Image for Budget

Senate adopts budget, now rests with conference committee

Last month, the Senate approved a $34 billion budget for fiscal year 2014 after two days of debate on hundreds of amendments. The Senate bottom line mirrors what the House passed in April; however, there are many differences to be worked out by a six-member conference committee to be appointed by both branches.

One line item that does not need to be addressed by the conference committee is funding for legal aid to the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. MLAC's funding from both the House and Senate is $13 million, a $1 million increase over fiscal year 2013 funding, but still below what is needed to address the civil legal needs of those who are eligible for services.

Also passed by both branches is a judicial compensation increase which would bump Massachusetts jurists' salaries to $159,694 on July 1, 2015. The increase is incremental and while the House and Senate agree on the amount of the increase, they differ on the schedule in which it would be implemented. The House budget sets the first increase effective January 1, 2014; the second July 1, 2014 and the final increase on July 1, 2015. The Senate budget sets the first increase effective July 1, 2014; the second January 1, 2015 and the final increase on July 1, 2015. This will be among the items decided upon by the conference committee members.

Also to be meted out by the conference committee will be funding for the Trial Court. The Senate budget gives the Trial Court $579 million in funding, while the House funded the Trial Court at $573.8 million. While the Senate funding is preferable, both branches fell far short in providing the $589.5 million requested by the Trial Court for maintenance funding.

The conference committee will be meeting over the coming weeks. Once an agreement is reached, the House and Senate will vote to approve/disapprove the conference committee's report before sending the budget to Gov. Deval L. Patrick for his signature and line item vetoes. The commonwealth's new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2013.

Image for Alabama

Alabama State Bar is Boston Strong

"We are all Bostonians" is how Keith B. Norman, executive director of the Alabama State Bar paraphrased President John F. Kennedy in a recent letter of support to the Massachusetts Bar Association.

On May 3, 2013, the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners adopted a resolution that recognized "the people of Boston who responded so unselfishly to lend assistance to the victims" of the Marathon Bombing.

"The pluck of this great city during and following this tragic episode was an inspiration to Americans everywhere," Norman said.

Through its resolution, members of the Alabama Bar offer their deepest sympathies to the victims of the Boston bombings while giving highest praise to each person who assisted those injured on that fateful day.  The resolution also notes that lawyers are a "vital part of keeping 'Boston Strong'"  and help to maintain the integrity of the American legal process that offers all suspects a fair and impartial trial.

This resolution was sent to the mayor of Boston, the chairman of the Boston Marathon and the presidents of the Massachusetts Bar and Boston Bar associations.

Image for Labor Conference
Jonathan B. Kreisberg, regional director of the Boston Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board

Kreisberg to speak at next week's 34th Annual MBA Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference

Register for the June 5 conference to learn more about developments in labor and employment law, workplace violence and whistleblower protections.

The Massachusetts Bar Association's 34th Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference will be held on Wednesday, June 5 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at Suffolk Unversity Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston. The conference, sponsored by the MBA's Labor & Employment section, will feature a keynote by Jonathan B. Kreisberg, regional director of the Boston Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board.

Additional conference highlights include:

Employment and Labor Law Survey

A panel of experts will provide a comprehensive survey of developments in the fields of labor and employment law over the past year, including recent decisions, proposed changes in discovery rules and the current composition of the National Labor Relations Board.

Workplace Violence

Millions of American workers are victims of workplace violence each year, making it a growing concern for employers and employees nationwide. Topics include a description of workplace violence, how OSHA handles workplace violence and how we develop solutions.

Whistleblower Protections

Our knowledgeable panel will give an overview of the various laws that offer whistleblower protection and will address opportunities and strategies for pursuing and defending these claims, including pharmaceutical and medical device off-label promotion, nursing home Medicare fraud, tax fraud and new protection laws.

Click here to register and for a full list of faculty.

Image for JA
Top: John J. Morrissey moderates the discussion at the May 29 "A View From the Bench" seminar.

Second from top (from left to right): Program panelists John J. Morrissey, Morrissey, Wilson & Zafiropoulos LLP, Braintree; Hon. Kimberly S. Budd, Superior Court, Boston; Hon. Dennis J. Curran Superior Court, Boston; Hon. Kenneth V. Desmond Jr., Superior Court, Boston; Hon. Judith Fabricant, Superior Court, Boston; Hon. Mitchell H. Kaplan, Superior Court, Boston; Hon. Maynard M. Kirpalani, Superior Court, Boston; and MBA President-elect Douglas K. Sheff, Sheff Law Offices PC, Boston.

