Membership dues renewal right around the corner
Renew your MBA membership by mail or online
The Massachusetts Bar Association reminds you that the 2011-12
membership year is drawing to a close, and membership renewal
notices for the 2012-13 year will be distributed soon. As in
years past, the MBA offers members two renewal
By mail: Renew your MBA membership through
the mail with a check or credit card payment. Look for your dues
renewal form to come in the mail in mid-July.
Online: Look for renewal instructions via
e-mail in mid-July on how to renew
your membership online. We understand how valuable your
time is and are happy to offer you this time-saving, green
As always, thank you for your continued support of the MBA.
YLD hosts "Meet the 2012-13 Board of Directors" networking event
Members of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Young Lawyers
Division gathered for a networking reception on June 14 at Max
& Dylans, 15 West St., Boston.
The event provided attendees with the opportunity to meet members
of the 2012-13 YLD Board of Directors and mingle will fellow
attorneys and members of the bar.
here to view event photos.
Use war stories to make better fee estimates
The Third and Final Part of a
Series on Legal Project Management
Providing clients accurate fee estimates can be extremely
difficult. Clients of all sizes want more certain fee estimates.
Yet, due to the unique nature of each case, attorneys feel
compelled to provide extremely broad estimates or just tell the
client "It depends." In a pinch, an attorney might quote a flat fee
and hope he or she will not take a bath.
Sharing "war stories" (descriptions of interesting past cases)
is not only entertaining, it can help you make better estimates.
Instead of just reliving those interesting matters, analyze them to
find variables that increased (or decreased) your fees.
Analyzing prior cases for fee information is not complex.
Picture your last 20 or 30 cases. If you don't have enough cases to
analyze call one of your colleagues who performs the same type of
work to discuss their cases too (keeping client confidences of
course). Identify the most run-of-the-mill case: a case with no
variables that increased or decreased fees and that took about the
amount of effort and resources you expected (or would expect) to
resolve. Then analyze the cases that were not
run-of-the-mill for the variables made them atypical. In trust and
estate matters typical variables might be multiple prior wills or
trusts to review, a difficult family situation, or real estate or
tax issues that must be resolved. In an immigration practice
typical variables could be logistical issues such as travel or
translation, or the necessity to collect documents from countries
with weak governance. A table of litigation variable might look
Once you have a list of variables, you next identify two aspects
of each variable. First, how much did the variable
increase or decrease the fee from a typical case -- either in
dollars or as a percentage of the base fee. You can estimate the
average amount of increased fee or dissect each case for an exact
amount and then calculate an average. Second, assess how often the
variable appeared across all of your sample cases. If the variable
appeared in 2 out of 20 cases it has a 10 percent likelihood of
appearing in a single case. Now put this data -- the per case cost
of the variable and its per case likelihood on your table:
Now you have building blocks to create more rigorous fee
estimates. You take the base fee from the run-of-the-mill case,
assess whether the above variables appear in this client's case (or
whether you need to investigate more to make that determination).
Even if you can't predict whether a variable may appear in the case
you are estimating (such as the other side becoming uncooperative
midway through a case), you have an idea of the likelihood of that
variable and the cost of that variable and can work such unknowns
into an estimate either by increasing the fee, negotiating a hybrid
fee structure, or by adapting a section of your fee agreement to
address such contingencies. These tools can also improve flat fee
quotations. In such matters, you have a better idea of what work to
exclude from the flat fee services.
Possibly most importantly, these tools are a way to explain the
basis of your fee instead of saying "It depends."
Thanks to Aileen
Leventon of QLex
Consulting for her invaluable advice and examples of attorneys
using legal project management tools to innovate and improve their
Want more legal project management tips? Part one of the series,
the April 27
LPM Tip discussed using project
management (PM) tools to promote more efficient drafting. The
LPM Tip discussed using PM to improve particular aspects of
cases or office practices.
Tip courtesy of Scott L. Malouf,
Management Assistance Program.
Published June 21, 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
Members of the legal community participate in the FREE LOMAP Super Marketing Conference II on June 19 at the Massachusetts Bar Association in Boston.
Photos by Marc A. D'Antonio.
