RovnerEsq].

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


Law Practice Management Section Council meeting

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

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

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


Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Jan. 11, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 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, Jan. 11, 4-5:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 11 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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



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