e-Journal

11-15

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CSB awards $2.1 million worth of claims in FY12

The Massachusetts Clients' Security Board -- established nearly 40 years ago to compensate clients for damages resulting from unethical legal practice -- issued its Annual Report last month. A total of $2.1 million was awarded to 86 claimants in fiscal year 2012 (9/1/11-8/31/12). Half of the FY12 awards was issued due to three attorneys, two of whom have been disbarred and one of whom is deceased.

The board has seen for many years a similarly low percentage of lawyers being responsible for all of the awards made. "This reinforces that the majority of lawyers are trying to do the right thing for their clients in a highly ethical manner," said CSB Chair John J. Egan.

Only 43 out of the state's 56,279 attorneys are responsible for the thefts that resulted in the $2.1 million worth of awards. Those practitioners represent .1 percent of all lawyers in the commonwealth. Awards in FY12 ranged in value from $381.92 to $305,056.67 and trust and estate clients received the largest share of the CSB's payouts -- $1 million. In FY11, 63 claimants received awards totaling roughly $60,000 less than the FY12 awards.

The Clients' Security Board was established by the Supreme Judicial Court in 1974 for the purpose of full restitution to clients whose in-state attorneys misappropriated their money or property.

"Public confidence in our profession rests on a stool. The Clients' Security Board represents the third leg of that stool, alongside the Bar Counsel and the Board of Bar Overseers," said former MBA Business Law Chair Francis C. Morrissey, who has served on the CSB since 2010.

The CSB is funded through a portion of Massachusetts attorneys' annual licensing fee. Board members serving five-year terms and those attorneys who represent claimants in front of the board may not be compensated for their counsel, per court rule.

According to Egan, board members realize that they represent the client's first interaction with the bar following a horrible experience with an unethical practitioner. Egan writes in his opening letter in the CSB FY12 Annual Report, "We continue to find, in addition to addressing a client's monetary loss, an expression of apology to the client for his or her experience is very important. We are the first representatives of the organized Bar they encounter. Clients are also very impressed by the fact that any awards come only from funds paid by members of the Bar, and no public funds are involved."

"These points often get lost in the economics, but I find they resonate with the claimants and I hope begin to reinforce to them that they experienced an aberration not reflective of all the decent able members of the bar," said Egan, who is currently fulfilling his last in a five-year appointment on the CSB.

Fellow board members of Egan and Morrissey include Michelle M. Porter (vice chair); Denzil D. McKenzie (treasurer); Edward S. Cheng (secretary); D. Ethan Jeffery; and Joseph H. Baldiga.

Click here to view the report.

MBA members are invited to the 2012 Holiday Party: Casino Royale on Dec. 13

Click here to R.S.V.P.

2012 Holiday party

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MBA hosts Cradles to Crayons "Gear Up For Winter" Collection

This holiday season, the MBA is joining Cradles to Crayons for "Gear Up for Winter" -- a collection for children's coats, warm clothing and boots to help thousands of families. Please join us in recycling children's items your family/friends have outgrown and help make a difference. Click here for donation guidelines. Please be sure the items are new or gently used. Items with tears or stains can not be accepted.

Donations can be made through Wednesday, Dec. 19 at:

  • MBA's Boston office, 20 West St., Boston;
  • MBA's Springfield office, 73 State St., Springfield and 20 West St., Boston;
  • Denise Squillante PC, 190 Rock St., Fall River;
  • Fuller, Rosenberg, Palmer & Beliveau LLP, 339 Main St., Worcester;
  • Marcotte Law Firm, 45 Merrimack St., Lowell;
  • The Law Office of Michael T. Cupoli III, 48 Central St., Manchester-by-the-Sea; and
  • Zizik, Powers, O'Connell, Spaulding & Lamontagne PC, 690 Canton St., Suite 306, Westwood.

The MBA thanks the Young Lawyers Division for its contributions to the "Gear Up for Winter" collection.

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SJC issues standing order in Department of Public Health Drug Lab scandal

Effectively immediately, the Supreme Judicial Court has issued an order to facilitate the handling of matters related to allegations of misconduct at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute.

To further the expeditious handling of such matters, and notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in any rule of court or standing order, it is ORDERED that a chief justice of a trial court department may assign for all purposes, including disposition, any post conviction motion in which a party seeks relief based on alleged misconduct at the Hinton State Laboratory to any judge of that trial court department.

The assigned judge may reassign the motion to the original trial judge where the interests of justice require.

Click here for the MBA's Drug Lab Crisis Resource Center.

