Senate debates budget
The Senate is continuing to debate its FY14 budget this
afternoon. Yesterday, May 22, the Senate adopted an amendment
granting an additional $1 million for the Massachusetts Legal
Assistance Corporation bringing its FY14 funding to $13 million, a
$1 million increase from FY13 funding. The House similarly approved
$13 million for MLAC -- making it likely that this line item will
not surface when a conference committee convenes to iron out the
differences in respective budgets. Therefore, the legal community
will advocate that Gov. Deval L. Patrick sign the $13 million
increase when it arrives on his desk.
Still pending is an amendment that would give a compensation
increase to the commonwealth's judges. The Senate budget amendment
proposes trial court justices to $144, 694 effective July 1, 2014;
$154,694 effective January 1, 2015; and $159,964 effective July 1,
The Senate is expected to wrap up its debate on the FY14 budget
On May 3, MBA Secretary Martha Rush O’Mara was joined by Joshua Dohan, director of the Youth Advocacy Division at CPCS, to testify in favor of House Bill 1432.
House enacts "raise the age" bill
On Wednesday, May 22 the House of Representatives enacted
Massachusetts Bar Association-supported legislation to raise the
age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 to 18. House Bill No.
1432 now awaits action by the Senate.
"We commend the House for raising the age of juvenile offenders
to 18," Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Counsel Martin W.
Healy said. "The rehabilitative nature of Juvenile Court is better
suited, with specific resources and trained professionals to get
delinquent juveniles -- whose adolescent brain development is still
ongoing -- back on track to be productive successful citizens."
Currently, 17-year-olds who are accused of a crime are held in
jail with adults and tried in adult court. The commonwealth, in
virtually every other area of law, sets 18 as the age of adulthood.
There is no parental notification requirement regardless of the
severity of the crime. If signed into law, Massachusetts will join
38 other states, the District of Columbia and the federal
government in recognizing age 18 as the age of majority.
To see the bill, click here.
Featured member benefit: Red Sox Ticket Lottery
Enter to purchase tickets to see the Boston Red Sox play the Colorado Rockies on June 25
The MBA is currently offering tickets to see the Boston Red Sox
play the Colorado Rockies at Fenway Park on Tuesday, June 25 at
7:10 p.m. Tickets are $52 each. Due to high demand, the MBA will
use a lottery method to distribute tickets to members.
To enter the lottery, please [e-mail MBATickets] by Thursday, May 30 at 5 p.m.
- Your name;
- Phone number; and
- Number of tickets you are requesting.
There is a four ticket limit per person and each member is
allowed only one lottery entry. After Thursday, May 30, the MBA
will no longer accept entries and will conduct the lottery
All winners will be contacted directly by MBA Member Services via
e-mail by Monday, June 3 for payment.
Due to the large number of entries anticipated, only members
whose names are drawn will be contacted.
Volunteer lawyers participate in the semi-annual Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer Program on Tuesday, May 21. Photos by Liz Kennedy.
Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer helps 328 people get answers to their legal questions
On Tuesday, May 21, the Massachusetts Bar Association gathered
lawyers at Western New England School of Law to field calls from
residents across the region. Attorney members from the Hampden
Country and Hampshire County Bars were among the 31 attorneys
As soon as the phones went "live," calls began pouring in on a
wide range of topics, from neighborhood disputes to probate issues,
divorce to bankruptcy questions. One topic that came up frequently
dealt with the inability to discharge student loan debt in
bankruptcy. Attorney Stephen Phillips of Dunn & Phillips
in Springfield said he fielded several calls on this topic from
recent college graduates. Elizabeth Katz, president of the
Hampshire County Bar Association and an attorney at Ostrander Law
Office in Northampton, talked to people on a broad range of legal
issues, including wills, elder law, divorce, child support and
Over the course of the four-hour Dial-A-Lawyer Program,
approximately 328 people were able to speak with attorneys.
"Given the number of calls, it's apparent that there is an unmet
need for free legal advice. Our Dial-A-Lawyer Program is an
excellent opportunity for legal professionals to give back to the
communities in which they live and work," said Elizabeth O'Neil,
MBA director of community and public services.
