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Governor files FY14 budget recommendations

Yesterday, Gov. Deval L. Patrick filed his budget recommendations for fiscal year 2014. Patrick recommends funding the Trial Court at $577 million, which is less that the $589 million maintenance request by the court. The Massachusetts Bar Association will cosponsor a Court Advocacy Day on Thursday, Feb. 14  at 11 a.m. at the Grand Staircase of the State House. To view the budget proposal, click here.

A supplemental budget also filed yesterday by Patrick contains a newly created commission which would study Court Realignment and Judicial Salaries. The commission will be comprised of legislative, bar and court leadership and must report back within six months. The language establishing the commission specifically asks for a recommendation on 15 courts that could close in the next 10 years.

The supplemental budget proposal also included a section establishing a standing commission to study the criminal justice system. To see the supplemental budget, click here.

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation budget recommendation was $15.5 million, a $3.5 million increase over fiscal year 2013 funding. Walk to the Hill for Legal Services will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 11 a.m. in the Great Hall of the State House.

Patrick also recommends funding the Committee for Public Counsel Services at $189 million, $6.1 million below their maintenance request. The governor does not recommend any structural changes.

The House and Senate will take up their own versions of the budget in the spring.

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Images from the 2012 Walk to the Hill. Photos by Jeff Thiebauth.

Join the MBA at next week's 14th Annual Walk to the Hill on Jan. 30

The 14th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 30 beginning at 11 a.m. at the Statehouse's Great Hall.

Join fellow Massachusetts Bar Association members at this annual event and advocate for increased funding for legal services throughout the commonwealth. Following the speaking program, attorneys will visit their legislators and ask them to increase funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation line item (MLAC, 0321-1600) by $3.5 million to $15.5 million in the FY14 budget. MLAC is the largest funder of civil legal aid in Massachusetts.

Increased funding is critical to restore service levels and prevent further cuts to civil legal aid programs, which have been struggling to meet demand due to a 78 percent decrease in revenue since FY08 from the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, the other major funding source for civil legal aid.

The event is sponsored by the Equal Justice Coalition, Massachusetts Bar Association and Boston Bar Association.

The event schedule includes:

  • 11 to 11:30 a.m.: Registration
  • 11:30 a.m. to noon: Speaking program featuring Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court Roderick L. Ireland, Boston Bar Association President James D. Smeallie, MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr. and Daniele Bien-Aime of Brockton, a former client, South Coastal Counties Legal Services
  • Noon to 1 p.m.: Legislative visits and lunch

For more information, visit www.equaljusticecoalition.org.

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Join your section on My Bar Access

Connect, share and collaborate with fellow MBA members.

The Massachusetts Bar Association has launched My Bar Access, which replaces the section/division portion of the MBA website. Visit http://access.massbar.org/ today to join the conversation.

Check out posts on:

  • Great speakers and turnout at Part 1 of the Lifecycle of a Business Series; and
  • Everything online is forever: LoC to archive all tweets ever.

Participate in ongoing member group discussions on:

  • A Young Lawyers Division post about the upcoming Jan. 31 Legal Lunch Series: Part 1;
  • An invitiation from the Taxation Law Section to MBA members to attend its upcoming section council meeting;
  • A Health Law overview of the final regulations DHHS released modifying HIPAA/HIT; and a
  • A Property Law request about Secure Settlements Inc.

The following simple steps can instantly connect you with fellow members:

  1. Login and agree to terms: Sign in using your MBA user name and password and sign the Code of Conduct.
  2. Create your profile and settings: Include your bio and photo and customize the frequency and format of your notifications (your profile info from LinkedIn may be pulled over).
  3. Start connecting: Post blogs, discussions (listservs) or upload a resource library entry for your section(s).

Resource materials -- including "Getting Started on My Bar Access" and "How to Use My Bar Access" -- posted in various areas throughout the site, can help users with questions. Following a review of those resources, members who need further help should contact the My Bar Access Help Desk at [e-mail mybaraccess].

Click here to login now.

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Photograph by Marc A. D'Antonio, Esq.
"How to Start and Run A Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice" faculty included (from left to right): B.J. Krintzman, Esq., Law Office of B.J. Krintzman, Waban; Denise I. Murphy, Esq., Rubin & Rudman LLP, Boston; David W. White Jr., Esq., program co-chair, Breakstone, White & Gluck PC, Boston; Shelley M. Richmond Joseph, Esq., Joseph & Joseph, Newton; Gabriel Cheong, Esq., Infinity Law Group LLC, Quincy.

