MBA's 'commitment to ongoing learning' carries unique edge reflecting unprecedented year
Drawing more than 300 attendees for both days of plenary and breakout sessions, the Massachusetts Bar Association 2002 Annual Conference, Jan. 24-26, dubbed "A Celebration of Law and Justice," was marked by a mood perhaps best characterized as guardedly optimistic.
Amidst bountiful highlights, the keepers were clear-cut. MBA General Counsel Martin W. Healy's subtle prodding of the state legislature for a year "notable for what was not enacted" was one. Keynote speaker James Carville sternly admonishing that Enron employees were "let down by the legal profession [among others]" was another.
And ACLU staff attorney William C. Newman's eerily allusive excerpts from George Orwell's "1984" in reference to the post-Sept. 11 USA Patriot Act's far-reaching civil-liberties implications was arguably the show-stopper. Clearly, exhibitor gadgets and catered cabernet were not the best reasons to attend MBA 2002.
If you ask retired Framingham attorney Gerald Gaffin, pro bono is genuinely pro forma. Or at least it should be. That notion, perhaps more than any other, is what kept Gaffin dotting i's and crossing t's on behalf of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce for more than a quarter century.
Four Massachusetts attorneys and one law firm were honored for their volunteer or pro bono efforts at this year's Access to Justice Awards luncheon during the MBA's 2002 Annual Conference, "A Celebration of Law and Justice," at the Boston Marriot Copley Hotel.