The MBA's Dial-A-Lawyer Program hosts monthly call-in programs
in the Boston area, biannual call-in programs in Western
Massachusetts and ad hoc programs when the need arises.
The next Dial-A-Lawyer Program is scheduled for May 30 and is
specially designed to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
To participate in an upcoming Dial-A-Lawyer event, or to learn
more, [e-mail communityservices].
The MBA thanks the following attorneys who participated in the
May 21 Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer Program:
- Jeffrey M. Burstein, Burstein Law Offices, Springfield
- Corey M. Carvalho, UMASS Legal Services, Amherst
- Kevin Christanthopoulos, Robinson & Donovan PC,
- Mark David Cress, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP,
- Leslie A. Curley, Berkshire Mediation Group, Pittsfield
- Hyman G. Darling, Bacon Wilson PC, Springfield
- Mary K. Eaton, Eaton & Rescia LLP, East Longmeadow
- Michele Feinstein, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin PC,
- Theresa S. Finnegan, Hampden County Sheriff's Department,
- Stephanie Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Attorneys at Law PC, East
- Elizabeth D. Katz, Ostrander Law Office, Northampton
- Kelly A. Koch, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP,
- Stephen R. Manning, Stephen R. Manning, PC, East
- Carolyn L. McCaffrey, McCaffrey Law Firm PC, Enfield, CT
- Amy J. Megliola, Siddall & Siddall PC, Springfield
- Susan A. Mielnikowski, Cooley Shrair PC, Springfield
- Francis K. Morris, Law Office of Francis K. Morris,
- Timothy F. Murphy, Skoler Abbott & Presser PC,
- Stephen J. Phillips, Dunn & Phillips PC, Springfield
- Christine M. Pikula, Edward M. Pikula-Attorney at Law,
- Edward M. Pikula, Edward M. Pikula-Attorney at Law,
- Andrea R. Reid, Reid & Gaudet Law Group LLP,
- Timothy A. Reilly, Law Office of Timothy A. Reilly,
- Daniel Mark Rothschild, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP,
- Denise M. Shear, Ostrander Law Office, Northampton
- Michael Siddall, Siddall & Siddall PC, Springfield
- Gillian Szlachetka Dubay, Szlachetka Dubay PC, Chicopee
- Peggy A. Torello, Peggy A. Torello, Attorney at Law,
- Dennis E. Tully, Attorney at Law, East Longmeadow
- Diana S. Velez Harris, Marien & Hodge, Springfield
- Gregory A. Wolf, Law Office of Gregory A. Wolf Esq.,
Accelerate your marketing: top sound bites from the MBA’s Annual Marketing Conference
There was much wit and wisdom being passed around during last
Annual Super Marketing Conference, presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association, in
partnership with the Massachusetts Law Office Management
Assistance Program, Suffolk University Law
School's Advanced Legal
Studies department and Avvo.
This year's conference, tagged 'Accelerate Your Marketing' focused
on web marketing.
Below are some of the top quotes from the show,
--"Don't hide your fees; instead, be transparent, and
demonstrate your value to clients."
Founder and CEO, Avvo
Ten Opportunities Lawyers Miss in Online
It is still the rare law firm website that features a pricing
chart. While pricing legal services is not the same as attaching
value to a
1999 Honda Civic, price transparency and price certainty are
important things to modern consumers, including consumers of legal
services. Attorneys should conceive of their pricing matrix as part
of their sales pitch.
--"Repurpose your content. Each piece of content can, and
should, be used multiple times."
Law Offices of Cynthia E. MacCausland
Content Is Still King: Marketing by Publication
With the proliferation of free publication tools (blogs,
LinkedIn, Google+ etc.),
there are no shortage of places to publish your content. And, you
should probably publish your content more than one time, depending
on the medium, since information streams are so heavily populated
these days. You should also consider repurposing your content: an
article can become a blog post, you can create an infographic and/or make a
--"Plan to reevaluate your social media presence. The technology
changes so quickly."