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Nominate a colleague for an MBA Access to Justice award

Submission deadline is Monday, Nov. 26

The MBA is accepting nominations for the 2012-2013 Access to Justice Awards.

To nominate and recognize an unsung hero of the legal profession or a law firm that has made a significant difference for low income litigants interfacing with the justice system, submit your nomination by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26 to:

Massachusetts Bar Association
Access to Justice Awards
20 West St., Boston, MA 02110

We encourage nominations from local and affiliated bar associations, government agencies and/or legal services organizations.

Click here for a nomination form.

Join the MBA's Member-Get-A-Member campaign

Refer a colleague and be rewarded.

Member get a member graphicJoin in the Massachusetts Bar Association's Member-Get-a-Member campaign. As a current member, you are the greatest testimony to the value of an MBA membership and we ask for your participation in recruiting at least one new member this association year.     

Take this opportunity to help expand the MBA's network of legal professionals statewide and strengthen our association's preeminent voice in the legal profession. Share your personal and professional MBA experiences and why you belong to the MBA with a colleague and be rewarded. See why others belong.

For every new member you recruit, you will be entered into our raffle for the following prizes:

  • Grand prize: $500 AMEX gift card
  • Second prize: $250 AMEX gift card
  • Third prize: $100 AMEX gift card

To be eligible, you must be identified as the source of the referral on the membership application.

To learn about the program, visit www.massbar.org/membergetmember
for guidelines and rules.

 

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Featured member benefit: MBA Celtics Dinner Packages

If you're looking to impress your clients or friends, purchase a Celtics Dinner Package.

Your group will be treated to a pre-game dinner at a TD Garden restaurant and four great seats to a sold-out game. Plus, you can surprise your guests with a pre-game photo at Center Court.

Click here to see the schedule and pricing for dinner packages.
Packages start at $1,200 (four tickets) and pricing varies based on location and opponent. T
o discuss available packages, contact the Premium Sales Department at 866-4CELTIX or [e-mail premiumsales] .

LPM Tip

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Accessing power off the grid: In the event of a blackout . . .

Nope. I'm not talking about battery backups . . . though, those are fine things, if you've ever thought that your computer has everything it needs except for the generator.

Nope. When I don't have electrical power, I don't feel the urge to get back online . . . and, while refrigeration is a real good thing, there's something to be said for warming a can of beans the old-fashioned way.

Like many others, I was left without electrical power following superstorm Sandy . . . frankly, it was splendid.

Based on my recent experience, here are some useful things you can do to remain productive . . . even without your computer:

  • Create a to-do list. You'll likely be surprised about the projects you leave off . . . not that you should avoid doing the things you can't list without the aid of your task bar; but, this is an interesting exercise to determine which projects are really meaningful to you, based on a determination of how memorable they are.
  • Brainstorm new projects. Our worklives are mostly taken up with multi-tasking, by which we're able to put out the daily flashfires, rather than starting them. Free your mind from that mess, and concentrate more deeply on potential projects, in order to engage really useful endeavors that will actually be memorable . . . for the next time you write out your to-do list during a blackout.
  • Reduce your piles. What better time to wade through your paper files/work/documents (to the extent you have them anymore) than when you have nothing better to do? Because you're not getting to it at any other time . . .
  • Work on your elevator speech(es). You've got a mirror. You've got a candle. You've got quiet. Why not spend some time tweaking your elevator pitches, to potential clients and referral sources? In theory, you won't need to type out the final product, since you'll need to have it down cold for when you deliver it. No keyboard? No problem.
  • Play a board game. If Neil Patrick Harris is into board games, then so am I. Spend some time with your friends and/or family, by organizing an impromptu game night with your household. It'll improve your state of mind, and you'll approach the bulk of your work with a fresher mindset, when it is that you get back to it.

My job often breaks down to telling attorneys how they can best utilize technology to manage their businesses . . . but, it's surprising just how much you can still do, offline.

The epilogue to Ralph Ellison's 'Invisible Man' can be read, in part, as a requiem for the virtues of isolation in modern society. But, I won't ruin it for you . . .

Of course, I have the luxury of creating simple diversions for use during a minor power outage (mine was 24 hours), because Massachusetts was left mostly unaffected by the recent storms.  If you wish to donate to those who are still experiencing, and will continue to experience, serious ramifications from superstorm Sandy, you can give to the Red Cross via this portal.