FREE LOMAP Super Marketing Conference II offers marketing and client tips, networking and more
Miss the program? Watch is anywhere, anytime via MBA On Demand.
On June 19, the Massachusetts Bar Association hosted the
Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program's second
annual Super Marketing Conference. Over 100 attorneys participated
both in person and via MBA On Demand Real-time Webcast, and were
treated to presentations by legal marketing experts on a wide array
of marketing topics. The fast-paced program also gave conference
participants the opportunity to network with colleagues and
conference presenters throughout the day.
"The energy surrounding today is palpable," said Jared Correia,
Senior Law Practice Advisor for LOMAP and conference moderator.
"What started as a small lunch group to discuss the challenges
lawyers face in today's legal market, has now grown into a vibrant
and interactive webinar series culminating in a half-day program.
It's really amazing. Of course, none of this would have been
possible without the support of the MBA."
Presenters at the conference included speakers Ed Scanlan,
founder of Total Attorneys, who told those in attendance how
not to run their law firms, and Brett Owens, CEO of
Chrometa, who focused on teaching attendees how to automate their
law firm marketing. In addition to Total Attorneys and Chrometa,
Clio, a law practice management software provider, also sponsored
Local presenters included Gabriel Cheong, Esq., Alan J. Klevan,
Esq., Jay Shepherd, Esq., and Matthew P. Trask, Esq.
Did you miss the "LOMAP Super Marketing Conference II?" Click here to
watch the program anytime, anywhere via MBA On Demand. The 2011
"LOMAP Super Marketing Conference" is also available here.
From top to bottom: Julia Hall, Rachel Smit and Kristen Wekony.
MBF announces 2012 Legal Intern Fellowship Award recipients
The MBF Trustees proudly announce the award recipients of the
2012 MBF Legal Intern Fellowship Program (LIFP). This year,
the program will provide three exemplary law students with a
stipend of $6,000 each for a full-time, summer internship at a
Massachusetts organization providing civil legal services to the
The MBF's Legal Intern Fellowship Program has two concurrent
goals: to give talented students the experience and encouragement
they need to pursue careers in the public interest law sector and
to provide legal aid organizations with much-needed additional
staff capacity for the summer. These awards are supported by
generous contributions to the MBF from lawyers and judges
This year's award recipients are:
Boston University School of Law
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts: Legal Services to HIV+ and
(Supported by the MBF Fellows Fund)
Boston University School of Law
Greater Boston Legal Services: Employment Law Unit
(Supported by the MBF Fellows Fund)
Boston University School of Law
Harvard Legal Aid Bureau: Housing Law Practice
(Supported by the Smith Family Fund)
For more information about
the MBF Legal Intern Fellowship Program, please visit www.MassBarFoundation.org.
News from the courts
Additional court locations to adjust public office hours; Probate and Family Court announces changes to Standing Order 2-99
Additional court locations to
adjust public office hours
Starting July 2, 2012, the five permanent clerks' offices that
comprise the Southeast Division of the Housing Court -- Fall River,
New Bedford, Brockton, Plymouth, and Taunton -- will operate under
a staggered schedule that closes each office for two days a week.
Court users may go to any of the five locations to conduct
business. At least two of the five locations will be open for
business on any given day.
Last year, the Housing Court's Southeast Division opened a fifth
session at the new courthouse in Taunton after many years of
holding sessions in four locations to cover Bristol and Plymouth
counties. Staff of the division travel among the locations on a
regular basis and the new schedule will better balance the coverage
throughout the region.
The five Housing Court locations will be open as follows:
- Mondays: Fall River, New Bedford, Brockton,
- Tuesdays: Fall River, Brockton, Taunton
- Wednesdays: Brockton, Taunton
- Thursdays: Fall River, New Bedford,
- Fridays: New Bedford, Plymouth, Taunton
In addition, the Lawrence District
Court will extend its restricted counter and phone coverage from
three days to five days between the hours of 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. The
Newburyport/Ipswich district courts also will expand from three
days to five days its restricted telephone coverage between 1:30
and 3:30 p.m.
