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Volunteer to offer legal assistance to Boston Marathon bombing victims

The Massachusetts Bar Association is offering legal assistance to victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Visit www.massbar.org/BostonStrong to learn more about the MBA's efforts and how you can help. In addition to offering victims legal representation when needed, the MBA will also run two Dial-A-Lawyer sessions specifically for bombing victims on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 30.

The MBA is seeking attorneys who are available to volunteer to take one case, if called upon, and/or help answer the phones on one of the MBA's Dial-A-Lawyer days in May. The MBA anticipates that there will likely be a need for legal help in the areas of housing, disability claims, workers' compensation, employment and insurance.

If you, or any of your colleagues, are able to help please contact the MBA at (617) 338-0695 or [e-mail communityservices] and specify your area of expertise.

All volunteers must commit to take no legal fee for this representation.


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Next week's 2013 MBA Annual Dinner is SOLD OUT

The May 9 dinner will feature a keynote by Gov. Deval L. Patrick, the presentation of the Legislator of the Year Award to State Rep. Brian S. Dempsey and the annual Access to Justice Awards

The Massachusetts Bar Association will hold its SOLD OUT 2013 Annual Dinner next Thursday, May 9 at the Westin Boston Waterfront, 425 Summer St., Boston.

The premier event of the association's year, the 2013 Annual Dinner will feature a keynote address by Gov. Deval L. Patrick, the presentation of  the Legislator of the Year Award to State Rep. Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill), house chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means and the annual MBA Access to Justice Awards.

The MBA thanks its 2013 Annual Dinner sponsors.
Click here to view a current list of sponsors.

Look for event converage in the May 16 e-Journal and in the June Lawyers Journal.

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Commissioner of Probation for Massachusetts Edward J. Dolan

Trial Court leaders name Dolan to head probation

Chief Justice of the Trial Court Robert A. Mulligan and Court Administrator Harry Spence today announced they have selected Edward J. Dolan to serve as the next commissioner of probation for Massachusetts. Dolan currently serves as the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services where he has held roles of increasing responsibility since 1997. He previously served four years as the executive director of the state Parole Board. He will begin a five-year term of office on June 10, 2013.

"The MBA applauds the court's selection of Dolan to lead the probation department," MBA Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Counsel Martin W. Healy said. "Recent court reform legislation -- creating the position of professionally-trained Court Administrator Harry Spence -- has demonstrated true vision and leadership in moving the court forward on integral court functions like probation, which affects the lives of the commonwealth's citizens."

The probation commissioner heads the Massachusetts Probation Service and the Office of Community Corrections, which have 1,800 staff in more than 100 locations across the state. In conjunction with local, state and federal law enforcement and human services agencies, probation helps to keep communities safe through monitoring, rehabilitative services and the supervision of offenders and litigants. The search was conducted by the nationally-recognized firm of Isaacson Miller in concert with a committee of Massachusetts criminal justice and court leaders.

Dolan joined the DYS as the director of classification in 1997 and was named deputy commissioner in 1998. Previously, he had worked for Massachusetts Half Way Houses Inc., as chief operating officer and at the Mass. Department of Mental Health as a forensic manager. He joined the Massachusetts Parole Board in 1985 as the director of Research, Planning and Systems Development and in 1990 was appointed executive director, a position he held until 1994. In 1979, he joined the staff of Trial Court Chief Administrative Judge Arthur Mason as a court planner and served in that capacity until he began his work at the Parole Board.

Dolan has a master's degree in public administration from Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree in government from UMass Amherst. He is a certified trainer in the area of risk/need assessment and has provided consulting services in areas including organizational and program development, parole decision making and information systems. A resident of Peabody, he regularly speaks at national conferences on criminal justice issues.

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Top (from left to right): MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr., Norfolk Probate and Family Court First Justice Angela M. Ordoñez, Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety Andrea Cabral and MBA Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Counsel Martin W. Healy.
Second from top: MBA Tiered Community Mentoring Program participants attend the April 25 wrap-up event.
Third from top: Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety Andrea Cabral was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Tiered Community Mentoring Program wrap-up event.
Bottom: Norfolk Probate and Family Court First Justice Angela M. Ordoñez speaks to Tiered Community Mentoring Program attendees.