Digital and social media strategist
The Social Web: New Media Marketing for Lawyers
So true; and, I had this same thought as I was constantly
my Twitter book, due to Twitter's impressive ability to
consistently make major changes to its platform, just when I had a
publication deadline. The pace of technology in 2013 is staggering;
and, it's easy to get overwhelmed. But, you do have to harness each
of the social media tools you're going to use. You should review
your settings every now and then, to make sure you're getting the
most out of your profiles; and, if you follow the right blogs, you
should be able to get updates on a regular basis respecting
important features upgrades.
-- "Online readers don't like to read the way lawyers write. Use
short text, bullet points and bold headers, as opposed to prose."
Senior business development consultant, FindLaw
More and Better Clients: Five Ways to Make Internet Marketing
--"YouTube provides HD
distribution for free on the world's largest search engine."
CEO, Real Cool
Using Video to Market Professional Services
The vast majority of law firms have not yet caught the video
bug; but, it's becoming a more important part of online marketing
every day. Professional video production services may not
cost as much as you think they do; but, even if you do it yourself,
if you invest in the right equipment, and
get a YouTube channel set up, you can do quite well in video
marketing. The integration of Google services, and
the rise of Google + means that social, including YouTube videos,
is intertwined with search like never before. If you want
to take a look at a method for integrating video, check out what
fellow LPM Tip contributor Stephen Seckler has done
at his website.
--"Websites are about products, and are static. Blogs are
about people, and are dynamic."
Inbound marketing consultant, HubSpot
SEO Tactics for Getting Local Buzz
. . . which is why many attorneys situate their blogs at the
main page of their websites: to get consistent content
turnover. However, the point is, nevertheless, well-made:
websites represent what you offer in the way of specific services;
blogs highlight what you offer in the way of expertise. With
the increasing use of traditional blog platforms for website
creation (WordPress being the
prime example), it's easy to think of your blog and your website as
one entity. However, keeping in mind the dichotomy presented
above will allow you to present a more coherent view of your
--"The cost of obtaining clients is high. The cost of
retaining clients is far lower. CRM tools help with client
Litigation consultant, The Boston Expert Witness
Finding, Tracking and Converting Prospects: The Use of CRM Systems
Many lawyers have their heads down looking for new clients. But,
it's true that your best sources of business are your existing
clients, including the referrals that they make to you. So, you've
really got to put in the effort to stay in touch with your clients
in ways that are relevant, and that show that you continue to care
about them and their needs. They'll pass the value of that
connection along to your next potential clients. The clear majority
of solo and small firm attorneys do very little to track their
client relationships from a marketing standpoint; but,
CRM tools, even non-legal-specific tools, can go a long way to
helping you to leverage that aspect of your client
. . .
For almost all of the buzz surrounding the conference, you can
check out the still-active #LHLM
hashtag Twitter feed. To connect with the presenters and
conference participants, Inside Legal's Twitter
List is your go-to spot.
Tip courtesy of Jared Correia, Law Office Management Assistance
Published May 23, 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.
From left to right: Program moderator Craig Levey of Bennett & Belfort PC, guest speaker Brian J. Carney of WIN Interactive Inc., guest speaker Austin J. Freeley of the Law Offices of Austin J. Freeley and program moderator Courtney Shea, of Looney & Grossman LLP.
Civil Litigation and Young Lawyers Division host free legal lunch on demonstrative evidence
The Civil Litigation Section and Young Lawyers Division hosted
Part III of the Legal Lunch Series on May 16. The series, geared
toward civil litigators of all experience levels, provides
attendees with an opportunity to participate in a discussion of
selected areas of law or practice in a collegial setting.
The May program focused on how to effectively use
demonstrative evidence, including 3D animation, timelines, medical
illustrations and maps and diagrams, to successfully litigate
matters. Guest speakers included Brian J.
Carney, Esq., of WIN Interactive Inc. and Austin
J. Freeley, Esq., of the Law Offices of Austin J.
Freeley. Courtney Shea, of Looney & Grossman LLP and
Craig Levey, Esq. of Bennett & Belfort PC moderated the
Look for details on Part IV of the Legal Lunch Series in
Lawyers e-Journal and on www.massbar.org.