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

Published November 15, 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 Cynthia E. MacCausland.
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Top: One Tiered Community Mentoring Program Career Day breakout session includes (from left to right seated at table): Rachael Rollins, general counsel, MassDOT; the Hon. Diana Maldonado, first justice, Chelsea District Court and Jerry Slater, assistant dean, Office of Professional and Career Development, Suffolk University Law School.

Bottom: Presenters for this Career Day breakout session include (from left to right seated at table): U.S. Marshal John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal Service; David S. Bell, special agent, FBI Public Corruption / Civil Rights Unit and Joseph Iannaccone, special agent, Department of Homeland Security.

MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program offers a Career Networking and Law Day event

On Thursday, Nov. 8, the MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program offered a Career Networking and Law Day event for all mentors and mentees at New Mission High School in Hyde Park.

This innovative mentoring program, in its fourth year, matches selected students interested in law-related careers with an attorney mentor. Over the course of the year, students from New Mission High School, Roxbury Community College and Suffolk University Law School have had the opportunity to meet accomplished professionals as well as attend court proceedings and bar association events to learn networking skills.

This year's event included 11 representatives in the field of law with various criminal justice and legal backgrounds. The professionals were broken into four separate groups. Every 15 minutes, the attendees were asked to move to a different group of professionals. This gave the mentees and mentors the opportunity to speak with each of the presenters.

The MBA was honored to have so many  professionals attend and present at this program. Presenters included:

  • Roseanne Barrows, lieutenant, Suffolk County Sheriff's Department
  • David S. Bell, special agent, FBI Public Corruption / Civil Rights Unit
  • Jeremiah Benton, detective, Boston Police Department Homicide Unit
  • Milton Britton, Jr., acting chief of probation, Norfolk County Superior Court
  • Eddy Chrispin, academy instructor, Boston Police Department
  • Claudine Demesmin, probation officer, Norfolk County Probate and Family Court
  • John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal, U.S. Marshal Service
  • Joseph Iannaccone, special agent, Department of Homeland Security
  • The Hon. Diana Maldonaldo, first justice, Chelsea District Court
  • Rachael Rollins, general counsel, MassDOT
  • Jerry Slater, assistant dean, Office of Professional and Career Development, Suffolk University Law School

Massachusetts Bar Foundation News

MBF Fellows Fund in action; MBF seeks new Fellows

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MBF Fellows Fund in Action

2012 MBF Legal InternsSummer may feel like a long time ago, but the experiences of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation's 2012 Legal Intern Fellows remain fresh. Julia Hall, Rachel Smit and Kristen Wekony spent their summers interning at legal services organizations, providing direct legal services to vulnerable and indigent clients. The MBF is so grateful for their work and hope you will enjoy reading about their experiences.

The MBF thanks its Fellows, and the Smith Family Fund, whose contributions funded these opportunities.

Click here to read a summary of Hall, Smit and Wekony's internship reports.

Photo (from left to right): Rachel Smit, Kristen Wekony and Julia Hall celebrate the summer's accomplishments at this fall's Boston MBF Grantee Reception.

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MBF seeks new Fellows

MBF BertscheThe MBF believes you will find your foundation involvement as rewarding as the current Fellows do.

"Frankly, for every hour or dollar I've put into the [MBF grant review] process, I've gotten far more back in terms of experience, satisfaction, and an appreciation for the work that needs to be done to fulfill the promise of justice."

-- Robert A. Bertsche of Prince, Lobel & Tye LLP

Click here to join the MBF.

Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for the Nov. 30 "10th Annual In-House Counsel Conference," for remarks from Lauren Stiller Rikleen, an update on the BLS Pilot Project, current cyber-security issues, best practices in insurance planning and more.

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

Juvenile & Child Welfare Legal Chat Series: The New CHINS Statute Live program
Friday, Nov. 16, 1-2 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.


10th Annual In-House Counsel Conference Live program
Friday, Nov. 30, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

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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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Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Join in the Nov. 20 Criminal Justice and General Practice section council meetings. Attend the Nov. 26 Civil Litigation Section Council meeting. Participate in the Nov. 27 Access to Justice and Business Law section council meetings. Judicial Administration and Taxation Law have section council meetings on Nov. 28.

Criminal Justice Section Council meeting

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

The next meeting of the Criminal Justice Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 20 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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General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 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, Nov. 20 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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Civil Litigation Section Council meeting

Monday, Nov. 26, 5-6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Civil Litigation Section Council is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 26 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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

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Access to Justice Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Access to Justice Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 27 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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Business Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Business Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 27 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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Judicial Administration Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 4-5:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Judicial Adminstration Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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

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Taxation Law Section Council meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 5-6:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Taxation Law Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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

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