Photos by Jennifer Rosinski.

MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program celebrates fourth year

Wrap-up event featured Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety Andrea Cabral and Norfolk Probate and Family Court First Justice Angela M. Ordoñez

Look for people who are in the career you aspire to and approach anyone you admire, in either their personal or professional lives. That was the message Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety Andrea Cabral had for participants in the Massachusetts Bar Association Tiered Community Mentoring Program.

"Nobody makes it on their own. Everybody needs a mentor," said Cabral, a keynote speaker at the program's wrap-up event on April 25. "Look for people who seem to have the qualities you admire."

In its fourth year, the program matches 10 practicing lawyers with more than two dozen students from high school, college and law school. The goal of the program is to provide information, guidance and real life experiences to participants so they can make informed decisions regarding their future and career.

Cabral called the MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program amazing and urged participants to continue adding mentors throughout their lives. She suggested that mentorship is a unique form of learning.

"People can mentor you in the moment," said Cabral, who learned she had the capacity to become a lawyer after taking an aptitude test in the fifth grade. "Take away something from every interaction."

MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr. said mentoring can lead you to open doors that might otherwise have remained closed. "It's not that what you know is not important . . . but whom you know is also important," he said.

The MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program was the idea of Norfolk Probate and Family Court First Justice Angela M. Ordoñez. The program was honored with the 2011 ABA Partnership Award from the American Bar Association because of its commitment to diversity.

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Have you taken advantage of FREE classifieds?

Post an MBA classifieds ad today

MBA Classifieds provide MBA members and non-members the opportunity to post and search for career opportunities, office share/rental options, lawyer-to-lawyer services, real estate listings and more.

Classified postings are FREE to members and are available to non-members for $25.

Post an ad today and take advantage of this opportunity to reach members of the commonwealth's legal community, through its largest bar association.

Click here to post an MBA classified ad.



New online tool simplifies creation of forms

Technology has been a great equalizer for small law firms and other professional services businesses. There are an ever-increasing array of tools to help you with your practice management, marketing and casework. In fact, figuring out how to incorporate technology effectively into your practice is really an imperative in 2013. The American Bar Association is even adopting new model rules that are "coming soon to a state near you."

Integrating new technology into your practice needs to be balanced against the need to do client work and marketing.  With technology, it is easy to go overboard reinventing yourself. So I always appreciate it when I get a good technology recommendation from someone I trust. Rather than trying everything out and getting nothing else done, I rely on my network to point me in the right direction when it comes to technology.

One of my latest additions to my technology bag of tricks is called Formstack. Formstack is a very inexpensive web-based service that enables you to create an endless variety of form documents. These are forms you can use to collect data from your clients, your employees, or just about anyone on just about any topic. You can use it as a client intake tool. Using Formstack, you can create a client satisfaction survey. You can set up a form to screen potential cases.

Formstack is simple to use, easy to learn and very flexible. It also integrates well with Constant Contact, PayPal and a number of other online tools which you may already be using.

I recently used Formstack to create a marketing audit that I use to do an initial marketing assessment. I also used Formstack to create a sign-up form for an interdisciplinary group coaching program.

One of the nice things about Formstack is that you can create the form and then "embed" the page on your website, so that it has the same look and feel of your website and it uses your website's domain name.

There are many marketing applications for Formstack. With little effort, you can create your own audit tool to get your foot in the door and begin a conversation with a prospective client.

Of course like any technology, there will be a learning curve. Do not expect to be able to use the tool without investing some time and effort. But Formstack is one of the easier tools to learn and a tool that I hope to use for at least six months or until the next great form creation tool is invented (whichever comes first).

Tip courtesy of Stephen Seckler, president, Seckler Legal Consulting and Coaching.

Published May 2, 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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Questions about a new rule? Need a referral? Looking for a sample motion?

Login to My Bar Access today and connect, share and collaborate with fellow section members.