"How to Start and Run" Conference provides tips and tactics for starting a firm

Miss the program? Purchase the MBA On Demand recording today.

In collaboration with the Law Practice Management and The Sole Practioner and Small Firm Section sections, Marc Breakstone and David W. White Jr. of Breakstone, White & Gluck PC, hosted the annual Massachusetts Bar Association's "How to Start and Run a Successful Solo or Small Firm Practice Conference" on Jan. 17 at Lombardo's in Randolph.

Breakstone opened the day with an impassioned presentation on what to consider before going out on your own. A full slate of programming followed with fellow panelists sharing success stories throughout the day and offering substantive tips and tactics on setting up and running a firm. The day ended with all of the panelists coming together to share marketing secrets -- the cornerstone in any successful business endeavor.

"The program got my wheels turning. Meeting others trying to start their own firm was inspiring. It gave me the push I needed to get started," said first-time attendee Tiffany Shapiro.

"I was considering starting my own practice and attended to learn about the traps for the unwary," said attendee Scott Peterson. "I learned much more, including the gold standards for office technology, billing, marketing and social media. Before you take the leap, attend this seminar."


If you were unable to attend this year's program, it is available through MBA On Demand. Click here for more information.

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Tell us why you belong to the MBA

MBA Executive Management Board member Christopher A. Kenney has relied on the MBA for education, business development and social networking. Share your story.

Engaging conferences. Inspiring pro bono work. Welcoming networking events. You belong here, at the Massachusetts Bar Association.

Tell us why YOU belong. The MBA offers the legal community a wide array of professional development and volunteer opportunities.See why others belong.

iBelong Kenney

NOTE: All testimonials shared by e-mail, mail and phone may be published in various MBA publications, posted on the MBA web site and its social media platforms, printed on marketing materials and used in advertising or for other related endeavors.

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latest iBelong news and offers:

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Labor & Employment Section Council hosts open meeting with NLRB Regional 1 Director Kreisberg


On Wednesday, Jan. 23, the Massachusetts Bar Association's Labor & Employment Law Section hosted an open meeting featuring National Labor Relations Board Regional Director Jonathan B. Kreisberg.

Kreisberg, the head of the recently enlarged NLRB's Region 1, works with approximately 60 employees and oversees more than 1,300 cases. Focused on consolidating the Hartford and Boston offices into "one agency," Kreisberg's goals include agency efficiency in electronic filing/document submission and continued agency outreach via newsletters highlighting significant local and national cases.

Attendees also participated in a lively question and answer session, which included discussion on confidentiality concerns of employees, declines in union membership, Senate recess appointments by President Barack Obama and more.



Outlook E-mail: Tips and tricks

Are you using Outlook for your e-mail? Outlook is not only an e-mail client, but also serves as a calendaring system and task manager. The Outlook system can help attorneys boost their productivity in practice. But, alas, the benefit is only realized when the user understands and can maximize Outlook's functionality. Below are some tips and tricks that will help you to realize the full potential of Outlook in your practice  Please note that instructions may vary slightly depending upon your version of Outlook. These tips were created using Outlook 2010.

1) Using Outlook Mail Folders. Using Outlook's folder system can help you keep your practice well organized. Without the use of Outlook's folders, all your e-mail resides in your Inbox and the only way to find an e-mail is by utilizing Outlook's search function. Rather than lump all your e-mails together in your Inbox, try sorting your e-mails by folders. Folders provide easy and intuitive access to past e-mails. You might set up folders, for example, for each client/matter, contact, bar association, committee and event. 

How to set up folders:

  • Place your cursor over the Inbox folder
  • Right click and select "New Folder"
  • Label that folder and select "OK"

Once you have set up your folders, you can either manually add e-mails or set up rules to sort e-mails automatically. 