Top: The Hon. Lynne C. Rooney of Lowell District Court (second from left) and attorney Eric Schutzbank of Berid & Schutzbank PC (third from left) volunteered to speak with students at Lowell Catholic High School about the MBA's Law Day Initiative, "Realizing the Dream: Equality for All."
Middle: Judge Rooney speaks with students about human trafficking, considered to be a form of modern day slavery.
Bottom: Attorney Schutzbank interacts with Lowell Catholic High School students.
Photos by Philip-Lauren Photography.
MBA’s Law Day Initiative focuses on human trafficking and modern day slavery
Students at high schools in Amherst, Fall River, Lowell,
Southbridge, Springfield, Wilbraham and Worcester participated in
the Massachusetts Bar Association's Law Day Initiative and
discussed human trafficking and modern day slavery.
"This year marks the 150th anniversary of President
Abraham Lincoln freeing all slaves by signing the Emancipation
Proclamation, which makes modern day slavery a fitting topic to
study through a legal lens," MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr.
Volunteer attorney/judge teams from the MBA visited classes at
each school and presented "Realizing the Dream: Equality for All."
Students then participated in a mock trial that debated human
trafficking, considered to be a form of modern day slavery.
Students were broken into groups of judges, prosecutors and defense
attorneys. Click here to read an article on the MBA's Law
Day program featured on WWLP-22News.
"The MBA is grateful to the attorneys and judges from across the
state who have shared their time and expertise to make this
critical program a success," Holloway said.
The MBA is appreciative of the Massachusetts Judges Conference
for its assistance in recruiting volunteer judges for this
Law Day is a national day of celebration in May focusing on
the United States' heritage of liberty under law and recognizing
its role in our daily lives. Celebratory events are often held
throughout the month of May. President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave
Law Day its name by declaration in 1958.
From left to right: Francis C. Morrissey and Stephen Y. Chow, former chairs of the MBA's Business Law Section Council and UCC advocates.
The Uniform Commercial Code celebrates 50 years
On June 13, Boston's legal community will gather at Suffolk Law
School to commemorate over 50 years of the Uniform Commercial Code
in Massachusetts. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Uniform
Law Foundation, the charitable arm of the Uniform Law
In 1958, Massachusetts became the second state in the country to
enact the Uniform Commercial Code. Other states soon followed
Massachusetts' lead and enacted the UCC, resulting in a 50-state
adoption and the integration of commercial law throughout the
Francis C. Morrissey, a longtime advocate for the UCC and former
chairman of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Business Law
Section Council said "The UCC event will celebrate Massachusetts'
long leadership in commercial law and will bring together
legislators, judges, lawyers and academics from across the state
and the country. Anyone with an interest in commercial law is
strongly encouraged to attend."
The ULC is a 120-year-old national organization with
headquarters in Chicago comprised of more than 300 commissioners
from legislatures, judicial branches and academia with the goal of
drafting and promoting uniforms laws designed to solve problems
common in all states.
The Uniform Commercial Code aims to promote legal consistency in
commercial transactions across various states. Presently, the ULC
has four Massachusetts-based Uniform Law commissioners,
- Martin W. Healy, the MBA's chief legal counsel and chief
- Stephen Y. Chow, partner, Burns & Levinson LLP;
- Edwin E. Smith, partner, Bingham McCutchen LLP; and
- Robert Sitkoff, professor, Harvard Law School.
The UCC Commemoration event will take place on Thursday, June
13, at Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston, from
5 to 8 p.m. The keynote speaker is University of Michigan Law
School Professor James J. White.
Individuals interested in
attending or sponsoring this event should click here to view the event invitation.
The Winsor School's Mock Trial Team represented Massachusetts at the 2013 National High School Mock Trial Championships.
