e-Journal

01-19

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Rep. Cabral, Sen. Rodrigues among speakers at Jan. 26 forum on Gateway Cities

MBA to host event at UMass School of Law

Massachusetts Bar Association members are invited to join MBA, legislative and community leaders at a Jan. 26 forum on Gateway Cities to be held at UMass School of Law in Dartmouth beginning at 5 p.m.

Light refreshments will be served during the opening meet-and-greet reception, which will give way to an informational forum. Leaders who have long worked with the issues impacting the state's Gateway Cities will share their insight. The final leg of the evening will focus on pinpointing ways in which the legal community can help address such issues.

Some of the evening's featured speakers include MBA President-elect Robert L. Holloway Jr.; UMass School of Law Dean Michael G. Hillinger; Rep. Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford) and Sen. Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield)., chairs of the Gateway Cities Caucus; representatives from MassINC and UMass Dartmouth's Urban Institute; as well as other leading voices on the academic, economic and cultural aspects impacting Gateway Cities.  

"The focus of the forum is to identify ways in which attorneys can lend their expertise with issues affecting Gateway City communities across Massachusetts," MBA President Richard P. Campbell said. Campbell identified a Gateway Cities initiative as one of his priorities for the 2011-12 association year. He named Margaret D. Xifaras, who practices in New Bedford, and Francis A. Ford, who practices in Worcester, to lead this important effort.

Xifaras will moderate the Jan. 26 forum.

Massachusetts' Gateway Cities are those mid-sized cities whose residents are experiencing significantly higher rates of unemployment and a stalemate in social, economic and civic innovation. Some examples are Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester.

Members interested in attending should R.S.V.P. to Gwen Landford at (617) 338-0694 or glandford.

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From left to right: Program co-chairs Marc L. Breakstone, Esq. and David W. White Jr., Esq. of Breakstone, White & Gluck PC in Boston.

Do you dream of starting your own practice?

Register for the Jan. 26 "How to Start and Run A Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice" conference

Do you dream of "hanging your shingle?" Have the recent law firm mergers and shifts affected you? Are you reevaluating your career and thinking about striking out on your own? Are you a law student with 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.

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

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MBA members at the November 2011 Member Appreciation Reception.

Attend next week's Member Appreciation Reception

Network with MBA members on Jan. 26

Join the Massachusetts Bar Association at a Member Appreciation Reception and Networking Event from 5 to 7 p.m. following the Jan. 26 "How to Start and Run" Conference 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.

Join the MBA at a Feb. 9 young lawyers' speed networking event

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Bring your business cards and join us for an evening of networking and fun at the MBA on Thursday, Feb. 9. The night will begin with a speed networking session for new attorneys and members of the MBA's Young Lawyers Division at 5:30 p.m. The speed networking session will be followed by a cocktail reception where you will have the opportunity to mingle with members of the MBA's leadership.

Click here to R.S.V.P. Space is limited.

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MBA co-sponsors Uniform Commercial Code Conference at New England Law | Boston on Feb. 16

Is the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) meeting today's finance and technology needs? Is the code exploding or imploding? The Massachusetts Bar Association is proud to co-sponsor the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Conference, which will feature leading national authorities on current issues bearing upon the scope of the UCC's article 2 (sales) and the application of article 9 (secured transactions). The panelists will discuss related bodies of law, including the American Law Institute's Principles of the Law of Software Contracts.

The article 2 panel, beginning at 1 p.m., will discuss attempts to revise article 2, contracts for the development and transfer of software, bankruptcy claims and defining electricity as a "good."

The article 9 panel, beginning at 3:15 p.m., will discuss recent amendments to article 9, recent commentary issued by the Permanent Editorial Board for the Uniform Commercial Code and the intersection of articles 9 and 3 with real property law pertaining to foreclosures.

Registration is requested by Monday, Feb. 6 by e-mailing abigail.p.adams or calling (617) 455-5705. Please include your name, affiliation, phone number and e-mail address.

Click here for more program and panelist information.

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Photograph by Christine Peterson
2011 Walk to the Hill.

MBA President Campbell, SJC Justice Gants to speak at Jan. 26 Walk to the Hill

Hundreds of attorneys to gather at State House to ask for increased civil legal aid funding

Massachusetts Bar Association President Richard P. Campbell and Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Ralph D. Gants will join hundreds of private attorneys from more than 50 Boston-area law firms at the State House on Thursday, Jan. 26 for the Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. The goal of this annual lobby day, one of the best attended in the state, is to ask for increased state funding for programs that provide civil legal aid to low-income Massachusetts residents.

Gants will kick off the speaking program at 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of Flags. Following the speaking program, attorneys will visit their legislators and ask them to increase funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation line item (MLAC, 0321-1600) by $5 million to $14.5 million in the FY13 budget. Increased funding is critical to restore service levels and prevent further cuts to legal aid programs, as they have been struggling to meet demand due to a 78 percent decrease in revenue since FY08 from the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, the other major funding source for civil legal aid.

Walk to the Hill is sponsored by the Equal Justice Coalition, Boston Bar Association and MBA, and it is co-sponsored by 30 county and specialty bar associations.

The speaking program will be held from 11:30 a.m. to noon and  includes:

  • Justice Ralph D. Gants of the Supreme Judicial Court;
  • Massachusetts Bar Association President Richard P. Campbell;
  • Boston Bar Association President Lisa C. Goodheart; and
  • Remon Jourdan of Randolph -- former client, Greater Boston Legal Services.