Second from bottom (from left to right): Stephen Y. Chow, partner, Burns & Levinson LLP; John J. Morrissey, partner, Morrissey, Wilson & Zafiropoulos LLP; Michael T. Maroney, partner, Holland & Knight LLP; Michael H. Hayden, partner, Morrison Mahoney LLP; and Dianne R. Phillips, partner, Holland & Knight LLP.

Bottom: Members of the MBA YLD Board of Directors mingle at the May 29 reception.

Photos by John Pregmon.

Judicial Administration and Young Lawyers Division host "A View From the Bench" seminar and reception

The MBA's Judicial Administration Section and Young Lawyers Division sponsored "A View From the Bench Seminar & Reception" on May 29.  The program provided attendees with an opportunity to hear from a panel of six distinguished members of the Massachusetts judiciary on their preferences and practices on a variety of civil pretrial and trial issues.

MBA President-elect Douglas K. Sheff, of Sheff Law Offices PC, provided opening remarks in which he stressed the importance of the relationship between the MBA and the judiciary -- especially as court funding continues to be a major issue impacting the commonwealth. Additionally, Sheff commended the Judicial Administration Section for its contributions to the MBA and praised John Morrissey, of Morrissey, Wilson & Zafiropoulos LLP, for his exemplary efforts as the section's chair. Sheff also urged attendees to become actively involved members of the MBA.

The seminar was presented to more than 70 attendees, who gained valuable insight into the proclivities and perspectives of each panelist in relation to the practice of law within the commonwealth. Morrissey moderated the seminar's discussion, which focused on topics such as attorney conducted voir dire, the use of demonstrative evidence, teleconferencing and discovery disputes, and motion practice.

The invaluable seminar was followed by a successful networking reception for attendees and members of the judiciary.

Image for YLD running
Top: MBA YLD "Lawyers Have Heart 5K Road Race" team.
Bottom: 2013-2014 MBA YLD Board of Directors Chair Brian P. Bialas (left) and Chair-elect Courtney C. Shea (right).

Photos courtesy of Courtney C. Shea.

YLD raises $2,400 for the American Heart Association

Members of the Massachusetts Bar As­sociation's Young Lawyers Division partic­ipated in the Sixth Annual Lawyers Have Heart 5K Road Race & Summer Celebration at the Bank of America Pavilion on May 28.

A team of 17 runners raised $2,400 for the American Heart Association. The donation will be used to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke, both of which pro­foundly affect the legal profession.

The road race raised a total of $237,268 for the American Heart Association.



Getting past the fear factor

When you get right down to it, fear is probably the biggest obstacle to marketing success for most professionals. No one likes rejection and if you plan to ask anyone for business or referrals, the odds are very high you will experience a significant amount of rejection. In sales, for example, it may take 15 phone calls to reach five prospects which may result in two meetings. In other words, you may have to experience 13 rejections just to get two meetings.

And even if you get two meetings with potential clients or referral sources, it still may take 20 meetings to generate a significant piece of work. So if you do the math, you may need to make 150 phone calls or send 150 e-mail messages in order to set up those meetings.

That may seem like a daunting number. While that number will vary a lot based on the type of practice you have and the quality of the relationships you call upon, the bottom line is that in order to build a practice, you have to prepare yourself for a lot of rejection.

So what are some of the strategies you can use to soften the blow of the unanswered e-mails and phone calls? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Set a finite goal for the number of calls you will make in a day. Lower your expectations about how many responses you will get on a given day.
  2. Use your LinkedIn network to find second degree contacts who can make introductions on your behalf. Making cold calls is a tough way to build relationships. By leveraging your second degree contacts, you can overcome the trust issue much more quickly and find other professionals who are more inclined to speak with you.
  3. Measure your activity rather than your successes. You can't control the outcome of your efforts to connect. But you can measure the number of calls you make. Focus on that number and reward yourself for your efforts, not for your actual successes.
  4. Start early in the day and make connecting a regular habit. If you think of relationship building as something that should be part of most work days, you will achieve the volume of contacts you need in order to find the opportunities you are trying to uncover.
  5. Try not to take the "rejection" personally. In many instances, it may take a few efforts to reach your prospect because he/she is already dealing with a high volume of e-mail and voicemail messages. In other words, remind yourself that it is not you. Your pleasant  persistence will help cut through the noise and get you on his/her dance card. And he/she will appreciate your repeated efforts to connect.

