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Legislative News

Updates on foreclosure and work place safety bills



The conference committee charged with brokering a compromise on foreclosure legislation finished its work earlier this week. The final bill seeks to prevent unnecessary foreclosures. This bill focuses on loan modifications and does not contain the Senate-backed mandatory mediation between banks and homeowners. Instead, the bill calls for the establishment of a commission, to be headed by Attorney General Martha Coakley to further investigate mediation. The Massachusetts Bar Association will continue to advocate in favor for mediation. The House passed the legislation yesterday, the Senate may vote as early as today.

To see the conference committee report, click here.


Work Place Safety

The "Temporary Workers Right to Know Bill," which is strongly supported by the MBA, also passed the House yesterday. The bill protects temporary workers by requiring employers to provide them with written notice of key details of their work assignments, and the legal protections available to them. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Click here to view the bill.



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Reminder: Renew your MBA membership by mail or online

The MBA reminds you that the 2011-12 membership year is drawing to a close and membership renewal notices for the 2012-13 year were recently distributed. As in years past, the MBA offers members two renewal options:

  • By mail: Renew your MBA membership through the mail with a check or credit card payment. You should have received your dues renewal form in the mail in mid-July.
  • Online: Click here to renew your membership online now. We understand how valuable your time is and are happy to offer you this time-saving, green alternative.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the MBA.

If you have any questions, please contact MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or [e-mail membership].

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From top to bottom:

(Left to right) Volunteer Recognition Committee Chair Grace V.B. Garcia, volunteer recognition awardees Janice C. Nigro and Mark A. Leahy and MBA Vice President Jeffrey N. Catalano.

(Left to right) Volunteer Recognition Committee Chair Grace V.B. Garcia, volunteer recognition awardee James E. Harvey Jr. and MBA Vice President Jeffrey N. Catalano.

(Left to right) Volunteer Recognition Committee Chair Grace V.B. Garcia, volunteer recognition awardee Edward M. Pikula and MBA Vice President Jeffrey N. Catalano.

The MBA recognizes 50-year members at the July 19 Volunteer Recognition Dinner.

Photos by Tricia Oliver.

MBA honors exemplary volunteers, 50-year members

The Massachusetts Bar Association celebrated the efforts of its volunteers at the Annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner, held at Lombardo's in Randolph last Thursday evening. Also recognized at the event were the MBA's 50-year members.

"We realize that it takes careful coordination to carve out time for bar involvement," said MBA President Richard P. Campbell. "We appreciate you keeping service as an MBA volunteer high on your list of priorities."

The dinner audience comprised nearly 150 volunteers who had donated their time, energy and expertise to the MBA over the past year by serving on one of the association's section councils, committees or task forces.

The presentation of four Volunteer Recognition Awards highlighted the work of individuals chosen from a pool of nomination submissions. Grace Garcia, chair, Volunteer Recognition Committee, noted the difficult task her committee had in selecting the evening's awardees. Garcia explained that the awards "recognize members who volunteer substantial time and effort to the mission, program and/or publications of the MBA or otherwise enhance the MBA in a significant way."

Garcia was joined by MBA Vice President Jeffrey N. Catalano to present the honors to the four awardees, which included:

  • Edward Pikula, the vice chair of MBA's Public Law Section, for his work in aiding the public and the bar in the wake of last June's devastating tornadoes;
  • James E. Harvey Jr., long-time MBA volunteer, for his service as editor-in-chief of the sixth edition of Traps for the Unwary, distributed to membership earlier this year; and
  • Mark Leahy and Janice Nigro, for their comprehensive efforts to educate fellow bar members and the greater legal community on the changes that came with the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code.

In addition to the Volunteer Recognition Awardees, the following 50-year honorees received their service plaques from Campbell and MBA President-elect Robert L. Holloway Jr.:

  • Jerry Cohen;
  • Gilbert W. Cox;
  • Herbert Epstein;
  • John P. Higgins;
  • Denis G. Regan;
  • Allan G. Rodgers;
  • Edward A. Roster;
  • Hrant H. Russian; and
  • Max Volterra.

"Congratulations on this professional milestone," said Holloway.

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iBelong to the MBA because . . .

MBA offers unlimited sections for 2012-13 association year.

Beginning Sept. 1, take advantage of free, unlimited sections as part of your Massachusetts Bar Association membership. Due to a change in our dues structure, all members may join as many sections as they prefer, instead of paying to participate in individual sections. This change will go into effect with the start of the 2012-13 association year, beginning on Sept. 1, 2012

The MBA offers the legal community a wide array of professional development and volunteer opportunities, networking events, educational programs and more. 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.

Join button



Use Twitter to learn about prospective clients, employers and contacts

Twitter is your soap box. Now make it your microscope. Use Twitter to learn about potential clients, employers and professional contacts. We'll discuss researching a potential client, but the advice below is equally applicable to prospective employers and networking contacts.  

Twitter is excellent for researching potential clients because information posted on Twitter is focused and timely. A potential client's tweets tell you exactly what is on his or her mind at this moment. Compare that to a Google search. Even the most carefully-crafted Google search may return irrelevant or dated information.

The first step of your Twitter research is to determine if the potential client uses Twitter. You can search for the potential client on Twitter's website, see our prior post on searching Twitter, or look for their Twitter username (their "handle" in Twitterspeak) on their website or LinkedIn profile. Once you find the user's handle you follow him or her. As he or she tweets, read the tweets and linked materials. You can also search Twitter for "mentions" (references to a user by others). You can save any useful searches and run them daily.