How to add e-mails to folders:

  • Manually: You can either copy an e-mail from your Inbox to a folder, or you can move the e-mail from the Inbox to a folder. (NOTE: Copying an e-mail creates another e-mail and thus will take up more space.) To copy an e-mail, you can a) right click on the e-mail you wish to move and select "Move" and then "Copy to Folder;" or b) hold the Ctrl key and drag and drop your e-mail into a folder. To move an e-mail, you can a) right click on the e-mail you wish to move, select "Move," and then select the folder you wish to move it to or select "Other Folder" and create a new folder; or b) drag and drop your e-mail into an existing folder.
  • Setting up a rule: Rather than manually moving and copying e-mails to folders, Outlook can do this automatically for you by using rules. A rule defines the actions that Outlook will take upon receiving or sending an e-mail. You can set up rules by clicking on the "File" tab and then "Manage Rules & Alerts." You can also create rules from specific e-mails by right clicking on an e-mail and selecting "Rules" and "Create a Rule." Say you would like all your e-mails from the Massachusetts Bar Association to skip the Inbox and go directly to your Massachusetts Bar Association folder. Within the "Create a Rule" dialog box, you would select those conditions that include all e-mails sent from the Massachusetts Bar Association to be moved to your Massachusetts Bar Association folder. If you click "Advanced Options" within that "Create a Rule" dialog box, there are a number of additional conditions that you can select. For example, you could also create a rule to mark every LOMAP e-mail that arrives as important.

Bonus Tip (courtesy of Reba J. Nance, Colorado Bar Association):
Outlook sorts folders in alphabetical order without providing an easy solution for custom reorganization. However, there is an easy override. Let's say you want your Massachusetts Bar Association folder to appear at the top of your folder list. All you need to do is re-label that folder "A. Massachusetts Bar Association." Now that folder will appear at the top of your folder list. Then, of course, you'll want your LOMAP folder to appear second in your folder list. Label that folder "B. LOMAP," and so on for other folders you would like to prioritize. Your remaining folders will be sorted alphabetically.

2) Scheduling E-mails. Rather than setting a reminder to send an e-mail you have drafted, Outlook allows you to schedule e-mails to be delivered at a certain time. How to schedule emails:

  • Compose a new message
  • Select the "Options" tab
  • Select "More Options"
  • Under "Delivery options", check the box "Do not deliver before:" and select the delivery date and time
  • Hit "Close"
  • When you click "Send", your e-mail will not be sent until the delivery date and time

3) Keyboard Shortcuts. As with every software program, keyboard shortcuts can boost your efficiency by cutting down the amount of time it takes to execute a certain computer task. Here are some helpful Outlook keyboard shortcuts:

  • Ctrl-Enter: Send current message
  • Ctrl-R: Reply to a message
  • Ctrl-Shift-R: Reply All to a message
  • Ctrl-Shift-A: Create a new appointment
  • Ctrl-Shift-M: Create a new message
  • Ctrl-1: Switch to Mail
  • Ctrl-2: Switch to Calendar
  • Ctrl-3: Switch to Contacts
  • Ctrl-4: Switch to Tasks

For more Outlook tips and tricks, take a look at this LOMAP blog post and Outlook's own support page.

Tip courtesy of Heidi Alexander, Law Office Management Assistance Program.

Published January 24, 2013


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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News from the courts

Extended hours pilot at the Brooke Courthouse

The Massachusetts Trial Court has announced the commencement of a pilot program extending the hours in three court departments operating sessions at the Brooke Courthouse in Boston.

This program is designed to assess, over a period of time, the usefulness of extended court hours as a convenience for certain segments of the public. Effective Feb. 26, the Boston Municipal Court, Housing Court and Probate and Family Court departments will begin conducting certain limited court sessions on two Tuesdays each month until 7 p.m. The dates for the first several months are as follows: Tuesday, Feb. 26; Tuesday, March 12; Tuesday, March 26; Tuesday, April 9 and Tuesday, April 23.

The purpose of this pilot is to make the court available to members of the public during late afternoon and early evening hours. The sessions will be limited to specifically-designated case types. All matters will be pre-scheduled and/or by agreement of the parties.  

The Clerks' Offices and Registry of Probate will not be open to the public during the extended hours. Those offices will staff the sessions, as needed. Emergency matters occurring weekday evenings from 4:30 p.m. to the opening of court at 8:30 a.m., or on weekends or holidays will continue to be processed through the Judicial Response System as accessed through the local police departments.  