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

Published May 30, 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.
Image for News from the courts

News from the courts

Proposed amendments to Rule 43 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure

The Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure invites comments on proposed amendments to Rule 43 of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure. The committee undertook its review of Rule 43 as a result of the Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Vizcaino v. Commonwealth, 462 Mass. 266 (2012). The committee unanimously recommends that Rule 43 be clarified to minimize confusion concerning when and how a judge may impose summary punishment for criminal contempt or, alternatively, refer an alleged contemnor for prosecution by complaint or indictment under Rule 44.

The committee welcomes all comments pertaining to the issues raised and will make recommendations to the Supreme Judicial Court after reviewing the comments submitted.

Comments should be directed to SJC Senior Attorney Barbara Berenson at [e-mail Barbara.Berenson] on or before Sept. 15, 2013.

Click here for an explanation for proposed amendments.
Click here for more information.

Image for MyBarAccess

Connect, share and collaborate on My Bar Access

Posts include "Musing on alimony: Health coverage contradiction," "Call your State Rep. in support of "Raise the Age" bill" and more.

Interact with your section/division on My Bar Access. Visit http://access.massbar.org/ today to join the conversation.

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 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.

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].

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


Image for Member benefit

Featured member benefit: FREE summer networking series

Bring a friend and join the Massachusetts Bar Association for its FREE "Summer Networking Series." Don't miss this opportunity to create invaluable relationships, by relaxing and mingling with members of the MBA community and association leaders.

Complimentary appetizers, wine and beer will be available.

R.S.V.P. for one, or all, of the following summer networking events:

The Summer Networking Series is sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association Insurance Agency.


Image for iBelong

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.


Upcoming CLE seminar and program schedule

Register for the June 6 "Visa Issues for International Medical Professionals" to learn more about the common issues and obstacles facing international medical graduates.

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.


Health Law Legal Chat Series Live program
Friday, May 31, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

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

Visa Issues for International Medical Professionals
Thursday, June 6, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
UMass Memorial Medical Center, 55 Lake Ave. North, Worcester

Health Law Legal Chat Series Live program
Friday, June 7, noon-1 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

Legal Chat: Your Land, Your Legacy Live program
Planning for Preservation and Development of Family Land

Tuesday, June 18, 4-5 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

Juvenile & Child Welfare Legal Chat Series Live program
Friday, June 21, 1-2 p.m.
NOTE: There is no on-site attendance for Legal Chats.

2013 Annual Health Law Conference Live program
Tuesday, June 25, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston


MBA On Demand

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.

Image for Section news

Section News: Upcoming meetings and special section events

Join in the June 4 Access to Justice Section Council meeting. Health Law meets June 11. R.S.V.P. for the June 12 Immigration and Family Law section council meetings. Chief Justice Edgerton is the guest speaker at the June 12 Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council open meeting.

Access to Justice Section Council meeting

Tuesday, June 4, 6-7:30 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Access to Justice  Council is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Health Law Section Council meeting

Tuesday, June 11, 5:15-6:45 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Health Law Section Council is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11 from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Immigration Law Section Council meeting

Wednesday, June 12, 4:30-6 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Immigration Law Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, June 12 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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


Family Law Section Council meeting

Featuring Judicial Nominating Commission Chair Macey Russell
Wednesday, June 12, 5:30-7 p.m.

MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Family Law Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, June 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend. Judicial Nominating Commission Chair Macey Russell will explain the process of becoming a judge, including a description of the new judicial application, how applications are reviewed, interviews, the timetable for decisions and appearing before the Governor's Council.

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


Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council
open meeting

Featuring Juvenile Court Chief Justice Michael F. Edgerton
Wednesday, June 12, 5:30-7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

The next meeting of the Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council is scheduled for Wednesday, June 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All section members are invited to attend.

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





©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association