Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012
From top to bottom:
Probate & Family Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey delivers to the State of the Trial Court address to open the second day of programming at the MBA’s Annual Family Law Conference.
MBA Past President Denise Squillante; Rep. John V. Fernandes (D-Milford); Sen. Gale Candaras (D-Wilbraham); MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr.; Probate & Family Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey and MBA Director of Policy and Operations Lee Ann Constantine.
Family Law Chair and Conference Co-Chair Michael Flores; Conference Co-Chair Marc Fitzgerald; and Family Law Section Vice Chair Jennifer Clapp.
MBA members attend the annual Family Law Conference on Oct. 26-27.
Did you miss the Family or Public Law conferences?
Review conference highlights and purchase MBA On Demand recordings today.
Family practitioners head to the
Berkshires to learn the latest in the law
The Massachusetts Bar Association's sold-out 22nd
Annual Family Law Conference was held at the Cranwell Resort in
Lenox at the end of October. Delivering on its high expectations,
the popular event featured award presentations to state
legislators, Probate & Family Court Chief Justice Paula M.
Carey's State of the Trial Court and panel presentations on the
latest in family law.
The conference's Oct. 26 opening reception featured MBA
President's Award presentations to Sen. Gale D. Candaras
(D-Wilbraham) and Rep. John Fernandes (D-Milford). The legislators
of honor co-chaired the task force pivotal in bringing to fruition
the long-awaited, new alimony laws enacted this past spring.
"The MBA applauds their far-reaching contributions to both the
legal community and the citizens of Massachusetts," said MBA
President Robert L. Holloway Jr., who was joined by MBA Past
President Denise Squillante to present the awards. Squillante
served on the task force led by Candaras and Fernandes.
The second day of conference programming began with Chief Justice
Carey's address. Her remarks touched upon the fiscal challenges
endured by the Massachusetts Trial Court over the last five years
and provided a more optimistic view of the court's current fiscal
health. She also spoke to the high level of collegiality from the
Massachusetts probate and family bar in the face of such fiscal
constraint and its resulting challenges. "That doesn't exist in
other states," she noted.
Among the many Probate and Family court initiatives discussed by
Carey were the recent conciliation programs in all counties; the
interdisciplinary settlement conference piloted in Norfolk and
Plymouth counties; and work being done to develop a screening tool
for domestic violence thanks to a Violence Against Women Act
Carey announced that the Probate and Family Court's strategic
planning process is well underway and that the technical changes to
the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code are now up on the court's
website. "Once the kinks are worked out, I think you'll be pleased
with it," she said.
The remainder of the conference featured panel discussions -"The
New Era of Alimony-One Year After the Alimony Reform Act";
"Demystifying the GAL Process-Explanation and Preparation and
Preparation for your Client"; and "Parenting Plans Focusing on the
Best Interests of the Children."
The conference was planned by Marc E. Fitzgerald and Family
Law Section Chair Michael I. Flores.
If you missed the Family Law
here to view the program via MBA On Demand.
Sixth Annual Public Law Conference
focuses on private lives of public attorneys
The Massachusetts Bar Association's Public Law
Section held its sixth annual conference on Thursday, Nov. 1 at the
MBA, 20 West St., Boston. This year's conference delved deeply into
the issues surrounding the private lives of public employees. A
wide array of speakers examined state law, regulations and employer
policies that impose limitations on what public employees can do,
both "on" and "off" the clock.
Public Law Section Chair Michele Randazzo began the conference by
posing the question, "Where is the line between employee's privacy
interests on the one hand, and on the other, government employer
interests in efficient operations?" This theme resonated throughout
the program with Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha cautioning public
employees and those in supervisory roles that, "anything you do,
say, text, or e-mail could end up on the front page of the paper."
Cunha advised agency leaders that clearly communicating this
concept is key to have public employees better understand the
Other conference panelists discussed the limits a public employer
can place on the use of social media by its employees, both on and
off the job. Robert Fitzgerald from the Lorenzi Group led a very
lively discussion on online monitoring.
The conference concluded with a keynote address from the Hon.
Timothy S. Hillman of the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts. Hillman offered valuable insights on evidentiary
issues related to electronic discovery.
Photo (right): MBA members listen to panelists at the Sixth
Annual Public Law Conference on Nov. 1. Photo by Marc
If you missed the Public Law
here to view the program via MBA On Demand.