Thursday, Jun. 7, 2012
The 2012 Access to Justice Awards were presented by MBA President Richard P. Campbell (left in all photos) and MBA President-elect Robert L. Holloway Jr. (right in all photos).
From top to bottom: Pro Bono Award for Law Firms:
Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten LLP, Boston (accepted by founding partner Laurence E. Hardoon); Legal Services Award:
Thomas Mela, Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Boston; Pro Bono Publico Award:
Linda C. Hickman, Neighborhood Legal Services, Lynn; Defender Award:
Dulcinea (Duci) Goncalves, Quincy Youth Advocacy Department, Committee of Public Counsel Services; Prosecutor Award:
Michael L. Fabbri, Middlesex District Attorney's Office.
PHOTOS © MIKE RITTER
2012 Access to Justice Award winners honored at May 31 Annual Dinner
Four attorneys and one law firm were honored with the
Massachusetts Bar Association's Access to Justice Awards for their
exemplary delivery of legal services at the May 31 Annual Dinner.
MBA President Richard P. Campbell and MBA President-elect Robert L.
Holloway Jr. presented the awards at the Westin Boston
Victoria Reggie Kennedy, who provided the Annual Dinner keynote
address, said she was inspired by the honorees. "I congratulate
them for receiving Access to Justice Awards this evening, but most
of all, I congratulate and thank them for the work they all do make
sure that all people in our community have access to justice,"
Pro Bono Award for Law Firms
Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten LLP,
The 13-member firm was recognized for its work as one of only
six law firms involved in a unique pro bono collaboration with the
Middlesex District Attorney's Office representing high-risk,
complex domestic violence cases. Partner Laurence Hardoon describes
the collaboration as a win-win. Says associate Greg Pagnini "to
know that my client's life is immediately changed for the better
because of our counsel has been the most rewarding." Since signing
on as a vital piece of this much needed collaboration in 2009,
Brody Hardoon's track record has been described as impressive by
the Middlesex District Attorney's Office. In addition to Larry and
Greg, founding partners Rick Brody, Lenny Kesten and Sam Perkins,
Partner Jeremy Silverfine and associates Tom Donaghue, Kristen
Harris and Peter Montgomery have all been vital to the firm's
success with the program.
Legal Services Award
Thomas Mela, Massachusetts Advocates for
Mela's longstanding career in public service is highlighted by
his work with the under-represented. As the Massachusetts Advocates
for Children managing attorney and senior project director, Tom
facilitates and leads three coalitions of legal aid and public
interest lawyers-the Children's Law Support Program Advisory
Committee, the Education Law Task Force and the School Discipline
Work Group. His nomination stated, "Tom works far beyond his hours,
deeply committed to making change at the systemic level and
obtaining the best, sometimes life-changing, results for
individual, low-income clients." In addition to his exemplary
service to clients, Tom passes along his experience and example
through his mentorship to less seasoned colleagues and law
Pro Bono Publico Award
Linda C. Hickman, Neighborhood Legal Services,
A long-time volunteer with the service's Elder Law Program,
Linda has donated her services with many complex cases and has been
instrumental in providing services to those who might not otherwise
have access. According to her nomination, "Linda's contributions
were stunning and made the difference between winning a successful
outcome or losing the case."
Dulcinea (Duci) Goncalves, Quincy Youth Advocacy
Department, Committee for Public Counsel Services
"Duci" is the attorney in charge of the Quincy Youth Advocacy
Department of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. There, she
supervises three attorneys and support staff and carries 15 to 20
cases at a time. Said those who nominated "Duci," "those who have
worked closely with her all comment on her exceptional ability to
work with her clients and their families, advocating to obtain the
best short-term and long-term outcomes possible and going the extra
mile to make a difference in their lives."
Michael L. Fabbri, Middlesex District Attorney's Office
Fabbri is currently the chief trial counsel for the DA's office.
The 26-year prosecutor says, "even on a bad day, it's a great
profession." According to his nomination, Michael has earned the
respect of his colleagues through his legendary work ethic, his
integrity, his commitment to serving victims and his effort to
mentor his colleagues. In addition to all the work that makes him
deserving of this honor tonight, Michael is also the MBA's current
chair of the Criminal Justice Section.