My Bar Access discussions (formerly known as listservs) are PRIVATE and can only be viewed by MBA members who login to the MBA's online community.

My Bar Access discussions allow you to enjoy the benefits of a traditional listserv, without clogging your inbox. YOU choose how often you wish to receive My Bar Access notifications and connect with colleagues. By default, MBA members receive ONLY ONE discussion group e-mail per day. Users can update their subscription settings to change notification frequency.

  • Questions about a new rule?
    Post in one of the MBA's 18 practice-specific member group discussions and receive feedback from fellow practitioners. For example, if you have a questions about Alimony Reform Laws, start a discussion in the Family Law member group.
  • Need a referral?
    Connect with MBA members with specific practice expertise.
  • Looking for a sample motion?
    Ask for advice and search My Bar Access for document examples added to resource libraries by your colleagues. For example, are you drafting a motion in limine for an upcoming trial? Check with a fellow Civil Litigation practitioner.
  • Curious who's attending an upcoming CLE?
    Learn about upcoming MBA seminars and conferences directly from program faculty and enrich your program experience.
  • Interested in learning more about your fellow members?
    Put a face to a name and strengthen your membership connections. Each discussion post includes basic profile information on the poster.

Get started today and post a discussion on http://access.massbar.org.
Questions? [e-mail mybaraccess].


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

Refer a colleague and be rewarded.

Join 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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News from the courts

Land Court Recorder's Office public hours change

Starting Wednesday, May 1, the Recorder's Office of Land Court Department of the Trial Court has resumed full office hours and will be open to the public, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Learn how judges are handling Alimony Reform Act issues, the arguments attorneys are making and what specific issues need to be addressed on appeal at the May 13 "Appellate Issues Under the Alimony Reform Act" seminar.

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.


Family Law in Essex County: What YOU Need to Know NOW
Wednesday, May 8, 4-7 p.m.
Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal St., Andover

Use of Social Media in Healthcare Live program
Wednesday, May 8, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Health Law Legal Chat: The Impact of the New Medical Malpractice Laws Live program
Friday, May 10, noon-1 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Appellate Issues Under the Alimony Reform Act
Live program
Monday, May 13, 4-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Accelerate Your Marketing: Supermarketing Conference III
Live program
Thursday, May 16, 8:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.
Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston

Juvenile & Child Welfare Legal Chat Series Live program
Friday, May 17, 1-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

A View from the Bench Seminar and Reception Live program
Wednesday, May 29, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Save the dates

34th Annual Labor and Employment Law Spring Conference
Wednesday, June 5, 1-5:30 p.m.
Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston

Health Law Conference Live program
Tuesday, June 25
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


MBA On Demand

Were you unable to attend April seminars? Practitioners who were not able to attend MBA CLE programs in April can now view select programs on MBA On Demand. MBA On Demand is an innovative MBA member benefit that offers you the opportunity to watch an MBA program from the comfort of your home or office, at a time that suits your schedule.

In addition, watching an MBA seminar or conference just got easier. All previously recorded MBA On Demand programs are now available anytime, anywhere on your mobile device.  

April CLE programming now available:

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 May 7 Labor & Employment "brown bag lunch" open meeting. Individual Rights & Responsibilities, Immigration Law and Juvenile & Child Law section councils meet on May 8.

Labor & Employment "brown bag lunch" open meeting

Tuesday, May 7, 12:30-2 p.m.
MBA's Western Mass. Office, 73 State St., Springfield

The next meeting of the Labor & Employment section is a "brown bag" open meeting at the MBA's Western Mass. Office on Tuesday, May 7 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Topics for discussion include updates from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Fair Labor Division, including implementation of Temporary Workers Right to Know Bill, in addition to Department of Labor regulation updates. All section members are invited to attend and bring their own lunch.

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


Individual Rights & Responsibilities
Section Council meeting

Wednesday, May 8, 4-5:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Immigration Law Section Council meeting

Wednesday, May 8, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Immigration Law Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Juvenile & Child Law Section Council meeting

Wednesday, May 8, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Juvenile & Child Law Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8 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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