If you meet a potential client you can use Twitter to get to know them better. Ask him or her if they are active on Twitter and mention that you will follow them. Following your potential client is a great way to express interest and, if you interact with the potential client, stay top of mind. Also follow entities related to the potential client, such as their company or associations they are actively involved in, such as the Massachusetts Bar Association (@Massbar).  

You can expand your search beyond one potential client. If you are interested in serving a particular industry you can find and follow users in that industry to glean what's important to the industry. You can also follow people retweeted by the users you initially followed.

As you follow more users, Twitter suggests additional people for you to follow in the "Who to Follow" box found in the left column of your home page. If you are targeting your own industry, you can find users like yourself in the "Similar to Me" box on your profile page. Before you follow someone check their status. If his or her last tweet was long ago or he or she has very few followers, they may not be a good person to follow.

Subscribing to a "list" is another great way to find and follow groups of users. A list is a group of Twitter users selected ("curated" in Twitter parlance) for a common characteristic, such as interest in a particular topic. Viewing a list's timeline only shows Tweets from users on that list. A LOMAP blog post on creating and using lists can be found here. You can search for users and lists on Listorious, a curated, Twitter lists directory and people search engine. For tips on using Twitter to learn about a new area or specialty see this superb post by Rocket Matter's Tim Baran (@Tim_Baran).  

You want to know your potential clients, employers and professional contacts? Do it 140 characters at a time, via Twitter.

Thanks to Jean Terranova (@JeanTerranova) of the Law Office of Jean Terranova and Betsy Munnell (@BetsyMunnell) of Munnell Associates for their invaluable advice and suggestions.

Tip courtesy of Scott L. Malouf (@ScottMalouf), Law Office Management Assistance Program (@MassLOMAP).

Published July 26, 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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Vermont changes rules for licensing of out-of-state attorneys

The Vermont Supreme Court has changed the rules for out-of-state attorneys to be licensed in Vermont. They have dropped the three-month clerkship requirement for attorneys with five or more years of practice in another jurisdiction. In its place, Vermont now mandates 15 hours of CLE, all of which must be taken prior to admission, with programs approved by the Board of Bar Examiners. For information on programs approved to assist in this transition, click here.

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News from the courts

SJC invites comments on proposed new Rule 3:16; Grant received to create small claims video


SJC invites comments on proposed new Rule 3:16

In 2011, the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court appointed a working group to consider how to help new lawyers deal with difficult issues that can generate complaints to the Board of Bar Overseers. The justices asked the working group to consider whether requiring an education program for newly-admitted Massachusetts lawyers would help these lawyers.       

The group has recommended that there be a required education course for newly-admitted lawyers. A substantial section of this course would address issues of law office management. Other topics would include professionalism and civility, professional ethics, the bar discipline system, managing the attorney-client relationship, do's and don'ts of social media, the availability of mentoring and continuing legal education, an introduction to general and affinity bar associations and the importance and availability of pro bono opportunities.

Proposed Rule 3:16 would require all persons newly-admitted to the Massachusetts bar to complete a one-day, in-person mandatory practicing with professionalism course within 18 months of admission. The proposed rule anticipates that the course curriculum would be subject to standards issued by the Supreme Judicial Court or its designee, and that providers (e.g. continuing legal education providers, bar associations, law schools) would be approved by the Supreme Judicial Court or its designee. Fees for the course would be approved by the Supreme Judicial Court. The proposed rule includes sanctions for noncompliance.

Comments should be directed to Barbara Berenson at [e-mail barbara.berenson] or at the Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square , Boston MA 02108 on or before Aug. 24.

Click here to learn more.


Grant received to create small claims video

The Trial Court's Access to Justice Initiative is pleased to report that the State Justice Institute has granted a request for funds to create and disseminate a small claims self-help video in English and other languages. This effort will build upon work already underway through prior SJI funding to translate documents for small claims proceedings.

The Access to Justice Advisory Committee decided to seek funding in the area of small claims, since three court departments hear approximately 100,000 small claims matters each year and many parties, both plaintiffs and defendants, appear without counsel.

The 15-20 minute video will depict the progress of a fictional small claims case from the dispute through resolution. It will include basic vocabulary and procedure, how to prepare for court, what to expect in the courtroom and how to comply with judgments and orders. Information on how to access additional self-help resources also will be provided.

Click here to learn more.



Fourth Annual Summer Social

Mark your calendars and join the MBA for a FREE networking event on Thursday, Aug. 16 on the Boston waterfront

Click here
to R.S.V.P.

Fourth Annual Summer Social

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Learn how to handle a residential real estate closing on Sept. 11. Review MBA On Demand's "Latest in the Law 2012" series, for highlights of the most significant cases and legal developments over the past year.

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.


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

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

Have free time this summer? Catch up on the MBA educational programs you missed this year at www.massbar.org/OnDemand.

Latest in the Law 2012

Review the highlights of the most significant cases and legal developments over the past year.

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

Featured member benefit: Save up to 35 percent on Cirque du Soleil tickets


Massachusetts Bar Association members can now save up to 35 percent on tickets to Totem by Cirque du Soleil.

TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations. Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species.

Purchase tickets using code MASSBAR for limited run of shows, through Sunday, Aug. 5. The shows are under the Grand Chapiteau at the Marine Industrial Park, 6 Tide St., Boston.

Click here to purchase tickets or call (800) 331-6483.

©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association