The Winsor School of Boston travels to Indianapolis to represent Massachusetts at the National High School Mock Trial Championships
Following its March 20 win over Pioneer Valley Performing Arts
High School at the 28th annual Massachusetts Bar
Association Mock Trial Finals in Boston, The Winsor School advanced
to the National High School Mock Trial Championships, which was
held May 9 to 11 in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is the second time
The Winsor School has represented Massachusetts at the national
The team's travel expenses to Indianapolis were paid for in part
by a $2,500 stipend donated by the Massachusetts Bar Foundation,
the philanthropic partner of the MBA. The MBA Mock Trial program is
made possible by the international law firm of Brown Rudnick LLP
through its Center for the Public Interest in Boston. The center
has contributed $25,000 per year to the program since 1998.
Call for Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards nominations
Deadline is Monday, July 1
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 2013 Adams Pro Bono
Publico Awards. The deadline for nominations is Monday,
The awards will be presented in a
ceremony at the John Adams Courthouse on Wednesday, Oct. 23, in
conjunction with the American Bar Association's recognition of
National Pro Bono Week.
Nominations should be submitted to: Robert C. Sacco, Esq., The
2013 Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards, c/o Lyon & Fitzpatrick LLP,
14 Bobala Road, Fourth Floor, Holyoke, MA 01040 or [e-mail rsacco].
Contact Carol Lev at (617) 557-1074 or [e-mail carol.lev]
Nominations submitted in 2012 remain active for
consideration in the 2013 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 students.
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
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
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.
Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule
Register for the June 5 Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference featuring keynote speaker Jonathan B. Kreisberg, regional director of the National Labor Relations Board.
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.
View from the Bench Seminar and Reception
Wednesday, May 29, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
34th Annual Labor &
Employment Law Spring Conference
Wednesday, June 5, 1-5:30 p.m.
Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston
Issues for International Medical Professionals
Thursday, June 6, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
UMass Memorial Medical Center, 55 Lake Ave. North,
Health Law Legal Chat Series
Friday, June 7, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal
Legal Chat: Your Land, Your Legacy
Planning for Preservation and Development of Family
Tuesday, June 18, 4-5 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.
Juvenile & Child Welfare Legal Chat
Friday, June 21, 1-2 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal
2013 Annual Health Law
Tuesday, June 25, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
Were you 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.
Connect, share and collaborate on My Bar Access
Posts include "Hospital chargemasters and open data from CMS," "The federales' open data policy and the Medicare hospital chargemaster data dump" and more.
Interact with your section/division on My Bar Access. Visit http://access.massbar.org/
today to join the
Blog posts include:
Questions about a new
rule? Need a referral? Looking for a sample motion? Interested in
learning more about your fellow members? Login
and participate in ongoing member group discussions, which are now
be viewed by MBA members, who login to the MBA's
online community. Current discussion posts include information on
moving a law firm, the juvenile jurisdiction bill and standard real
estate sales contract forms. My Bar Access discussions
allow you to enjoy the benefits of a traditional listserv, without
clogging your inbox.
The following simple steps can instantly connect you with fellow
- Login and agree to terms: Sign in
using your MBA user name and password and sign the Code of
- 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
- Start connecting: Post blogs, discussions
(listservs) or upload a resource library entry for your
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
Get started today on http://access.massbar.org.
Questions? [e-mail mybaraccess].
Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events
Join in the May 28 Business Law and Access to Justice section council meetings. The Workers' Compensation Practice Group will feature Administrative Law Judge Mark D. Horan on May 30.
Business Law Section Council
Tuesday, May 28, 6-7:30
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
The next meeting of the Business
Law Council is scheduled for Tuesday, May 28 from 6 to 7:30
p.m. All section members are invited to attend.
Access to Justice Section Council
Tuesday, May 28, 6-7:30
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
The next meeting of the Access to
Justice Council is scheduled for Tuesday, May 28 from 6 to
7:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.
Workers' Compensation Practice
Featuring Administrative Law
Judge Mark D. Horan
Thursday, May 30, 3-5 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston
The next meeting of the Workers' Compensation Practice Group is
scheduled for Thursday, May 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. Horan will provide
a Workers' Compensation Law update -- tracking significant new
cases since November 2012 with a focus on interesting developments,
particularly those regarding psychiatric claims and permanent loss