"… the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." -
It is the generosity of spirit that
distinguishes the Massachusetts legal community that I have come to
further appreciate during my term as your president. As my term
comes to a close, I acknowledge the fruit of your spirit and
express my gratitude for your active and conscious role in raising
We all know caring and generous
lawyers, those who freely and generously give of their time, talent
and resources to better the livelihood of those lives they touch.
Like all of you, I have had the good fortune of meeting many such
lawyers throughout my career. However, this year in particular has
shed light on the abundance of such lawyers that grace our
association and the commonwealth.
I express my gratitude to those who
served as chairs of the MBA's various section councils and
committees as well as those volunteers who joined and supported
these workhorses of our fine association. A better educated, more
animated and more relevant association is the fruit of your spirit
I offer appreciation to the numerous
lawyers and judges who volunteered their time and talent serving as
panelists and presenters on the myriad conferences and CLE programs
that were conducted throughout the past year. Your shared knowledge
has resulted in a more informed, skilled and competent
To the lawyers who contributed to
the Veterans Pro Bono and Eco-Challenge initiatives, Dial-A-Lawyer,
High School Mock Trial program, Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal
Aid, Court Advocacy Day, Elder Law Education and Drug Policy Task
Force, I wish to let you know that your commitment and energy
nourishes the communities in which we practice and live.
Beyond the association, I am
grateful for the opportunity to have collaborated with the
Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation's Lonnie Powers and
Julia Huston, as well as the Equal Justice Coalition's Pattye
Comfort. These individuals' focus inspired the best in us, and
their dedication ensured continued access to justice in a most
difficult economic and funding environment.
In the midst of extraordinary
budgetary circumstances at the state level, the MBA worked
diligently with Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H.
Marshall, Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A.
Mulligan, the chief justices of the respective trial court
departments and Massachusetts Judges' Conference President Peter W.
Agnes Jr. in communicating the dire need for appropriately funding
the third branch of government. Their level of dedication on behalf
of the citizens of Massachusetts deserves broader recognition.
Thanks to my fellow officers, Robert
L. Holloway Jr., Marsha V. Kazarosian, Denise Squillante, Douglas
K. Sheff, members of the Executive Management Board and the House
of Delegates for their considerable sacrifices. What distinguishes
their service is their profound interest in maintaining the MBA's
position as a leading voluntary bar association.
I could not have had a more gracious
and caring leader to partner with at the Boston Bar Association
than President Kathy Weinman. Advocating with her at the ABA Lobby
Day in April and throughout this year on Beacon Hill convinced me
of the power of unity. Kathy is an astute leader and the
Massachusetts legal community is a beneficiary of her dedication. I
look forward to seeing our successors continue the strong MBA-BBA
I am especially grateful for the
opportunity to have served with President-Elect Valerie Yarashus
for the past four years. During this time, we have shared dozens of
books, scores of conversations and a common purpose. For the past
two years, we have co-chaired the Leadership Roundtables and shared
our readings and aspirations with future leaders of the MBA.
Valerie's candor and compassion are characteristic of her vision
for the association.
My sincere gratitude goes out to the
staff of the MBA for its service and skill in responding
brilliantly under time constraints to rapidly changing and
challenging circumstances. I could not have asked for better staff
support to carry out the MBA's mission.
Some of you have asked how a solo
practitioner from Clinton could manage to lead the MBA. The answer
to that question is with lots of understanding from my wife, Mary,
and our family, as well as the flexibility and understanding
displayed by defense counsel, clerks and judges who were key in
helping me balance the duties of the office and case-related
events. The support of my fellow officers was also critically
important in fulfilling the office's responsibilities when I was
I am most grateful to the MBA membership for allowing me to lead
our fine organization. Nearly a century ago, the founders of our
association set forth what I have referred to throughout the year
as "founding principles." As Alfred Hemenway and others envisioned
in 1911, the MBA would cultivate public understanding of the law,
facilitate the administration of justice, further the uniformity of
legislation, uphold the honor of the profession and encourage
critical discourse among its membership. I believe these principles
continue to have great relevance today. And, because MBA members
continue to adhere by them, our future is as bright as it has ever