Information regarding the types of matters that will be available for this pilot, their scheduling and courtroom locations will be posted to www.Mass.Gov/Courts by court department, or the courts can be reached as follows:

  • Boston Municipal Court: (617) 788-8600
  • Boston Housing Court: (617) 788-8485
  • Suffolk Probate and Family Court: (617) 788-8300



Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Join experienced mediators at the Jan. 30 "Mediating Probate Litigation Cases," for information on using mediation to resolve will and trust disputes.

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.


Lifecycle of a Business Part II: Land Use/Permitting, Insurance Considerations & Business Financing Live program
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 5-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Mediating Probate Litigation Cases Live program
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

11th Annual Western Massachusetts Bankruptcy Conference
Monday, Feb. 4, 4-7 p.m.
Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield

Divorce Basics: A View from the Bench and Bar
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 4-7 p.m.
Plymouth Probate & Family Court, 52 Obery St., Plymouth

Considering, Preparing and Conducting Mediation and Arbitration Hearings
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 4-7 p.m.
Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield

Law Firm Business Plan Workshop Live program
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2-5 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Juvenile & Child Welfare Legal Chat Series Live program
Friday, Feb. 15, 1-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Lifecycle of a Business Part III: Employment & Business Litigation Matters Live program
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 5-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

MBA co-sponsors program: Uniform Commercial Code Conference
Thursday, Feb. 21, noon-6:30 p.m.
New England Law | Boston (Cherry Room), 154 Stuart St., Boston


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 Jan. 31 Civil Litigation Section's Legal Lunch Series featuring Hon. Stephen E. Neel (ret.). Mark your calendars: Juvenile & Child Welfare open meeting featuring Reece Erlichman and Immigration Law Section Social featuring Kate Auspitz, issues director for Congressman Michael E. Capuano on Feb. 13.

Civil Litigation Section open meeting

Feed Your Mind: A Legal Lunch Series featuring Hon. Stephen E. Neel (ret.)
Thursday, Jan. 31, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

All Massachusetts Bar Association members and their colleagues are encouraged to attend the first session of the MBA's new monthly "Legal Lunch Series." These events are geared toward civil litigators of all experience levels and provide an opportunity to participate in a discussion of selected areas of law or practice, in a collegial setting, where you can meet and exchange ideas with other members of the profession.

The "Legal Lunch Series" is delighted to announce its first featured guest: The Hon. Stephen E. Neel (ret.). Neel had a distinguished career as a trial judge of the Massachusetts Superior Court, where he handled a broad variety of civil matters (including serving as a rotating judge in the Business Litigation Session) before joining JAMS as a mediator and arbitrator. Neel will discuss his experiences as both a trial judge and a mediator and offer his perspectives on the different challenges presented to practitioners in these forums.

The lunch series, coordinated by the Civil Litigation Section and Young Lawyers Division, will be moderated by Courtney Shea, Esq. of Looney & Grossman, LLP and Craig Levey, Esq. of Bennett & Belfort PC.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch.

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


SAVE THE DATE: Juvenile & Child Welfare open meeting

Featuring Reece Erlichman, director of the Bureau of Special Education Appeals
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

You are invited to attend the Juvenile & Child Welfare Section open meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.

The guest speaker for this open meeting will be Reece Erlichman, director of the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA), an independent subdivision of the Division of Administrative law Appeals.

To R.S.V.P., click here. Space is limited.


SAVE THE DATE: Immigration Law Section Social

Featuring Kate Auspitz, issues director for Congressman Michael E. Capuano
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 5:15-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The Immigration Law Section Council invites you to attend the Immigration Law Section Social on Feb. 13 from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. The  guest speaker at this event will be Kate Auspitz, issues director for Congressman Michael E. Capuano, representative, 7th Congressional District of Massachusetts.  

As many practitioners are aware, Auspitz is one of the most helpful congressional aides when a congressional assist is needed. Many are unaware Auspitz is a political historian, Fulbright fellow and Harvard Ph.D. She was an associate professor in Social Studies at Harvard College and taught in the Political Science Department at Wellesley College before leaving academia for practical politics. She now works on foreign policy, immigration and refugee issues.

Auspitz will discuss what a congressional inquiry can accomplish, how to request assistance and, as importantly, what cannot be reasonably expected from an inquiry. In addition, she will bring the latest news as to what is happening on the hill regarding comprehensive immigration reform issues.

Join Immigration Law section members at this special networking reception, where you will have the opportunity to meet fellow practitioners, expand your practice network and connect with colleagues in your practice area.

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

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