The scheduling of court sessions is not affected by the changes in
office hours and access is available for emergency matters. This
reduction in counter and telephone hours provides uninterrupted
time for staff to prepare cases for court sessions and execute
court orders, as well as to complete filing, docketing, scanning
and other case processing.
Probate and Family Court announces
changes to Standing Order 2-99
The Probate and Family Court has annoucned the approval of Amended
Standing Order 2-99, governing the "Procedure for Submission and
Disposition of Certain Post-Hearing Motions." The changes reflect
recommendations made by the Probate and Family Court Bench/Bar
Committee on Rules. Hon. Paula M. Carey, chief justice of the
Probate and Family Court Department and Hon. Robert A. Mulligan,
chief justice for Administration and Management, approved the
changes effective July 2, 2012.
The amended standing order identifies the post-hearing relief
available in the Probate and Family Court and clarifies the
specific Rules of Civil Procedure and Domestic Relations Procedure
that are applicable to motions for post-hearing relief.
Click here to view the amended order.
Featured member benefit: Daily Legal Headlines
Looking for recent legal news?
Each morning, visit www.massbar.org to view the latest news
headlines related to state and federal laws, the legal profession
and the MBA. Updated every day, our headlines section is accessible
on the Homepage and here.
Subscribe to the MBA's Headlines
RSS feed here.
Next week's Health Law Conference to feature keynote by professor Wendy Mariner on Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act decision
Conference to focus on use of social media in health care practice, health care needs of children with autism and more.
The Health Law Annual Conference is scheduled for next Tuesday,
June 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. The
conference features keynote speaker Wendy Mariner, Edward R. Utley
professor of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights at Boston
University School of Public Health and professor of Socio-Medical
Sciences and Community Medicine at Boston University School of
Medicine. Conference topics include:
- 8:15 a.m.: Registration
- 8:45 a.m.: Welcome Remarks
- 9 a.m.: Medical Records in the Cloud -- Use of
Social Media in Health Care Practice
- 10 a.m.: Finch v. Commonwealth Health
Insurance Connector -- The Decision and Its Implications
- 10:50 a.m.: Networking Break
- 11 a.m.: Health Care Needs of Children with
- Noon: Lunch and Keynote -- Wendy Mariner
speaks on the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care
- 1:30 p.m.: I Apologize -- A Transformation of
the Medical System
Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule
Register for Session VI of the Health Law Legal Chat Series, for information on federal and state health care reform.
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 session available for purchase
after live program through MBA On Demand.
Real-time webcast available for purchase
through MBA On Demand.
program: IMLA Land Use Seminar
Thursday, June 21-Friday, June 22
Harbor Events Centerm Portsmouth Garden Hilton, Portsmouth,
Legal Chat Series: Session VI
Friday, June 22, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.
Tuesday, June 26, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
First Year as a Lawyer Revealed
Thursday, July 12, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Avoid Common Mistakes New Lawyers Make
Thursday, July 19, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
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.
Call for Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards nominations
Deadline is Saturday, June 30
To recognize outstanding commitment to
volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged, the
Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal
Services is seeking
nominations for the 2012 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards.
The deadline for nominations is Saturday, June
The awards will be presented in a
ceremony at the John Adams Courthouse on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in
conjunction with the American Bar Association's recognition of
National Pro Bono Week.
Awardees will be selected from those
who have excelled in providing volunteer services in one or more of
the following ways:
Volunteer participation in an
activity or pro bono program which resulted in satisfying
previously unmet needs or in extending services to underserved
segments of the population;
Successfully litigated pro bono cases
that favorably affected the provision of other services to the
Successfully achieved legislation
that contributed substantially to legal services to the poor.
Nominations should be submitted to: Robert C. Sacco, Esq., The
2012 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards, c/o Lyon & Fitzpatrick LLP,
14 Bobala Road, Fourth Floor, Holyoke, MA 01040. Contact Crystal
Barnes at (413) 536-4000, ext. 122 or [e-mail cbarnes] with questions.
submitted in 2011 remain active for consideration in the 2012
awards program provided that the nominating party submits a letter
restating the intent to nominate the candidate and updating the
narrative with any relevant information. Eligibility for the awards
has been expanded this year to include law schools and law