Sandy Moskowitz, chair of the Equal Justice Coalition, will serve as the program's emcee, and Jacquelynne Bowman, executive director of Greater Boston Legal Services, will provide lobbying instructions to the participants.

Have you registered for next week’s Massachusetts Bar Foundation Annual Meeting?

Honorable William G. Young will receive the MBF Great Friend of Justice award and deliver keynote

Click here to R.S.V.P. for the MBF's 2012 Annual Meeting.

MBF 2012 Annual Meeting

LPM Tip

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A matter of trust: Attorney funds may be deposited into IOLTA account to cover bank charges

While there is some confusion existing over this point, attorneys can deposit some of their own money into their IOLTA accounts in order to cover for bank charges. The reference from the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct is at Rule 1.15 (b)(2)(i):

'(2) No funds belonging to the lawyer shall be deposited or retained in a trust account except that:

(i) Funds reasonably sufficient to pay bank charges may be deposited therein'

This article, from the Board of Bar Overseers' ethics articles repository, makes reference to recordkeeping requirements for those funds deposited therein, as follows:

'Records that lawyers are required to make and keep of the receipt and disposition of trust funds-- including a check register, individual client ledgers and an additional individual ledger for the small
amount of the lawyer's own funds on deposit to pay bank charges
-- are described in detail. Rule 1.15(f).'

(emphasis mine)

Here's more, from the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee, as follows:

'It is permissible to maintain a minimal amount of attorney funds in the account to cover service charges, check charges and minimum balances. Treat these funds as a separate "client" and keep track of them on their own ledger. Deduct these charges from the account balance.'

You can, and should, keep a nominal amount of your own money in your IOLTA account, in order to cover for the referenced, potential charges -- especially if you take credit card payments, where 'chargebacks' are at issue. (If you do take credit cards for payment, consider the Massachusetts Bar Association member benefit company, Affinipay's LawPay credit card processing program, to help you to manage those transactions.)

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

Published January 19, 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 Stephen Seckler.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Learn how to represent an individual accused of a crime at the Feb. 1 "A Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Practice in the Massachusetts District Courts."

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

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

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


Law Practice Management Section Educational Series: Rules You Need to Know Live program
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


Contempt Actions in the Probate and Family Court: Cut and Dry? Live program
Thursday, Feb. 2, 3-5 p.m.
Norfolk Probate & Family Court, 35 Shawmut Road, Canton

SAVE THE DATE

MUPC Basics: An Overview of the New Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code
Friday, Feb. 10, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal St., Andover

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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

New and revised G.L. c. 209A forms effective Jan. 17

The new and revised forms promulgated for use in G.L. c. 209A cases took effect on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

A revised Guide to Completing G.L. c. 209A Forms has been posted here.

Printed forms have been sent to all divisions of the four Trial Court Departments with jurisdiction over G.L. c. 209A cases. Other forms are downloaded from the Trial Court intranet and printed for use.

Revised forms have also been sent to police departments across the state for use with the judicial response system.

The Trial Court web site includes:

  • Complete set of forms used in G.L. c.209A cases;
  • Revised Guide to Completing G.L. c.209A Forms;
  • Highlights of revisions to existing forms and descriptions of new forms; and
  • Guidelines for Judicial Practice: Abuse Prevention Proceedings (revised September 2011) and the Highlights of the September 2011 Revisions.
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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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Featured member benefit: Catuogno Court Reporting & StenTel Transcription

Get 10 percent off court reporting, videography, encrypted e-mail service and more.

Established in 1966, Catuogno Court Reporting & StenTel Transcription is a legal support services company that offers MBA members a special rate on services, including court reporting, video depositions, videoconferencing, encrypted e-mail service and legal dictation and transcription.

With five locations throughout the area (Boston, Worcester, Chelmsford, Springfield and Providence) the Catuogno offices provide more than 40 spacious conference rooms for depositions, client meetings, arbitrations, mediations and videoconferencing around the world.

Use your MBA membership card to take advantage of the following discounts to reduce costs and increase your bottom line, by taking 10 percent off these services:

  • Court reporting and depositions;
  • Videography;
  • Videoconferencing (over 10,000 connecting sites) DVD available;
  • Legal dictation and transcription (letters, summaries, etc.);
  • Recorded witness statement transcription; and
  • Encrypted e-mail service.

Become a member of The Lawyer's Conference Centers and save 20 percent on your next service.

To take advantage of your special MBA membership discount, visit www.catuogno.us/ or call (888) 228-8646.

*Valid MBA membership is required.

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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Join in the Jan. 24 General Practice, Business Law and Access to Justice Section Council meetings. Law Practice Management Section seeks professionals knowledgeable about practice management.

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General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24 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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Business Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Business Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

This meeting will focus on the independent contractor issue and guest speakers include State Senator Michael Rodrigues and State Representative Lori A. Ehrlich, who are co-chairing a special joint sub-committee charged with devising an amendment to fix the current situation in Massachusetts.

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

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Access to Justice Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Access to Justice Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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

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Law Practice Management Section seeks accountants, technology consultants and professionals knowledgeable about practice management

Are you a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association who works with attorneys and law firms on law practice management issues? Do you have expertise in law firm bookkeeping and finance, law office technology, legal marketing or general office administration? The Law Practice Management Section is in the process of helping to expand the MBA's mentoring program. We are looking for volunteers who are willing to invest a few hours a year helping MBA members who have questions about how to run a law practice more efficiently and more effectively.

Interested in learning more? Contact LPM Section Vice Chair Stephen Seckler at [e-mail legal].

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association